Padma Gurumurthy called her husband as she pushed her way through the unusually dense crowds outside the historic red-stone fort. She was delighted at the size of the crowd when she arrived an hour or so earlier, but hoped that it would have dispersed by now. The sound of all the chattering was near-deafening, and as she passed through various groups her nose told her that not every cigarette being smoked was loaded with tobacco. It may have been diluted by the pervasive aroma of assorted spices and condiments, but the unmistakable bouquet of ganja fought through heroically and threatened to intoxicate all who passed by.
“Can you hear me okay, Sanjay?” she shouted at her phone, suppressing a giggle.
Padma picked up some faint sound but couldn’t make out what her husband said, if indeed it was him speaking – she had no way of telling.
“I can barely hear you Sanjay – can you shout?”
She just about heard her husband say something about volume.
Padma looked at her handset and, with a wry smile, turned off her phone’s silent mode.
“Okay,” she said with a chuckle, “I’ve turned up the volume. Try again.”
“Can you hear me now?” he asked.
“That’s better. Listen, Sanjay. You may have to feed the kids and put them to bed tonight.”
“Why? You should be here to do that. The children expect their mother to feed them and prepare them for bedtime.”
“I hoped to be back in time, but can’t you hear the noise in the background? The place is crowded. I don’t know when I’ll be able to get through the crowd to my car, never mind getting out of the area and onto the main road.”
“When will you be home?”
“I just told you – I don’t know. Agra Fort is always busy, of course, but I have never seen it this bad. Has there been anything on the TV news about it?”
“I saw something but the volume was turned down while I was talking on the phone.”
“Did you see anything about how long it will last?”
“That’s no good! I need to know if I can get home tonight. I want to see you and my children. And anyway, I’m feeling somewhat peckish. I may need to stop for some food.”
“It may be only around the fort. Perhaps the back streets will be better, no? And you can eat when you get home.”
“That is there, Sanjay; it may be better where I parked the car. I will call you back when I find the car.”
“What do you mean, find the car? Don’t you know where it is?”
“Of course I do. That was just an expression.”
“An expression of what?”
“I will call you back. If you hear anything, call me, okay?”
Padma let go of the laugh she’d been holding back throughout the conversation.
The relatively short walk from the fort to where Padma had parked her car took almost twenty minutes to cover. The crowd hadn’t thinned as she had hoped, and it looked as though it would be some considerable time before she’d be able to get away. For some reason, her hunger had dissipated and she no longer thought any of this to be in the least funny. She called home again.
“What’s it like?” Sanjay asked.
“It’s just as bad,” she replied, “I don’t know how I’ll get through.”
“Listen to me, Padma. In the car, you can push your way through.”
“I can’t do that! I could hurt someone.”
“Use your horn, for goodness’ sake, woman. They’ll move if they think the alternative is to be run down.”
“Oh, sure. I can see tomorrow’s headlines now.”
“What do you mean?”
“Author ploughs through crowd after book signing. That’ll help my writing career, won’t it?”
This was written in response to Kreative Kue 202 published on this site recently. As I am currently having issues with internet connectivity, there will be no further Kreative Kues until after my return from the Christmas break.
“What is this thing called, Love?”
“Are we playing that game again?”
“You give me the first line of a song and I have to answer it with the start of another song.”
“I want to know what this thing is called.”
“That coloured thing coming out of the tree, Dumbo. What thing do you think I mean?”
“I don’t know. It would probably be easier if I could read your mind.”
“Yeah – what a tale my thoughts could tell.”
“Okay, we’ll do it your way. Red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue.”
“Why are there so many songs about rainbows?”
“Maybe it’s because…”
“Gotcha! You aren’t a Londoner.”
“That’s not what I was going to say. Maybe it’s because the colours of the rainbow will show the world to you.”
“Oh, very good. So you think I’m an ignorant savage and you’ve been so many places?”
“Is it true that at the end of a rainbow, you’ll find a pot of gold?”
“You’re not looking forward and you’re not looking back.”
“You’re right. We are going nowhere fast. It’s a rainbow.”
“What’s a rainbow?”
“Do you want a short answer or a proper one?”
“Yeah. I know your proper ones. Give me a short one.”
“What’s wrong with my proper answers?”
“They’re okay last thing at night; help me go to sleep, they do. Look. I don’t need detailed, scientific information. I just want to know what a rainbow is, how it’s formed and what it’s for.”
“And you want that in a couple of short, pithy sentences.”
“Okay. What is it? It’s an arch of colours visible in the sky. How is it formed? It’s caused by the refraction and dispersion of the sun’s light by rain or other water droplets in the atmosphere.”
“See? It’s easy.”
“So now you know and understand it?”
“I didn’t say that, did I? But I don’t want you to tell me what refraction and dispersion are, either. So what’s it for?”
“Does it have to have a purpose?”
“Everything has to have a purpose, otherwise why’s it there?”
“Duh! It just is?”
“Don’t buy that. Nothing just happens.”
“Okay. Some people believe that there was once a great flood that was sent by God. When he stopped it, he put that bow in the sky as a sign that he’d never do it again.”
“So there haven’t been any floods since?”
“Of course there have. But not one covering the whole planet.”
“The whole planet? Is there even enough water for that?”
“Who knows? We’re talking about ancient beliefs that are based on stories that may, in some cases, be more illustrative than fact-based.”
“Best not get into religion, though, eh?”
“No. Best not.”
“So why don’t we have rainbows? Is it because we have a don’t have the same god?”
“Take a look around. How many suns can you see?”
“Oh! Where’s the other one?”
“That’s the thing. This world only has one—”
“Which is why everything only casts one shadow?”
“Thank Vrag for that. I thought I’d lost one of mine.”
“Come on, my lovely. Time to fly.”
I wrote this in response to Kreative Kue 200, issued on this site earlier this week. Feel free to join in; just follow the link.
I don’t want to hear you grouse,
This will be your brand new house.
Its construction will bring you much fame and glory.
There’ll be room for all you need,
From restrictions, you’ll be freed
Even though it only has a single storey.
Do I look like I’m a prat?
I can never fit in that,
Though I know my height is somewhat short on inches.
Even my small bed won’t fit
And there’s no place to have a s**t,
And where can I put my gilded cage of finches?
I care nought about your birds,
Even less about your t***s.
You can stand because the roof has quite a pitch.
There’s enough room for your bed,
Just as sure as my name’s Fred.
For the rest, you must accept that life’s a bitch.
Fred is surely not your name.
You have always been the same.
I’ll move out, because I know that’s what you’d rather.
You really needn’t worry;
I will go, though I won’t hurry.
But I still say that’s no way to treat your father!
I wrote this in response to Kreative Kue 199, issued on this site earlier this week. Feel free to join in; just follow the link.