Locked Out & Lack Of Clothes

Regular readers of my blog would know that a year or so ago, I had been given the rare distinction of being God’s yo-yo. Funny things kept happening to me, things that had no logical explanations. There was the time I managed to get trapped in an ATM vestibule and minutes later, a DHL courier fellow sniffed my butt. Then there was the time when a vengeful airport taxi driver sneakily followed me around town to beat me up. Or the time when an idiot almost forced me into the Idiots Club of India. I have gotten into the weirdest situations possible and for the more curious reader, here’s a ready reckoner of search results.

I’ve been careful with my life for a long time now and haven’t gotten into any embarrassing or potentially life-threatening situations of late. Last night, it all came rushing back. With interest.

I took a strange decision last evening to get ALL my clothes ironed. So, I emptied my wardrobe, dumped them all in a makeshift basket and took it down the road to the dry cleaner. If he was surprised at seeing underwear among the clothes, he didn’t show it. I then happily sauntered off to a mall nearby and started searching for donuts. I was told that a very popular donut chain was operating out of this mall, and I spent a long time hunting. I finally found the little shop and stood there in front of the lighted glass case, drooling and mesmerized at the sight of those sweet dollops of heaven arrayed in front of me. I went wild and ordered an assorted box of a dozen of their favorites and as I walked out of the mall, I thought the world was so beautiful and nothing could ever go wrong. I couldn’t have been more mistaken.

It took me a good fifteen minutes to flag down an auto rickshaw  (I could never call it a tuk-tuk) and by the time we navigated through the inching traffic at nine in the night, and reached my dry cleaner, he had shut shop. For a second, I thought I was at the wrong place. After all, who closes down at nine in Mumbai, right? Well, turns out, this fellow does. So, I sat there in the rickshaw, stunned and wondering what to do. I got off and walked slowly back home, thinking of the consequences of the situation. No clothes to wear to work the next day. Forget that, no fresh clothes at all, except for a pair of shorts and a tee-shirt. I reached home troubled. According to the painted sign in front of the shutter, the dry cleaner’s operating hours started at 9 in the morning. I would have to go there and pick up my clothes early in the morning as soon as he opened, come back home, get changed and leave for work. It was a workable plan.

So, I calmed myself a bit and came home, dropped my donut box on the couch and went into my bedroom. Well, at least I tried to get into my bedroom. The door had one of those round knobs with a button on the inside to lock it when pulled shut. Unless I had a key, I couldn’t get into the room. Of course I didn’t have the key. I could feel a horrible cold hand creeping up my spine and my head felt the initial anxiety attacks of being bounced up and down on a cruel wire. I could hear God laughing his Evil laugh as he played with his favorite yo-yo.

I searched around for a locksmith and found one who was wrapping up for the night. In my broken Hindi, I convinced him to come home and open the lock for me and I don’t know how he did it, but he convinced me that it was a good idea to pay him double. Eventually, I got back into my bedroom at ten-thirty, was too tired and frustrated to eat more than three donuts and went to sleep as soon as I could.

I did get my clothes back this morning after waiting for an hour for the guy to open his shop and reached work a bit later than usual. I can’t help but feel a cold presence around me now, like a cold wire wrapped around me, waiting to be jerked up and down when He fancies. I shudder.

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Return Of The Yo-Yo: The Yellow School Bus :)

Three interesting things happened yesterday, which forced me to come out of my forced hibernation and write a post, in order to enlighten the world about the interesting things that happened yesterday. By the way, I’ve been experimenting with redundancy in my sentences, and I think it’s working quite well.

1. The Yellow School Bus:

school-bus1:30 in the afternoon, melting under the unusually hot sun in the middle of Bangalore, sitting hunched up in a tiny auto with two other people, afraid to move for fear of falling out of the ridiculous excuse for a motor vehicle, and wondering when the horror would end. We were on our way to a meeting and the ride would normally take 40 minutes. But yesterday, we stuck behind a yellow school bus for most of the journey, and took us close to 90 minutes to reach. Once we reached, we had to resort to acrobatic stunts (that would’ve made the Russian gymnastic team from the last Olympics Games proud) to get out.

I didn’t give it much thought at that time, mainly because I was too busy setting my spine in order, but then, as the day wore on, I realized it was something ominous.

