It was a nice, sunny afternoon and I was rolling along in my car when there suddenly came a whoosh and a bang and I discovered that the front right wheel had somehow managed to lose it buoyancy.
Someone had once told me that life was full of surprises; all one needed to do was explore-so I decided to explore. Dismounting from my car, I found the wheel to be in a state of acute depression, looking like Napoleon after the battle of Waterloo. The jack was brought out and I was engaged in the complicated maneuver of pumping the jolly handle after having placed the support beneath the axle of the wheel, when something smashed into me and I slipped, pretty badly, into oblivion.
My eyes opened only to emphasize a headache that was bound to blow my head apart any moment. But the future is bright and tragedies are glitches on the road to happiness. I saw something moving and for a while I was horrified for what I saw looked more like Rum-pep-stilt-skin than that chap himself. My eyes adjusted, focused and a sudden realization dawned on me. This wasn't the nutty character in the fairy tale, no sir! Most certainly not! This petit lady was a goddess right out of the Greek myths, an Apsara ' anything but human.
My eyes popped out, my heart beat faster, my temperature rose, I clutched the bed-yes, it was a bed I was lying on all the while ' and nearly screamed, "It's party time! P-A-R-T-Y, why? Because I want to!" Thankfully, I didn't.
"Did I hurt you, you poor lil' thing?"
What a voice! What a voice!
"Huh!" I responded weakly.
"Did I hurt you, Mr'"
"Bhattacharya", I blurted out somehow. Consciousness and a sense of making a complete ass of myself dawned on me and I found myself at ease, "No, most certainly not. Er' where am I, how did I land up here?" I asked.
I had most definitely fallen for this smashing dame-no, no, how could I be so crude--this celestial damsel.
"Well," she tinkled, "I was speeding across the countryside when I curved around a turning and found you doing strange things in a squatting position to your wheel'"
"I was changing it!"
"Oh, sorry. Before I knew it, I had banged into you and you had lost consciousness. By the time I brought you here, you had awakened somewhat and were squawking like a plucked parrot in pain and wriggling like a gaffed trout."
I thought I must have presented a pretty miserable sight, and she said, "Not at all, not at all."
"You really aren't hurt, are you?"
"NO!" I shot back. What did she think I was-a ninny?
"You don't have a fever, do you?" and she reached out to feel my forehead.
Reasoning with her was out of the question, I saw. She was like the gentleman in the poem who on honeydew had fed and drunk the milk of Paradise. You simply warned people to beware of his flashing eyes and hair floating around and wove a circle round him thrice-that was practically all you could do about it. I was very nearly about to do so when she touched my forehead and I fainted-what else could I do? Her heavenly touched knocked me out cold.
Some time later I revived and we started chatting. By now I had lost all my shyness and initial hesitation. She talked about herself and her school life. Give me a sec and I will relate my school days to you. So when she asked me about my life as a little pupil, I just fizzed forth like an uncorked bubbly, what else!
"We had a teacher whom we really hated," I began. "Why wouldn't we? His treatment of mathematics was abominable, and he was probably the only man on this side of the planet who was intellectually inferior to the amoeba. April Fool's Day at Locksley was a permanent terror for Mr. Chakravarty, who was also our house master."
"Oh really? What did you do?" She did seem interested. I plunged on.
"On the eve of April first, when all was calm, peace and quiet, I crept into the intellectually demented moron's room. I took out a razor'"
"No, wait. This is where the fun begins. He was sleeping like a log, snoring heavily. He reminded me of a timid grizzly bear who had just realized that winter was flying by and it was time to hibernate-anyway, that's besides the point. Then gently, very gently, I shaved his head. Then I set up an apparatus we had assembled in the dormitory. The slightest movement would disturb the equilibrium and pour a bottleful of after-shave lotion. This was set at his head, and then I did my disappearing act. Approximately 15 minutes later our ears were regaled by a scream that shook the very foundations of Locksley. All of us poked our heads out of the window to see Chak-vak [as we referred to him] shooting out through the roof and landing on a TV antenna, howling his head off like a babe with acute colic. A few days later I was suspended for a week after the Principal somehow got to know that I was behind Chak's imitation of Yul Brynner. He was 38 then. He never grew a single hair since", I guffawed, reliving that hilarious incident.
"Next year," I continued, "I was at it again. Now I was a public figure, a hero at school, and I loved it. On April Fool's eve again, I appeared in his room like a genie and emptied a boxful of red ants in his wardrobe. Next day while trying to acquaint us with quadratics he began to scratch himself all over. He then proceeded to do a jig which was soon converted to a Michael Jackson frenzy and finally it seemed as if he was all to ready to become epileptic. He screamed like the Furies and shot out of the class, not unlike Superman faced with kryptonite. The next time we saw him, Chak was practically a fat, swollen pumpkin of a man. Of course, he knew it was me, but he just couldn't prove anything. He had even caught hold of me once and told me that should he ever find me on the wrong foot, he would smash me to bits and dance on my mangled remains with hobnailed boots. Ha! Ha!" I was wiping the tears off my face when suddenly my angel let out a satanic hiss, "Daddy!"
Strange, I thought, she was really a bit too fast for me. I hadn't yet got to know her and already she wanted to introduce me to her family members! Quite good, actually, quite good! Suddenly there appeared before me a giant of a man, with great bushy eyebrows, bloodshot eyes gleaming malevolently in their sockets, and a great bald pate topping it all. No mistakes-this was Chak-vak!
I still don't know how I managed it but I jumped out of the bed, grabbed hold of the bed sheet, threw it over Chak's head and jumped out of the window, all in one motion. There was only one problem: I was on the second floor of the house.
Now I am in hospital, recovering from eight multiple fractures. Chak comes to meet me everyday to gloat over my situation. He leaves behind a bouquet of dead flowers and a "Get Worse Soon" card. Rather nice of him, what!