Gesticulating A Bribe..!!

The clock struck 7 when I woke up. I opened the main door, walked into the lawn with a yawn. I stood there and stretched trying for a peek at the rising sun. As I did that I noticed some object, thin like a cane, white in color with the sun in the background hurling towards me. Anything that’s hurling towards me was danger, of course. I wondered if it was a terrorist attack or if it was my ex- girl friend’s handy work. I pushed the panic button and went on a mission- Run-for-your-life. I turned around to run, but before I could gather any further thoughts or paces, it hit me on the back of my head and rebounded on to the ground. I dint fall and die at once. So, I looked around cautiously and then contemplated the object. I almost kicked myself when I observed that it was the newspaper, rolled and launched by my paper guy. I grabbed the newspaper and walked to the raised compound wall to find the paper guy. He stood with his bicycle wearing a straight face maybe wanting to kill me in real. I made an inverted hook with my eye-brow and gave him a hard long stare like a 1972 villain. It would have looked more poignant if someone flashed a red-light on my face. But anyway, he stood silent and made continuous movements with his head, looking at me for a second and looking at the ground for another second. I got a feeling he was run by a malfunctioned battery or something. Before I could say anything, he said sorry and escaped.

I went back in to the lawn, jumped onto the recliner. I unfolded the newspaper to see who died, who did a fraud, who kissed Rakhi Sawanth and to check the humour column (I mean, our politicians’ statements). The headline “ Seat belts compulsory for four-wheelers- Traffic Police” caught my eye. I live in a city where a day without a traffic jam is like a burger without the bun. I mean, the maximum speed I could achieve was about 30 kms/hr. All that a seat belt could do is to hold you back for a second thought in case you felt like running away getting mad of traffic. For me, seat belts in a city made no sense. On the other hand, there’s no such rule on a highway, where it at least made some sense. As the joke goes- “ If you can’t tighten your brakes, you make your horn louder” our government follows suit. They don’t repair roads but they impose a helmet rule (for instance). And this one- “ You are invited for lunch tomorrow. By the way it’s your funeral tonight.” I’m talking about the rosy post-dated cheque the government offers to the dead person’s family.

Anyway, I walked back inside, showered, readied myself to leave for a friend’s marriage function and left. I drove my car along at 20 kms/hr without a seat belt and with no prizes for guessing at all, a traffic police inspector spotted & stopped me. “Oh these idiotic pot bellies..” I said to myself and pulled up the car by the pavement. “Bring your Driving license and Insurance papers here,” he demanded. I searched for my license card and found it. I examined the web-cam-captured-photo on my License card and got irritated all over again. I looked like one of those Arab terrorists after being captured & tortured. When I found the insurance papers, I was amazed to realize that my car was insured while I was not. But anyway I was still a student. So, with both the documents I walked up to that damn inspector. He examined them and said to me as if he was so hurt by my bad behavior- “ You look to be educated and decent. Why do you break the rules?” Man, if he deduced that I look decent by looking at that photo, he should immediately be shown to a neurologist. Anyway, he almost cried at me and asked-“ Why sir? Why? No seat belt?” I tried to remember the last instance when my own parents got so worried about me. I couldn’t even remember.

He then finally, like as if he lost speech, told me- “500 rupees sir.”

“What the f……” I controlled myself before I could say that word and continued-“ What? How much? Why?”

He said bluntly- “That’s the fine. No seat belt, illegal number plate and the tinted glass is too dark.”
Crap. These idiots come up with something or the other. I wanted to say to him –“ I’m not educated nor decent. Will you give me a concession?” But I dint. It’s better not to mess with these ‘drum bellies’. I said- “ I have just 100 rupees with me” though I had much more.

“No Sir. The fine is 500 rupees”, he said.

It looked like a silly game when I repeated my sentence for another 5 to 6 times, he too repeated his sentence that many times. But then, after few more repetitions in different tones, the deal was done. 100 rupees. For a fact, I’m very talented. But the point is, this was a bribe, not a fine. The actual fine would have also just come up to around 200 bucks, not 500, but one just couldn’t argue with these traffic inspectors. More you argue, more the fine would grow.

Meanwhile, as I searched for the 100 bucks, a beggar came by and begged for money. I digged out Rs110 and passed it to the beggar and told him to keep 10 bucks and pass the rest to the police guy. He did so promptly.
Before the policeman could realize my heartfelt gesture, I escaped from there just like my paper guy.

14, 40, 86 and dead. Still a Social Servant..!!

My age was 14. I was known for my social service.

