Tuesday, December 20, 2005


I think its about time i treated you all with another one of Dad's eccentric stories:
This will have you rolling on the floor!!!!!


Nutter’s Log, Star Day Monday, July 01, 2002

Was standing in a queue to buy a ticket at Borivali Railway Station. Two long queues at the ticket windows. Five dogs and three young boys sleeping on the floor on one side. Nothing much to distinguish one from the other.

This old geezer (not much older than me) at the head of my queue gets his ticket and turns. He opens his mouth for some reason – AND OUT POPS ONE OF HIS DENTURES and clatters to the floor several feet away. This is such an unexpected event that everyone is stunned and still for a moment. Not so one of the dogs known as Swift alias Rivaldo. He pounces, grabs the shinning denture in his mouth, and is off in a flash. The rest of the dogs, thinking he has secured a feast, set off to join him in his good fortune.

Utter pandemonium breaks out. "AAAGGGGNNN MAAARAAA DAAANTE" emerges from the old codger. He cannot speak with only one denture. He sets off in pursuit, encouraged and joined by the entire population within a half-mile radius.

Utter chaos ensues. A kind of rugby game develops. INDIANS v MANGY DOGS. 5000 v 5. I have never been so entertained. If only they could agree to some rules and strike a deal with B Sky B – these guys could make billions! The dogs were wily, agile, street wise and knew escape routes from seemingly dead ends. The Indians were incensed – they were not about to let these mangy dogs get away with the denture of one of their own – something he had probably spent five year’s savings on.

Utter chaos disappeared down the far end of Platform 1. I do not know what happened. I have a feeling the old codger won. He had that fanatic look in his eye. I bet he recovered his denture – albeit chewed up to resemble a canine denture. I bet he took it to a wayside denture repair man (such entities exist!), who probably held it over a lighted candle, hit it with a stick, scraped it with a piece of broken glass and handed it back to the old codger who probably popped it straight back into his mouth. The fitting was probably much better than before.

In the evening I was coming home after a fifteen minute Monsoon deluge. The road was flooded – a narrow strip of dry land in the middle and puddles on both sides. I was coming down this path, and a cow was going up the other way. One of us would have to step into the water. The cow had better equipment to do that. I decided to use my superior intelligence. I decided to use a diplomatic approach first – the English way (who could be more English than me?)
" How now, Brown cow?" I asked politely, trying to sound like Prince Charles and achieving 33.3% success. The look of the cow changed to one like the old codger had had. It probably didn’t understand English, I reasoned.

"Kaise ho, Khakhi gaooo" I enquired in my best Hindi. The cow increased its pace. It is probably from a rural area and does not understand the conversation of polite society, I reasoned.
"Kidan, DUNGARA!" I said in more down to earth Panjabi. The cow didn’t appreciate my grasp of Panjabi colloquy

I was thinking of something to say in Gujerati, which it was sure to know, when it passed me, pushing into a knee deep puddle with an effortless, imperceptive nod of its head. As it passed me – "THWACK!" – it got me on the forehead with its tail, which contained copious quantities of cow’s urine (Go-mutra) and cow dung (Go-shit) on it. Both these substances are thought to be very auspicious in Ayurveda, but to me they just seemed to be very degrading. "You have been blessed by the Holy Cow" exulted a passer-by. He beamed!

And so it goes. Just another boring day in Mumbai. I wonder when the interesting times will start. By Wednesday reckons Dr. Varma, who had a quick peek at the position of the planets. We shall see.

"Beam me up, Scotty" I ordered authoritatively (to Scotty up on the Starship Enterprise). Scotty ignored me totally. He beamed up the cow. Can’t say I blame him. The cow won.


ss said...

Lol that is hilarious; I have an inkling that you have many more such tales tucked away in some dusty old archive waited to be introduced to a fresh new audience.

Well me at least ;-)

Excellent show old chap.


Kidan Dungara - lol lol

Fiercetigress said...

What a funny story, Preetji! Your dad was a good writer with a wonderful sense of humor! I look forward to reading more of his stories (and seeing more of your photos. (-; )


jatlee said...