This post has won the Blogadda Moments of Madness Contest
The game of life, all creatures play
Some are solemn, others to God pray
Some live for others, some on others prey
Some sigh and weep, others are gay
Some stick to the path, others stray
For moments of madness, at life I play
I am the typical student that looks out of the window in class, and since, for eight whole years, my class looked out at the cemetry, you can imagine ……
In the west, they would have put me into therapy, but this is India. All I got was an everlasting fascination for occult and witchcraft, more than passing knowledge of bhoots and churails. I always thought I was the regular normal type, even though friends and wellwishers have groaned and asked “Define NORMAL, Ritz ……” Its easier for me to define moments of madness …
1. We lived in Meghalaya when I was about 9 years old, this is a place where sun rise is at 4 a.m. and sunset at 4 p.m. Long nights meant that we had hardly any outdoor play time. Most of our play time was sitting with the local chowkidaars and domestics listening to ghost stories. Once Upendra, our cook and baby-sitter was telling us a particularly gruesome ghost story in the kitchen, while cooking dinner. I was petrified and had to go to the loo asap. I insisted that they (my brother, the chowkidaar Sher Bahadur and the maid Nelly) escort me to the loo. They marched me to the loo and then slunk away while I did my business. I opened the door to see no one. I made my way back to the kitchen, creeping softly to not attract any ghost’s attention. Just as I reached the kitchen, I rushed in relieved. Upender jumped up screaming in terror, spilling the dhal he was cooking, Nellie wept and Sher Bahadur dragged my brother by his arm and ran to the guard room. I burst into tears, clueless of what happened. It took us a good 20 minutes to get our jittery selves in control.
2. We were in Delhi one summer, and our parents were having a beer party in our grandparents’ barsaati. The landing of the barsaati was huge and there were about a dozen watermelons kept there. We kids were on ice and chilled beer duty. Once during the countless trips up and down, I heard a strange groan coming from a watermelon. I was convinced it was a tarbuz bhoot, and ran up screaming to my parents. I was scolded for being a ninny and sent back to get the ice. Soon another cousin ran up complaining of the same groaning watermelons. My father and uncle accompanied us to investigate. By this time the watermelon had had enough, it burst and splattered us with red gooey mess. Apparently a watermelon had fermented and accumulated enough gas to rip it apart. My uncle quipped “By God Ki Kasam, a farting watermelon!”
3. I love teasing children. Once a two year old cousin of mine who was just learning to speak got confused. He was playing with a candy tin and said “Gabba” and then realized that he had got it wrong. So he slapped one chubby hand on his head and said “Gabba nahin Dabba”. Always ripe for mischief, I said in a superior know-it-all tone, “Na rey, dabba nahin, gabba.” He nodded and then said “Gabba” but it did not sound right to him. He looked at me and surprised an evil grin on my face. He threw the damn dabba at me and said “Dabba! Didi gandi hai”. Sigh!!!!
4. One of my nephews quite seriously told me, with a whole lot of pride “I was born in Sydney”. I was, as usual in my typical mad hatter mode. I replied equally seriously “But you are so little, and Sydney is such a big place, I don’t think so”. His four year old being was totally confused. He rallied “So where do you think I was born?” I pointed at the small pan in which I was boiling tea and said “In this chai pateela”. He shut up but I could literally see his grey cells working. Then he looked at rotund me and said seriously “In that case Maami, you were born in the karahi (frying wok) they use to make puri in the hotel we went to yesterday”. Hmmmm smart kid!
5. We had a bet when I was in college. The fresher who would climb a donkey and ride it around the hostel for 5 whole minutes would be exempt from ragging. I accepted the challenge. A donkey was brought, I climbed on its poor bare back. The seniors tried their utmost to scare the donkey so that I fell. I hung on to the neck. The donkey even tried to bite me, scared as it was. I hung on for dear life ….. for seven whole minutes. Then it threw me off. Was totally worth it – even though I had a sore backside for a couple of days, and even though I was called the donkey girl for three whole years.
These confessions are put on my blog in response to the Blogadda contest called moments of madness. Follow the link to learn more