Twinkle twinkle little bat, how we wonder what you’re at!

My husband, Manik has been behind me for weeks to share this episode, so here it goes.

It was a regular summer day…muggy, sleepy and uneventful. The only good part was that it was a Saturday, so no school. I was 12 and my sister 14 yo at that time.

To break the monotony, dad made a plan to go visit our favourite uncle, RC and his family for dinner.

It was late evening, we all got ready to leave for RC’s home. Dad was driving his Maruti 800 at a speed of a fighter jet, mum sat in front chanting God’s name, my sister and I at the back-seat staring outside our windows.  It was near dusk with sky pinkish dark in the distance. Half way through our journey, the car’s AC stopped working and it started to get suffocating. Dad rolled down the windows and now we had the warm but calming balmy air, kissing our faces. We all were silent, lost in our train of thoughts.

And then there was a loud scream. It was my sister. Watching her, I screamed and like a chain reaction, my mum did, followed by my dad. Dad slowed down, all of us stared at my sister and she uttered the ominous words, “there’s something in the car!” What the effing eff do you mean by “something”??? We all started yelling different things now…. “stop the car!” … “what’s in the car?”… “…you saw what?”… “are you mad?”… There was commotion, argument, panic – utter chaos.

Dad stopped the car, we all frisked it and nothing was amiss. We gave my sister an evil eye and continued the journey. It was eerily quiet in the car. And then we heard a flutter. Everyone ignored. And it fluttered again. We looked behind and…

…it was a bat. 

Inside our car. 

There was a bat fluttering in the car. Our eyes got wider. I felt numb. And then we all screamed murder. I wished I was dead. I wished we were delusional. 

Dad immediately applied the breaks and in the next second all of us jumped out of the car. A crazy family of four standing on the roadside with car doors open – trembling, paralyzed, nervously laughing, all at once.

It was dark now. Someone had to get that bat out. We three women looked at my dad. I saw terror in his eyes but hey, wasn’t he the cool, “I’ve got this” type dad? With reputation at stake, he braced himself to creep in. He took mum’s stole, wrapped it around his face and craned his neck inside the car. The bat started flying laps.

After a good 30 minutes of drama of dad chasing the bat out, my sister and I giving instructions, and mum yelling, “don’t go near it” – my brave dad did it. He got the bat fly out. I think we saw it flying out but it was too dark to be sure.

Dad signalled to get back in the car. We leapt in hesitatingly, locked the doors, rolled up the windows, looked at each other and… laughed, hysterically.

With no AC in the car and humidity at it’s peak, we spent rest of our journey wiping sweat dripping down our neck, face and back. And that’s when dad said, “it’s too hot in here, shall I roll down the windows?” and we screamed together “hell, no!!!”.

Love is sharing (or tossing!) your popcorn

My dad’s experiences, his stories have always been peculiar. But let me, for now, shift the focus from one weird person in my life to another – introducing my good friend, Rohit aka Lost Bandar.

Rohit and I had a choppy start. Rocky for me, rocking for him. Now those who know Rohit would easily relate to what i’m saying, while others too will by the end of this blog.

A decade and a half ago my sister asked me to join her for a movie with her friends whom I’d never met before. I had just finished school, actually 14 years of exile in a girls convent and any movie with anyone seemed a great idea.

Cut two – my sister and I were waiting outside the movie theatre for her friends. Soon I saw a bunch of noisy people walking towards us. All of them seemed normal but this one guy – at first he was walking with eyes shut, then started jumping around, then climbed on a tree and finally rode piggyback on a friend’s shoulder. This was Rohit. Besides a crazy entry, all he did was talked, joked and laughed on his own weird jokes a million times in the first 10 minutes of our meeting.

As we took seats in the theatre, i made sure that I sat far away from Rohit. Because, one – he didn’t fit my definition of “being normal” and two, he hadn’t stopped talking-joking-laughing. The movie started, lights were off, Rohit wasn’t anywhere near and I was at peace. I heard occasional loud laughs and knew where they were coming from but I could totally ignore them like a champ UNTIL a popcorn came flying and sat on my head. Before I could react, there was another. And another and now it was raining popcorn – all clear shots. I tried to but couldn’t see anything in the dark. Hell, in my heart of hearts I knew who was behind this.

The movie ended and Rohit sprang in front of me holding his popcorn bucket. He saw the popcorn mountain around me and laughed so hard that he actually fell on the floor and unwittingly (so he says) tossed the whole bucket on my head.

I was never meeting him again (obviously) but then there’s very little one can do when life jumps out and bites you in the ass… We met. And guess what, he was still talking-joking-laughing. Thankfully this time he was getting under someone else’s skin but hey, he was funny. Imagine being around someone really annoying but funny. That’s Rohit, who’s also my good friend now. I hate him. I love him. Till date he never fails to bring out these unsettling mix of conflicting emotions in me. We’ve done heaps of crazy vacations together and I’ve learnt that he’s normal when he’s mad. His presence lights up the room but not without you wanting to chuck popcorn or a brick at him.

Don’t they say that everyone has an annoying friend, and if you don’t have one, it’s probably you. I think I’ve found mine. Phew! And I hope he never changes… EVER.


Lipstick speaks LOUDER than words

Just remembered this story from the past. I’m getting back to writing after a very long time and what better way to resume writing, than with another retarded story from my dad’s life.
This must be around the time when I was a kid, and quite an ugly one. Which means teens? Nah, this means pretty much 80% of my life. Anywho, getting back to the story… It was a regular Sunday morning…mum was preparing breakfast in the kitchen, dad was up to a million things – mostly futile, my sister and I getting bored. Suddenly my dad got this crazy idea to entertain us by WEARING MUM’S MAKE-UP! He plucked a bindi (red sticker Indian women put on their forehead) from the side of the mirror and daintily placed on his forehead. Picked a red lipstick and smeared it on his lips. Made a ponytail – yes, he had horrendous looking mid length hair because that’s the look he thought enhanced his personality best. Never mind.
With all that stuff on his face, he came walking to us pretending that absolutely nothing was unusual. We saw his face and burst out laughing. He looked crazy. Next he went to mum in the kitchen. She jumped for scaring the living daylights out of her. Not too pleased by that look, mum started screaming at dad, we split our sides, dad danced around irritating mum to another level and the drama continued.
Soon the breakfast was ready and we all sat at the table. As we were in the middle of our meal, the door bell rang. Dad got up to answer the door and it was our neighbour. Dad smiled and went about chatting with him… When uncle left, Dad came back to the table and casually mentioned how this particular neighbour is quite weird – he wasn’t sure why he came to our house, he looked distracted, didn’t know what he was talking about, kept staring… Kept staring?!!!And that’s when the penny dropped.
Dad darted to see his face in the mirror. His face flushed, not with the red of the lipstick but utter embarrassment while ours did out of laughing hard and falling off our chair.
And that’s how my dad unknowingly managed to scare our neighbour away. It surely was an entertaining Sunday. I don’t call ours a madhouse for no reason.
Poor Dad or poor neighbour?