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.


  1. dood ishtyle
    bilkul suspense banaaing before poshting...subah se eating my naakhoon ...posht kar do ab to

  2. "When the time came to leave, none fussed over its dearth." I like sentences which make me think a little. This was one of those. The humour too subtle to make its presence felt. The ending ke paragraphs carried a tone of sadness.?!

    I was reading this bestseller on Chirkut Lady. You know that splendid biography about her spectacular life - Chanchal Chirkut Lady. You must get a copy of it. But then you barely read any good literature.