I was going through the Vegas pics when so many memories of this gentleman (gentle?) (man?) I met six months back came flashing. He is G's brother, and I am sure that as G and her mom are reading this post, they are looking for a broom, a ladle, anything to hit me on the head.
But I, dear readers, must write this post, because truth needs to be said. My apologies to G and her mom.
When I was told one fine morning that her bro (lets us call him A-MYTH) from Singapore was visiting her for 3 months, my heart had leaped a beat at the prospect of meeting a tall, dark, handsome man at the airport. An overdose of reading sappy romantic novels, you see. Very subtly I had asked G the “So how junior he is to you?” question casually just to make sure that he wasn’t a fresh-out-of-high-school guy.
Age calculation and everything done, I had cleaned my place for the first time he and G were to come over. He looked and talked fine (in fact he barely spoke the first time), but what the heck, we had 3 more months to get to know each other.
I was soon to revise my opinion.
Because for the next 3 months, he did everything (and I stress on the word EVERYTHING) to get on my nerves.
How would you feel when the entire family is driving to Mount Rainier on a lovely morning, nicely sipping our milkshakes with Tamil music going full blast when the guy, sitting beside me at the back seat of the car, suddenly screams out- Aaiyyo- what is that thing protruding out? Alarmed, I look below to see him pointing at my belly. Aaiyyo- you have a huge paunch !!!
And suddenly everyone in the car goes into a fit of laughter.
That was the day I wish I had been a polyglot (one who speaks different languages), for I’d have used my entire vocabulary in all the languages I knew to give him an assorted collection of expletives.
And then with time, I was to discover so many eccentricities in him. Post-lunch while everyone was hurriedly wearing shoes and G was impatiently honking her car to signal us to leave, this chap would take his own sweet time, swaying his hips while he carried his half finished lunch in the car. Worse, after a heavy meal when no one would have space to eat anything, this chap would take a heaped spoon of gooey black Dabur-Chyawanprash lookalike substance (that he claimed would increase his appetite) and would be happily licking off the spoon and dangling his shorts-clad legs in the car.
This guy is a kitchen ninja. Though he cooks really well, it is a pain to assist him in the kitchen. He will give you the tiniest of the onions to chop and the soggiest of coriander leaves to peel. He made me chop the nastiest of onions for a picnic lunch, only to be told later that the onions were needed for dinner the next day. He christened me into a South Indian version of a name (like calling Ambar-Hambar) and ever since that is what I’ve been called by G and her entire family, friends, and friends of friends. What more, the moment I told G that some guy had a crush on me, I got a message (publicly) from A-myth the next day, asking me how my lover is doing.
Perhaps I had the worse time with him in Vegas. What else do you say to a guy who goes to sleep early setting his alarm clock at weird times like 3am, never really wakes up at 3am to study, and then screams his guts out the entire day that we didn’t wake him up on purpose and have put his career in jeopardy? He would keep deadlines hanging till the last moment and unable to complete them on time, he would send us on our guilt trips making statements like – You guys have stalled my career. In Vegas, every time he spotted a building, a fountain, a store, a mall, even a tree, or a cow, he would ask me to take a pic of him with the thing. And the moment I was about to click, he would make a somersault and ask me to halt, go remove his jacket and keep it on the floor, arrange his hair, look here and there, and then would flash his Kodak smile and let me click. What more, he would make specifications like- “Take the pic from my face to my knees only”, as if he was some celebrity and I was the cameraman. Every time I took a pic in Vegas, he would take away my camera from me and take a similar pic, telling me on my face that he didn’t trust my photographic skills. He would pick up the most complicated of meals in food joints. What more, he would take immense pleasure in describing gory details about how people ate anything from pigs testicles to snake livers back in his place till we would be on the verge of throwing up our meals. And of all the times when we would be hurrying to get a cab to catch the flight on time and have just checked out of the hotel and are on the streets, he will need to go find the restroom. Where are the coconut trees and the lamp posts when you needed them the most?
In a language in which even romantic words seem like dogfights to me (remember, Tamil teriyaad- I know no Tamil), he would incessantly argue with G, mindless of the fact that at least if he argued in English, I’d be able to understand the conversation and would know that he is not bitching about me. I remember how he incessantly kept arguing with me that he was a 6 feet something while I told him that I didn’t think he was a hair more than 5’10”. And forgiving him for all his follies when he went back to Chennai when I was expecting some great feedback to his parents about me, he went home and told his mom that he has never seen a girl who eats and sleeps more than I do.
Well well, I could keep complaining about him for hours now, and I am sure the next time I self-invited myself to G’s place (since she won’t invite me again after reading this), she will surreptitiously mix her cat food in my dinner, or put her cat in my bed while I am asleep. But then, truth, like the extra pounds on anyone's paunch, cannot be hidden. And all said and done, A-Myth will always remain a myth to me.