Thursday, June 22, 2006


I've not checked my blog for more than two weeks, shameful indeed.

But then, life always stands around the corner with a sandfilled sock to hit one behind the head. Lets see what all transpired in this intervening period.

I've locked myself out of the car on two occasions. Ahem. Not a very nice thing to do when you have to go and launch the jazz club...of course I could have jumped into an auto-rickshaw to get robbed in royal style. But in the nick of time I remembered the rear door had not been locked properly.

Now The Beast is singularly unattractive with its dull red colour and its attachments hanging loose like a witch fallen on bad times. An old hag of a witch... I mean. Also the size of the vehicle, being an SUV [sports utility vehicle] I suspect is anti-burglarly. So I coolly opened the rear door, slunk in and crawled up to the front seat. In the bargain I found a pair of spectacles, lost during late March when I had visited Hans and Ameeta in Velachery. What a pleasant surprise. The second time I locked myself out it was past dinnertime and I was so fatigued, I just went for snacks and went to sleep quietly.

What a full night's rest can do to a tired mind, can be rivalled only by having a banana. Some doctor sent me an email forward saying bananas are wonderful anti-depressants, so I have been keeping some in the car too. They work wonders, near-miracles. I was in the morning, experimenting with all sorts of devices, and toying with the idea of bothering my landlady's enterprising son, who seems to be driving four or five different cars, that a bunch of keys could come in handy. The device that nearly came close to the shape and thickness of my car keys was too humble to mention here [lest someone steal my car!] but it opened in a jiffy. What a relief....

Today morning I outdid myself. I dropped the housekeys somewhere on the way to my morning coffee, newspaper and a bit of snacks at Dr. Terror's. Of course I dropped them, in spite of the main key being close to six inches long because I found a biggish hole in my pocket. Someone should have videographed me, when I returned after the long walk and snacks. My face must have gone through a rainbow of emotions from tickling voltage to hair-raising jolts... when the truth dawned on me. Saying a litany of prayers, I retraced my long trek, at least three kilometres in the scorching equatorial sun -oh yeah, this is a thrill I was using a website to see Chennai through a number of satellites and it chilled me to the bone to see we have Zero Degree latitude passing through our city.

I sweated a bucket, my knees were bending involuntarily, hope was diminishing in my sleep-starved body and sinking heart. The last night, a gang of mosquitoes had invaded my bedroom God knows from where and how. They kept me awake half the night. What's more, I was nearing the climactic end of John Cheever's " Falconer", a spine-chilling tale of a high security prison by the same name. Sleep was turned out from my place like a rabid dog, till the shy sun peeped over the horizon. Mischievously like a schoolboy up to no good.

There's no happy ending to this sordid tale of my forgetfulness, lackadaisical attitude and mounting worries... it was nearly ten o'clock before I could enter my own house. The landlady's son was very gracious and handed over about one kilo of keys, none of which fitted. I have developed a feeling, that Kaka knows things, the manservant in the dog house, if the readers recall. He had after all fixed a leaking tap early on, when I had just taken possession of this oven I call home. Late at night the temperature hovers between 33 t o 34 degrees Celsius, obscenely challenging my new Plasma A/C. The latter always wins, but the challenge seems idiotic. This Plasma effect, how befitting for me, a plasma technologist is nearly as anti-depressant as a sudden banana.

The landlady's smart son, shrugged his shoulders and made a lousy face when I suggested Kaka would know. Who him? He seemed to imply, why the moron doesn't know a thing... I didn't argue but I knew for sure the old man knew which key. He is better informed than the landlady herself. By the time I had time I had exhausted one full kilo of keys, Kaka ambled up holding just one single key in his long artistic fingers. He smiled, he turned it and the lock opened. I smiled copiously back at him, and said with a joyous whoop : Nalla joli [good work, it means in Malayalam, though I wonder if Tamil meaning is the same?].

He gestured me to pocket the key, something the landlady's s one would not have liked. There was talk of getting a duplicate key made, carpenters to be invited to fit a latch, since someone who found my original key could rob me blind. In the mean time, Chalta hai as we say in North... let things work, let things roll on.

(c) Max Babi 220606.


At 11:33 PM, Blogger david raphael israel said...

ha! Once the basic theme (Max's Mishaps) is established, it seems that Madras and Maya are in cahoots to achieve an endless stream of variations on the theme. As amusing to your readers as they are discomfitting to their sufferer -- who, however, is also their survivor, and thus, one presumes -- probable protestations notwithstanding -- enrolled in the short course (or fast lane) to something in wisdom's general vicinity. (Or minimally, the seasoned sensibility of the wiseguy.)


At 2:30 AM, Blogger None said...

:) happens, man. to the best of us!



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