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

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Jacket

When I came to England last July, the sun was shining so brightly, that with Bob Marley playing on my mp3 player, it seemed more Jamaica then Blighty. It was the hottest summer in years they told me and I smiled disdainfully at the thought of all those people who advised me Eastern Stores on Commercial Street for woolen jackets, thermal undies and what not before my Heathrow bound flight took off. ‘You didn’t buy thermal wearaa. You’re fucked I tell you’, one oracle had told me. Just like some other mentioned – ‘What? I can’t believe you’re not taking ginger garlic paste. What the fuck are you taking then man?’ But unmindful of all the oracle speak, I skipped the much advised ‘Eastern Stores pilgrimage of the west bound traveler’ and landed at Heathrow with potentially the lowest MTR packets per luggage count among all Indian travelers.

And when I was greeted with a blistering sun, my decision immediately seemed justified. It was summer people and the traditional men’s wear this time of the year was 1 Bench army shorts and nothing else. Women on the other hand still averaged 2 garments, but they made up by ensuring those two pieces of whatever, was so small that you’d wonder if they were picked up from the kids below 5 sections in Debenhams.

But a few months down the line, the sun shut shop earlier and the Gulf Stream (I might be wrong here but that’s what they told me) brought with it a chill which made you seem like you just opened the sliding door in the frozen food section. I quickly got into a blue V neck jumper and turned up in office like a grim reminder of an impending winter. Dan was sitting there in his regular short sleeved thin white polo. ‘You not well’, he asked me when I turned in. ‘No. I am ok. Just getting a bit cold isn’t it’, I replied. He ignored my reply and continued; tugging his T shirt as though to let some air in ‘The weather has all gone naked hasn’t it. Global warming and all that shit’. I nodded.

However, when he turned up in a sweatshirt a few weeks later ,it sure was a sign that the Gulf Stream or whatever was now fuckin business talking. I took cue and immediately went and bought a brown corduroy jacket to keep me warm through the cold winter days (and nights).

“Nice jacket macha”, Lucky remarked when he met me at the gym that evening. Thanks, I nodded. I had had my few moments of doubt after the billing was made. Those moments of self questioning. ‘Is it nice?’. But with every good review, the points accrued and the 'it is good' quotient became firmer.

The next day at the gym, I met Lucky and he was wearing the same brown corduroy jacket. “I bought one too”, he smiled. “But why did you buy the same colour? Same design?” I pleaded. “So what? Ineeke cardioaa”, he asked making little of it and stepping onto the treadmill.

So we walked all through last winter, like German Gestapo on a crime beat, brown corduroy jacket clad and all that. I abashed. Lucky unabashed. And when somebody smiled and remarked “Nice jackets”, the paranoid me searched for any hidden sarcasm. Why did he say jackets (plural) and why did he give a cocky smile?

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The seasons have rolled over one complete cycle. Lucky has left; leaving his brown jacket behind. Mine is strung up on a hangar for a long time now. But there was a chill in the air yesterday and I pondered if I should wear it after all. But you know what; it would be strange being the only one in the brown corduroy jacket. And not being like a German crime beat officer on his rounds. I let it lie there on the hangar. A new one shall be bought.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Sharad said...

neat one bro! hadn't read much in the last month. its great to see you so very active to keep your blog updated - paps

September 09, 2007 10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'nice jackets'..lol.. poor Lucky will repent for a long time,his decision to buy that brown corduroy jacket..

-Lucky.

September 11, 2007 5:10 AM  
Blogger Suri said...

Neat work bro.. keep the bad boys coming.. and the jackets away..

Not-so-lucky

September 11, 2007 7:48 AM  

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