Sunday, 25 May 2008

Bhusawal Blues: 3

I have a cloth bag. I have a beard. I am thin and look emaciated. The Bhusawal cops are convinced I am a naxalite from the forests of Chandrapur.

There follows a long, arduous conversation with the cops questioning me in Marathi and I trying to reply in my faulty, constipated Hindi. I am terrified the cops will haul me off into custody and that will be the last anyone would hear of me. I fish around in my wallet and find a crumpled business card of mine which I proffer, with much humility, to the custodians of the law. I can see they are not impressed.

The senior one switches to Hindi and addresses me in patient, measured tones one normally reserves for the mentally challenged: “You have come by the morning train. You say you have come here to visit your friend. But there is no friend. You don’t have your friend’s address or phone number. Now we find you sleeping here in the station. Does it make any sense to you?”

“No,” I say helpfully, “I am waiting for a train back to Bombay.”

“Where is your ticket?”

“Err...” I stammer, “I was planning to get it, once I woke up.”

Somehow, my interrogator finds this answer unacceptable and utterly irresponsible.

“Which train?” he thunders.

“Varanasi Express,” I say quickly, having already looked it up on the timetable painted on the wall of the railway restaurant.

The cops frog march me to the ticket counter and make sure I purchase a ticket back to Mumbai. Then, with a stern warning of dire consequences if I am ever found in the vicinity once the Varanasi Express has left the station, they slouch off, in search of more interesting victims.

So I return to Mumbai and immediately start planning the murder of Bisque.

Only after a week do I come to know of the real story behind Bisque’s absence in Bhusawal station that morning. Apparently, the previous night, he had been diagnosed as having acute appendicitis and had been admitted to the hospital in great pain. When I was having my little misadventure in the station, Bisque was undergoing emergency surgery for removal of the infected appendix.

I felt like a worm the next few days.

But then, as you might have guessed, Bisque’s surgery was successful and, after a period of convalescence, he recovered completely to become the famous Bisque the Collector, two decades later.

7 comments:

Cynic in Wonderland said...

..ah no night in the thana? bah

Rada said...

Ah! Cyn!

I am crushed by your disappointment, especially that "bah!"

Should have spiced up the account a little, you think?

Vijay said...

@Rada: Was hoping for a night in the slammer :-)

kidding.. kidding

sanguine said...

hey , first time here . like what i saw , read .
will come for more .
cheers!

Anonymous said...

Quite an adventure,eh? Guess it may not have looked like that at the time!
M.

Rada said...

Sanguine!

Thank you. Pls visit often!

M!

Looking back, one can always laugh it off, even though at that time, it was rather "stressful!"

Bhasy said...

Interesting trip visitisng out Bisque collector... had to read the three blogs in one stretch.. I was hoping to hear about a sweating encounter in the vollages around the Bhusawal Power Station with Bisque - what he calls "pottass" !! ha ha

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Stepping Sideways... by K. Radhakrishnan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.