January 13, 2005

Pearls Before Swine

I was studying for a while in a “dry” state in the West (State Motto: No wine, only blood). There was a chap in my class who ran a chain of beer bars in Mumbai (What were we studying? Advertising, of course!). He brought back vodka in a 5 litre can of Bisleri each time he went home. Apart from being chief supplier, he was also chief consumer. He lived in the room below mine in the hostel.

One evening (advertising evening = 1am) there was a shortage of glasses on the ground floor.

My name was yelled out till I opened my door. “Give us a couple of glasses!”

Like I was going to give my only glass for alcohol consumption! Huh!

I found an abandoned glass of water on the ledge. I picked it up and walked to the loo to empty it into the basin.

Suddenly there was mayhem on the ground floor.
“Stop! Stop!”

Irritated at the screaming so late at night, I cursed them all and continued my sleepwalk.
A hand grabbed my shoulder and almost dislocated it. The guy was panting like three dogs. He had run up the stairs in three seconds flat.

“Give me that glass”
I quietly handed it over to him.

“What do you think you were doing?”
“Getting you guys a glass”
“What do you think this is?”

He could have hit me. I would have never survived if he hit me.

“You were about to throw vodka into the basin. You know what that means?”
I knew what that meant. Vodka Godhra.

“How the hell am I supposed to know it is vodka?”
“Which planet are you from? Can’t you make out whether it’s water or vodka even when the glass is in your hand?”
“Which planet are YOU from? How can you tell it is vodka and not water from the ground floor?”

The guy left without a word (but with the glass).

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