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Read. Suffer. Try to Enjoy.

Saajan, Beer and Serendipity

Thursday, February 14, 2008
(Marine Drive, Mumbai. On a midsummer night. In the recent past.)

Drunk 1 : Abbe it's 8.30. Time to go home. Train pakdein?

Drunk 2 : Haan. Nahi. No train. Too... hee hee hee... risky. Hee hee hee. Risky.

Drunk 1 : Chal phir, taxi...

(Lone taxi pulls up. Drunks eye it longingly.)

Drunk 2 (staggering to cab, at his charming best. Doesn't remember now, whether he batted his eyelashes too....) : Bhaiyyaa... Dadar?

Cabbie (Face lights up. Good bhaada.) : Haan sahab.. haan sahab.

(Drunk 1 and Drunk 2 stagger inside. The blue tubelight on the roof with faux sun roof looks positively surreal. They marvel. Then time stands still. The cab stereo is blaring - "Dekha hai pehli baar... Saajan ki aankhon mein pyaar...")

Drunk 1 and Drunk 2 at the same time : HOLY SHIT!!!!

Drunk 1 : Bhaiyya yeh radio hai ki cassette?

Cabbie : Cassette hai sahab...

Drunk 2 : Dadar aane tak yehich bajao!

Drunk 1 : Haan... haan.... YEHICH!!!! WHEEE!!!!

("Title song blaring" - Alka and SP slaying it only like they can. The Saajan refrain - that chewing-gum-to-brain string thingie after "Dekha hai pehli baar, Saajan ki aankhon mein pyaar" is amplified a million fold in the cab's interior. The sea breeze and alcohol help. A lot.)

Drunk 1 : Dilbar tujhe milne ko....

Drunk 2 : Kab se tha main bekaraaar

Drunk 1 : Ab jaake aaya mere....

Drunk 2 : Bechain dil ko karaaaaaaaar"

Drunk 1 and Drunk 2 (singing in the key of the Saajan refrain): Paanch ka pacchees, paanch ka pacchees

(Song segues into "Bahut pyaar karte hain...." - where SP's voice descends into the very depths of hell, to soar magnificently on the following line. Sine wave, perfectomundo.)

Drunk 1 : Kasssummmm chaahe ley loooooooo

Drunk 2 : Kassssssssssssammmmmm chaahe ley looooo

Drunk 1 : Khuda ki kasaammmmmmmm

("Jeeye to jeeye kaise..." - the Sanu version. Nasal, twangy bliss. Drunks are beside themselves with excitement now. Palpable.)

[Also, cab stops at a signal. People shoot suspicious stares. The taxi is quaking now.]

Drunk 1 : Jeeye to jeeye kaiseeee

Drunk 2 (closing left nostril): Haiiiiiiiiinnnnnnn

Drunk 1 (closing right nostril): Nahi nahi barabar se kar - Haiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

Drunk 2 (closing both nostrils): Abbe yehi sahi hai - Haiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

Cabbie (aghast, one eye on the road, one eye on the edge of his sanity): Sahab, aap log bahut enzoy kar rahe ho...

Drunk 1 (glasses fall on the cab floor. Spends 5 minutes hunting for them. Moving cab and hysterical laughter somehow seem to make it curiously more difficult. Singing all the while hampers proceedings too, of course) : Haiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnn

(The soft, suffocating "Mera dil bhi... kitna paagal hai" apparates. Mellowness becomes unbearable. Sudden visions of beer foam, and those fine droplets on the outside of a mug of chilled amber nectar start to haunt our drunks here.)

Drunk 1 (singing along with them chorus girls, towards the end of the song): Saajan... saajan...

Drunk 2 : Oh mere saajan...

(Dadar appears out of nowhere suddenly. Drunks are crushed, to say the least. Damn. Why did traffic have to be so thin? Why?!! Marine Drive to Dadar in 25 minutes? Damn, the booze was good. No denying that. )

Drunk 1 : Bus bhaiyya, idhar ruka do...

Cabbie (sniffing blood, and at his most entrepeneurial. The effing spirit of effing Mumbai) : Bus sahab, aapko jitna dena ho de do... aap apni iccha se do!

Drunk 2 (in a surprising moment of crystal clear sobriety, as soon as his hands touch his 'Hugo Boss' wallet from the footpaths near good old Dadar TT) : Meter mein kitna hua?

Cabbie : 115 sahab.

Drunk 1 : Yeh lo 140. Aapne hamari yaadein taaza kar di...

Cabbie : Sahab, life mein kucch to shauk rehna chahiye aadmi ko... iske liye humne cassette chalaaya... sirf iske liye. Sirf iske liye.

(Drunk 1 and Drunk 2 laugh right in his face... as he revs up his engine and melts away into the night. A strange pathos to it all.)

Drunk 1 : Dude, what if he really liked those bunch of songs? What if he was really, REALLY pissed off at us, and tolerated the whole thing just because he had to earn his living? Think of his blood pressure and self-esteem levels. Also, to think that the guys who recorded the soundtrack would have sweated and worked their asses off for months, all for this? This? Makes me feel kind of powerful dude. Apun payment dene waala public and all that... kuch bhi kar sakta hai na?

Drunk 2 : Chal daaru peete hain. Utar gaya lagta hai tera. Tu meriiiii aaaarzooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo..........


posted by Tapan at 10:15 PM