Friday, July 18, 2008

non-local fauna

I was trying to sort out dinner in the kitchen the other evening, when I heard Shrik exclaim loud in the living room. I sauntered over.

"...the point of this ad. How many Indians would know what a skunk is, anyway?", he was telling Madhu.

I glanced at the screen, at an animated ad for a room freshener, and at the fluffy animal plugging it.

"Yep, that's a raccoon there, so you've proved yourself right," I said.

A rare, delicious moment of speechlessness followed.

"There is a skunk at the end of the ad, though," I added gently.

"The skunk at the end! That's what I was talking about!"

But I knew. And now you do, too.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Foosball and misunderstandings

I had, earlier in the year, dragged Madhu to watch Resident Evil: Extinction, which I thought could not be worse than the previous two installments. I was wrong, and soon enough I found myself in the position of owing Madhu two movies of her choice. Which is rather scary when you know there is a Shah Rukh "I'm a Backstreet Boy" Khan movie lurking around the corner. Or the back street, so to speak.

So eventually, we found ourselves in the coffee shop at the movie hall, trying to fortify ourselves for the ordeal with lots and lots of caffeine. It is, in many circles, considered rude to speak with your mouth full, and therefore conversation flagged, and we gave our undivided attention to our coffees, except for Madhu, who was on the phone as usual, and Shrik "I don't have coffee at night: it ruins my sleep", who gazed into the distance, contemplating life, or perhaps his bed back at his place.

"Too much cricket in the media these days."

I looked up from my coffee to see Yoda folding her newspaper in disgust.

"It's the only sport India seems to support," she added.

"Yes, you don't see too much support for the Indian Foosball team," I remarked, with one of my subtle witticisms.

Yoda gave me a look.

"You don't see much support for the Indian any team!"

Shrik gave her a patient look, much like a father watching his toddler throw food.

"You don't see much support for any foosball team, Yoda, " he explained. Shrik is one of the few who gets my subtle witticisms, and vice versa. I have in the past explained to the others that great scientists and humourists like Wodehouse and Galileo, or the other way round, have been persecuted throughout their lives, but to little effect.

"Except maybe the Americans," Yoda stated, in a rare flash of insight.

"True," said Shrik, who had spent more time in the US than the rest of us, who hadn't spent any. "They probably have a few teams that compete with each other for a 'World Foosball Cup'."

We lapsed into silence, like a few trappist monks, except for Madhu, who was very un-trappist-monk-ishly talking nineteen to the dozen into her mobile.

At which point I remembered something of importance that I needed to tell Shrik.

"Hey, apparently Khushru heard your remark that we should be renting his place out for new year's eve, and said that we could just come over, no problems."

Shrik raised a puzzled eyebrow.

"I didn't say anything."

Yoda realized some clarifying was in order.

"I told him that Matto was the one who said it. And I told him that he should be renting his place out and earning a bit on the side!"

"So he confused the story and randomly added my name into it. Hm. Maybe he was tired", Shrik said, taking the philosophical view.

"He was not tired when I told him all this!"

"But maybe he was tired when he told me this last evening. You know, memory refuses to jog and all that..", I interjected.

"You mean, he told you that I told you all this yesterday? It was ages ago!"

"No, no, he told me all this yesterday." I explained. It's surprising how far one can stretch a little misunderstanding.

Yoda fell into a reverie, and we resumed the trappist monk routine.

Then she brightened.

"You know what, he must have confused the story and randomly added Shrik's name into it!"

Shrik and I exchanged glances, shaking our heads a little. Which is tough to do, actually. Requires some skilful neck-eye coordination.

"Maybe he was tired," I said, with another of my subtle witticisms. I have a lot of them, but like I said, hardly anyone notices.

"I'm tired," said Shrik, and left for home. The rest of us spent the next three hours flinching in the movie hall while Om Shanti Om tried desperately to entertain with self-parody. Which goes to show you... goes to show you something, I forget what, but you see it, don't you?