Shelter from the Storm

The past week has been eventful bordering on miserable.

On Tuesday, me and Sarker decided to get buy a postpaid cellular connection. We took Gutri along so that we could give a billing address in Punjab and simplify matters.

Irony strikes again.

When Airtel called up Gutri’s house to verify the billing address, Gutri’s father told them on no account to give his son a cellphone. Naturally, the connection wasn’t activated.


Now that the primal scream is out of the way, here’s where things stand. After a whole week of trying to make Gutri’s parents get the idea through their skulls that me and Sarker will be making all the calls, paying all the bills, and have involved Gutri purely to simplify billing matters, we still don’t have an active cellular connection. Calling long distance from PCOs is exhausting our funds, and trying to explain matters to Airtel and Gutri’s family is exhausting our patience. In the words of the philosopher Whatshisname- Shit, yaar.

Wait, there’s more.

The weather was awful.

It wasn’t just that after a single day of sunshine, it returned to being chilly and overcast. Oh no. It wet the whole hog. Ir rained. Foul rain. Rain blattering down in great sheets, as if Rob McKenna was making a detour through Punjab. From Wednesday night to Saturday midnight, I’ve been forced to walk in soaked suede shoes. It’s a blessing I haven’t caught a cold.

Ah, but you want the icing on the cake? Or, perhaps more appropriately, the karela slices with the baingan? I was thrown out of my Compilers lab on Thursday.

And why? Simply because in the joy of discovering the reason why my program wasn’t running, I clapped my hands together in glee. Immediately the lab instructor, an ME student already famous for taang-adaofying, descended on me like the “Assyrian with his cohorts all gleaming in red and gold coming down upon like a wolf upon the sheep in the fold”.

I am the first person to agree that in the normal course of things, people are not so demonstrative about their joy at finding the last bug as to clap their hands together. Indeed, most of them aren’t even joyous about it. They just set about with a grim determination to find the last bug, and track it down without emotion. Silent, methodical, efficient, and yes, a little horrible.

All the same, to throw me out for the next three labs simply for clapping my hands, something I’ve been doing in labs for the past five years, is monstrous injustice. It’s all very well from people like the resident idiot and the verbal terrorist to go on about globalisation and imperialism, but have they ever considered the misery that ME students go about spreading? Bah.

And yet, it’s all good.

I’m home now. I am like a battered little boat that emerges through a storm and pulls into a safe berth in a sheltered harbour. Here, there is chocolate, and cheese, and homemade gaajar-gobi ka achaar, and German garlic.

Today I had a hot water shower after ten days. I used herbal soap and shampoo, and then I had a haircut and coconut oil head massage and shave.

In the words of the philosopher Droopy Dog- I’m happy.

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