Bangalore: An Incident

I've been in Bangalore for a couple of weeks now. Because disenchantment and cynism hasn't set in yet, and because it's all too new to complain about (a certain eventuality), I can honestly say that I like it here.

I like the wind, and the way it pours in through the balcony early in the morning, and the way it hits me in the face when I'm in an auto (I already lost a contact lens while riding pillion on a motorcycle, but I'm not going to complain about it. Nope), and the way even the sun, though hot, is a nice kind of hot, the kind that makes you want to bring out a bathing suit to brown your limbs, not cower indoors with a wet towel over your head.

I like the bars. Man, I really like the bars. But this post is not about the bars although I really think I should dedicate one to them soon. Although, being broke, I haven't visited nearly as many as I would like to.

This is about an incident that occurred after my first day of work. My brother sees it as yet another instance of Trisha's Sheer Stupidity, but I choose to see it as One of Trisha's Hilarious Albeit Slightly Traumatizing Adventures.

As I was leaving office, my brother called.

"Yo." He said eloquently.


"Can you pick up some paper from the gift shop near the house?"

"Of course." I said graciously.


Now a) he said paper. B) He said gift shop. This implies gift wrapping paper. C) I knew that SIL's niece was having a birthday on Sunday and that they were being forced to go. All these factors led me to, quite logically, conclude that he wanted gift wrapping paper. But more on that later.

I stopped the auto outside my brother's building and since I wasn't too familiar with the area, asked someone where the gift shop was. The guy was deaf - he wasn't completely mute, but his words were more like sounds, if you get my drift. He also gave the impression of not being entirely there. Childlike mentality. That sort of thing.

Anyway, he pointed it out to me, and I went there to buy the paper. He came along and bought some cigarettes but I didn't really pay attention.

Once I was back inside the building, walking towards the lift, I noticed him a little ahead of me. He turned and offered me a cigarette.

I do not like smoking cigarettes with strangers so I said no thank you. He put the cigarettes back in his pocket. We were waiting for the lift. Because he was waiting with me, I assumed he lived in the building.

This assumption was further strengthened when he asked me which floor I lived on.

"Fifth floor," I said. "I just moved in with my brother."

He stuck out a hand and said, "friends". So obviously, because I am not a bitch - well, not always - I shook it.

And then he asked for my number. He did this by pointing to me, mumbling the word number, and holding an invisible phone to his ear.

That's rich. I thought. How on earth does he expect a phone conversation to happen?

I'm still not sure how I avoided that one - I think I said I didn't have a permanent number yet - but I managed.

The lift doors opened and we stepped in.

"I love you." He said, looking at me.

I thought I hadn't heard properly.

"What?" I said. And then, inanely, "Pardon?"

"I love you." He said again and then grabbed my hand and wrote the words on my palm.

Well, this escalated quickly, I thought.

I didn't have time to think anything else because I suddenly saw him move towards me. My unparalleled instincts saved the day and I managed to clasp my hand over my mouth before his - ugh - wet lips landed on it.

I pushed him away and attempted to be aggressive.

"NO." I said, very firmly. "DON'T DO THAT. NO!"

He instantly backed away and started apologizing profusely. By this time the lift doors opened and I leapt out and didn't look back. Got home and narrated the entire episode to my brother who got extremely pissed off and went downstairs to find out who this chap was.

This in itself was a momentous event. The only time my brother leaves the house is to either walk his dog or take one of them (we have three) to the vet. I was up there with the dogs for once. (Usually I am far below them.)

After a few minutes, I got a phone call. It was from my brother who wanted to know what this bloke looked like.

"He was fair." I said.


"He had dark hair."


"He wasn't tall or short, he wasn't fat or thin, he had a nose, and eyes, and...WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?"

"Was he wearing a black jacket and white shirt?"

Now I am not the sort of person who ever notices what people are wearing unless they're exceptionally badly dressed and I've had a secret snigger over their aesthetic sensibilities. That had not occurred with this particular human being, so I really wasn't sure.

"I don't remember."


I really didn't know the answer.


"I'm fifty per cent sure he was wearing a black jacket and white shirt." I said triumphantly.

My brother hung up on me.

By the time he came home, he'd managed to identify who this fellow was. Apparently he's a local and is deaf and dumb and is always bullied by the local people he hangs out with, and this bullying, according to the building's guard, has turned him slightly cuckoo.

"Just be more aware of your surroundings next time," I was told. "You need to be careful. Bangalore really isn't that safe. You got lucky because he was a certifiable moron."

Always politically correct, my brother.

Oh yes, and then he asked me for the paper. Relieved that I'd remembered (although really, if you come to think of it, that's what set the entire thing off), I pulled it out of my bag and handed it to him.

"I meant rolling paper, you idiot."

1 comment:

Rahil Devgan said...