Sunday, 14 September 2008

Introducing Ravan Singh

I think it is time I introduced Ravan Singh to the readers of my blog.

Ravan was a tall and well-built man with a scraggly beard that he deliberately left untrimmed. He could have passed off as handsome, if only a prominently protruding paunch had not spoilt the overall effect. Ravan had a voracious appetite for food; could drink anybody under the table; and fancied himself quite a ladies’ man.

Ravan and I were colleagues for over a decade during which we became very good friends. Looking back, this was rather strange for, both in appearance and temperament, we were like chalk and cheese. Ravan was the hearty, back-slapping type while I was painfully introverted. Ravan could be impulsive and rash while I was methodical and boring. Ravan was always the life and soul of the party while I generally had a tendency to blend in with the woodwork.

Ravan had a reputation for becoming very boisterous after a few drinks; during office parties the task of keeping him under control or some semblance of it, always fell on me. When he was sloshed, the only person he listened to was me and his obedience on such occasions was implicit and childlike. But there were couple of occasions when things went horribly wrong.

One such was at the Ambassador Hotel in Bombay where we are holding a reception for customers. The business part of the evening is over and those who imbibe have made a beeline for the bar. We circulate among customers, clinking our glasses and making polite small talk. Suddenly someone tugs urgently at my sleeve. It is Ravan.

“I don’t like the way Customer S is behaving,” he says in a hoarse whisper. “He is talking ill of our service, the worm! I think I will pull his toupée off.”

“What?” I am distracted. “What toupée?”

“Everyone knows S wears a toupée,” he says reasonably.” I’m going to yank it off.”

“You shall do no such thing,” I say firmly. “Just ignore the guy and go slow on the whisky, will you?”

Ravan disappears and I forget about the conversation. The evening winds down peacefully and after couple of hours, most customers have had their dinner and have left. So have the top bosses of the company. There are a few stragglers in the bar and I can see Ravan and S having a heated argument. Suddenly, in front of everyone’s stupefied eyes, Ravan yanks the toupée off S!


All hell breaks loose. Ravan is swaying on his legs and guffawing while the hapless S, shorn of his hairpiece and dignity, is screaming and weeping and lunging feebly for the toupée which Ravan holds aloft like a trophy.

No, Ravan did not lose his job. Probably, if the incident had happened an hour earlier when the party was in full swing, he most definitely would have. The next day, Ravan visited S and offered his profuse and unconditional apology for his boorish behaviour.

The customer forgave him and, I suspect, they had a drink together afterwards!

Photo Courtesy: boomSlang's Public Gallery, Picasa Web Albums

12 comments:

Vijay said...

Ravan must by a very convincing talker if he convinced the customer to forgive him....

padmaja said...

That was funny!! But I've seen some guys go crazy after a few drinks at office parties, just to get all the attention!!!

Thiruvengadam said...

It's too good. But I am quite amazed to read that someone could have his name as "Ravan". Perhaps this is first time I am coming across this name except for the mythological epic Ramayana. People normally don't name their kids after the baddie characters. The legendary villain of yesteryears, Pran, used to boast that after his depiction of the bad man on the screen the name "Pran" was considered to be a taboo in the society. And I am sure same goes for Ravana as well!

Is Ravan his real name !!

harini calamur said...

cute,
there is something about free booze that makes people go bonkers....
i used to dread office parties :(

IdeaSmith said...

I like the sound of this Ravan. He sounds positively evil!! Will you introduce us? *batting eyelashes*

Rada said...

@ Vijay: Sure, Ravan was a convincing talker. But the truth is, both of them had little recollection of what transpired the previous night, the next day!

@ Padmaja: So true. Every party will have at least one such attention-seeker!

@ Manohar: As they say in some news reports, names have been changed to protect the privacy of some people! :-)

@ Harini: Yes. Parties in the media/entertainment industry can be really something, can't they?

Rada said...

IS!

I can certainly introduce you to Ravan. Do you have an Electra Complex btw? :-D

Cynic in Wonderland said...

Ravan was a salesman eh? He must have been, if he sweet talked his way out of a baldly beautiful situation with panache

oh yus, parties in media and entertainment can be quite something.

roop said...

roflmao

got here through cynic's blog. am glad I did.!! :)

Rada said...

Cyn:

Do you also want an intro to Ravan like IdeaSmith now? :-)

Roop:

Thank you. Pls do drop in more often! :-)

Parul said...

Hello Rada,

Came by from Cynic's blog. Your Ravan story is very Wodehousian but am sure you've heard that before! I will be back for more.

Velayudhan said...

Poor Ravan, I don't think that he will go through your blog these days.

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