Late last night, after I was done making love to a bottle of rum, I suddenly noticed that I had a visitor. It was a middle-aged lady of medium weight and build. She was dressed in a plain white sari and blue bathroom slippers. I don’t know how she got there. Before I could ask, she spoke,
“Excuse me?” I was baffled. She looked Indian, but that didn’t sound anywhere close to any Indian (or Terrestrial) language I had ever heard.
“U-Den-Jaa-Raas.” She thundered again, giving me a “You verbally challenged idiot” look.
I finally made sense of it. She was saying “You dangerous.”
“I can assure you ma’am,” I protested with all the sincerity and dignity I could muster, “I’m completely harmless. You are safe here.”
“No-no-no. They den jaa raas.”
“Huh? Who exactly is dangerous? And why?”
The conversation went on in the same labored manner. For the sake of your patience, my fingers and web-space in general, I’ll type out the simplified version for you. as much as possible.
When she could finally get her message across, it seemed like I was in danger. Why would that be, I wondered aloud.She explained that it was because I loved German Shepherds and I had a pet dog. Why would that put me in danger, I asked her, bewildered. Ladli, that lovely 3 yr old Alsatian I belong to, has never even bothered chasing a cat. It was unthinkable that she would be harboring homicidal tendencies towards me. She LOVED me. Like crazy.
Turned out it was much more complicated than that. Apparently, the taxi drivers of Kabul were planning to murder me.
“But I’ve never even been to Afghanistan.” I protested.
“Who is connected? To who? For what?”
“Bengal is a pillar. Bengal is border of Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan. And Bangladesh is a border of Pakistan.” She answered.
“So??????? And Bangladesh is nowhere close to Pakistan.” I must be missing something, I thought.
At this she peered at me suspiciously.
“You PCM?” She asked.
“No, I am not. What has that..”
“Maoist? Journalist? Talk show -ist? Pornographer? Chacha Chaudhuri? Laal Bahadur Shastri? ” She rattled off each word in a cloud of hostility and suspicion.
I assured her that I am none of them. She seemed to accept this.
“You good. PCM bad. They very bad. They made man made Phlad.” She lamented.
What exactly, I politely inquired, is “Phlad”?
“Phlad, Phlad..” She explained impatiently, as if teaching a child the basics of the alphabet, “Water come, you drown, cow drown, dog drown..”
“Oh, you mean ‘flood’?” I offered.
“Yes, Phlad!” She confirmed triumphantly.
“But..but..how can someone make flood?”
She assured me that they can. They apparently had links with the CIA, Proboscis monkeys, the Mossad, the New York Yankees, CERN, Neil Armstrong, the African baboon, Sunny Leone, Manchester United, Justin Bieber, PETA, the Free Syrian Army, Oprah Winfrey, Sir Ravindra Jadeja, not mention the governments of Nauru, Tuvalu, Andorra and Palau.
“Who are you?” I blurted out.
“I am common man.” Said the lady.
“I see, ” I replied, although I didn’t see. “And how do you know all this?”
She has magical powers, she said. Over the past 34 years, she had learned to tell the criminals and murderers just by looking at them. She also said she had discussed this with a certain Dr. MMS.
“I see, ” I offered again, my head spinning. “You were saying the Taxi drivers of Kabul are planning to murder me?”
“Yes yes” She smiled, “They try keel me too. But they no keel me. Not while fathers, sky and animals are with me.”
“But what about me?” I almost screamed in fear and frustration.
“You dangerous.” She was back at it again. “The taxi drivers are connected to the toothpaste making industry, just like the people on talk shows are connected to the porn industry.”
“So??? What about me?” I was beyond caring about all this.
She stood up and smiled a benevolent toothy smile.
“what eej your poblem? Do you have any poblem?”
“Are you kidding me?? who are you??” I screamed in terror, my mind a numb void, sweat running down my body.
She smiled again. “I do the bat directly. I don’t play the bat only just like a match fixing. If I want to do the things I will do it. If I bowl, I will bowled out for this and if I am ready to do the batting I will batting for the people, batting for industry and agriculture also… ”
“WHAT???” I screamed.
“what eej your poblem? Do you have any poblem? Do you have any poblem? Do you have any poblem?…” She kept repeating softly before she disappeared. A moment later I fainted.
When I woke up the next morning, I had a terrible hangover. All that must have been an alcohol induced nightmare, I reasoned. Absently I lit the first cigarette of the day and picked up the newspaper. A second later, I was out on the street, screaming and running.
On the front-page of the newspaper was this.