Day 11: The insides of a Ghost

…are amazing. It will make you feel like you’re floating, that you’re surrounded with awesomeness, that you’re “above” everyone else. It will make you feel like you’re being held and comforted by hands that do not really touch you, yet you feel the cozyness so well that it makes you want to hold on for ever. It will suck you up into an alter world and when it is time to leave, make you want to cling on and never get back to reality.

The insides of a Ghost are beyond awesome: a feeling I do not have enough words to express.

I grew up with boys. Till I was about 6-7, I was constantly in the company of my brother, and whenever we cousins got together, it was all boys. Then I moved with parents and brother to Guruvayur, which then turned out to be the BEST TWO formative years of my childhood. And there as well, all my friends were my brother’s friends.

We played cricket and 7 stones and all sorts of boyish (and sometimes quite violent :P) games. When we came back to Trivandrum, though I did make some girlfriends, most of my “everyday” company were my brother’s friends. When my favourite cousins came from Qatar once a year, the “games” were mostly re-enacting “the WWF”. And they took it rather seriously (that it was all staged on TV wasn’t something we figured too easily).

Therefore, I was always a tomboy. A big part of me still am and always will. A few dear friends of mine will vociferously vouch for this fact (and that’s a while other post!) I still remember the highpoint of tomboyness — going to UB City, Bangalore, once…and while the friends were going crazy window shopping at Louis Vuittons and the likes, I was in the basement parking, going gaga at all the awesome cars parked there 😛

Which probably is why, when we once went for a wedding reception at the Royal Orchid Hotel in Bangalore, in 2010, while Amma was ogling at the grandeur of the place and sparkle of the event (read dresses, saris, jewellery, shoes, etc.) that the other pretty women turned up in, I was ogling at a Rolls-Royce Phantom parked proudly outside. I had to then be physically shepherded inside by Amma (it was her best friend’s son’s wedding). I made a mental note to take a pic on the way back.

I’m not the kind with the patience for weddings and those elaborate parties, yet I deliberately delayed leaving the wedding hall, to make sure there will be as much space and calm around the Phantom when we leave. I had great hopes. I was already imagining sharing that photo with a few of my friends and the subsequent conversations after that. Needless to say, none of that worked out the way it should have!

On the way out, I gave the camera to Achan and asked him to click a few awesome shots. I made a bee line to the Phantom (did not even lean on it like it was mine – bah!) and turned around just in time to see one watchman shaking his head and spewing random Kannada syllables to Achan. Another one was walking straight toward me. He shooed me away. Literally. He said “Shooo…(blah blah blah in Kannada) go…no no no“. Ugh. I made another (highly improbable) mental note of someday going back and taking that pic!

Last month, Achan called me up and said a close friend of his from the good old “Lions Club” days of Trivandrum is in Kuwait. He gave me the phone number and told me to reconnect.

Wilson Uncle was someone I saw once a month till I was about 4 years old, I guess. I had a very vague memory of him being this bespectacled man who used to joke that I’m his girlfriend and that he was going to marry me 😛 I was always terrified of him and potently shy! He was 23 at that time. Every time I saw him, I would shriek and flee! And now, nearly 30 years later, I was meeting him again. And what a meeting that was. I had expected there to be awkward silences and nothing much to talk about, but I had a fabulous few hours!

And the highlight of the meeting: He is the one who introduced me to the insides of a Ghost!

Before picking me up, when he told me to watch for a “blue and white car”, I expected anything but a Rolls-Royce Ghost, of the most amazing blue! My jaw hit floor, and then once I got my bearings back, I hop, skipped and jumped across the road and got inside the most amazing car! 😀 Needless to say, I was too overjoyed to maintain any kind of social behaviour that will fall in the “appropriate” category. I became a complete “jolly villager” and went “Is this your car!? Oooh!” 😀 And when he nodded in the affirmative, went further ahead asking “Your own car, or company car?” He had the most amused expression before he said “own car alright”. 😀 When we stopped for lunch and he switched off the engine, the Spirit of Ecstasy retracted into the bonnet, and I even went “Oh where did that thing go!? 😮” Fine – I didn’t know it worked like that, ok! 🙄

When I got off the car after a rather amazing ride, I was reminded of the watchman who shooed me off from near the Phantom. And here I was, feeling giddy after having sat in another version of the  after-world beings. In your face, Mr Security. In. Your. Face! Ha!

