Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The elusive 2 bucks between chivalry and penury

Start note:
From now on, this blog will get mundane by the day.
A new series (which, in all probability, will stop with its first edition) will feature in this blog; in which various incidents, which will serve as testimonies for the fact that this blogger is indeed a complete nutcase, will be recalled.

This happenned long ago.

It was early in the morning. The sun hadn't shown its face yet. The time must have been around 5 a.m. I was returning back home from my college. The majority of the travel was already made and I was waiting for a bus (I had to switch buses to reach home) to my hometown which was an hour away; and it was just like any another day. Only that I had a girl (and a very pretty one at that) by my side; and she wanted to have some tea. It's not a regular case that a girl proactively suggests to have tea in a roadside shop. But, she did. The way, I hear, it works is that girls don't walk upto a place like this shop all alone and have some tea. So, when she said she wanted to have some tea, she perhaps meant that I take the baton and bring some tea for her and myself if I want one. My chivalrous inclinations are close to being ineffectual, if not exactly absent. But, I had all that earthly sense required to walk over to the shop and bring some tea for a friend. But, there was one problem; a seemingly simple problem. I didn't have the necessary money. The 2 bucks which was all that was required.
I was not exactly penniless a dozen hours ago. But how I spent what I had speaks volumes about my attitude.

{Here we need to cut to a busy frenzied men's hostel, for a tiny flashback}

The day before this morning, our second semester had ended and we were all relieved. Everybody was busy packing their bags. The stomachs were already craving for great food. As is the general case at the semester ends for the localites (from T.N.), many were short of money. If your friend, who generally is well-equipped with his rich vocabulory of cusswords, approaches you calmly and asks how you did your exams, you know what he is upto. Such was the situation. To recall it now, it is very funny to see how each one of us floundered all the money we had and made sure that we had only the exact money required for our journey back home for the vacation.
Our gang was not too bad on the economic front and we all had pocketed enough money for the fag end to take ourselves home safely. But the problem was that we had some hours to kill after the exams got over in the afternoon, before we take the buses/trains by the night; to our respective hometowns, that is. So, we arrived at this decision - the one that lead to that fateful moment described above. We decided that we will end that beautiful semester season by seeing a movie. We quickly got ready and headed over for the evening show in a theatre called Maris Mini (or was it the porn theatre that was called Maris Mini? I forget!) to watch the biggest hit in the town, Minnale. The movie had already completed more than 150 days and was relegated to this mini theatre for jobless folks like us who kept watching movies again and again. Now, we were all financially equipped till then. More important to this story, is that I was financially equipped till then. But, fate would have it otherwise.

{Here we need to cut to our computer centre, for a tinier flashback}

A couple of weeks before, during the semester examinations, I received this mail from that girl that she is gong to book the tickets in one particular bus to go home for the vacation and she can book a ticket for me too (through her dear uncle who stays within the local limits; and to whose place she visits to satisfy her hunger for tasty food, I presume) if I want it that way. I replied back saying that I would indeed like my ticket booked. Now, she was not a very dear friend and the only connection between her and me was that we came from the same place. It was very nice of her to ask this and I accepted it flatly with not much gratitude, as if I deserved a ticket from her. But, that was characteristic of me.

{Cut back to the little theatre Maris Mini}

Ashok (one of the vile friends who accompanied me) was reasoning why he would not pay for the ticket and I should do it.
Ashok: "Dei.. unakku thaan un aalu* ticket book panni vechirukkaalla.. Enakku oorukku poga thaan panam irukku.. unakku ticket reserve panniyaachu.. so ippo ticket'ta nee thaan edukkara!".
The socialist in Ashok was speaking, I realised.
And for all the naive and innocent person I was, I agreed to what he said. I went ahead and bought the tickets for the grand team of 3 people to watch the film. The theatre was pathetic to say the least and had a mono-speaker on the right end of the screen; and we had paid something around 40 bucks per head for this. More importantly, all from my pocket. But, I enjoyed the movie nevertheless, with least botheration about the fact that I had less than 20 bucks when I am supposed to travel for about seven hours in the night. Once the movie was done, I bade goodbye to the folks and caught a bus and reached the main bus stand.
There in the bus stand, to top it all, I indulged myself further. My dear reader, I further filled my appetite with a coke!

{fades out as the protagonist has a couple of gulps of the priceless coke he just bought}
Little did I know then, that there would be a moment when I would be expected to buy a cup of tea for 2 bucks, a simple act which fate would deny me from doing.
{fade in back to the tea shop}

She asks, "Shall we have some tea?"
Of course, I would have loved a good tea. But, I having a cup of tea will just increase the already alarming probability of I reaching a situation in which I will have to to confess how ended up penniless, to a pretty girl (repeat, a very pretty girl).
I replied back, with my thoughts and fingers lingering around my empty wallet, "No.. I generally don't have tea." I further condescended to tea - "I hate the way it smells.."
And then stolidly accompanied her, walking well behind so as to avoid any chances of she expecting (it's a meagre 2 bucks after all) me to take the wallet out, till the shop, watched her pay and drink all of that tea.
Once we got into a bus that leads to our hometown, I told her, "You take the tickets for me too. I will give you the net sum later. I guess I don't have the change.", pretending to be making an off-handed request.

* - Aalu roughly translates to a girlfriend, and of course, Ashok was bantering about when he referred to her as my Aalu, as yours truly never got anywhere near. My EQ ranges from 7.5 to 7.9, btw.

End note:
I wonder how funny she would find this account of mine if she reads it. But never mind, this blog has hardly a handful of readers :).


  1. LOL,what a twist it would've been if she was also penniless, expecting you to pay for her! You might've had a romantic walk home!!

    PS: Your repeated note on readership made me come to a decision - I am going to leave a comment for every post in this blog no matter what a headache it turns out for you :-).But the window says "This blog does not allow anonymous comments", which is not great news for me.Big deal,uh?

  2. inlivenout,
    In fact, your "twist" scares me. But, she wasn't as nuts as me and carried a little bit of dignity along with her, unlike me thinking I could just pull it off with complete her financial assistance from her!

    I am going to leave a comment for every post in this blog no matter what a headache it turns out for you :-)
    If you had not realised, thats always a good news for a blogger! Now there is somebody who not only reads my posts, but also comments on them :D.

  3. I wonder how funny she would find this account of mine if she reads it.
    lets hav some fun man...

  4. Viji,
    Naa appadi solla mudilaye...