That Windows XP installation CD had been lying in his dishevelled bag for too long and had been scratched beyond repair with his keys and cap-less pens and weed-shredding pocket scissors. It never ran (perhaps that’s why I was allowed to frame it later on, otherwise it would be impossible to get a techie to part with working technology for the sake of wall-mounting!) And just about when I had given up all hopes of a spanking new OS, he called up some friend of his who happened to have a working installation CD on him (tech geeks! I mean, who carries OS installations CDs around on them on weekends, and not even to play flying disc with it?!) This friend happened to be close by and he said he’d go pick up the CD from him. On his way out, he described to me how this friend was a crass Bihari junky who got high on everything from gutkha to glue. I was disgusted- exactly the kind of guy I never want to associate with. However, in retrospect I think he gave me this little description of his friend to make me laugh, impress me, gloat about how cool his friends were? I don’t know. I don’t understand men, especially microchip-hearted techies.
While the man of the house was gone, my best friend, Jahan, had come over, so we could watch “Notting Hill” together. Alone, it’s no fun spewing drool over Hugh Grant and crying over Julia Roberts leaving. And in the middle of Hugh Grant’s discourse over why men ubiquitously are fascinated by boobs, CD-fetcher called back and asked if it was okay for him to bring crass junky Bihari back to my apartment. Just so I could get back to Hugh Grant peeping under the blanket at Julia’s boobs with that heart breaking naughty smile of his, I shrugged and agreed, without taking my eyes off the screen.
Jahan’s head turned so sharply towards me I thought her neck would snap. She turned the TV off and launched an Alan Shore tirade on me. “Did you just agree to one guy who you said ALWAYS has weed on him, and another who’s a glue sniffer, come over to our empty apartment on a quiet Sunday afternoon? Do you want to start stripping right now so you are ready for them to rape you when they get here? Why don’t you just leave all your money and valuables on the doorstep so they won’t murder us to get them?”
In hindsight, especially a 7 years older one, it seems ridiculous that two 17-year old BITSian BCA students, both believing in spreading technology enough to scurry around for a CD to help a technologically challenged girl they barely knew, would try to rape or murder a couple of 15-year old girls in a high security apartment house, in spite of their dirty druggie habits. But as all Alan Shore-ish tirades go, Jahan convinced me that I had just invited a couple of death-row convicts home. And so by the time the two guys rang our door bell, Jahan and I were both clutching onto kitchen knives hidden in our pockets, there was a cricket bat under the living room couch, and all the windows were wide open so our screams for help could be heard for a 5 kilometre radius.
As the front door swung open, Jahan and I got ready to wield our knives, but I was left the only one, hands stuffed deep into my pockets, still clutching onto my knife handle, because for Jahan it was love at first sight (or lust at first sight). Turned out the Bihari glue-sniffer had given his Windows XP CD to 6 feet tall, 3-day stubbled, dimple-grinned, Guess jeans and Fossil shirted, Ray Ban aviatored, Dubai-bred Nobin Nobster, and that’s who had accompanied the previously mentioned male to my apartment.
Jahan and Nob had an 18 month long torrential relationship complete with hysterical fights, suicide attempts leading to teary patch-ups, her father chasing him out of her house with a rifle, her mother setting spies on them to ensure her daughter was not engaging in pre-marital sexual conduct (fortunately the spies couldn’t make it to the inside of my bedroom where all their pre-marital sexual conduct occurred), cheating, slapping, beer-sloshing, drama of B-grade Hindi movies.
But this is not their story; this is ours, so we will leave the details of that one for another fairy tale.