The Ringside View

My attempts at writing have always been stacked up in old diaries and scraps of yellowing paper.Time,neglect and phylum insecta however, always ensured that the gibberish i scrawled, never would see the prying gaze of an alien eye.Years later, i still scribble once in a while - this time in word documents stored in some obscure folder somewhere in the innards of my C drive.I am unearthing some of them and opening them up for the interested.To get what i call - The Ringside view.

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Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I sat staring out of my bedroom window at the kids playing cricket below. At 23/2 one of the boys came out and smashed a straight six which splintered the glass window of flat 14B into a million little pieces. The lady of the house stuck her head out and bellowed abuses at the now empty ground. A pair of forgotten slippers being the only testimony to a game that now seems did not happen at all. The fun was over. I stepped out of bed and threw my sponge ball against the wall and dived for the rebound.

‘Don’t dirty the wall’, dad commanded without lifting his eyes of the morning daily.

I walked across to the hallway and looked at my cousin. ‘Will they bring it’, I asked in doubt.

‘Can’t say’, he nodded despondently. ‘Younis’ grandmother passed away early this year it seems. Heard your mom telling’.

I grimaced in disbelief. Mom called out from the kitchen just at that very instance. ‘Go get some chilies will you. The money is in the box’.

I hate doing errands but I picked the loose change and rushed out of the door. The Younis household lived on the first floor and we on the second. The door as usual was ajar. The fruity fragrance of perfume wafted in like from neverland and I think I smelt saffron. And cardamom. And a hundred other spices. Mounds of footwear are strewn around the threshold of the house. Shiny, strappy, golden ones of the young and trendy; the flat utility Bata variety of the elderly; dusty, workmen slip-ons of the bearded men in white kurtas – all piled in one rising heap of colorful disorder.

I returned chilies in hand and Younis’ mom was chasing one of the many kids of the house. I beamed a 100 watt smile. Mumbled a not so loud enough ‘Hello aunty’. I don’t think she noticed.

‘You know what’, I whispered to cousin on my return. ‘They are celebrating. There are loads of guests and all’.

‘What are the two of you mumbling? Come to the table. Lunch is ready’, mom interrupted.

‘I am not hungry now’, I categorically sulked and went back to my cozy corner. The cleric called out the end of prayer somewhere in the distance. I stared out at nothing in particular. Everything outside looked bright and yellow in the jaundiced sunlight. Period.

‘Ok that’s enough. Come get your food’, mom concluded. ‘I know what your problem is. I wonder where you get these habits from. Always expecting stuff from others’

I glum faced and frustrated, went to the table. Resistance was futile. Rice and a yellow yogurt based cucumber curry. I want to holler and throw my sponge ball against the showcase but I know it’s of no avail. Gulp. Gulp. A few morsels and I decide I can take it no more. I can hear the dissent in the background but I get into my ‘I can’t hear anything’ cyst.

Back at my window sill, I continue staring. A good hour or so later there is a knock on the door. I take a measured walk into the hallway. I know it is them, expectation swelling in my little self. Younis and his mom are sitting there with a tray. ‘Happy Ramzan aunty. Happy Ramzan Younis’, I mumble. The biriyani has arrived.

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Blogger Suri said...

Bredher.. All the times we came home for Onam (which was once I think), was the avial out-sourced to the Younis family or was it a thorough-bred?

July 19, 2007 10:47 PM  
Blogger Blahberrer said...

Did I mention we knocked on the doors of Younis family , the Robinsons and many others when the visit happened....werent sure of no-meat versions, so held back on the belly tapping trick...

July 21, 2007 1:19 PM  

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