Sunday, July 31, 2005

First Date....(part 4)

Arun felt a little weird, he had never given rides to women before. He knew of friends who would make it a point to drive their bikes through all the pot holes and bumps on the road when they had hapless and well endowed girls for passengers. Arun always wondered if the road contractors specifically designed such roads keeping his friends in mind. But, Arun decided that he was going to be as gentlemanly as possible. He tried his best to avoid the bumps and the potholes but he couldn’t help the speed breakers. Arun felt that he was making a statement here- “Priya, I am not like those fools. I know how to treat a woman.” Priya on the other hand didn’t have time to think about the subtle statements Arun was trying to make through his driving skills. She knew that her bag contained probably the two thickest books she had ever read in life, so she was reasonably confident that it would take care of all eventualities (pot holes/bumps/speed breakers). Secondly, she was thinking about the movie. Priya was trying to piece the story together from the promos and songs she saw on television. She usually was very good at it, but she always knew that figuring out an Indian Film didn’t require the IQ levels of Dr. Einstein.
While Arun Krishnamurthy was concentrating on the road, Krishnamurthy Sr. decided to open the lone unopened letter lying on the table. The letter was mailed 15 days back, which meant that it was lying in Ambujam maami’s house for at least a week. It was from Karan Johar and Mr. Krishnamurthy immediately realized what was going to be in the cover. During Dr. Krishnamurthy’s last year as the principal of NIT he was invited to chair an IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Systems at the University College of London. He traveled by British Airways and happened to have Mr. Johar sitting next to him. Mr. Krishnamurthy was a big movie buff but he stopped watching movies as he felt that today’s cinema had nothing intelligent to offer. Dr. Krishnamurthy didn’t have the time for crass commercial potboilers that has a one man fighting-machine for a hero and a svelte heroine who will break into a wet dance baring her midriff at the drop of a hat. So he didn’t know about Karan and the movies he made until a couple of co-passengers walked to Mr. Johar and chatted with him about his next movie. Arun’s dad didn’t exactly remember how they started talking with each other but he remembered that it was the first time in a long while that he had talked about cinema to anyone.

They had a very interesting conversation on Indian Cinema and Karan was absolutely amazed with Dr. Krishnamurthy’s photographic memory of how things were in the 60’s and 70’s. Gradually, Dr. Krishnamurthy told him that he felt that today’s cinema is very low on substance because film makers traded their movies solely on sex and violence. It was familiar turf for Dr. Krishnamurthy, all he needed was an active listener and Karan didn’t mind doing most of the listening in their dialogue.. Karan was very keen to get an idea of what Dr. Krishnamurthy wanted as a moviegoer. Towards the end of the journey Karan told him about a movie that he was producing that was slated to be released the next year. He also took down Dr. Krishnamurthy’s address and told him that he would send him the tickets for it. He wanted him to watch the movie and let him know what he felt about it.

Arun’s dad thought that Karan would forget about it. So, seeing Karan’s name on the letter brought a faint smile to his lips. On opening the cover he found a neatly written letter from Karan with his address on it. There were also 4 tickets for today’s matinee show of Kal Ho Na Ho at Satyam along with the letter. Karan humbly requested him to watch the movie and write what he felt about it to the address mentioned in the letter. Arun’s dad looked at the grandfather clock on the wall and it showed 2:45. He had 30 more minutes.
Arun and Priya on reaching the theatre were greeted by a red houseful sign. There were a lot of people hovering around the ticket counter looking at the advance booking chart. Priya pitied all those souls without a ticket. Arun didn’t want pity now all he wanted was the familiar sounds of black ticket peddlers shouting “50 for 100… 50 for 100!” Arun became frantic with every passing minute. He couldn’t see anyone selling tickets.

Priya: “Thanks Arun. I am sure I wouldn’t have got tickets today.”

Arun (looking at his watch, he only had 15 minutes): “Priya, no need to be so formal. We are after all neighbours”

Arun decided that it would be of no use for him to stand here and look for tickets. He had to move around the place and scout for tickets.

Arun: “Priya, I need to use the restroom. I will be back in 5 minutes”

Priya: “Oh sure.”

