Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Episode of The Soiled Socks

It had only been one galactic month since Kekda Man had come back from his visit to Bugster and Boomerang had already begun to bore him. “There are just two suns and half a moon after all. What could be more boring?” whined Kekda. We couldn’t have agreed more. Soon enough, the monotony and the humdrum of existence gets to him. He decides to bunk fighting Giant Gila Strut Monsters and plans a clandestine trip to Bugster Cluster for very obvious raison d'être. Here’s an exclusive account of the escapade.

Glossary of Galactic Terms

The patron God of all God fearing philosophers. Marvin Black was a very famous disciple of his during the early stages of his philosophical expeditions.

Class Alpha Space Jetters
A cheap mode of travel used for shuttling back
and forth between galaxies and star clusters.

Clux-2 Star Ship
An ancient version of the state of the art aquamarine Clux-5 Star Ship. A public mode of transport.

Tedha Makdi
A struggling author, currently working on his book on Marvin Black.


After a much harried journey in the Class Alpha Space Jetters, Kekda gets down at the Bugster space-port. Avoiding the much feared and even more reviled media sc
rutiny, he manages to call up Chirkut from a public phone booth. She’s already getting ready for the “baah” time. Pleased at having irritated her amply, he sets out for the rendezvous point. Chirkut’s late, yet again. She mouths some apologies which (quite understandably) fall on deaf ears. The two mull over some plans for the day over a not so delectable breakfast. Any clichéd suggestions are shown the door with alacrity. Being two of the creed of IC (Intellectual Chutiyas), they eventually decide to visit the tomb of Mogamboji. “It had been on the cards for some time now”, sighed Kekda. Chirkut was researching for her book on Marvin Black and Mogamboji featured prominently in it, being one his early mentors.

The unassuming couple made their way to the monument on foot, Kekda wondering half the time whether he should have opted for a Clux-2 Star Ship. The place seemed to have been maintained well, the corruption rampant in the Bugster Council notwithstanding. A sufficiently large mound halted their advance as soon as they crossed the gates. Soon enough, realization dawns, much to the relief of our flustered Kekda. The center of the mound had been hollowed out to shelter the shrine. As Kekda clambered over the hurdle, he found that the grass had been generously endowed with “hagga water”. Splosh. Splash. Squelch. Eww. Grrrr. The very fashionable sandals and the even more in-vogue socks were now a dark gooey mess. Cribbing over the fact that his new socks had been soiled by some despicably smelling fluids, Kekda blamed Chirkut for being the Smart Alec and opting for the indirect route. She just chuckled and hopped her way to the top, very much elated at the unexpected turn of events.

After much pacification and philosophical upliftment at the catacomb, both of them decide to rest for a while. A strip of green bordering the walls catches the attention of six untrained eyes. The grass seemed cool and green, vaguely inviting. The blades had been tried and tested, found to be palatable (!!), and then neglected with equal indifference. As the twosome made their way to a not-so-secluded spot under a skinny tree, Kekda debated over the nature of shadows cast by opaque objects, much to the dismay of his companion. We believe he gave up on the subject with adroitly suppressed reluctance. The breeze was soothing under the shades. Kekda discarded his socks, shoes, watch, wallet and binoculars. Lying there, they seemed like adornments that had lost the patronage of their owner. As people milled around and made their way to the tomb, they became the subject of some interesting conversation.

“In case you notice, that woman is wearing a dhoti. Women are not supposed to do that. Didn’t her Bugsterian escort tell her as much?” Kekda interjected after sometime had passed.

“How can you say so? I can wear whatever catches my fancy. So can she.” Chirkut argued. She was lounging with carefree abandon and seemed distantly beautiful. Meanwhile, a squirrel engrossed itself in a game of nibble-and-run with Kekda.

“It’s all hogwash. There are some norms we need to adhere to”, remarked he while trying to disfigure his toes into some diabolical shape and scare Chirkut into submission.

“Yap. Yap. Yap. The feminine kind has a lot of choice when it comes to garments anyway. I presume she just wants to add one more item to the repertoire.”

Silence, of the comfortable kind. A few whispers shied away from either’s notice. Then words coagulated to from meaningful sentences, providing more depth to conversation than silence had tried to only a few moments before. The mouthfuls of alphabets were streaming forth from different directions. She was gazing into the blues while he seemed enamored by the greens. They seemed intended for no one in particular. Yet the very act of letting them out seemed to be reassuring. Gila Monsters were debated over and so were irksome philosophers. To say time flew by would only add to the abounding clichés. Yet it did.

