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Dirtscapes

Read. Suffer. Try to Enjoy.

From The Muddy Train Going To Parla

Wednesday, January 09, 2008
This little anecdote is back from when the mater was getting an M.Ed degree while I was jugaad-ing mine. My encouragement for the cause consisted mainly of a lot of the following

--> Lurking in the shadows till she switched on the TV, to pounce suddenly, and shut it off with a deafening remote control click, and say reproachfully, scowling as hard as I could "Don't you want to do well in your studies? Exams are just a week away. Think about your career. Get your degree first, then watch all the TV you want."

--> Hovering around meaningfully whenever she was on the phone, with a sick, sick, SICK smile on my face, pointing to my wrist, and threatening to cut the line if she didn't hang up soon.

--> Devouring street food goodie after street food goodie right in front of her, without giving her any, because you know... exams were just a week away.

So it was with some fanfare that I dropped her off at her exam venue (Ville Parle) on the first day, dutiful son and all that. When she looked at me hopefully on day 2, I told that it was in her best interests to start doing things on her own now, and generally be 'more responsible'. She was a big girl now, wasn't she?

Useless context duly established thus far, we move on to our little story...

She boarded a train, and found a comfortable, airy, well lit window seat in a corner. Out came the books, and in true Mumbai student style, began her final cram session in the train before the exam. Subject? 'Teacher Education'. (For the record, Irony is spelt as i-r-o-n-y.)

All was well, until a few stations later, a group of newbie rockers boarded the train, and settled down right in front of her.

A high decibel convo ensued as follows.
(Note - Translating the below would drain the character out of the whole thing.That said, it's not too hard to understand what happened, it's pretty easy to follow.)

Neophyte 1 : "Arre hoon ek cassette sambhlyu kaale, soo mast hevvy roak hatu yaar"

Neophyte 2 : "Em?"

Neophyte 1 : "Arre ekdum soalid hatu"

Neophyte 3 : "Kai baynd ni hati tape?"

Neophyte 1 : "Arre mane naam yaad nathi aavtu, pan su hathu yaar"

Neophyte 2 : "Arre pan kon?"

Neophyte 1 : "Arre kidhu ne, naam yaad nathi ave. Pan ek yaad chhe, baynd ni lead singer ne athyare suicide kidu thu. Chhaapa maa aayvo tho."

Neophyte 4 : "Arre kon chhe yaar?!!!"

Neophyte 1 : "Arre aana haath par bau hole paadi gaya tha, soo drugs leto tho... soo drugs."

Neophyte 3 : "Em?"

Neophyte 1 : "Arre ghana badha, charas, ganja, cocaine... baddhu!"

Neophyte 2,3 and 4 : "Shoo keh che?!!!"
(The mater winced here. The noise... the noise.)

Neophyte 1 : "Haan to!"

Neophyte 1 : "Arre pan kon hato yaar... kon hato... kon hato... yaadach nathi aavto"

The mater watched, heard and when she decided she could do neither anymore, unleashed the following. Without warning.

"Arre dikra, aanu naam Kurt Cobain hatu. Ave jara chup bes, mane exam aapvu chhe. Thodu saanti raakh je. Please."

The silence that ensued after that line, has often been described as nethwerworldy by her. Almost as netherwordly as the
looks on the poor things' pale, devoid-of-blood faces when she hopped off the train at Parle.

"With eyes so dilated, I've become your pupil." Indeed.

PS - A fortnight of blasting 'Smells like Teen Spirit' countless times a day can do some really strange things to mothers.

posted by Tapan at 4:52 PM