This was a piece of dialogue in a skit we put together a long time ago in college.
King: Where is princess Pooja?
Courtier: Languishing in the dungeon oh King.
That usage of languishing stayed in mind for a long time. You know when you memorise stuff before going on stage, it has the habit of languishing in the back of your mind for eons. Thankfully not all the dialogues. Some of them go away. Die a timely death. Though I am sure if the script was put in front of my eyes at least part of it would come back.
To cut a long story short (!), I did the absolutely un-think-able this past weekend. Friday dawned rainy and gloomy as ever. I woke up. Donned the white salwar kameez after bathing. Ingested tea. Loped off to flag hoisting and rusty renditions of Saare Jahaan Se Accha and Vande Mataram - songs I had memorised in childhood to go on stage in large groups with, and have not bothered to forget in the past twenty years. Of course we practice them sometimes when we are drinking till late in the night. So anyway on my way back home from there, delicately clutching my white salwar pant up lest it merge with the muck, the husband called. I talked to him and flung my phone down on the car seat. I reached home, parked, yanked the hand brake, picked up my bag, got out of the car, locked it, ran up to the lift, went home, and started ticking things off my Pune list. Charger. Check. Special tribal flute for nephew. Check. Bangles for niece. Check. Rakhis. Check. Clothes. Check.
We were in the car for some one hour and had reached Vashi or thereabouts. The monster had asked about ten times by then. Have we reached yet. Yes, what they told you in various American comic strips and family vacation movies is true. Children are at their annoying best in the closed confines of a car. I thought of sending some messages to pass the time. I peered in. The little mobile pouch fell out. Oh I said and applied some moisturiser on my fingers. I let it air for a bit and dug around some more in the bag. Found that in my last week's trip to and from Delhi, the Kingfisher guys had taken the bigger part of the boarding pass, while the IC guys had taken the smaller part of it. Strange creatures, I told my husband. The fingers were sort of ok by then. I dug in again. Then it struck me. I have forgotten my phone at home I said out loud, a slight quaver in my voice. Husband and mom made some tchma type sounds. To his credit, he asked me, should we go back for it. Crazy idea of course. We might as well have canceled the trip in that event! Imagine. Going back. Mumbai bloody traffic bloody.
I asked myself some questions. Am I the president of the united states? (no, thank god). Will the world cave in and disintegrate if I don't pick up a few phone calls? Can I live a day or two without the invasive presence of my phone? Finally, I said, forget it, unlock this damn blackberry. I will tell a few people that I am expecting calls from (and whose numbers I can find in my emails). And so we went forward. I generally hate blackberrys. They are probably the cause for half the marriage-break-ups you hear about these days. It takes me a lot of internal strength to resist the temptation to smash it against rocks or fling it out of the living room window and so on. But it can (somewhat) do email. That I was thankful for on Friday.
Friday night, I had several unconnected but seemingly real dreams where I was reunited with my phone. My mother predicted I would have about a hundred missed calls. She also insisted that I tell the security people that if something rings in my car a hundred times, its not a bomb. Just my forgotten phone languishing in the seat. Yes ma I said (but did nothing). Saturday night was dreamless and serene. The weekend itself was fantasticobulousificent. We played hours and hours of badminton and cycled all over the apartment complex. I checked email twice and facebook once. I forgot all about Mumbai and work and all the other junk in my life (and brain). Went for an unsuccessful round of shopping with my sister. Discovered that the hatred for shopping can be attributed to (a) a hatred for having people- strangers- touch me (b) dislike of bodily odours of people - strangers (c) the traffic and parking nightmares that are now commonplace (d) the music in malls (e) the sight of people eating in malls (f) malls. And yes, having become middle-aged and expended energy all day in playing and watching countless hours of Olympics.
The monster was made to cycle around in my nephew's old bike (as in bicycle). Sans training wheels. My brother in law declared that she was very 'close' to picking the skill up. Husband and I thought not. She is like the Bathooni Kachua in the story. Vavavava she keeps talking. One cannot balance on a cycle while your mouth is shooting off like that, commenting on everything that happens in the tri-state area.
Reunited with my phone last night. Have some messages to respond to. Will do that by and by. Meanwhile I am basking in the inspiration of the Jamaicans performance in the 100m; and trying not to think too much about the boxing bouts (in case I jinx it).