Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Carol and the Old Monk: Part 2

Carol gives me a wan smile.

The problem, she says with commendable detachment, is with her head. It weighs a ton. It also hurts very badly. But the real problem, she says staring straight ahead, is that she cannot move her head to the left or to the right. If she does, dazzling flashes of lightning seem to dance before her eyes and it is awful...

“You have a bad hangover,” says Russ, uncharitably stating the obvious.

I look at my watch which shows 9 am. The first customers would start arriving in the next 45 minutes or so.

Carol gulps down couple of tablets of paracetamol and empties half a bottle of mineral water. “You guys wait down in the lobby,” she says, “I will be down in fifteen minutes.”

True to her word, Carol joins us fifteen minutes later. I can see that she has brushed and combed her hair and put on some make-up. She looks definitely better than the ‘victim-of-train wreck’ I saw some time ago. She pats my hand and says everything is going to be all right.

“I shall sit and operate the console,” Carol says. “But I cannot turn around and look at the customers who will be sitting in a circle behind us. If I turn my head, it hurts real bad. So I cannot smile at them. Neither can I answer their questions. The three of you have to manage all that.”

“They will think you are a rude lady,” says Russ, not very helpfully.

“Never mind that,” I say. “Let us do as she says.”

That day Carol excels herself. She sits like a statue in front of the console from 10 am to 6 pm and operates the console flawlessly, neither looking to the right nor to the left, staring straight ahead. She continuously drinks water from a glass and declines lunch. Bob and I try to shield her from questions but when customers ask her a direct question, she answers them looking straight ahead. Fortunately, nobody notices anything amiss and the demos are a grand success.

After a hard day’s work, the entire team goes back to the Taj and my boss says: “C’mon guys! That was fantastic! Let us have a drink at the Harbour Bar!”

Carol shudders visibly, excuses herself and walks up to the lift, looking neither to the left nor to the right, but straight ahead.

6 comments:

Ravi said...

Now being completely oblivious to the world of alcohol let me ask you a few questions:

1. Has she forgiven you as yet for the introduction to the good old monk?

2. How do Indian rums stack up against Jamaican rums etc?

3. Did she buy a bottle for friends and family in the US?

Cynic in Wonderland said...

:)

and i think i have a crush on russ!

Velayudhan said...

May i quote our old monk John Abraham.
Raghupathi raghava raja rum....
pathitha pavana three X rum...
easwara allah thero naam...
Sub ko sammathi three X rum.

Thiruvengadam said...

It is commendable that Carol was able to finish the demo despite a huge hangover. It would have certainly taken a toll on her stiff neck for sitting unmoved throughout the demo. But I am sure, given an opportunity she will again go for another bout of Old Monk! It is a known fact that especially foreigners have a undeniable liking towards this brand of rum.

All is well that ends well !

Rada said...

@ Ravi: Later, Carol became a real fan of OM! She also learned to exercise self-restraint when dealing with the old priest from then on!

@ Cynic: Hmm...I have not seen Russ for quite a while, btw...

@ Velus: Ah! you quote John Abraham, the film-maker who had a certain "deep affinity" towards alcohol!

@ Manoharan: Indeed! You are right. All's well that ends well!

Renu said...

a rummy day, well spent. Wonder if carol had any OMs left in the room... :)

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