Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Three Memories

Since it is only a matter of weeks before I start gushing or grumbling about college (If I can get into one, that is), here is a little more nostalgia:

ONE.

IN THE BUS, CLASS THREE

Skunky: Hey, want to see something nice? Here, come closer.

Me: (Stupid fool that I am) What what? Are you going to offer me a piece of your orange?

Skunky: NO! (squeezes peel of orange very quickly into my eye, so that a spray of something very sharp hits my face, making me cry out. Through watering eyes I catch her grinning, the air in the bus smelling of oranges)

Me: Aaaaaargh!This means war.

(We take turns squirting orange-peel poison at each other, and then wonder whether we should try it on the driver. We decide against it. We are young, but we're not that idiotic)

Skunky: Hey, you want to practice throwing the peels into the windows of passing vehicles? Ten points if you get it in.

It was only later that we found out what "Don't Pollute The Environment" meant. And, to our credit, we did manage to chuck most of the peels into the buses. So the roads remained clean.

TWO.

PUJO 2007

We come to a corner, turn it, and are on the road. Cars come at us in whooshes of bright light, and our laughter sounds harsher and nearer, as if it were ricocheting off their flashing bodies.

A group of people walk towards us in Pujo finery - big earrings, mismatched purses, shiny new shoes that have nothing to do with the rest of the outfits, the works. We try to look inconspicuous and fail, especially since quite a few of us are cackling insanely and the other half are, well, tottering.

Hiju: Do you realise that these people are walking towards us?

[I stare blankly]

Hiju: No, they're walking the other way. We're the only people walking forwards. The whole world's against us. (eyes her shoes tragically)

[Well, we tried not to die laughing]

The Narcissist: (gasps for breath and finds her voice) you know, I love you guys. I really do. This is fun. Oooh, look, a crossing! We're going to cross the street, yay!

[She's like that in real life too, yes.]

Me: I'm not crossing the street.

The Shrew: Why not?

Me: Because I'll die. (am encountered with blank look, and proceed to explain) I just know I will. Some car will mow me down and I'll be a stain on the road. Bloody cars. What do they think of themselves? They're just tin boxes on wheels, for the love of God. They MUST NOT kill me.

The Shrew: So they won't kill you. Come on, cross!

Me: No, I'll die. Did I not just explain it to you?

The Shrew: This isn't the time, really. I can't handle you like this.

Me: You prissy spoilsport! Can't you see I'll DIE if I cross the street? I'm only eighteen, I don't want to die while I'm still eighteen! Lemmego Lemmego! I'll die. You want your friend to DIE?

I was dragged across the street and was able to stomach a huge dinner thereafter. And I'm here writing this, so it's obvious I lived to tell the tale. But I'm still afraid of cars. Bloody cars.

THREE.

CLASSROOM, CLASS ELEVEN

Me: Hey, stop doing that schoolwork.. listen to me.

The Gollum: (puts pen down, eyes me wearily) Yes?

Me: Did you know that when you're cremated the only part of you that remains afterwards is your bellybutton?

The Gollum: You mean when a person is cremated. I've never been.

Me: Don't distract me. So your naabhi is the only thing that remains?

The Gollum: So I've heard.

Me: So where do all the discarded bellybuttons go? There must be someone who collects them.

The Gollum: (Doesn't bat an eyelid - proof of the superhuman levels of endurance she's now reached) No, I think they just lie there. And then maybe they're swept away.

Me: Where's your sense? Of course someone collects them! The Naabhi Collector! He collects bellybuttons.

The Gollum: Okay, fine. The sooner this ends the better. So what does this Naabhi Collector do with the bellybuttons?

Me: He strings them into necklaces, of course. And wears them. Or maybe he makes things out of them. Showpieces maybe.

The Gollum: You're twisted. I don't want to buy any decorative items for a while now.

Me (bristling) : Oh, so you find the Naabhi Collector sick, but you can buy those fake Made-In-China things? They have bone powder in them, I've heard.

The Gollum: Bone China does not have bone powder in it.

Me: It might.

The Gollum: So you're telling me it's better to have a showpiece with some long-dead person's bellybutton in it instead of bone china?

Me (as if stating the obvious): Yes!

The Gollum: In that case, Naabhi Showpieces it is. Somewhere in my house is a bellybutton. Hey... (suddenly becomes interested) do you think he has a patent for it?

Me: Dhat. I've always hated showpieces. Don't you have to finish your work?

And no, I did not get murdered for that.

Bless you, my friends.

