I had promised everyone (actually anyone) around here, in the last post, that there would be one last post for this year before I make my trip to shabarimala and enjoy my new year’s eve en-route to that place. So before you go through the rigmarole of reading this post, let me wish you all “A Happy and a Prosperous New Year 2006”. I had to do this right in the beginning because I don’t trust you guys to read this till the very end… quite normal behavior that is expected out of rational individuals that you guys are.
The time between Christmas and New Year is full of surprises isn’t it? All sorts of surprises…
· Someone from your family surprises the kids by putting gifts in socks and stockings
· You get all sorts of new stuff for new year’s eve in your office right from planners, calendars, diaries etc (and you act surprised like you never expected to receive them)
· You get stood up by your girl-friend for the new year’s bash (and you are pleasantly surprised and can spend some good time on the terrace having tullee sessions with your friends)
So you get a rough idea about the kind of surprises that you can expect, most of them being pleasant. But the one that I am going to talk about happens to be a hideous-gory-happy kind of surprise. Now you would ask me how can be something be hideous, gory and at the same time be happy. There is a good explanation to it. The “surpriser” (also known as Osama) and the “surprisee” (better known as Bird) were both hideous. The audience was gory. And finally, the venue was “Happy”. Yes the same happy restorent, that is in talks with JP Morgan to buy out “Burj Al Arab” in an all cash deal and call it “Burjee Al Arab”. So I guess, by now, you must have got the link between the post and the title (unlike a lot of other of my posts where the post has got nothing to do with the title). Read ahead for details.
Osama decided to come down to Mumbai long time back (I don’t know how long) and decided to surprise Bird. All along he had kept Bird under the impression that he couldn’t make it this year due to problems at his workplace (I think he must have talked about problems in his personal life too… his marriage being called on and off… but that’s between Osama and Bird). Few other people (read Abhi, Alap, Paras) knew about this. I got to know about this plan only on Monday. So I am not exactly the hand-in-glove. You can term me as the nail-of-the-little-finger-in-glove. Anyways, coming back to the topic, Osama had to surprise Bird and there could be no better place than Bird’s own “Home Ground” (cricket parlance), Happy.
Osama lands in Mumbai on 29th morning (midnight to be precise) on some gujju filled flight. Abhi takes a day off on 29th and spends time with Osama making funny placards for Bird. They also plan up the visual effects of the surprise meeting that need to be captured on Video and Photographs. And so the day is spent that way (also I know very less of what went on between them). I leave the office early in the evening and hop-skip-jump (that is the simple way of telling how gruelsome my travel experience was in Mumbai local trains) way to Abhi’s place. Bird is set up for an early (by his standards) arrival at Happy. I meet Osama at Abhi’s place with the formal Hi’s and What’s up Dude’s. (Osama is pretty surprised to see me fully dressed instead of Phantom Chadds ad Baniyaan, but that is not of any importance here). In the meanwhile Alap calls up and decides to be part of the hideous-gory-happy surprise which then makes it hideous-gorier-happy surprise. And the code is decided. Abhi would call up Osama and say “mereko late hoyega”, translated “I’ll be late”, and that would be “THE SIGNAL”. Finally me, Abhi and Alap go to Happy and take our seats leaving one seat for the Bird, the one in which Bird’s back is strategically facing the entrance.
Bah, the Mumbai traffic. We had to go through an almost endless wait for Bird at Happy. Abhi was ready with the handy cam and Alap with the Digicam and I was ready with a cutting in my hand. Bird comes in and is surprised by the availability of shooting material at happy (I am sure he must be thinking that abhi and alap were planning to make a porn movie starring me and bird). But his mind was quickly taken off by the three of us making some poor excuses on the lines of “We got the handy cam to format the discs so that we can take it to matheran” (those guys were really going to matheran the next day. So it sounded pretty natural. Then abhi gradually makes the call to Osama and utters the three magical words Osama was dying to listen… “MEREKO LATE HOYEGA”… As soon as the phone is kept down, the cameras are taking position, wide angle alright, focus alright, close up alright etc etc. Alap looks at the digicam like he is cleaning up the digicam from inside.
10 minutes later, Osama walks in with his “beautiful-and-handsome-and-upcoming-moviestar” aide. The cameras begin to roll. Bird is sipping his thumbs up unaware that he is being caught on spy tv… sting operation to be precise. Osama then places the placards on Bird’s head without Bird’s knowledge and gives some candid pose to the camera. At this point everyone of the audience is laughing their balls of… except… except BIRD. Osama then places the placards right in front of bird, for bird to relish them and more importantly, for him to understand why the others were laughing so loudly (at this moment let me tell you that I couldn’t understand some of the writings on the placards as they were written in English). One placard after the other (just like they change bus numbers and destinations on BEST buses). I think the placards were very interesting and humorous too, that’s why Bird never thought of looking back at who was placing them for him. He kept reading them and enjoying every moment of reading those placards.
Bird then slowly turns his head around (I guess if there were more placards, bird would have kept reading them and enjoying them, but since we ran out of placards bird had to slowly turn his head around) to look at who was moving those placards for him. And LO… there stands osama with his “beautiful-and-handsome-and-upcoming-moviestar” aide. I couldn’t look at bird’s face or his expressions then, but he looked at Osama and looked back at the camera and back at Osama for atleast 3 times. I think it was some kind of secret “pakshi ritual”. Anyways, then there was the eternal hug and what followed was even more dhammal. Bird looks at Osama once more and gives this “flabbergonfused” look. As you might have rightly guessed it, bird was flabbergasted and confused all at the same time. And this look kept put on his face for the rest of the night. Atleast till the time I bid adeu to all of them and progressed towards my journey back home.
The reason for the flabbergonfused look could have been because:
1. Bird never expected this and didn’t know how to react or
2. Bird never expected this and didn’t know how to react or
3. Bird never expected this and didn’t know how to react
We still are investigating, which of the above reasons could have been applicable for bird’s reaction. Will let you know once the post-mortem is done. But then, all in all, it was fun. It was a great master plan on behalf of Osama (who is used to making such destructive master plans) and also very good of him to decide and surprise his old nanguy buddy Bird.
If you have read the entire post, and come to this line, “Happy New Year 2006” to you again.
Till then… adios…