Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Carol and the Old Monk: Part 1

Carol sits in a sofa looking down, cupping her face with both hands. And when she raises her head to speak to me, I can see she is bleary-eyed and her face is white as a sheet. She is shivering a bit. Her voice is dry and cracked. She looks terrible.

And terrible is the quandary I find myself in.

Bob, Carol, and Russ are the threesome who has come from the US to help us with the new product launch. Russ is responsible for hardware maintenance. Bob is the Presenter and Carol, the Applications Specialist. For the past two days we have been rehearsing the demo and it has been coming along nicely. Bob and Carol do a finely-nuanced Punch & Judy show where, as Bob prattles on about each function and feature, Carol’s dextrous fingers bring up the necessary applet on the monitor.

They are a diverse lot: Russ, short and stocky, with a round, mournful face and careful to drink nothing but Coke. Bob, bespectacled, tall and thin like a reed, looks more like a nerdy college professor. And Carol, sincere and serious, working hard to ensure that the demos go off without a hitch.

Today is D-Day. The demos are to take place at the Grand Hotel in Ballard Estate. The hall has been booked. The hardware is installed and tested and ready. VIP customers have been invited at one-hour intervals, starting at 10 am. We are ready to roll!

When I reach the Taj Mahal Hotel at 8.30 am to pick up the contingent, a nervous Bob meets me at the foyer and says we have a problem. Carol is very sick and can I please come upstairs to her room?

I cannot understand it. Carol was perfectly fine when I dropped them off in the hotel the previous night at 9 pm. Could it be something she had for dinner that had caused her to fall sick? A bout of food-poisoning, perhaps?

Slowly, hesitantly Bob and Russ come out with the story. Apparently, after I dropped them off yesterday, they had gone for a short walk along Colaba when they “chanced” upon a liquor store. While standing in front of the store, they suddenly remembered this excellent dark rum their friend Rada had introduced them to the previous night and also his secret recipe for a cocktail that had equal amounts of cola and soda in it with a twist of lime. So without further ado, they had grabbed couple of bottles of this excellent spirit only to come back to the room and begin to consume it forthwith.

“S***!” I howl. “You guys polished off two bottles of rum between the three of you?”

All three nod in silent misery.

11 comments:

Lekhni said...

This is going to be an interesting tale!

Lekhni said...

This is going to be interesting!

Vijay said...

ha ha.. blame it on Rada... cant wait for part deux

Cynic in Wonderland said...

damn i hate the wait and watch ones.

Prashant Sree said...

Wondering how dramatic will be the Old monk's entry ?

Part-II , kul ja Sim Sim.

Thiruvengadam said...

Hmmm ... Old Monk can't be the only culprit. There could be a twist in the tale. Waiting for the climax!

Santosh said...

No drunkard worth his salt could ever escape from the charm of this old Sanyasi. Let it flow Rada. Waiting for the remaining parts.

Praveen said...

good one..post the next part soon...

loved the one on rafi saab too:)

Rada said...

@Lekhni: :-)
@Vijay: :-)
@Cynic: Patience is a virtue you have to cultivate, child!
@Prashant: First time here? Thanks, pal.
@Manohar: :-)
Santosh: Thank you for coming along and leaving a comment!

Ravi said...

Unfortunately the world of alcohol/brands is a topic I know nothing of. My friends here in the US are even worse than I am at the topic.

I cannot wait for part 2 either. As usual a Rada masterpiece :-). I hope that the analyst did not throw up.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

ok i waited and watched. whereeeeeeeeeeeeee?

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