With age comes maturity, and therefore I took no pics. Errr fine – I already told you I was on jolly villager mode. I have a crappy phone, which would do no justice to the photo (plus I am completely camera allergic and I am yet to find a camera that will like what it sees!)

Therefore, the only pics I took were with my eyes. And they’re uploaded on to a special folder in my brain. No share option there. Sad, I know. I’m secretly hoping he will offer to meet again, and come in the Ghost. I will make sure I have a pic of myself behind the wheel 😉

It was an amazing feeling, and I thanked my Achan profusely (but only after duly pulling his leg about where is an Alto and where is a Rolls-Royce) for making a dream like that come true. This is totally why he is the awesomestestest! 😉

insidesofaghost

The insides of a Ghost…as spectacular as its outsides!

The 1993 Grand Slam…

the grand slam...only, it wasnt a racquet in hand, and my dad wasnt in white shorts 😀

…was served by my dad — and received first, by me somewhere on the back of my right thigh, and after approximately 3 seconds, by my brother at more or less the same spot on his 😀 !

It was some time in April 1993, during our summer holidays! We used to live in this awesome house set in the midst of 1.5 acres of white sand and lush greens…in the then little town of Guruvayur! I was 8 then (my brother, 11) — a naughty, impish girl who used to create havoc within the house all the time, and when thrown out, amidst my brother’s friends! 😀 .

We considered ourselves the luckiest among my cousins (who all lived either in crammed apartments in huge cities or in little rooms put together in 2 cents of land and called a ‘house’!) 😛 and I used to walk around singing praise of this beautiful house and the space around it.

All sorts of pranks, mischiefs and tomfoolery were allowed for by dad and mom. “Ee praayathil nalla akramam venam pillerkk”, they used to say (It’s the age when kids should be naughty). 😉 We used to dress up the poor cow in its own dung; we used to hide behind bushes and throw huge, but dead, Eveready batteries at poor Raman Nair, the old-man-with-bracket-legs, who used to look after the trees and the soil spread over 1.5 acres; we used to steal mom’s starched sarees from her cupboards and make tents with it (we thought she never knew!); we used to pack pepper leaves in small packets and throw it on the road, catching some poor betel chewer unawares! We used to go to the temple every morning just to get the yummy prasadam; we used to make mud-pies (i actually tasted one!) and serve our friends; we used to play lagorie/seven-stones (i used to get badly hit by the guys!); we used to catch thumbis and then guilt-ridden, let them go; we used to build tents and make dad inaugurate them, urge him to step in (every time, it would be too low for his height, too fragile and would collapse over his head) and blame him for the destruction; we used to frolic all the time in the wide, deep pond without the slightest fear — until I drowned once! But that was never an issue. I decided never to drown again…and we continued our swimming adventures 😀

Didn't quite have the time to notice dad's expression...but am damn sure it was something like this -- an evil grin mixed with surprise, anger and that just-up-from-sleep blankness!

The only thing NOT allowed: we were warned never to scream while dad was asleep. And that’s just what I did that day in April 1993. 😀

We were playing police and thief. When it was my turn to be thief, the ‘police’ came chasing and I ran for my life (and loot)! Went rushing into the kitchen from where mom shooed us out. The only place left for me to run into was my parent’s bedroom…and, forgetting the fact that dad was enjoying his after-lunch nap, I let out a blood-curdling scream and ran into his room. By the time I’d half-circled across his bed and reached the other side, he was up! The first thing he got in his hand was my grandfather’s walking stick.

I ran, he swung. The timings clicked. That aristocratic-looking smooth, 1-inch diametre stick kissed me — violently on the backside of my right thigh.

Silent. Breathless. Motionless.

Too late to realise, my brother pushed me ahead. Dad swung it high again. My brother found himself in exactly the same spot I had been approximately 3 seconds ago. The timings clicked again. Apparently, the stick was highly confused in matters of sexual interests! It kissed him too! 😀

Silent. Breathless. Motionless.

We both strode across the huge hall, entered our room, locked the door, went to our respective beds, pressed our face down into our pillows — and screamed in pain!

Some slam it was! Oh my god! I felt like I was a sheet of crumpled paper that had been floating around and suddenly settled down in a fire, flames licking at me with their rough tongues!

My dad never hit us ever again. In return for that favour, we never screamed while he slept. 😀

Now, tell me this — do you have a ‘hit’ story that can beat this one (no pun intended) ?

P.S.: In 1993, the Grand Slam was Steffi Graf’s too! The US Open, Wimbledon and French Open 😀