Friday, August 22, 2008

An Unfinished Journey

Me and Poli had been anticipating this moment for atleast 5 days now - the first client meeting in the new project. Poli, who henceforth prefers to be addressed as Rampant Orbit, even spent nights practising and preparing his introduction. One of the practice sessions resulted in a lightning shaped scar as well - no Voldemort and green flash of light at work here, just an old D-mart shelf making lasting contact with Poli's robust forehead as a flash of lightning switched off power.

Finally the day was here. It was raining - just perfect for football, enough to ruin cricket. Continuing on after that totally unncecessary sports reference - we rushed out of the guesthouse to the nearest auto stand. There were a number of empty vehicles there with the drivers all crowded at one location. "Hard working honest men taking a well-deserved break", I thought despite having had colorful interactions with their brethren in other cities. I walked up to one of them. I told him the destination - a place about a couple of km away. The driver stared. I repeated the destination, a little loudly this time. He responded with complicated hand signals. He may have thrown in a couple of dance steps too. I was too stunned to react. I wondered what he meant. Was that the handshake of some 'Make your customers wait in the rain so that they can wipe your vehicle seats clean when they sit on them' secret society? Was he a break dancer who had jumped out of the closet hoping Michael Jackson would jump into it? Was he a retired traffic cop directing traffic that only he could see? Finally he chose to tell me that he was in some sort of queue which started at the other end.

As passing motorists tried painting mud patterns on my clothes, I rushed to the other end avoiding puddles with all the grace of a drunken sumo wrestler. I almost got run down by one woman who clearly had murder on her mind. She had her face covered and sped along unconcernedly on her 'machine to deliver a painful long-drawn death to unsuspecting pedestrians' aka Honda Activa. As I reached the other end of the queue and checked with the driver, he performed a different set of hand gestures. There were no dance steps though. "25 Rs", he said. We could choose to either pay this obviously inflated price and reach the meeting on time or start bargaining and walk in as the client prepared to leave. Being total professionals and committed to the client, we knew what option to take - bargain, of course. After a couple of one-sided debates - we arguing and the drivers responding with grunts and faraway looks - we amicably concluded twenty five bucks should pay for the journey plus the driver's breakfast. We sat in the auto and waited for the driver to deposit us at our destination.

This driver had a peculiar habit of breaking into a song every minute. It was as if he was a human winamp (I don't have an iPod yet *sigh*) who had been set in shuffle mode. Transitioning seamlessly from one Hindi song to another, with the odd Marathi couplet thrown in for good measure, he sped along. The only moments he paused his singing were to spit. Evidently his body generated copious quantities of saliva that needed to be ejected immediately to make space for the next batch. Though he seemed to be a master of the spit generation industry, he seemed to be a novice in the fine art form of spitting it out on neighboring vehicles. Most of the spit landed to his left AND on his own vehicle. Paralyzed with horror, I sat behind him chanting a mild prayer to the Gods asking them not to change the wind direction. Somehow the prospect of getting drenched in the rain AND getting sprayed by fine droplets of pan flavored human saliva did not thrill me too much. For once, the Gods seemed to be busy listening to other prayers. Because whenever they hear mine, they get perverse pleasure by doing the exact opposite of what I ask them. Usually its a case of 'Spanker proposes, God vengefully disposes .. and then shoots the proceedings on some divine camcorder and uploads it on blessYoutube where all the other Gods get to watch the video over and over again'.

In due course of time, we reached the meeting place and ...


This is where this part ends. You see, what I am really trying to do is write a 2 part story. Eventually, I will learn how to stretch a simple story into 500 parts. Then I will meet Ekta Kapoor (or whatever the latest spelling of her name is) and join her pantheon of script writers and write the script for a detective series titled 'The chronicles of Avionic Spanker and Rampant Orbit'

12 comments:

Smita said...

lol u nd ur escapades reminde me of my antics in the auto-rick Queue.

It was last week only, after getting down from a local I walked in the auto stand and smartly stood in the Queue, I ignored the strange glares and was busy handling my bag my mob and my umbrella.

When the person behind me entered the upcoming auto, I realised that what I had assumed as the tail of the ques was actually the head.....It was embarrassing for few secs but then I was laughing at myself & so were others ;-)

BTW I too am craving for an I-Pod...been able to hold myself till now, knowing me it is a matter of months....


BTW an idea for the Part III, bring this auto wallah back, get him killed in an accident (as he was busy singing). Then Part V u can get him back, zinda. But yes bring him back as a cab driver now :D

mystiquedew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mystiquedew said...

Well..I am sorry u have a long way to go before u become an esteemed member o' K troupe.

Now if ye post a blog fer every time the auto-fella worked on his salivary glands...ye might have stood a chance..:D

Che said...

Ah well not too shabby.
The auto wallahs are totally different species altogether that takes pleasure in making everyone's life miserable.

Oxymoronic said...

I told u so about covered faces... glad u escaped from her and for Ekta, ah, do not even bother to know the latest spelling name.. it changes thrice (probably more) in a day..

Oxymoronic said...

And why I keep seeing 'comment deleted' at most of the places and at all those most of the places, most of them are by either 'Smita' or 'Mystique Dew'.. ??

couchpapaya said...

ahh yes somehow i dont see getting spittle-bombed as prime ekta material :) .... u might have thrown in some amnesia and road rage while u were abt it !!! and how abt the truly unnecessary reference, the (bad) woman driver, really spanker et tu?

Avionic Spanker said...

smita - The way you are going on about Parts 3, 4 and 5, I see you joining Ekta's team much before me .. or are u there already?

mystiquedew - I had my eyes closed in prayer after I saw him spit once .. so only one post

che - not too shabby, agree

oxy - I have given up on seeing anything other than the eyes of the women here .. and that comment deletion - good point .. I wonder

couchpapaya - I did suffer from amnesia and trauma following the auto ride .. some of the details are still blurred .. and the (woman) driver, I say it as I see it .. and am seeing a lot of it here, u know :)

mystiquedew said...

Heyy Oxy...I removed it coz I posted a real naughty comment...

:D :D Happy? didja get to hear wot ye wanted ?
Bbbtt :P

WhatsInAName said...

Which song was the auto driver singing? Was it "naan auto kaaran auto kaaran" by Rajni?
Waiting for Part 2 with abated breath now :D

Avionic Spanker said...

mystiquedew - more erotic than naughty

whatsinaname - Rajni has an anthem for auto drivers?

avdi said...

haha