Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The 43rd thing. Gandhi Jayanthi of 2011

My brother had just left for Delhi, sliding away on a white Logan. As I sat in the hall, mom was looking tired, grandma and grandpa were probably shuffling cards ready to play their two-million-five-hundred-and-thirty-thousand-eight-hundred-and-forty-seventh game of solitaire, dad was upstairs feeling a little ill, and I was looking around. Just then, "Ding dong!". The doorbell rang; grandma went to see who it was. It was my uncle. He straightaway shouted for my dad, "Paapaniii!" There was a lot of urgency in his voice, and dad didn't hear him. "Prasaaad?" my grandpa called. There were few shouts from outside of our house, incoherent yelling, and my uncle was yelling right back. "What on earth.." I wondered. "Bande!" my dad called back and came downstairs.
"Oh! Movers bande bitra Chikoo? Isht bega!"
"Hu kano, eeg Arpithange gaadi thegiyak helu. Arpitha??"
I'd heard the conversation so I ran upstairs to change out of my shorts and into my pants. But my uncle couldn't wait.
"Bande Chikoo mava.." (I always do that! If people don't acknowledge my yell when its obviously heard the first time, I don't yell again!)
"Ee hudgi heege ne.. Yello mel vodhoithu.." my grandma chimed in.
I ran back down. My mom was unlocking the door in the hall which opened to the garage. That was our previous entrance; we keep it permanently locked now. She yanked the door open, and then began shifting the small bookcase with books authored by my grandpa (yes I'm proud of it and I'm showing off), and I got a clear view of the garage. There was a big brown truck outside our garage gates, so big that I knew I was seeing only half of it. There were instructions being snapped all around and I started to move the hall furniture too. Moved the L-shaped table out of the way and near the kitchen with my grandma's assistance, and then the couch. A tall and dark skinny worker wearing a bunyan with holes, and checked blue punche hoisted up well above his knobbly knees came into the house with a small but heavy looking wooden furniture.
It had begun.
"Gaadi aache itya?" someone questioned me.
"Illa.. yaaro bekagilla antha andru."
"Parvagilla aache idu!"
So I looked for my keys I knew I'd misplaced somewhere while moving the furniture, couldn't find the duplicate which is always in a bowl in the showcase. Then I reverse traced my steps in my mind, found the VW keys on the table, and proceeded to move by vehicle out of the way (ahem, notice that I don't mention what my vehicle is, just that the keys are Volkswagen :P hehe!).
More shouting. An unrecognizable hall (this is called a vu-ja-de I think, the opposite of de-ja-vu, where you've been in a place but don't recognize it). A hot unrecognizable hall. My grandparents were happily sitting on the shifted couches, looking cozy and comfortable and at the same time trying to supervise the situation. There were three workers all in all, mom was making tea for the grown-ups, I wanted to ask for some too but didn't want to bug her and get in the way. There was so much shouting that I went upstairs in the hopes of enjoying some peace. I wondered if I should begin studying for the darn CCN quiz. But the shouting seemed to be penetrating into the room from all directions. The open windows, the open terrace door, the open windows of the next room. There was this sudden, loud, metallic scrapping noise like as though some alien robotic character from Transformers was doing its thing. I prayed that nothing of the house was damaged and went back down to see what that noise was about. The hall looked undisturbed (when compared to its state two minutes ago that is), so I went to investigate my grandparents room which was adjacent. There was a fat metal wardrobe sitting there comfortably and innocently. I went back to the hall and heard my uncle getting louder and angrier. I cannot tell you how much shouting there was. At one point people were shouting only because others were shouting and they had to make themselves heard. My uncle had to force these people to work quickly through repeated yelling and gesticulating and sometimes dragging one by his elbow. The sewing machine was brought up to the terrace, the one mom used to stitch clothes for me and my dolls when I was about three or four years old. I followed the workers up and made sure nothing was flicked. I went back downstairs when they were done.
The whole thing was so chaotic. Seemed like organized anarchy. Because in spite of all the shouting and plans to bring the doors down and dismantle a bed, every cell in the colony was working steadily towards a fixed goal. Just when the cells seemed to collide, they'd slide by one another as if the whole maneuver was intended.
Then a heavy wooden bed was brought in from the truck and and placed in the garage, thanks to my grandma's practical mind, resting on two planks so the water wouldn't spoil the wood when it rained. Hot tea was distributed, there was one extra cup that no one wanted so it was offered to me.
It seemed like all work was done, but people still shouted when they wanted to talk, I guess the hair in their ears was still tuned to that high decibel level (learnt this in audio and speech processing). I sipped tea. It tasted very nice, as usual; mom makes very good tea I think. My uncle suddenly remembered that the veenas hadn't been brought, but decided to bring it along by car later. After everyone had drained the last dregs, the furniture in the hall was arranged and moved so that it looked how it used to be half an hour back, the garage doors were closed, the truck door was shut with a bang, signalling the end of it all. The door leading to the garage was closed, the light to the garage was switched off. The truck drove off noisily, uncle followed in his car, my parents followed in theirs, I shut the door behind me and got back to the hall. It felt like as though a hurricane had thrown everything out of place, yelling all the while for thirty minutes, put everything back in its place, and left like as though it had never come in the first place. The only thing different was our disheveled expressions.