Arun knew that the parking lot would be the best bet to look for black tickets. But there was a slight problem, as Arun wasn’t familiar with the vernacular he forgot the name of the movie. Just as he was thinking of finding a way to get over this latest problem Arun found THE man he was looking for. He looked drunk and shabby but this wasn’t the time or place to be worried about appearances. Arun thanked his stars as he hurriedly made his way to the ticket seller. Strangely there weren’t people hovering around the guy with hundred rupee notes. He was just sitting on the platform by himself with a bunch of tickets in his hands. Arun thought that maybe the guy was charging an exorbitant amount and people weren’t coming forward to buy the tickets.

Arun: “Sir, do you have tickets for the Hindi Movie?”

The guy was excited on hearing the word sir. It was the first time in his 6 years at Satyam that someone called him sir. And, in these six years he knew that these were the kind of guys who could be easily taken for a ride.

Black Ticket Guy (offering his hand): “Glad to meet you sir, my name is Munisamy.”

Arun was surprised as he had never ever seen ticket peddlers to be so courteous enough to shake hands. Probably this one was an MBA drop out. Arun shook hands with Munisamy.

Arun: “Sir, do you have tickets for the Hindi movie?”

Munisamy: “Which one sir?, there are two Hindi movies running here.”

Arun (thinking hard, trying to recall the movie’s name): “Uh…the latest release…”

Munisamy by now was calculating how much money he could milk out of Arun. Hmm maybe 300…. (closely looking at Arun still thinking of the movie’s name)…definitely 400.

Arun: “Can you tell me the names of the two movies?”

Munisamy: “Jansheen and Kal Ho Na Ho sir”

Arun: “Uh which one is going well?”

Munisamy had never ever seen someone come to him without knowing the name of the movie. Munisamy was now thinking of 500.

Munisamy (without batting an eyelid): “Jaansheen sir. Super duper hit. Biggest movie this year”

Arun (wondering whether the movie Priya mentioned had this English Name): “Do you have 2 tickets for er… John Sheen?”

Munisamy: “You are lucky sir. I have only 2 more tickets left.”

Arun felt relieved on hearing that. He looked at his watch; it’s been 10 minutes since he left Priya.
Priya was waiting at the ticket counter for Arun while everyone was making their way into the theatre. Priya didn’t know why Arun took so long for taking a leak. She then reminded herself that it was wrong to assume that people used rest rooms only for leaks. Maybe he must be having troubles with his tummy, poor thing.

Five minutes later, Priya didn’t feel sorry for Arun any more. The movie will be starting in less than a minute and the blasted fool was still in the toilet. She was going to miss the first scene of the movie because of some guy who didn’t have the foresight to use the toilet before coming to the theatre. Just as Priya was cursing Arun to her hearts content
She saw Arun’s mother, stepping out of an auto and there was another man who looked like Arun’s replica but with a lot less hair get out of the auto. Priya didn’t know what to do. Did Arun know that his parents were coming to the theatre? Were they going to the same movie? And the most important question of all, did they know that Arun was along with her here? She kind of felt that the answer to the last question was ‘NO’ because she still remembered the look on Arun’s face when she asked him if it was okay for her to come to his house before going to the movie.

Arun’s mom had a very excited look on her face and on seeing Priya she looked even more excited.

Arun’s Mom: “Yai Priya, What are you doing here? Pa this is Priya, Ambujam’s niece.”

Before Priya could answer

Arun’s Dad (an irritated look on his face): “Sharadha, do you always have to ask such obvious questions. Will she come here to launch a rocket?”

Priya couldn’t stop giggling.

Arun’s Mom: “Priya, you know he is always like this. This is third time he is taking me to a movie in our 30 years of marriage. What is the movie’s name pa?”

Arun’s Dad: “Kal Ho Na Ho, we don’t have enough time Sharadha it must have started already.”

Arun’s Mom:”Priya we have more extra tickets, you can join us if you want to.”

Priya was in a big quandary, and she didn’t know whether to go along with Arun’s parents or wait for Arun.

