Dumb Charade

The 12 of us were returning after a refreshing trek in the Sharavathi Rain forest last week in a Tempo Traveller. Since there was a load ride ahead of us before reaching Bangalore, we looked for ways to kill time.

“Dumb Charades,” Ruchin promptly suggested.

It would have been a great idea had we were on a bus rather than on a TT. The tempo was crowded with us, our luggage and the separation between seats was narrow for any person to stand and face the audience. Also the low ceiling of TT prevented anyone from standing erect for a long time.

We all looked at Ruchin sceptically. But he was the poster boy of confidence!

“Why? Why can’t we play Dumb Charades?”

Quieting our objections, he declared “I will start. Watch”

He stood up in his seat, which by the way was the last seat in the TT, and stared at us. It was difficult to see him as none of the lights were lit inside the TT. We could barely make out his form from the passing street lights.

We all stared at his still form silently wondering what he is upto.

After some time, he said “Don’t you guys get it?”

“No. What was the film?”

Beaming triumphantly, he said, “Khamoshi”.

free dinner


I was walking back to my home after another exhaustive day. I was very hungry. I could hear my stomach rumbling. It was nearing nine. I wanted to eat “Choru” with Fish Fry from “Chechi Mess”. I needed to hurry. Their meals were so tasty that they generally closed a little after nine o’ clock. It was a good fifteen minute walk from the bus stop. If tried, I could cut short five minutes. I started taking long steps. It looked like I would make it in time before the last plate was served. My cell phone started ringing.

“Brother calling” my cell declared. “Hello”, I said as I picked the call. “You are in Madiwala? Excellent! Can you book me a ticket for this Friday? Friday’s Train is full. Call me once you got one, will you?”; Before I could even protest, the line went dead. What choice did I have? After all he is my only brother. Chechi could wait. I stepped into the first bus agent on my way.

I stepped in and out four more times. “No ticket for you”, they all chorused. One more agent left to ask. “Chechi please don’t close. Wait for me.” I muttered while I went inside. “Rs. 750/-“, he said while making me a bill. He appeared very sure that I would take the ticket. Did he know I was thrown out by others? I knew I had one Five hundred note in my purse and some change. I quickly checked. I had one hundred’s note also. The few remaining tens I ignored. The agent said I can make the remaining pay before boarding the bus. Excellent! The rest brother could pay. I put the ticket safely in my purse, informed him and started towards Chechi mess in top gear.

“Is this my lucky day?” They were still serving. I quickly washed my hands and hopped on a nearby chair. I was seated before anyone could raise a finger. Suddenly I had a suspicion. Do I have any money left with me? I didn’t count the tens. What if they weren’t enough? I checked my purse. I was right. I had only twenty rupees. The meals definitely cost more. How much I didn’t know. I got up and started leaving. I must find the nearest ATM. A few steps outside the mess, I turned back.

The waiter was watching me with curious eyes. He had seen me coming in, checking my purse, going out and then coming back. I asked him, “How much is it for the meals?” “Twenty Five. Why?” “Nothing. I have only twenty rupees with me.” I turned to leave. He suddenly said, “Its okay. You eat. Pay me what you have. Now go sit there.” He brought me a plate.

I wasn’t a frequenter in his place. But I had visited some six-seven times so that he might remember my face. Considering the hundreds who frequented them, the odds were pretty grim that he remembered even my hair colour. Still he was there serving me. I wondered what if this were my first time? Would he have had said the same then also?

He approached me and asked, “Do you want any special? Fish Fry is today’s attraction”. I simply stared at him.

standing guard

for the last four days, i have been standing guard for a product of our group. i think i do make a good security guard it was an exhibition where we have showcased our product. I was posted to be present for 4 days since i was one among the ten odd people who worked in the project who were free for the occasion.

after that i have a renewed respect for security guards, sales persons and all the other people who make their living by standing all day. man you wont believe me. its dead tiring. when you have no visitor in your stall for more than half hour it starts to become straining.

the four days were no waste. i have started appreciating some of the oft neglected aspects of life.