Friday, May 08, 2009

Bong Series (II) - The Bong Supremacy

While most of K’s batchmates were pulled to a more happening part of the country, Kolkata pulled K ‘heabily’ towards her. K joined college in Kolkata & got to know how a ‘heaby’ life can be lived lightly. Can you get up as early as 0500 hours & still be late to office, everyday?

Nata Da gets up early to buy fresh catch of maach, everyday. He is carrying his newspaper with him so as to catch on news while the regular fish-guy lists the day’s fresh catch, argues on the rate, weighs, cleans, cuts the fish into pieces which is never to the satisfaction of our Bhodrolok & then gives him tips on how to cook this particular fish, everyday. Not one to keep quiet on the curt comment of the fish-guy on Central Government’s latest ruling over the Excise Bill, Nata Da gives him & the on-lookers a crash course on Excise Tax, subsidies & the lacunae in the Government’s policies. There is a slight resistance by a passerby on Nata Da’s outlook on China’s stance on World Bank’s subsidy cut but Nata Da who is multi-tasking all this while; selecting the fish, arguing on today’s rates, reading news, retorts sharply on China & EU’s non consensus & gets back to directing the fish-guy to cut the fish a little squarer today. On his way back, Nata Da sees a bunch of boys playing football. He cannot resist himself from shouting for not attending school & on top of it still not kicking the ball he showed yesterday. So, he keeps his bagful of purchase, lifts his dhoti & does a rewind of how to stop the ball, pass it with finesse & then shoot it with the outer part of the toe, keeping the other knee bent & the other foot directed towards the player to whom the ball should go. Just then he realises his newspaper is getting wet due to water from the fish pack. He curses the boys again, rushes & picks his bag & starts walking in a haste.

Just when Nata Da about to take the last turn to his house, he sees two known gentlemen talking animatedly on the ‘rock’. The moment it is clarified that Mr. Basu’s shoes are from London, there is that known expression of disbelief, anger & revolt on our Bhadrolok’s face. The next 30 minutes whizz past discussing the wardrobe of Mr. Basu, the untidy dhoti crease of Mr. Mitra & how even the lady who comes to clean their homes is better dressed than Ms. Banerjee who has been wearing the same saree since a fortnight. A sweet voice of a Bhadromohila from the balcony of a buidling breaks the debate. First, the person who supposedly stopped our Bharolok is cursed, then the other friend & finally the Bhadrolok is slapped words like the fish scales of an “ilish maach”. Nata Da had left home at 0600 hours & its 0900 hours now. While our Bhadrolok is getting ready for office, he remembers the sports section of the newspaper was left unfinished. He has his breakfast in a hurry constituting of rice, dal, a cooked vegetable, his much relished fish curry & finally curd rice. He is listening to his Bhadromohila’s dry, dumb & daily comments of non-sensical discussions right outside the house and that too even before starting his day. She is amazed what does Nata Da do all day in office? Bhadrolok smiles, not at her reactions. He has finished the sports section. He does not mind Bhadromohila not giving him his share of sweetdish in breakfast today but packing it for lunch.

Its 1100 hours. Nata Da knows he is late. But he also knows, he can be attacked by anyone & anywhere. Even the rickshawpuller knows the name of Costa Rica’s Finance Secretary, the bus ticket collector follows sports like a seal follows fish, the lift man in his office building is a Post Graduate in Political Science & smells of sections & clauses of the Indian Constitution. He has know why Leander Paes cannot speak bengali, reason for rising inflation in Cuba & Madhya Pradesh’s tourism budget. Passion redefines supremacy. Supremacy is not just about making impossible things possible. Its also about making possible things impossible.

K tore his shoe & walked into a shoe shop. Wandering around, suddenly he saw a man picking up a shoe & then telling his wife, “wow, this shoe is heaby light”!!


Som said...

hahaha! Hilarious:D....but very sweet at the same time.....

Somehow this piece has managed to have just the right amount of humor without becoming criticizing.....very nice!

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