The cause of this godly sensation is because I have read in the Bible that 'You shall not put God to the test’. Well paying heed to the Holy book, my university did not test me with a single exam this semester. My belief in my divine abilities were confirmed when a friend heard about the situation in my school and commented in a tone of reverence, “You are in heaven, dude”. Duh, of course, you mere mortal, where else does God reside anyway!
This conversation took my mind to one of my favorite songs “stairway to heaven”. All I want to say is that if you want to take the stairway to a university in heaven like mine, I’d recommend you slog your ass off under the supervision of a verny devil in hell called Mumbai University for 4 years and bear the scourge called Mechanical engineering. Toss in another 3 years of working in the city and you’ve won the devil’s sympathy to be granted parole in heaven for 2 years.
Thanksgiving was a day when I really thanked the Lord for showering his blessings in the guise of a “Sale”. As a part of my “cultural integration” drive here, I decided to combat the biting cold and stand in line outside a store from 12 am to 6 am.
Later that day I felt like Marlon Brando from the Godfather (big paunch, wheezy voice et al), who had just got an offer he couldn’t resist. As I sat proudly amongst my spoils, my friend complimented the strength of my character to stand constantly for 6 hours, beat the elements and return like a conqueror. I smirked at the compliment and boasted about the advantages of eating right to develop a rock solid mind, body, heart and soul. My ex girlfriends will vouch for the rock solid heart, I’m sure.
In my boastful exuberance, as I sat up, the hot water bottle under my sore lower back changed position and I winced immediately. My kind friend, offered me a hand and propped my limp frame back in position before pulling a blanket over my numb frostbitten toes and legs.
“Next time wear a scarf you dimwit so you won’t get that irritating wheezy voice”, a voice chided me from within. It was the same voice which played spoilsport when I poured honey over my peanut butter sandwiches and whenever I gave the treadmill a convenient miss. Thankfully the deafening bout of my sneezing and coughing smothered the goody two shoed voice.
“I never knew my first time would be this good”, I said as I handed the pretty blonde girl some bills. She gave a smile and said “come again” before handing me my denims, belt and shoes. I gave her one more look as I walked out of the door feeling rejuvenated. After almost 5 months of self control I needed this. The urge to resist temptation is too great for a single young man to bear. I’d made a promise to my soul before coming here that I would not indulge myself in such acts. But some pleasures come at a price and every person has to pay a price for that. For someone in a distant land, such prices are usually paid either in cash or card.
I’m not ashamed to say my friend had recommended the place to me. He said it was where students usually went to seek “solace”. As I entered and looked around, I knew it would be addictive. Everything about the place was enticing. “Retail therapy never killed anyone”, I smirked as I came out swinging my shopping bags.
I was chatting with my friend the other day and she proclaimed something on the lines of “dancing is more of a mental skill than a physical one”. Now before I contest this statement, let me clarify that I suffer from a syndrome called “dancing dyslexia”. I just cannot read the steps which are being taught. I shamelessly admit that I fractured my ankle while learning to jive. The only person who showed no hint of sympathy was my dance partner. To her the “accident” was a blessing in disguise since she had already suffered sore toes because of my flat footed stomping, almost had her arm ripped off a couple of times and narrowly missed crashing into a pillar when I spun her round.
But before I dwell too much on the dark ages of my youth, back to the mental aspect of dancing. Well I believe if dancing is such a mental activity, Einstein would have been an award winning choreographer. Also, Shakira would have made an amazing physics professor. Not that you’ll ever hear a whimper of a complaint for the latter. Some purists may argue that Shakira lacks the communication skills and knowledge required to teach the subject. Such purists have definitely not attended lectures in Mumbai University then.
I’ve been here for quite a while now and have been picking up some local terminologies. Americans have a habit of saying “I’m good” akin to our “No, thank you”. For example if you are asked by a host “do you want another drink and pastry”, the polite thing to do is smile sweetly and say “I’m good”. I know I don’t do that for such invitations, but it’s just an example.
Now in my native country “Hinglish” is the new age national language. Whilst conversing in it, at times you have no idea whether you are conversing in English or Hindi. So saying “I’m good”, if not interpreted correctly, gets a look of scorn from the conservatives, quaking in the boots by the conformists and a whoop of joy from members of the Indian Gay Society (or whatever it’s called).
Had a kind Indian lady ask me the other day, “so beta, do you want me to help you find a nice Indian bride after your graduation”. Instinctively I gave a sweet smile and replied seconds before I saw palpitations for the first time in life, “thanks auntyji, I’m good”.