Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Insecurities of a middle aged Indian expatriate- Part 2

Appan was slowly walking towards Dr. Hassan's office. He was drawing up images of Dr. Hassan mentally. Short, pot bellied and cheerful or maybe tall lean and mean. He could be even be one of those young recently graduated brash and arrogant yuppie types who don't understand a thing about 'the curse of the middle agedness'. As Appan waded through the corridor trying to locate a name board which spelt Dr. Hassan, he saw a familiar face. But the hair do of this person didn't seem to match his familiar face. Appan's grey cells worked overtime to come up with this guys name, it most certainly looked like Ghelot from operations but the last time he saw Ghelot he had a shock of snow white hair. But this guy had coal black hair, it could probably be Ghelot's son. Appan now noticed that the Ghelot look alike was walking towards him with his hands outstretched. Appan turned back to make sure that it wasn't someone behind him that he was approaching. All appan could see was a man lying on a stretcher with his hands bandaged in paris. Just as Appan shifted his attention from the man in paris he heard

"Hey Appan! How have you been my man."

And thats when it dawned upon Appan that it was indeed Ghelot but with hair that now contained two whole packets of Godrej Hair dye. It was amazing that dye could make people think that you are younger by one generation.Probably he should have dyed his hair too.

" I am fine Ghelot, You look very different"

Ghelot lowered his voice and exclaimed,

"Yeah, I had my health check up today and you know the date of birth in my passport reads 1953 but its actually 47 so I decided to cover up the years"

Ghelot put his index finger to his mouth indicating that he had let Appan in on something top secret, little did poor Ghelot realize that it was common knowledge. Even the guy from the canteen who served tea during the break hours knew it.

" So, Ghelot was it Dr. Shetty?"

" No, it was an old Egyptian guy called Yehud, thank God it wasn't that arrogant young fellow Hassan who flunked Chapparwal and Sen. Anyway, I am glad its over."

Those lines struck Appan pretty badly. The mention of 'young' somehow deteriorated things for Appan. He started having visions of his son shining shoes and his 30 year old and still single daughter tailoring clothes along with his wife in a small hut near kannamapettai.

"Appan, Appan...you here"

Before Appan slowly recuperated from the latest blow that he was dealt with, he replayed Ghelot's last sentence once again in his mind and it seemed to end with Sen.

"Wait a minute...SEN....SEN..what happened to SEN?"

"Oh Appan, you don't know! Sen failed the hearing test and they served him his 30 days notice"

" What a shame Ghelot! Thats sad. Sen is an IIT product. They can never get someone like him."

"Yes buddy, thats how life is. IIT gets lost on deaf ears. So what brings you here?"

That line got Appan thinking. Did he mean the power station authorities or was he talking about Sen being deaf?

"I have my HC with Dr. Hassan in another 10 minutes" (in a very resigned tone)

Appan by now had left every thing to Lord Venkatachalapathy. Ofcourse, he has now promised to make Him 5000 rupees closer to settling His outstanding debts with Kuberan, in addition to the previously promised mottai (tonsure) for his son if he passed the check.

"Uh..Hassan..okay Appan, I mean he is not that bad a man. He might be a little young and hotblooded but maybe Sen might have really had hearing problems. You are not a shade over 48 and there isn't a thing for you to worry about. See you in the office tomorrow!"

If that was any consolation it didnt go down very well the 46 year old. Appan bid Ghelot farewell. Probably this would be the last time he saw him. Appan somehow couldn't believe himself to be healthy. He somehow had this instictive feeling of some organ in his body not functioning. This country somehow made him pessismistic. Even if he went on a drive he could only think of some truck ramming into the car or his brakes failing. There was always this sense of insecurity. Probably that's how every expat became after 15 years of living in constant fear of losing his job. Someone once said that, " Pleasure is the carrot dangled to lure the ass to market or the precipice". It was a perfect quote for Appan's current predicament.

Appan finally managed to find Dr. Hassan's room. Despite all the wayside happenings he was a minute earlier than the scheduled appointement time. If he was meant to go to Kannamapettai let it be atleast a minute sooner. There is no point in postponing fate, it is better to embrace it with open arms and who knows maybe a minute sooner would make a lot of difference in getting ahead of competing shoeshine and tailoring businesses in and around Kannamapettai.Bracing himself, Appan knocked on the door and a very firm and clear voice in a very thick Arabic accented English asked him to come in. (to be continued)

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, You are behaving like the writer in some weekly maagzine :)
How many weeks do you intend to extend this. LOL

But well done. Your writing style is really cool.

Sriram

12:23 PM  
Blogger karthik durvasula said...

It is a good story spoilt by the author's scribblings. think, it would have been better handled by a cockroach.

give up man. why try for something beyond u!

1:58 AM  
Blogger karthik durvasula said...

I apologize for the previous comment Kumar, I am sorry I was high on marijuana and I am back to my senses now. Sometimes I feel insecure about myself and tend to give vent to my frustrations by writing sensless comments on blogs. Since I am part owner of this blog I should actively participating in posting stuff but as everyone knows I am as dull as dishwater and writing is one of those many things that is beyond me.

2:07 AM  
Blogger pagala'k' said...

Yeah whatever.

11:10 AM  
Blogger karthik durvasula said...

Kumar!!! you loser!! how sad can u get man! u know my id and passowrd, so u just posted a message in my name!!! FREAKING LOSER MAN!!! GET A LIFE!!

FOR ALL WHO CARE, THE FOLLOWING ISN'T MY MESSAGE:

'I apologize for the previous comment Kumar, I am sorry I was high on marijuana and I am back to my senses now. Sometimes I feel insecure about myself and tend to give vent to my frustrations by writing sensless comments on blogs. Since I am part owner of this blog I should actively participating in posting stuff but as everyone knows I am as dull as dishwater and writing is one of those many things that is beyond me.'

8:56 PM  
Blogger PS said...

I am sure you didn't, Karthik.

3:39 AM  

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