It was as much as a week ago when I rubbed my eyes as it almost popped out like pop-corn when I noticed Roshan turning the ‘volume’ knob to the left. Apparently it wasn’t one of those songs where guys with long hair rattled their lungs out or put aged hearts into mouths. Instead, it was an old, romantic, soothing number. Since I am not consecrated with super natural powers, this sudden change in him was tough to digest. I mean, it felt as weird as going to a call center and not finding an Indian. Anyway, this was all just the beginning; beginning of a possible hassle.
Since there hasn’t been a single crisis over the whole of last week; in other words, since Roshan has been out of contact, we guys at college have egressed into a consensus that if it wasn’t for Roshan, the Nobel Peace prize bore no meaning. I mean, such was the vagary of his mind. Anyway, since life without a crisis is no life, the guys nominated me as their representative for the onerous job of visiting Roshan’s place and evaluating his recent abnormal behavior. Why was I selected specially for this job?? I’ll tell you later.
I put my bike to the side and knocked at door. Roshan’s mom greeted me with tilted lips and curved eye-brows. I transformed myself like lord Rama and greeted her with a wobbling voice and a sweet smile- “Hello aunty.”
“Hello.” She said plainly, exhibited a thousand expressions, enquired her regular doubt- “You take bath with water or perfume?” and vanished into the kitchen with a disgusting face. Since I was the most equipped and experienced in handling her, I was sent on this mission. Got an idea? Anyway, I entered the hall and spotted Roshan’s 5 year old brother; he was busy breaking a tiger’s leg (plastic one of course), singing along- “Inki Pinki Ponky… His father was a donkey…” He noticed me and hurled a plastic monkey which just missed my forehead. I would have whacked him if he was my own brother. Meanwhile I could hear Roshan from the bathroom, singing some silly song of the 90s. There was something spiritual playing in the kitchen. With all this 3D effect getting on to my nerves, I made a mental note to visit the doctor later in the evening. Just as I was getting too pissed off, like how goddesses emerge from the mist, Roshan walked out from the bathroom. Such an inchoate idiot he is, he almost walked away without noticing me. I had to hurl that plastic monkey on him to grab his eye-balls. He returned an expression which reminded me of old movies where the heroes realized just before the movie ended that they were actually brothers after which followed a whole lot of hugging and stuff.
In ten minutes, Roshan came all dressed up, drowned inside his loose shirt and cargos. I stood waiting for his mom’s comment and she never disappoints. “You look like a rag picker” she said and again vanished. Finally a cup of coffee arrived which we emptied in no time. Me and Roshan decided to do the ‘walk the talk’ thing, so decided to leave. I waved ‘good-bye’ to aunty and she returned the wave with some kind of looks which I couldn’t comprehend. Then to Mr. 5yr old, I pinched his cheeks and said- “Byee..” He hurled his plastic tiger right on to my face. I am a gentleman, I didn’t retaliate.
Within a few minutes we were on to the streets strolling along checking out all kinds of stuff. After discussing various other issues of national importance, we came to the topic at hand- “What happened to you? Haven’t been to college? Cell phone’s always busy? Don’t say it’s a girl..”
“That’s exactly what it is.” Roshan smiled like Mr. Pepsodent.
“Oh my god! Where, who, when, how?” I stuttered.
“It all started when her dog barked and almost bit me on the road side,” he felt shy and continued- “I realized it was her dog when she saved me from it. That’s how it all started.”
“You shameless fellow. We’ll see you in college tomorrow right?”
“No dude. I have plans with her. I’m gonna take her out.”
“Surprise.” He said which pissed me off to the core. He noticed my threatening looks and said sheepishly- “Planetarium.” He smiled and continued- “Better than a movie na? It will atleast be informative.”
I controlled myself from bashing my head to the electric pole or indulging in any sort of violent activities such as pulling off my own hair or anything. I am basically a diplomatic person.
Through the walk, he said this and that, that and this. My legs started to ache, mind started to wander and that’s when I balked his non-stop talk and arrived at an accord- “See you tomorrow.”
It was 9am in the class, next day. I had recited the story to one and all. All were as much stunned as happy that Roshan now had a girlfriend. Just then, against all expectations, Roshan came rushing through, wearing a sad face. He came straight to me and sulked- “Dude, it’s over. She’s gone?”
“What the hell? Why?”
“She called me this morning and said her dog went missing. She was sad.”
“What did you do?”
“I conveyed my condolences,” he paused and continued- “ but before that……”
“What? What did you do?”
“The dog that almost bit me is gone man. Of course I laughed.”