Keys…Bermuda Triangle…Sigh!

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This story dates back about two decades. I owned a bicycle back then. Monotony didn’t feature in my dictionary back then. I loved riding the bike on the road in front of our house, back and forth, with no agenda to reach anywhere whatsoever. I loved the feel of the wind against my face, the quiet neighbourhood, the street dogs who would sometimes run behind the bike and the endorphins(although at that time I didn’t know about endorphins).

There was only one problem that interfered with this hobby of mine. A friend of mine used to pop by expectedly every day and snatch the bike from me. Well, I had been taught to share, so I managed to stuff my possessiveness of the bike and the aforementioned endorphins within me. That is what good girls did. And so, I didn’t say much during the first few days. After, he started taking my trying-to-be-good nature for granted, I had to do something. My kiddy brain gave me one piece of advice – to hide the keys. I don’t know who I was hiding them from, since he never came into my room to grab the keys. But, I wanted it out of sight, so that I could tell him that I could not find my bike keys. At that time, the guilt of lying was much lesser than the pain of being giving due to a lack of choice. My friend came, I told him that I had lost the bicycle keys(with much tsking to validate the point). Guess Bollywood resides in each one of us in the way we dramatise things. He went off, probably to find other people’s honesty that he could mess around with.

I relaxed that day, doing things that kids do. The next evening, I decided to sneak out my bicycle to go somewhere new, somewhere I would not bump run into this friend. To my utmost horror, I could not remember where I had hidden the keys. It was one of those duh moments, which I can never forget, as if the memory cells in my mind which had the information on where these keys were, had been sucked in by the Bermuda Triangle or something. I searched everywhere possible for the next few days. It was the dumbest thing to happen to me(and anyone I knew). I was the laughing stock for my family for the next few days. Ultimately, the lock had to be broken, when the keys were declared missing permanently by me. The next day onwards, I had to share my bicycle with him again, this time with a feeling of guilt and stupidity tugging at my heart.

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A magician’s rabbit on an Indian train

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‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ the magician with the carefully stuck on moustache announces.

‘Here is the rabb…..err….invisible rabbit,’ he proceeds to say, wiping off the drops of sweat that burst out of his pores in seconds. Where the hell was the damn Bunny Bugs?

The audience looked around in confusion, some clapping out of pity. Some refused to clap, shifting in their seats, mentally calculating how much they had spent to watch this phony magician who couldn’t even replicate the most commonly used trick in the book.

Meanwhile, at a railway station in India

Platform number 2 ki gaadi, ab platform number 4 pe aayegi(the train which is supposed to arrive on platform number 2, will now arrive on platform number 4),’ the harrowed announcer lady’s voice said.

Bunny Bugs stood at the platform, in his tweed jacket and a bunch of hats stuffed in his oversized bag. He would have to rush fast to the stage, into the magic hat. Luckily, the train directly routed him onto the stage. Some said he had political connections, others kept mum. But, time was ticking away. He was aware of the difference in time on the stage and the train – 1/100th of a second on the stage was equal to ten hours on the train. But, he was slightly late, since he missed the previous train, where a man in a red checked shirt had completely blocked the way, while this lady in a rusted golden elaborate piece of clothing ran to him, her arms outstretched, at a speed which people wearing such clothes do not normally try to run. There was a man with a large moustache who was standing on the platform, screeching ‘Ja Simran Ja. Jee ley apni zindagi(Go Simran Go. Live your life).’

The lady managed to get into the train, but Bunny Bugs who was running from the opposite side could not. The next train was in an hour. After pleading with the railway people to get him a seat, they offered him a side lower berth and asked him to keep his legs up, since people invariably liked bumping into people who got the seat(which actually belonged to the aisle walkers, the ticketing people claimed, laughing for no apparent reason). Bunny nodded and smiled feebly. He had to concentrate on the show. He was the life saver of the show, yet he had to make peace with only a few carrots. Damn carrots. Where did these humans gets these rabbits-love-carrots  notion anyway? There had to be better food in the world. Damn the carrot dude on television, munching away as if he enjoyed it. He got paid a lot for it, for sure. Bunny craved burgers and fries. Sometimes even noodles with burnt garlic.

As he took his side lower berth, the tea seller sporting a faded light green kurta and pajama with a cream turban walked past him. Bunny, as advised by the ticketing guys, kept his legs up, not that his legs were dangling too much anyway.

‘1 of those,’ Bunny said.

He was a newbie in this human world, having experienced it only during the magic shows, when he was required to travel. English, he had learnt by watching television shows.

He was handed a tiny plastic cup with a brown liquid floating in it. Was he supposed to drink it, he wondered?  Maybe he had to dip his arm in it and suck the arm. Ouch!

Suddenly, he saw the guy with the outstretched arm, who had blocked the entrance trying to get that woman’s hand (perhaps for an arm transplant), sitting opposite another woman and four giants. They were sitting diagonally opposite him. Must be his imagination, Bunny thought, reading the latest issue of ‘Who Said What to Whom?’

But this dude started singing. And the giants seemed to take notice.  They were the really big kinds, like the XXL variety of human beings. Bunny thanked his stars that those kinds didn’t exist in the rabbit world. What if, the magician expected an M sized rabbit and an XXL came through, ripping that damned boring black hat? No, Bunny thought shuddering a little, albeit not too much, because the brown liquid was still in his hands. Bunny silently clicked a picture of the dude who was all over the place, just in case someone came looking for him. The girl who sat opposite him started singing for no reason. The guy who was everywhere also started singing. Copycat. Bunnies have nothing against cats, but he could have danced or something, for God’s sake. Bunny returned to his magazine and sipped the sugar factory in his hand, after ensuring that no carrots had been mixed in the brown thing. The train went on its way and B.B dozed off.

His alarm rang the next morning. The sun was shining softly through the clouds. This was it. He had to make his move now. He packed up his stuff and started on his journey to the stage. He had to first climb the roof of the train by using a rope ladder which he had been presented with. Humans had overestimated his ability to hop and thought that reverse hop somersault could be done easily by a normal, non athletic rabbit like him. He asked them if they could do floating yoga and they started stammering. The budget for the rope ladder got approved. After jumping up the rope ladder, the train people would open a secret tunnel way and lead him to the magic show, where the fake moustache man with makeup, would just pull Bunny out holding him by his ears, and taking all the credit from the crowd….without having to hear ‘Platform number 2 ki gaadi, platform number 4 se jayegi‘ over and over again till his ears turned blue.

The rabbit started climbing the rope ladder, holding onto the flimsy rope tightly, hoping the poles which swished past the train would not be too close to the train. He had done this multiple times on the previous train which he missed due to the guy who was everywhere. As soon as he got on the roof of the train….guess what? The same guy was here also, dancing as if it was normal to dance on rooftops of wobbly trains. ‘Jiske sar ho ishq ki chao…..‘. Sigh! Perhaps, this guy should be hired to appear inside the hat….since he managed to appear everywhere without any effort.

P.S Years later, the bunny found this video on Youtube.

Image Credits: http://www.funnytimes.com

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