2. The Yellow School Bus:

school-bus5:15 in the evening, stuffed into a small white cab, driving back to office after the tremendously long and boring meeting, and wondering when the horror would end. The ride back to office usually takes just 30 minutes because of the general lack of traffic in that direction. But yesterday, we were stuck behind a yellow school bus for most of the way, and it took us more than an hour to get back.

I was beginning to think something was up. I glanced up at the sky and heard the faint hint of laughter fading away. Was the yo-yo trend coming back? I shuddered and ran into the safety of my cubicle.

3. The Yellow School Bus:

school-bus9:30 in the night, loud music blaring through my ear plugs, I was riding my rickety bike back home. the roads were surprisingly devoid of traffic last night and I was beginning to think that I’d make it back home well before the usual one-and-a-half hours it takes me. But then, I got stuck behind three yellow school buses that were rolling gently in the middle of the narrow road, leaving me with no chance to overtake them. I didn’t bother honking. I resigned to my fate and thankfully for the heavy music, I did not hear the cacophonous laughter up above.

Open Question: Am I ‘down-to-earth’ if I give up my suit and tie for tattered jeans and T-shirts and fly to the next town in a helicopter?

Bigger! Badder! Stronger! Smellier!

returnFor the first time in its life, this website hid its face from the world for a few hours. MirrorCracked has always lived up to a rich legacy of smelly nonsense, guaranteed to make you smile and wrinkle your nose at the same time. And this time, I promise you more of the same, better packaged and bound to make you laugh so much that you’d cry. Well, I’ll try. 😀

The scientists at the MirrorCracked Labs have successfully installed a rotating  cleartext mutation string algorithm that churns out a password for the site every three minutes. Now, I don’t know what any of that means, but I found that phrase in a novel and thought it would be really cool to use it here to intimidate any professional hacker jobless enough to hack into my useless site and color my sidebar pink. Well, I’m sticking out my tongue at you, hacker!

Ive become quite paranoid all of a sudden. Just the other day, I snorted on my cup of hot coffee (in the makeshift coffee stand across the street from my office) when I overheard a couple of people plotting to kill me. Very covertly, I crushed the tiny plastic cup and bent down to dump it in the trash bin, and knelt down to tie my shoelaces, and listened to their conversation.

Killer 1: This fellow is irritating me.

Killer 2 (sporting a macho mustache): Yeah! Let’s get rid of him, once and for all!

Only when Killer 1 threw a stone at the ugly dog standing next to them did I realize that they weren’t talking about me. That was when I decided to learn some really nasty words to defend myself. For example, “I’m a black-belt in kicking your ass!” is something my younger brother once told me, and I’ve been using that line against a variety of opponents, both real and imaginary.

Anyway, I digress a lot. The main objective of this post was to announce that MirrorCracked just got bigger, badder and a whole lot funnier! I guess that’s my Christmas present to you all this year!

Okay, I’m kidding. About the Christmas presents, not the blog. You’ll all get free beer wine! 😀

Revenge Of The Idiots

This incident happened sometime last year, and I still remember it vividly. Idiots are so hard to forget.

It was supposed to be a surprise. Or a suspense. Whichever one wasn’t creepy. One hour was the time frame. I was supposed to present myself at the remote location in one hour. Yeah, right, I thought. With this traffic, I can make it just in time for a perfect sunset. Three in the afternoon on the roads of Bangalore is like being killed and transported to Hell and made to push a huge, heavy wheel for no apparent reason, with a red, pointy-tailed, French-bearded individual who laughed demonically for no reason and lashed you with a whip every now and then, with your sweat dripping off your face and crusts of dirt and tar sticking to every part of your face. Well, almost.

I was stuck in each and every traffic signal on my way. The location was called BTM Layout, and I was cursing the fellow who’d called me there. My mind back to the phone call I received that morning, while I waited for more than ten minutes at a junction where a truck was stranded in the middle of the road with two-wheelers peppered around it like seasoning on a horrendous Christmas dish.

“Hey Nikhil,” said the idiot over the phone.

“Hey dude,” I replied, silently wishing he’d never called. I hated this guy, and had tried to distance myself as much as possible from him. But, as you probably know, some people just don’t get it.

“Listen, this is important,” said the Idiot. “Can I meet you today? This is really important!”

The Idiot had called me after a gap of almost three years and this is how he opens the conversation. As I said, some people….

“Yeah dude, tell me,” I said, sounding as indifferent as possible.

“Can you come to BTM Layout at three today? Please man, this is important!”