Ever since his arrival in Bugster, Chirkut had been pestering Kekda to visit her hideout in some nondescript corner of the cluster. Kekda was very tacitly trying to avoid the constant stream of pleas (as well as glares) that one would associate with the fairer sex. Eventually, he gave up, hoping the experience would be enlightening its own devious fashion. In order to speed up the entire rigmarole, they (read he) hailed a Clux-2 Star Ship. They zoomed over the roads, spread below them in some abstruse pattern. Now that Kekda paid attention, they appeared to resemble thousands of snakes writhing in agony, while paying homage to their benefactor through some ancient anguine ritual.

Fast forward to Chirkut’s abode. It’s a nice place, contrary to expectations. Kekda is impressed, though he hides the fact from the searching eyes of someone we know. It’s dark inside and the sun is almost about to set. The dying rays try to push their way in through the pale curtains. Kekda sprawls on the floor, exhausted and rejuvenated. Simultaneously. Amusingly. She fumbles around with the kitchen cabinet and (surprisingly!!) manages to concoct something edible. A glass shatters somewhere in the process, and some grumbling ensues naturally. The hospitality is commendable and does not go unnoticed by both. She is surprised while he amused (again?). The adequately delayed sumptuous (!!) lunch is enjoyed by both the involved parties. Or was it just one?

Food often ends up having the uncanny ability of opening people up. The same could be said that evening. Thus, while she relayed her apprehensions about her new book and Tedha Makdi, he worried over his exponentially deteriorating monster fighting capabilities. And yet, while both seem disturbed, a strange calm prevailed. The irony was almost sanguine. Kekda wondered whether that added to the beauty of the situation they found themselves in. Whether bliss is almost divine, and least ephemeral, when mingled with its antithesis. It was hard to fathom Chirkut’s thoughts. They seemed buried deep below the creases lining her brow. Kekda tried to make some sense of the pattern. But he gave up, unwilling to find something unanticipated and unwanted. We believe she realized the same, for she had tried to contort her face into a smile. Failing to do so, she fidgeted over the mess that they had made, trying to tidy it up.

Silence again, of the comfortable kind. When the time came to leave, none fussed over its dearth. The walk back was walked back. Neither bothered about formalities and farewells. Probably it was best that way. Probably it was only novelty that kept them going, time and again. We hope all’s well at their end. By saying we sincerely hope that the freshness lasts forever we would only reinstate another cliché. But then again, who cares.

So long, and thanks for all the socks.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Flimsy Slim Small
Reedy Spare Rangy
Fine Twigggy Puny

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Mundane Mediocrity

Kekda Man and Chirkut Lady had been conspicuous by their absence for quite some time now. Socialites in high profile parties had already started speculating about their much documented reconciliation. “Have they split up again?” wondered a few of the gossip mongers. Unfortunately, the publicists of both the concerned parties had refrained from confirming or denying any of the speculations, much to the dismay of the junta at large. Even Cheekat Aadmi (the instigator of the hugely propagandized tiff in The Episode of The Giant Gila Strut Monsters) had been interviewed at least a dozen times. Meanwhile, SleepingTablets was employing all its sleuthing tactics in order to lay bare the facts which had become the talk of the galaxy. It eavesdropped on a seemingly innocent looking electronic conversation and unearthed striking revelations about the current status of the relationship between Kekda and Chirkut. Here’s an exclusive account of the gup-shup. We let the reader be the judge.

Glossary of Galactic Terms (For First Timers)

Kekda Man and Chirkut Lady – We all know who THEY are. They are the very dangerous Kekda Man (from Boomerang Galaxy) and the very irritating Chirkut Lady (from Bugster Cluster). Obviously.

Languages - Batak Toba, Inuktitut, and Hutsi are all galactic languages, very much like our Hindi, English, and Marathi.

Space-Port – This contraption is somewhat on the lines of an airport, with the only difference being that it caters to space ships instead of airplanes.

State of the Art Aquamarine Clux - 5 Start Ship - Abey PSPO nahin jaante kya?


Kekda Man – Why are you waiting at the space-port? I could have sent over my state of the art aquamarine Clux 5 Star Ship to pick you up. This confirms my doubts about you having no brains at all. I think.

Chirkut Lady – Uff!! You won’t understand. Forget it. Uhmm…Well let me try explaining. The space-port here is so white you know. It’s like all white. Unlike the one in Bugster Cluster or Boomerang Galaxy. And the people are so interesting. They look at you even if you clear your throat. How romantic is that?