Arun was happy that everything worked out well. He had the tickets and Priya was going to sit next to him for 3 hours sharing the popcorn. Arun corrected himself; popcorn was something that he couldn’t afford after coughing up 500 bucks for the tickets. Just as he was walking towards the ticket counter he saw two familiar figures get out of an auto near the gate. Arun could see Priya near the counter looking at his parents. Arun hid behind the pillar and tried calling Priya but she didn’t notice his presence. He hoped his parents would just walk past Priya but to his horror that didn’t happen. His parents were having an animated discussion and Priya was a silent spectator. Arun tried to attract Priya’s attention by clapping his hands and this time she saw or rather heard him, he was near the pillar behind Mr. and Mrs. Krishnamurthy. Arun wasn’t very good at sign language but he has had his fair share of sign language news on Doordarshan so he tried his best to tell Priya to wait for him till his parents went into the movie hall. Priya thought he was motioning her to go along with his parents while he waits here. She still couldn’t understand why he wanted to wait here while she and his parents were in the theatre. Anyway Priya was frustrated with all the waiting. She just wanted to watch the movie.

Priya: “Yes Aunty. Thanks for asking. I was waiting for a friend and she bailed out on me in the last minute.”

Arun’s heart skipped a beat when he looked at his Parents and Priya walk into the theater together. He felt like tearing his hair out. He spent 500 rupees on a stupid hindi movie for a stupid girl who had the audacity to dump him even before the date.
Arun didn’t want the tickets to go waste so he tried to sell the tickets back if not for 500 bucks at least 350 bucks. So there were a couple of men standing near the houseful board. Arun thought that these guys were probably still looking for tickets. So he went towards them and told them that he still had two tickets remaining and he could sell them each for 250 bucks. The guys looked at Arun like a saviour and asked him to show the tickets first. Arun obliged and on seeing Fardeen Khan’s face on the ticket with Jansheen printed in bright red ink the guys lost their temper. Arun didn’t know what made them lose their temper but he was pretty much sure that they were using the choicest Hindi expletives to demean him. Then one of the guys told him that if he wanted tickets to Jansheen he could get it from the counter for the actual rate.

Arun felt like a complete idiot. Now it made sense, Munisamy not being hounded with people, Munisamy having a bunch of unsold tickets in his hand. Damn! Arun didn’t have the heart to waste his hard earned money. So he decided to get into the theatre at least for the air conditioner. On entering the theatre Arun could count 8 or 9 other people along with him. There was a note displayed on the screen saying that the Air conditioner unit was having some problems so they would be switching on the fans instead. Arun couldn’t care less after that point. He sat in the hall for three hours and watched the movie even though he didn’t understand a word.

He came back home before his parents and Priya. The house was locked and so he was sitting near the gate waiting for them to come back. After waiting for about 30 minutes his parents and Priya got down from the auto. They all looked very happy and were discussing about how good the movie was. Arun couldn’t believe that even his mom seemed to have understood and liked the movie without knowing Hindi. He was dying to ask his mom about what made them to go to a place that screened Hindi movies all of the sudden. Arun’s parents bid Priya goodbye and walked past Arun to unlock the door.

Arun’s dad: “Dai, you could have cleaned the water tank instead of waiting for us right.”

Arun(fuming): “Is the darned water tank the most important thing in his world?”

Arun’s dad (staring at Arun) : “Sharadha, I want your son to be on his best behavior tomorrow.”

Arun: “ Whats so special tomorrow ma. Are we having the Indian Chief of Army Staff for dinner?”

Arun’s mom: “ What ? We are going to Chaari Maama’s house for dinner not Army maama.”

Arun’s dad: “Dai Arun lock the gate before coming into the house”

Arun: “My name is K. Arun not Dai Arun ma !”

Arun’s mom: “Kanna go and lock the gate da raja.”

Arun’s dad: “Oh sir will go and lock the door only if he is called kanna and raja. Sharadha he is 25 not a 5 year old.”

His mom always had her way of getting things done. Arun was tired and didn’t want to prolong his proxy war with his dad. There was no point in blaming him for the debacle. He just wanted his Seagram’s. The only thing that could give him solace without making him think much. Arun walked to the gate to lock it lest his dad launched his verbal fusillade. Priya stood near her gate waiting for him.

Arun’s heart skipped a beat for the second time in the day. Arun started to entertain hopes of a second innings. Maybe she really did like him or why would she wait for him.

Priya: “Arun, you should have told me that your dad and Karan Johar are really good friends.”

Arun(absently): “Who is Karan Johar?”

Priya(shocked): “What? I thought Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was your favourite movie”

Arun: “Oh oh that Karan. Yeah I really didn’t know my dad and him were friends. Pretty cool eh?”

