Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Freakishly Faithful - Chapter 7 : Fire and Ice

Part 1

A day in life that gives no cause for reminiscence is one without colour. Then again, it may perhaps be too optimistic to expect a memory a day. It seems easier to accrue a set of days and spread a memory over them at times. These writings seek to crystallize those memories, some fond, some not so, but all important, that shaped the course of several of our lives for the days that were and the days to come.

The day that Kannika walked up to me and finally introduced herself was indeed a memorable one. It marked the culmination of some 23 days from the day I noticed her looking my way (and Mayukhda concurred) till the time she finally spoke to me (Mayukhda did the math). That is not to say that her relative positioning on campus vis-à-vis me changed much, if anything it seemed to become more apparent. But now that the introduction was done, a cursory ‘Hi’ while walking by was unavoidable. In retrospect, although I was slightly nervous about her turning up very often in the portico to the law college staircase (forcing me to use the only alternative exit route, the Arts and Commerce portico) and otherwise at nearly every place on campus from whence I was likely to emerge, I must admit that this sudden, unsolicited, unexplained fascination from this unknown girl had a charm of its own. So, after spending quite a bit of time avoiding her, I decided to just run the gauntlet and asked her if she’d like to join me for coffee in the food court one afternoon. Of our conversation that day I remember nothing. I simply remember that I stopped referring to her as ‘the Stalker’ thereafter.

On one occasion, Sagar decided to treat me to beer at Apache for no apparent reason. Mayukhda was around, so the three of us wound up at Apache at 4 in the afternoon, and spent the next 2 hours downing round after round of beer. After 3 mugs I was buzzing happily, and we decided to call it an evening. I was carrying Sagar’s beautiful rosewood guitar (in an equally impressive guitar cover) at the time. Before leaving Apache, I went to the loo, and when I came out, a gentleman in an intermediate state of inebriation, who was waiting to use the loo, noticed the guitar and repeatedly requested that I hang around and play a song or two for him and his friends. After some initial hesitation, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to entertain the public present, so I took out the guitar and played a song, in all likelihood a Euphoria number. Of course, one song wasn’t enough for them, and while in the middle of the second song, I noticed that a mug of beer had been placed in front of me. I also felt my cell phone vibrating in my pocket, but as a rule I don’t stop mid-song to attend calls. After the song, I was informed that the beer was for me, for my singing, and that I was to down it in a single gulp. I downed half the mug in one gulp, which was as far as I could go at the time, and checked my cell to see a missed call from Kannika. On calling her, I discovered that she was bunking her French classes at Allianz Francais that evening to meet me, and that she and her sister were waiting for me down the road at Barista. I agreed to play ‘one last song’, and ended up with singing several more songs, many messages from Kannika asking how long would I take, and two more mugs of beer (that makes 6 in total… so far). When I walked out of Apache, I felt like I was floating towards Barista.

Poor Kannika and her sister (whose name I didn’t really know at the time)! I don’t know what they were expecting when they called me. I do know what they got; a very drunk, barely standing, red-eyed, guitar-slinging, heavily slurring, idiotically smiling buffoon, most definitely not the most charming company in a coffee shop, although unfortunately, the most visible! The shot of espresso in a tiny cup didn’t seem to make any difference, and the girls eventually walked out, probably more embarrassed than anything else, all the while saying that it’s ok, while I kept apologizing for my drunkenness.

I guess I was too drunk to be really embarrassed, and even now as I think of it, it seems more funny than anything else. I’m certain I was quite content in playing the fool that evening. After all, when I stepped out of Barista, I met a group of students who’d been at Apache earlier, and who had enjoyed my singing so much that they took me back to Apache for another round!

Kannika (and sister), a cup of espresso, a solo jam session with Sagar’s exquisite guitar, and 7 mugs of draught beer…

A red letter day, wouldn’t you say?

1 comment:

Mulling Over My Thoughts said...

i bet kanika laughs her guts out till this day!