Routine, process and youth gives a strange certainty to our lives… an assurance that nothing wrong can happen to us… nothing can move us, stir us in our regular lives unless we want to do it. Somewhere we tend to underestimate the power of chance, of probability and of chaos theory (may be!), until the irregularity in the system drives us toward an inevitable shock… a tryst with destiny… how we handle it…recover from it or crumble beneath it is more a matter of circumstantial positioning of our guiding stars than historical performances!
So much for the build up! I guess an odd effect of living in the times of Ekta Kapoor (or did I miss an ‘e’ in the name), we tend to over dramatize even the slightest of out of ordinary incidents. But then what the hell! However these weren’t exactly my thoughts when I was returning from Andheri station to Aseem’s place at around 0045 hours on a Friday night, more like- damn I can’t party tonight, cause I have to go to work tomorrow! So with a heavy heart, I listened to Bon Jovi and wished- Someday I will be Saturday night! Auto rickshaw is one hell of a modern day innovation. You should see it weaving its way through Mumbai traffic; you can literally feel the time slowing down as it approaches the speed of light…. Umm .. well not exactly but then compared to the other vehicles on the road it does give you a certain sense of speed, hence my preference for auto rickshaws immaterial of the traffic conditions. That night was no different! I was enjoying my music while my mind drifted away visualizing chilled beer in mugs topped with clean white froth. It was in fact after few seconds that I realized that my rick had stopped mid way, I hadn’t reached Aseem’s place yet, and worse there was a rick standing right next to mine with an extremely agitated driver and someone else, who was least bothered about everything!
Indians are curious and I am certainly above average! So as the altercation picked up volume, I paid more attention to it than what Bryan Adams had to say about- day like today! I hate missing the opening scenes of movies, because if it’s a nice one, you know you have missed a lot! The entire logic behind the chain of events is lost and only after interval do you actually pick it up, or may be even later! Such was my feeling, but the protagonists of this brief play were most unconcerned about my feelings. Finally unable to control his feelings the ‘taller guy’ (the driver of the rick which forced mine to stop…by the way this was a post analysis realization) got out of the rick, came and safely covered the only exit of my rick (other exit was already covered by the stationary rick). Now I was really curious, so took out the head phones from my ear and was paying undivided attention to what he had to say. At the same time, in some part of my logical brain, the most illogical part which dealt with sixth senses became active and started sounding low warning signals.
Their conversation reminded me of my engineering college ragging when we were asked to say entire sentences with 3rd degree abuses after every word we said. Anyways, the couple of questions which the ‘taller guy’ asked again and again- “Kya be shaane khud ko shaana samajhta hai kya?” ; ( I was particularly lost by the sheer confusion in the question!) “Pata hai main kaun huun?” and the worst one- “Ghusa duun kya?” It was then I noticed that this guy had produced a broken bottle and holding it by its neck. Now suddenly this ‘taller guy’ became ‘taller and dangerous guy’. My sixth sense alarm went full blast. Finally, say by destiny or otherwise, he turned to me and asked me the same set of question! Two very basic rules in a group interview are- 1. Don’t speak unless spoken to, 2. Prepare yourself for the same questions which are being asked to the other candidate. I had forgotten the second rule, or may be I was still quite lost! Anyways, few seconds passed and I still couldn’t come up with any convincing answer and he finally settled for an assumption that – ‘Tu shana hai!’ … Now he being the protector of the world wanted to teach me a lesson for being ‘shana’. “Chal be, jo hai sab nikal!” came a sudden strong demand. By now, he was holding me by collar and the tip of the bottle was threateningly close to me. Few split second calculations, few random checks here and there, and few desperate SOS signals to my guiding stars later, I grabbed his arm and started my most impromptu drama ever- “Main student huun… kuch paisa nahin hai…. Lut jaunga….
Anyways such was my adventure (or mis-adventure), and they say life is so boring and dull… Well may be for others…for me… am still busy changing bandages on my arm and thinking of an appropriate answer for the question- “Kya be shaane.. khud ko shaana samajhta hai kya?”