Priya: “Anyway I just wanted to say all the best for tomorrow. Hope she is the one.”

Arun (clueless): “Who is she? Why should she be the one?”

Priya: “Come on Arun. Don’t tell me you forgot that you are meeting Mr. Chaari’s daughter Kokila Vaani Kujlambal in Mylapore tomorrow evening. Your dad and mom are pretty excited. Your mom even mentioned that she could sing really well?”

Arun felt like he was hit in the head with a sledge hammer. Why did someone always to have spell things for him?

…come home by 6:30…chaari maama….best behavior tomorrow….and finally the death knell what a name Kokila Vaani Kujlambal….

Arun slammed his gate shut and broke into a run to the nearest wine shop. Thats it!!! He needed his Seagram’s now! Priya stood there gaping at a sprinting Arun. She had never ever seen someone run away from her like that.


PS: Extremely sorry for not posting the final part on friday as I promised earlier. Thanks for patiently waiting and reading it. Hope you enjoyed it. And, thanks, Karthik, for the suggestions.


Blogger karthik durvasula said...

Yawn, you are welcome. Just imagine how crappy the story would have been without my help.

That is why i say, behind every successful man is a person with womanly hips.

6:23 AM  
Blogger Kumari said...

:) good end :)

@karthik: "womanly hips" ??? :D

10:45 AM  
Blogger Radhika said...

Hey Kumar, that was a good one. :-)
Yeah right..Womanly hips I believe... :-P

1:20 PM  
Blogger karthik durvasula said...

ladies who don't know me and others who stayed in the girls hostel (also called vellore prison) are hardly expecting to know the feminity of the mid-section of my otherwise hunky physique.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Oka the irrepressible said...

LMAO @ Kokila Vaani Kujlambal. :))
And grrrrrrrrrr at MBA dropout !!!

3:28 AM  
Blogger PS said...

Dear Dawg, nice ending... are you going to start another series about the life after marriage of Arun and Khujliambal?? Just like Priya Sakhi....

Karthik, what hunky physique? You think ergo nonsums.

4:41 AM  
Blogger pagala'k' said...

@Karthik- Hunky Physique- Ahem,ahem!

@Kumari- Thanks. And incase you were fortunate not to see Karthik, picture
a giraffe waist up and a hippo waist down. The lesser said about the waist
the better. :D

@Radhika- Thanks.

@OKA- Definitely not an IIMA drop out. I am sure that IIMA drop outs would
have made atleast a 1000 bucks out of him ;)

@PS- What if Kokila Vaani Kujlambal rejects Arun Krishnamurthy? Anyway,
marriage is not a very pleasant thing to write about. All that emotional
trauma men go through....!

12:38 PM  
Blogger Akshay said...

Good, actually nice ending unlike the hindi movies

12:47 AM  
Blogger janani said...

Good one. Nice ending! :-)

3:13 AM  
Blogger Radhika said...

@PS- What if Kokila Vaani Kujlambal rejects Arun Krishnamurthy? Anyway,
marriage is not a very pleasant thing to write about. All that emotional trauma men go through....!
Hmmmm..some experience out there..I'm sure..:-)

12:49 PM  
Blogger pagala'k' said...

@Akshay and Janani- Thanks,actually I thought the ending wouldn't go down
well. Nice to know that there are still people who prefer Seagram's to
wooing their sweet heart's :)

2:02 PM  
Blogger pagala'k' said...

@Akshay and Janani- Thanks,actually I thought the ending wouldn't go down
well. Nice to know that there are still people who prefer Seagram's to
wooing their sweet heart's :)

2:02 PM  
Blogger karthik durvasula said...

Do i take ur repeated posts to mean u are extremely thankful. If so, how come i get a measly thank you at the end of a drabby story when anything worth appreciating in that story is surely from me?

3:24 PM  
Blogger pagala'k' said...

@Radhika- Some truths you learn after observing the men folk. Actually I
read a blog which had a very funny line...
"X loses his bachelor's degree to would be master Y"

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good story Dog. You are getting better with every story.

How much longer for the next one?


2:45 AM  
Blogger pagala'k' said...

@Romit: That explains, why I didn't get any comments for the first bazillion stories.:D

5:45 PM  
Anonymous sivamkar said...

hey good one

3:19 AM  

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