Chirkut Lady

Kekda – Very. I find it vaguely arousing. Some people are probably making out in the washrooms, and plausibly there is a painter etching it all on his canvas. What are you doing anyway? Hasn’t the space ship landed yet?

Chirkut – You ask a lot of questions uncle. I don’t have the energy to either reply or argue. So I will keep it short. The ship is running way too late. I am very tired and very sleepy. And this place is bugging me with its incessant announcements about flights that don’t even remotely sound like mine. I feel like screaming. Very loud.

Kekda – That was a very long sentence. And it was in a language I am not very comfortable with. Do you mind switching over to Batak Toba? I have a hunch the emotions will flow way more freely, from me to you and vice versa.

Chirkut – Don’t talk rubbish. I know you understand Inuktitut very well. Hey…I just noticed. There’s chewing gum stuck to the chair in front of me. It’s very green and very light.

Kekda – Oh. The Gums. I KNOW the space authorities have deliberately stuck gum behind each of their chairs. You are supposed to actually eat them. It’s a very environmental approach. People get intrigued by the “very green and very light” gums and start chewing them. This way they don’t talk too much and mind their own business. Go ahead. Give it a try. Tell me what it tastes like. Mine seemed like it had been dipped in a solution of vanilla mucus.

Chirkut – I am deciding not to buy that story. It’s amusing anyway. The space-port is all very white and clean. Yet, there has to be a gum stuck to the chair I have a full view of. I find it very poetic.

Kekda – Count me in the poetic rendezvous. Let’s make it a bit more interesting. Describe the person sitting next to you only if she is a female.

Chirkut – You na. She looks like a mum of two. I am quite sure both of you won’t be interested in each other.

Kekda – I seem to have run out of luck even since I set my eyes upon you. Why don’t you ever get the hint? Anyway, there has to be some decent looking specimens in the place you have come to like SO much.

Chirkut – I choose not to tell. Do you mind? There are people staring at me because I am yapping so much in a tongue they are not too comfortable with.

Kekda – I suppose you should start telling them how much you adore their “white palace”. But I have heard they are very regional in their thinking. So proclaim your love in Hutsi. They will all do their biggest grin, walk over, hug you, and ask you to visit again.

Kekda Man

Chirkut – Aha, I see. So that is how you get all those people to bash you up. Thanks a ton for the piece of advice. I’ll keep it in mind.

Kekda – I knew we had run out of humanity in our part of the galaxy. I just needed to be sure. I am now.

Chirkut – Baah. Humbug. It’s useless even talking to you. You don’t realize how much luggage I am towing. I am carrying 7 pairs of chappals right now. That too in one bag (which I had to buy for the same reason). My shoulders are aching and the bones might get dislocated any time now.

Kekda – Finally, you give me some good news. I guess you have finally managed what only the ants have been able to do – carry more stuff than your own weight. Maybe I’ll report you to the custom authorities and they’ll keep you behind bars for smuggling leather goods. I wonder if they take bribes.

Chirkut – Shhhh. I think that’s my flight they are blaring about.

Kekda – Nopes. You are dreaming. Sure of it.

Chirkut – Ok, I am off now. I have had enough of your crap. I think the spaceship has finally graced us with its presence. AND they don’t allow us to talk once we have boarded the thingy.

Kekda – Arey! Don’t let anyone tell you what to do aunt. Here’s a brainwave. Keep talking on the phone. Probably an air hostess will come over give you “the look”. Pay no attention dearie. Keep yapping. This will cause another (and more somber looking) stewardess to stride over. But that shouldn’t stop you from exercising your right to express yourself either. Keep jabbering until the pilot himself declares that it will be either your phone or him traveling this night. Even then, make sure to declare it was only out of decency that you decided to hang up.

Chirkut – Blah blah blah. Is that all you can come up with? Trash? Anyway, they have made the final boarding call. I better get going now. Say all the niceties you should. For instance, “have a nice flight”, “call me up on touching down” etc.

Kekda – Yeah, right!

With these comforting words Kekda hangs up on Chirkut. We are not very sure but almost all the guys here believe that Chirkut’s last words sounded somewhat like “Whaaaaaaaaa”, with a little more stress on the A’s than you would usually accord them. We tried snooping on the same frequency again. But to no avail. Our technical experts are working on it 24x7. As soon as we will hear from them, so will you.

So long, and thanks for all the chewing gum.