“Whoa!” I said. “Why should I come there? It’s a Sunday, if you remember? I’m trying to relax at home.”

“Please Nikhil. I wouldn’t call you if it weren’t important. Please come to the Shopper’s Stop in BTM and call me. I’ll pick you up.” No matter what I tried, he wouldn’t give in. I finally agreed to meet him.

“Thanks a lot, man!” he said.

“No problem. This better be worth it.”

“Oh, it is! It is! Don’t you worry. Just be there at three and I’ll pick you up,” he said. “So, how’ve you been these past few years?”

I smiled. “Bye dude. See you at three.” And I hung up. It’s not that I’m an anti-social animal, I just hate this guy.

So here I was, stuck in inching traffic on a blisteringly hot Sunday, in the middle of nowhere, about to meet this Idiot, when I should’ve been at home, my feet up on the couch, leaning back in my sofa, watching the French Open finals with a chilled coke in my hand. Ah, life mocks me. I can’t help it.

I reached shopper’s stop in one piece and my bike groaned to a halt as I parked her, and the engine trickled as it cooled. I loved my bike. She was a work of art. She belonged in a museum, under the “Tools of the Neanderthal” section…

I called up the Idiot and told him that I’d reached. It was two minutes to three. I sat back on my parked bike and waited for the Idiot. He came there two minutes later, running, and hot in the face. He’s a weird looking guy – tall, balding and a thin hairline mustache. And his eyes were a constant reminder of his inborn idiocy. He was always an idiot – slow to grasp things and concepts and slower to understand them. Now, he was working for a software company. God save software!

“Thanks for coming, dude!” he said.

“No problem,” I said. “Ok, what’s this all about?”

“Listen, I’m into a scheme where you can make lots of money in a week. Up to twenty thousand in a week! Are you interested?”

You can imagine what went through my brain. I looked around for a sizable stone to bash his head in, but refrained myself. Too many witnesses around. I could never make it look like a suicide.

“What?” I asked, incredulously.

“Yeah man! This new company is giving away money, dude. I asked you to come here because I want you to attend a presentation, which the company is giving. They’ll explain exactly how you can make the money. It’s quite simple, dude. And I get a referral fee is you sign up.”

“What?” I asked again. I was beginning to eye some really nice stones.

“Yes,” he said. “Follow me.”

He led me to a hotel which was behind the Shopper’s Stop mall. Lots of people were hanging around the entrance. “These are all my colleagues,” he said.

“Ok,” I said. I was really annoyed now, as most of the people there had the same idiot look in their eyes. I wanted to run away from there as fast as I could. He led me into the hotel and into an air-conditioned conference room, where there was a long table, made of cheap woodwork to match with the cheapness of the wood-paneled walls. Lots of people were sitting around it and there was a white board on the far wall, with a guy standing in front of it.

“Guys, this is Nikhil,” said the idiot. They all waved at me. I was asked to take the only empty chair in the room. I felt like the newest inductee into the Idiot Club of India.

I Am God's Yo-Yo!
I Am God's Yo-Yo

The presentation started. Two minutes into the talk, I hated the idiot all the more. We were supposed to pay thirty thousand rupees to join the company, and then go out and refer more people and convince them to join the same charade. Every time one of the poor idiots joined, we would get a commission. And just to show that the company believed in proper “motivation,” we would be given a gold coin once we pay them the initiation fees!

I frantically took out my cell phone and messaged my friend to call me so I could get an excuse to get out of the place! He did, and I walked out, telling the Idiot that I had to attend the call. I went out, took a deep lungful of refreshing polluted Bangalore air and told the moron that I’m going to work. “I’m not interested, dude. Honestly. I think it’s not going to work. You want my suggestion, quit!”

“Hey, it’s ok dude. It’s really your choice. Are you sure you don’t want the gold coin?”

I wanted to bash his head in so badly, but I summoned all my inner strength and held back. I hated him.

“Bye, dude,” I said. “Don’t ruin my Sunday again.”

As I drove back, I thought about the scores of people fooled in this quest for money. Greed had blinded them so much that they could believe anything. Who could get twenty grand for referring a few people? Seriously!
I went back home and splashed my face with cold water. I switched on the fan, lay back on the sofa, put my feet on the couch, held my coke tightly, and switched to Star Sports. Roger Federer had just won the first set. I settled back with a contented sigh, when the power went off.

Life mocks me.

Sometimes, when I hear real hard, I think I can hear the crack of a whip and a demonic laugh…