From Bangalore With Love

Stranger Than Strange
My Life: Stranger Than Strange

Strange things seem to happen to me most of the time. I don’t know if anyone else experiences weirdness on a daily basis as I do. Today, a DHL courier guy sniffed my butt, I broke my thumb, and I managed to get myself locked in an ATM counter. All within a span of two hours.

I wanted to send a package to Trivandrum, in Kerala. It was a set of pretty Fabindia kurtas for a friend, on the occasion of Onam. She had specifically asked me not to send anything, and that was why I had to send her some nice clothes. So, after some confusing shopping, I settled on a pair of kurtas. I vowed never to shop for women again.

In the evening, I left office a bit early to courier the package at the DHL office in Malleshwaram, which is just a few miles from home. A harrowing one-hour ride on my rickety bike later, I reached the place.

“Hi,” I said to the courier guy sitting behind the desk. “I’ve got a package to be sent to Kerala.”

“Sir, all connections to Kerala are closed for Onam. It’ll reach only on Monday,” he said.

I sighed and said, “Ok, fine. Give me the earliest connection,” and tried to un-sling my backpack, but it wouldn’t budge. There was an irritating hook in the bag, which had gotten stuck to my belt buckle and my bag was locked in place. When I tried to move it, my pants rode up, giving me a wedgie. It was quite embarrassing, and the courier guy was looking at me with some amusement.

“Excuse me,” I told him. “Can you please check this hook? I think it’s stuck to my pants.” I was utterly, completely, thoroughly embarrassed and I hoped to hell he wouldn’t recognize me on a later day.

He came around and stood behind me and crouched down and held his face as close to my butt as he could. After a while, he said, “Yes sir, the hook is stuck to the belt buckle.” He took a pair of scissors and bent down again. We struck a queer pose – me, standing there and him, bending down, examining my ass with a pair of scissors in hand. I was desperately praying that no one walk through the door at that time and find the both of us in this compromising position. My prayers were answered and no one walked in, and soon, he had freed the hook from my pants and I could un-sling my bag. We avoided looking into each others’ eyes.

“Can I pay with my credit card?” I asked as I handed over the package to him.

“No sir, we don’t,” he said. Of course they won’t. Things can never be too easy, right? So, I told him, “Ok, then start billing, I’ll go to the ATM next door.”

Three people stood in a line outside the ATM, and I stood there, patiently awaiting my turn. Ten excruciating minutes later, the guy in front of me finished his transactions and I withdrew my money. As I tried to open the door, I realized that it was locked. The ATM counter had a button that we needed to push in order to open it from inside, and that button had been ripped out, with only a few dangerous wires hanging from the hole. I didn’t know what to do. There was no phone inside the counter. I had my cell phone, but I didn’t want to call the cops and be embarrassed a second time.

I waited there for exactly 9 minutes until someone else came up to the counter. I told him that I was locked in and that he could open the door by inserting his card through the slot on the other side. He did so and I was free. I thanked him and together, we hauled a piece of tile and blocked the door so that it wouldn’t shut completely, trapping some other poor fellow.

I ran up to the DHL office and paid up the money and took my receipt and ran out. Finally, I said to myself. I can go home in peace.

As I was removing my bike from the parking lot, I dropped my helmet, which I was holding in my hand. Instinctively, I bent down to pick it up before it rolled away onto the main road, and lost control of the bike and fell over to my side, with my left thumb being pinned between the concrete road and the bike’s handle. One tiny bone somewhere inside that thumb snapped and driving back in that pain was hell. I was screaming all the way home and people thought I was drunk.

From Bangalore, all the way to Trivandrum, with love. I hope they deliver the package to the right address! 😀

Drenched!

I love getting drenched in rain, when I’m on the terrace with minimal clothing and loads of time. But not while driving. This week has been terrible so far, and I’ve been getting drenched almost every single day either while coming to work in the morning or going home late at night.

The worst part of getting drenched while driving is those irritating little pockets of water that accumulate in my underwear, making me squirm. I think I’ve told this before, though I’m not sure. A genetic disability has forced me to wear glasses and a lack of common sense has forced me to use a helmet whose loose visor is completely scratched. When its raining, I can’t keep the visor up because it keeps slipping shut, and if I keep it shut, I can’t see anything in front of me, and if it’s open even for a few seconds, my glasses get drenched and fog up and I can’t see anything in front of me! 😀

I sometimes resort to a few stone-age tactics like a piece of rubberband holding the visor up or a piece of paper to keep it in place, half-open, but all these tactics fail miserably when it rains. Once the rubberband snapped and flew off into the crowd and I didn’t dare look back when someone screamed in pain and anger. 😀

Today, my run of misfortunes took a completely new turn, and I am sure I could hear God clutching his belly and laughing hard at me. I had to go to the ATM to draw some money at around 11 in the morning, and it had just stopped raining. It had been a pretty heavy downpour and as soon as it stopped and the sun peeped out, I took out my bike and rode down the road to the ATM. It’s a three-minute drive from my office to the ATM, and I reached there, stood in line behind a woman carrying a wailing baby and in front of a belching, obese guy. When it was my turn to use the machine, I thanked God for small favors and completed my transaction.

As I came out and started the bike, the sky immediately became overcast and as soon as I had moved three feet, the skies opened up and the rain came down in all its fury, drenching me completely. I drove as fast as I could and reached the office three minutes later, dripping wet and as soon as I parked my bike, the rain stopped as suddenly as it had started.

I look up at the sky at times like these and ask God, “Why me?” 😀

Image Courtesy: Cartoonstock.com