23 kindred spirits have swallowed my rambling:

heh? ok said...

we used to have lunchtime conversations about burlesque shows and one of us even made up an entire routine on the biology lab table.

not me, though. honest. :)

Sroyon said...

I always thought unincarcerated belly-buttons were chucked into the Hughli or some other handy river, where they bob up and down for all eternity, or maybe settle to the bottom like golf balls.

speedpost said...

Im getting back at you for this! you just wait.

Kidding. We could do with any kind of action now. Even the wrong kind.

@Sroyon: That's what I always thought.

29A said...

What??

The the combined forces of Nature and Decay find belly buttons indigestible or what?

What?

Don't lie. I wanna take my entire body with me.

Doubletake, Doublethink. said...

@ heh? ok: See? I knew i wasn't the only one, school does this to you =D

@ sroyon: oh. well. why didn't that strike me earlier *looks crestfallen*

@ speedpost: tell me about it. all these memories are being raked up. we'd better find something to do. fast.

@ 29a: you didn't know this? belly buttons can't be incarcerated. ask anyone. ask the N. Collector.

Rahul Saha said...

Okay look I was mystified by this too but I checked the net and there's nothing there saying that bellybuttons don't get burnt with the rest of the body. The one doctor I asked said he didn't know for sure. Can someone point me to an authoritative writeup on this.

Sroyon said...

Following Saha's comment, I scoured the internet for a source, but no results so far. This link looked promising, though:
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Does_your_belly_button_burn

My co-intern Kinzal also assured me that belly-buttons don't burn, as did both my parents. But alas, I have found no authoritative source so far. It seems like it's one of those things which everyone knows but noone can substantiate.

Even if it's not true, you'd think there'd at least be a website saying that the non-combustibility of belly-buttons is an urban legend, but no...

I shall keep looking. Or can we organise a day-long vigil in Keoratala? *looks hopeful*

Macadamia The Nut said...

Lol!! I liked the Gollum :D

But, seriously... belly button's don't burn?

Man! Wish we had bigger ones then... you know, then in case of fire we can just withdraw under it like a turtle

eeeks!
:D

29A said...

Wow. People actually bought this stuff.

Really. Belly buttons. Not decaying.

Don't lie.

Fishy! said...

I used to throw orange peel into cars too! It's one of the most hilarious things to do! :)
Lovely post, by the way!

WHAT'S IN A NAME ? said...

arrey class-3 is bherrry young!!! our frnds do that orange peel sqeeze thing even today...at 21! imagine! :P

but yes,,,,that nabhi-colelctor thing was original! all credits!

little boxes said...

beautiful post!
*sigh*
i miss school...ah orange peels...my griend said "egulo chokhe chiple,chokh bhalo thake"...and i volunteered each time for the sake of nice eyes!
lol

undifferentiated said...

fuck fan.hilarious.and god bless u for such briliant frnds!cheers to all briliant frnds of all ppl.

weevil girl said...

:)

i wish i had 3 momories of times so far off with the same people/ place. sense of belonging is hard to come by for people like me, but nvm thats not the point. point is i didnt KNOW about the belly buttons bit!:O

new age scheherazade said...

hehe. hehe. I miss school. and orange peel fights were always fun. still are, actually. and what's weird is that my dad taught me how to do it to people. ancient indian self defense for his kid.

LOVE the post.

kd said...

this is a very interesting blog you have here,especially choice of topics.

Rhea Silvia said...

very nice. Bonus points if it's not completely made up. You're gonna fit right in, aren't you? Got the form yet?

the soliloquist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the soliloquist said...

Sheet. I still haven't got over that period when any kind of school-post makes me go back into flashback mode and get all oldandmellow.

Yours was beautiful,by the way.

Question:- If belly buttons don't burn, will heaven(or hell, more likely) have spare button-like thingys for the gaping holes in my stomach region when I Pass Over?do they have some kind of contract with the n. collector?
--Anxious Devotee.

Death On Two Legs said...

i like the comment made my macadamia the nut

Pongy Papaya said...

wow!i actually read all that-0-
-smile-
school is too special..yes
uhm well..ultimately everybody gets a college ,speaking from experience and its a friggin' good place.
nice blog

Elendil said...

Belly buttons get mostly burnt. Only a portion remains. Also a lot of small bones. The whole lot of it is mixed with some mud and placed on a round dish. Then a cloth is tied over it and it's washed into the holy river. Not a very nice process at all.

29A said...
This comment has been removed by the author.