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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness has become one of the most reviewed books since and even before its publication in June 2017. The antici...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Proselytism and happenstance

I had been standing in front of that old stand at Maulana Azad Road and I pulled out my ringing phone out of my pocket. I panicked when I saw that it was not my phone; it was rather my long discarded ancient Sony Ericsson handset from pre-smart phone era and apparently still functional.Another wave of confusion had me wondering me about fate of my current phone. Had I lost it? While dealing with and coming terms with those confusions, I realized that I still needed to answer the thing that was incessantly ringing. It was in the midst of that mental turmoil I pressed the button on that forsaken handset and no sooner had brought it close to my ear I heard Yasmin yelling at the other end. “Where the hell are you, rascal”. That was how she usually would start her conversation and that time couldn’t have been an exception. While I was trying to conjure a plausible answer that would render further yelling futile or I wish propitiously it might even subdue. I tried to give her my location at that time but I confusingly found that I am no longer at the place where I was. I was now standing almost opposite to the Palladium cinema with my back towards that hip stationary shop a couple of shops away from the corner of the junction leading to Court road. I had not used any of the lanes connecting Maulana Azad Road to reach my current spot; I would have remembered of that big textbook shop in one of those lanes, where I would stop at the slightest excuse during my days at the University. With phone still held close to my ear and trying to mumble an answer I felt that only probable explanation for my being at the new location would be a star trek transporter. Perhaps I was not enough bewildered that while still answering the phone I felt a soft endearing arm slid from behind encircling my neck; I felt a soft female form pressing against my back and then there were lips close to my other ear whispering amorous words. I couldn’t understand the words in my state of utter confusion but I figured out that words were in Dutch. Her blonde hair was hanging up to her and now my shoulders. And before I could gather myself and contemplate a response I felt dragged towards an alley in the Court road and now I was facing Jameel, who had instantly launched a sermon on morality and started berating my deviousness. I had more than I could manage already I was not ready for an attempted proselytism from a person whose vision of the world had most often had me asphyxiating. Probably it was that suffocation that woke me from my sleep and it was 5.30 in the morning. I knew even if I went to sleep again I would encounter incorrigible Jameel again who ruined my happenstance with an unknown Dutch woman forever.

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