Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bum on the saddle

I was running late that day. Things have a tendency to go wrong around me and I was all too aware of the minutes slipping past sporadically, as though they had a sprint contest going on. Had to skip breakfast yet again and father wasn't happy about my choice of clothes either. I couldn't afford to miss the college bus; the alternative being felt up in the over-crowded, over-smelling and over-tardy city bus. After the hurried exit from the house I was rushing to cover the 10 minute walk to the bus when I noticed him first. I had seen that cycle before, who would miss it. Garish orange in color, it had the complexion to make a chrysanthemum blush, but it was the first time I had seen the proud owner. Now if the vahan of this demi-god of the Govinda clan was a standout you sensible people can as well guess his attire, can't you? Me being me, burst out laughing right there, forgetting I was 2 mins away from missing the college bus. Having had my dose of entertainment for the day, I ran like a maniac to reach the yellow moving vehicle, which to my blurred vision appeared to be my means of reaching the college. A familiar "Schumi will leave you behind one day, just you watch" greeted me and I could allow myself to relax and regain my breath. I always sat with Vatsal in the bus and promptly started my quota of stories, ignoring his banal comment as usual. He had nothing much to offer on the red glittery pants of Mr demi-god but we did come up with a name for him " Chamki ". That was the end of him for that day and I didn't think of him till the next day.   

I wasn't late the following day, but I did forget my lunch, so had to rush back to avoid Mother tagging along the coll bus with her Scooty, embarrassing the shit out of me, to deliver the forgotten tiffin box. The orange fellow was doing rounds today with a bum clad in purple boot-cut pants. After shielding my eyes from the attack of colors I dared to cast a second glance at Chamki, he grinned a broad not-so-indecent grin for God- of-fuglies only knows why, but he didn't seem bothered that I had the grimace that should have made any normal person doubt himself just a bit. Nope, this man, ladies and gentlemen, was on the contrary beaming with self confidence. Vatsal wanted to call him 'Burple Chamki' and took a guess that tomorrow I would be blessed with gold or yellow pants. They weren't yellow pants the next day, but it was an yellow shirt atop black and white checkered pants. Before I could even absorb the shock, some words reached me. When I had recovered I could swear they were "Hi, you look nicey". One can guess what Vatsal, with his dodo  brain would have offered for this "Nicey Chamki". The conversation was strictly one-sided for a few days so was the increasing damage to my optic cells.   

One fine day, after one of the famous no-win arguments with my mother, when he had the audacity to come up to me with green spectacles and matching footwear, I broke my silence. To date I'm not sure if the green triggered self-destructive hormones in me or Mother had taken care of that for me. The conversation went like this..

Cow dung-green Chamki: Hi, you goody today?
Me(after failing to come up with a grimace): What does it look like to you?
Cow dung-green Chamki: You tell na?
Me: Do you have a mirror at home? 

Cow dung-green Chamki: 3 I having, why?
Me: Has it not cracked still?   
Cow dung-green Chamki: no no, all is from where?
Me(having had enough of the green monkey): Bulgaria. 

Cow dung-green Chamki: where it is ya?
Me(after not being able to come up with something smart enough): Where they wear only black and white ya. 

Cow dung-green Chamki: But you wear coloursu don't likey Bluguria?
Me(having reached the bus and seeing an evil grin on Vatsal): Kill me God, kill me!!!
Hoor ke saath langoor types
Needless to say, everybody in class already knew about my green encounter before I had even stepped inside and had to endure day long jokes, some even involving me taking a ride on the orange abomination!!! Rage hormones had given birth to newer rage hormones and I couldn't wait to vent it out on the green monkey. 

All geared up the next day, I leave earlier than usual to get rid of the rainbow man but he hadn't come without his preparations either. The blue polka dot creature had flowers to offer along with "I sarry, you very nice, you talking of suicide hurting me" and left. I was flabbergasted to say the least and never got a chance to vent my frustration. The next day with trepidation in my heart and bracing my eyes and myself against more shenanigans, I stepped out of my house, the chromatic world were hues are under my control, to be greeted with a sombre attired not so sombre Chamki. There was no mention of yesterday or the flowers and he promptly got on to elaborating why what he had for breakfast was healthy, that his cycle needs some new green tyres and that his parents were looking for an ideal match for sister in the wrong community. The only thought in my head that day was, if Chamki is this color blind how much is Chamki's little sister!!!

The bum on the saddle did his rounds in the same manner everyday for the rest of the semester. I would occasionally offer a hmm...or a curve of the lips which I would never admit was a smile. There were Mondays when I would be so low in the blue dump and the mindless chatter from the sometimes red, sometimes yellow, sometimes red and yellow bum would keep me company during the 10 minutes walk. Vatsal had long since stopped coming up with improved names for Chamki, he couldn't keep up with the gamut of colors the bum had to offer you see. There were times when his stories would be engaging and I would have to pinch myself from offering my opinions. At times I would hear few words which I was bound to interpret as compliments and I would hate myself for being a girl and liking those compliments. The fact that the guy annoyed the crap out of me with his broken English was replaced with the one that there was a man who could talk more than me and make no sense whatsover but gives a rats ass about that. It mattered not to him how fast I walked, how tight my arms were crossed or how stoic my face would be. he would ramble on and on and on. There was no stopping this man or camouflaging him. Not that I tried to either. 
It's now 3 weeks of  the final semester and I haven't spotted the flaming orange bicycle yet nor have I been blinded by it's flamboyant rider since I got back from my vacation between the semesters. I had never asked the bum his name and the name Chamki has stuck on. The journey from the house to the bus for some reason seems very lonely. For 5 months, when everything was uncertain in my life, the color display from the bum on the saddle was the only certainty in my life. Even though it was a monologue I miss the 10 minute conversations we had every morning for 6 days in a week. The gamut of the colors the monkey had to offer stands in stark contrast today to monochromatic world that I inhabit, the audacity of the man to talk uninhibitedly to a stranger reminds me incessantly of the walls I have built around me and the callousness of Chamki nudges me to stop being a Prima donna and enjoy life as it is meant to be. I know not what happened of the rainbow man but I do know that I miss the familiar orange bicycle and bum atop it's saddle.

P.S. I seemed to have lost the inclination to post anything in particular. I still write but just save them as drafts. I'm sure it's just not me but a cure for this would be much appreciated.

P.P.S. I had a totally different plot in mind when I started this, it was supposed to be a semi-love story kind but getting back on the saddle of fiction writing has it's hiccups and I am so not happy with what I garbled out here :'(. 

P.P.P.S: Schumi was the name of our college bus driver, for obvious reasons.


Keirthana said...


I started reading this post with a guess that it is some hilarious incident that happened in your life.

Halfway thro' I was clutching my sides and tears of laughter were pouring down. I just loved the use of words to describe chamki.

Loved it :)

Spaceman Spiff said...

I could visualize Chamki in all his colourful glory. Very well-written,Pinx. :)

Looks like we're all going through a major writing slump. DOn't worry, it'll get better. :)

The DRAGON in the skin of a goat ;-p said...

@Keithana: Thanks for the words sounded like a comment on Kalpak's posts than mine :D

@Divs: Your phrases and Red's sentences have made many a day of us mere mortals so coming from you I take that a huge compliment :D...danks and we all better start churning or we are soon gonna have the crab syndrome!!!

Ruhani said...

This is hilarious! =D
Plus, "Cow dung-green Chamki" xD
I like your scene. Following you up :)

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