Monday, May 11, 2009

Freakishly Faithful : Chapter 8 - The Legend of the Fall

Part 1

I have met many kinds of people in my life thus far. Some have inspired me, some I have aspired to be like, some like Karan, have been turning points in my life in many ways. A few I have despised, many I have generally disliked, some I have loved, the others I may or may not acknowledge. But I have never met another like the one, the only, the legen-(watch ‘How I met your mother’ because it’s neat)-dary, (for a while) the canny caveman with in-built eco-systems, the mystic misfit, and the liberating propounder of freedom of movement in your trousers – the Babu.

Babu is an unparalled phenomenon. A man so utterly different from the rest of humanity that one often remains wondering if he is for real. The guy is truly to be seen and heard to be believed. Scratch that, most people will see him, some might get to hear him more than just in passing, but few may ever truly believe that he actually is what he is! No amount of articulation in these writings can paint anything close to an accurate picture of Babu - the way he almost speed-walks about with a slouch, his strangely comical but highly articulate mode of speech in English, his even funnier way of generally cursing the world and its worthless denizens in Bihari Hindi, his Karate-kid standing-on-one-leg-with-his-arms-spread-like-wings pose followed by his hands grabbing at the air in front of him, the general manner and his facial expression giving the impression of a gruesome man-hawk with inverted talons tearing at your balls!! Oh yeah, it was scary (and hilarious) when he’d do that!

I’d known Babu since my first year in law school. He was an atypical outcast – indeed nothing was ever typical about Babu. For the better part of law school (if not all of it), he had little care for personal hygiene, and even lesser consideration for the effect of his general uncleanliness upon people around him. He had a penchant for pissing people off, stemming perhaps from his fickle ego, general disdain for lesser intelligence (which covered a rather large demographic in his view), and admittedly weird demeanour. But for the most part nobody really took him seriously (maybe that’s why he was often angry), and viewed him as little more than comic relief.

But Babu had qualities that were nothing short of sterling. He once described me as ‘a storehouse of omega level talent’. He may as well have been describing himself. He was always a force to reckon with, be it as a debator, or as a lawyer in a moot court, or even as just a guy doing the lights for a terrible dance performance, or a hastily put-together play. His claim to fame was always his prowess in Just-a-Minute or JAM competitions. That is one event that requires one to have a case of caustic verbal diarrhea laced with a liberal dose of innuendo, and Babu was full of that!

So people laughed at Babu, but grudgingly acknowledged his talent. Many proclaimed him as a mad genius, some would omit the ‘mad’ part if they needed something out of him. And nobody truly messed with him, not for long anyway. There’s no telling what may befall one if he incurs the wrath of a (supposed) madman.

Babu also had the most accursed luck one can imagine. For the better part of my association with him, he underwent the most agonizing(ly funny) string of experiences that made it seem like Lady Luck was fighting a crusade against him. I had even then, way back in Second Year, thought of writing a play entitled ‘The Babu Effect’, my somewhat overstated name for his futile fortunes. But I realized soon enough that a play would never do, and nothing short of a full-length book could begin to do justice to the life and times of Babu in law school. I think I’ll save that one for my magnum opus.

Lastly, Babu always made my life that much more colourful by regaling me with the occurring-at-the-time stories of his women. He had the hormones of a rabid dog in heat, and the charm of a porcupine-skunk hybrid (what with his usual odour and unshaven look). On the {very [very (very)]} rare occasions when he would clean up, he could look pretty darn dashing (so I have been informed by the distaff). But those instances were few and rather far between. And usually the object of his interest at the relevant point of time would not see him all clean and clear. Or, more likely than not, she’d not even realize it was him!

Babu was the butt of most of my jokes for most of my tenure in law school, ever since I’ve known him. I made it a point to poke fun at him in front of him, and mercilessly decimated his image in public. Every now and then, when I would feel somewhat mortified at my incessant trip-taking, I’d apologise to him, and he would say, “No, Biki. If I had a problem with it, I’d have told you so.” It even got to a point where, after I had broken up with Maya, Babu tried to cheer me up by instigating me to publicly ridicule him! He would laugh and give me fives every time I cracked a particularly nasty one on him.

Babu’s been one of my best friends since my first year in law school. He’s a crazy kook, a fickle lunkhead, a bizarre, bombastic, often belligerent bugger.

And I love him for it.

What say, Babu? Think the Iceman is back?

4 comments:

Newbie Mommy said...

Just stumbled across your blog, and loved the post. Sounds like a true tribute :) And a lovely way to go about it.. :)

Da said...

Thanx a lot!! it really is a tribute, forming part of a lil series that i've been writing.. do keep stopping by and reading it from the beginning (starts from Octoebr 08 in the archives)...

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zephyr said...

whre are the rest of the posts?? :(