Class 9, section ‘A’, 3:30 pm, History class. What fed our ears were- occasional snores, whispered gossips and somewhere in the background the voice of our teacher who was somewhere in a battlefield in or around the 1900’s. Sitting next to me on my left was the school captain. He was staring at his pen with his chin on the bench since more than ten minutes now. I whispered to him- “What did you have for lunch?” Dint get a reply. I bent forward to look at his face. To my astonishment he was sleeping and that too with half an eye open, like a devil. I realised history was better, so opened my ears for some history lessons. Only then I realized that ma’am was actually dictating notes. So, bad luck. I then, looked to the guy on my right, Roshan. He was smiling but sleeping. Weird guy, really. I imagined a bash on his silly face. It felt nice. Then, I scanned around my surrounding benches only to find a few more of such sleeping Einsteins and a few irksome faces giving me a stare as if they saw my face after 500 years. I couldn’t sleep while the sun was out, that was my main problem. Also, I felt bad for the teacher. But mainly, I was known as the guy who had a golden heart.
I took a deep breath, bashed on Roshan’s smiling, sleeping face and immediately stood up and said loud- “ Ma’am I have a doubt.” Roshan looked clueless.

This move was like pouring ice-cold water on sleeping people. Everyone woke up in astonishment. “WTF? Arjun has a doubt?” was the line doing the rounds. A few pinched on my back. “He doubted history? Oh my god!” were also making rounds. Ma’am was almost about to shed tears of joy, but controlled herself and asked- “What’s that doubt, my boy?”

There were [(61*2)+2] eyeballs gaping at me. I looked at my watch, it was about 10seconds for the bell. On the other hand I dint want to disappoint my fans (classmates).

While everyone wondered what could be that mystery behind history that I was about to ask, I looked at ma’am, smiled and asked- “ When is Sports day?” Trrnnggggg.. The bell rang. There was a huge roar in the class and everyone laughed with words like- jackass, stupid, dumbo,…etc emanating from here and there. Ma’am was staring at me with a weird expression as if she had just spotted the joker in a circus and finally said in disgust- “ What stupid bunch of guys these are!” and left the class. Poor lady, she would say nothing worse.
Everyone packed their bags, and while leaving they all said to me- “ Thanks macha, for waking us up. Thanks for the social service.” I thought of giving them flowers but just said- “ That’s my pleasure. Now get lost.”

My age was 40. I was known for social service.

4pm. Me, my mom and my wife. A saree showroom.

For the first time in my life, I was reminded of the fact that I too was just a normal human being and I too make mistakes. I mean, I just couldn’t believe that I was there for saree shopping with two women. I was sitting in the waiting hall since two hours now, while the dangerous duo of ‘daughter-in-law and mother-in-law’ were selecting sarees to purchase. There were two more middle-class gentlemen to my left who also wore expressions of helplessness, waiting for their wives I suppose. I dint know them personally, but we had similar problems at this point of time. That meant we could be friends with just as much as a snap of the finger. Anyway, I stood up and asked them- “ Shall we go have a cup of coffee?” They looked at me as if I said- “ You are released from Central Jail.” We introduced ourselves and left for coffee. We had a nice cup of coffee and a plate of samosas and I paid for it. By the time we strolled back to the showroom, we were like friends forever. The guy at the billing counter was watching the cricket match in his small little portable TV. I requested him to turn his TV slightly towards us and he did so without a word. I bought three cups of flavoured ‘American Corn’ and we all ate while we watched the match. Just as we thought we were enjoying this, my lady parade arrived after purchasing 3 sarees. I said to the gentlemen- “It was nice meeting you, but I’m happy to say I’m the luckiest. I’m the first one to leave” and smiled. They fell to my feet and with tears flowing from their eyes and said- “I can never forget this favour of yours for my lifetime, Sir. I’ll build a temple in your name.” No, they actually dint say that. They just said- “ Thank You Sir. It was a pleasure meeting you. And yeah! Thanks for the social service.”

My age was 86. I was known for social service.

On a hospital bed. Breathing heavily. Lost into thoughts.

After all the ups and downs in life I went back to my native village to spend the rest of my life. My son was one useless human being. One thing he dint do is- kick me out of his house mainly because I came out before he would do it. So, here in my village, the news had spread that I had written a ‘will’ which says- all my property and the fields would go to the farmers of my locality after I die. Every morning, when I sat outside my small house reading a newspaper, I used to be greeted by the farmers passing by with– “Good Morning babuji.” But it sounded more like- “When will you die babuji?”
I also had read somewhere that- “When you've told someone that you've left them a legacy the only decent thing to do is to die at once.”

So here I was, lying in a hospital bed as weak as a dog’s tail and coughing away long and hard. With every minute my breath became shorter, my coughs became louder. Suddenly, I felt the air rushing out of me, I coughed loudly and forcefully and that was my last breath.

Now here I am, dead in the coffin. A farmer came by, spread a garland on my body, came close and cried softly- “ Though you died so late, you left us all with a future and happiness. Thank you babuji.” Though he sounded real, I would have slapped him if I was alive. He continued- “ We farmers will always remember your social service.”
So, my next destination is Heaven, of course. Looking forward for some social service there.

(Now, I hope you don’t have hearts made of stones. So, don’t abuse me for this totally senseless piece of crap. That way, you too would be a social servant ;) )