Yes, it's coming a tad bit late. But what the heck, I have got to share my exhilaration with you. If you remember Holi was celebrated in Delhi on Sunday...On Friday night, I was buying film tickets for Eklavya at a theatre in West Delhi along with friends C and T. T's husband P was in the process of parking the car.
Now C expressed her fascination for a certain pattern on the shiny granite floor outside the counter. In two minutes, we realised that it was actually water that had assumed an arty tree-shape and that it was the result of some people thowing water balloons at the people queued up at the counter. Mind you, they were all grown-ups laughing loudly and taking potshots from a first floor balcony right opposite the counter.
I was in a very tra-la-la mood. Just two days back I was in Bombay and the feel of the city was still fresh in my mind. You could say that at the time I was in the Bombay-state-of-mind. And there was a perpetual dreamy smile on my face I guess. That made my friends grin too.
All was fine till I felt and heard a splat sound on my trousers.
I dialled 100. The first time I explained the whole thing for a long time to the cop. Midway he hung upon me. The second time I called, I made a point to tell this other cop that I was from the Press and I wanted them to come and do something about the matter. "Madam, aap rickshaw walle bhi hote to hum aate," he said. I felt like retorting, "And pigs can fly!" ( a trademark line of mine that comes out very often whenever I express disbelief). Difficult it was, but I had to suppress this particular expression and say, "Then just come and prove what you said."
Meanwhile, I was dying to do something about it. I was not sure that the PCR would arrive. I asked P where the police chowki would be. He did and before he could ask why, I was stalking off to the chowki along with C and T. We found two constables, whom we immediately dragged along with us to the house. While we were thus stalking towards the house suddenly I was thrilled to see a huge group of cops coming towards. So there we were -- proceeding towards the house in full strength. I vaguely remember the sounds of people clapping at the counter.
The entrance at the house was so dark that for a moment I faltered. The stairs looked exactly like they would lead us into a dungeon. Anyway, when we reached the door of the 'perpetrators', we found that theywere seated for dinner. The expressions on their faces were what I wish I could have captured on a camera. Because you have to see to believe how the guilty can pretend.
Initially there were two teenage boys and their mother (she had been standing and laughing at the spectacle of people being bombarded) who kept insisting that they had no idea what we girls were talking about. Then when the cops collared one of the guys, she caught hold of my arm and said: "You are doing something very wrong. When we go to the market, people throw stuff at us also." To which I said: "Then you should do something about it." And then she said: "This is going to come back to you..." and went on and on. I was furious. From somewhere this fat middle-aged Punju aunty emerged and started convincing C that she is her 'dadi'. C, being a sweet natured person, was nodding her head. While I said, "Dadi? Which dadi?"
Soon the cops hauled the guys downstairs on to the road where there was these mohalla wallas had gathered to partake of the 'fun'. One of them in an abhorring black shirt with loud silver sequins took my breath away. And an old man who was trying to tell me that I was making a mountain out of a molehill. Then suddenly anti-climax came in the form of T's husband P who came and listened to the whole thing and uttered just a few words "Ye to chhoti si baat hai".
Heavens! It was almost comical. But the matter was taken out of our hands when the cops decided that they would take care of it. They did note down my name, father's name, cell number and address. So we went ahead for our show while they, I am sure, wrung a neat dough out of the donkeys. Good for them.