Sunday, June 24

In Which RCW is Treated in a Way that Might Please Scout

It was a matter of minutes before RCW and BM were sailing back down the freeway (especially because someone - and by someone we mean the sort of dastardly old man who would compare Bridget Jones to Elizabeth Bennet- daftheadedly left the keys in the ignition). Except this time in a beautifully sweet-running grey Aston Martin. RCW was just beginning to wonder where they were headed when she saw a sign. "Portugal 60 miles that-a-way" it said. She started humming along to the radio, feeling pretty chirpy. She didn't know the words to it but she hummed anyway. BM hated people who hummed along with the radio but short of pushing RCW out of the car she could think of no way to shut her up. She was just about to suggest that any humming could be taken elsewhere (in the sort of nasty tone that comes naturally to some people and is really extremely hard to learn if you don't have the knack of it from the cradle onwards - haven't you ever noticed how some babies bawl in the nastiest of tones? Sorta like a scary Exorcist type crying) when someone cleared their throat from the region of the back seat.

"Excuse me, ladies", said an unmistakably urbane voice that RCW had often heard quoting Iranian poetry with her dad in their living room (hers and her dad's living room, not hers and Baron F's or Baron F's and her dad's which would have been a tad weird). BM almost shrieked but she was proud to think that she'd managed to choke it back in the last minute. Her arms still trembled a little bit but she bravely said, "Umm are you an axe murderer, mister? Because you need to know that I'm wanted by the cops so they could be chasing us right now!" Baron F, a little taken aback said, "No. But this happens to be my neighbour's car. Are you perhaps one of RCW's friends?", he nodded in a glacially friendly way at RCW to show peaceably good intentions (since the thought of upsetting the crazy woman driving the car while they were cruising at what seemed like 120 mph on the freeway seemed like a bad one). "No no she isn't my friend and this is the Prof's car???? OMG I had no idea I am insuchamessandnowireallydontknowwhati'll-", RCW slumped forward.

This time I have to regrettably inform my readers that BM *did* scream. It was a quickly choked off scream though (if that makes it any better). "I simply detest people who mess up their punctuations and use all those acronyms", drawled Baron F as he pocketed what looked like a Beretta. BM gulped.

Saturday, June 16

In Which an Aston Martin Lost is an Aston Martin Gained

JAP and TR have been completely ignored for a bit one feels. So let us turn the spotlight of our immense fascination onto them. We left TR cowering in his seat with JAP pretending that TR was not being embarrassing, when in fact he was (y'know how those situations are, the there's-a-pink-elephant-sitting-next-to-me sort). Very. Before TR could get another word out, the car door on his side was wrenched open and a visibly flushed and breathless Ph piled in. "How could you both leave me and go? Huh?", she asked in between pants (the ones involving air and lungs, not the trouser sort). "Didn't I tell you? 'Let's leave, let's leave' I said. But oh no, we have to find pants" (the trouser sort), continued TR, still muttering defiantly under his breath. Baron JAP blustered gamely and with regrettable futility, "But beti, you know that this sort of thing is not suitable for a young, beautiful girl like you. No? Come, we don't have time to waste. So you go home and wait and we'll be back before you know it. Umm maybe you could have some hot tea waiting for us or something....." TR sank lower into his seat. Sometimes, he didn't know how Baron JAP had survived into his dotage.

Ph drew a breath, her eyes shot sparks of anger and resentment, and her bosom heaved (in an appropriately delicate (but totally non-feminine, which is not to say it was masculine-i *have* met men with heaving bosoms but that is beside the point-it was just extremely gender-neutral and very PC, by which I don't mean Phil Collins) way of course). Before she could launch into a speech on feminist rights, or even worse burn her choli, TR thought it wise to stem the flow. "Now, now, Ph darling, you know that we would love to have you with us. And I understand that RCW, your friend from childhood, your sister almost-" "Like Damon and Pythias", offered JAP in mumbled support of TR's brave attempt. "Yes, like D and P. Or even like that guy who came back as a ghost to visit his friend. Remember?" "Which one? Wasn't that D and P?" "No, of course not, my dear JAP. You have got it all mixed up. These two were Japanese. If I remember right." "Really? Japs? Hahahaha", laughed the Baron with a dash of the old Sean Connery charm of manner (really one does wonder how he made it into his dotage).

"If you've both quite finished", pronounced Ph in glacial accents, "maybe we could go and search for my friend who might be dying in a ditch for all we know?" TR had the grace to blush. The impatient tongue-clicking of Ph made both TR and JAP a tad bit nervous. "Maybe, we should just take her along", capitulated JAP (isn't it sweet how men always pretend that they have a choice?). "Fine, do whatever you want. It's your chase. I'm only in this for the ride", said TR cleverly pushing all responsibility onto JAP's shoulders (not for nothing had he slaved as a Professor for so many years). "Hey, it was your idea", protested JAP as he slid the Aston into gear and continued down the driveway.

TR's obstinate silence refusal to engage in conversation caused JAP to lapse into an ominously petulant silence. Ph, triumphantly maintained a stream of chatter (mostly reminiscing about her childhood spent frolicking with RCW around the countryside, which didn't help stem JAP's injured and now a tad bit appalled silence). They had been coursing along the highway for almost half an hour when Ph, spotting a restroom and refreshments exit yelled (over the radio, which she insisted on playing loudly - Westlife was gamely chirruping Uptown Girl at the moment to TR's acute pain and discomfort, the latter of which was exacerbated by his irresistibly flapping dressing robe attracting more than its fair share of comic attention from Ph - girls these days encapsulated TR's opinion of the situation)for JAP to stop the car. Which he almost did in the middle of the highway before TR managed in the last minute to remind him politely that they were in fact on a road populated by very many very fast-moving cars. "A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do", said Ph gaily, oblivious to the near death experience she had just survived (I have a theory that NDEs kill people by their very near-deathiness which is why there is so little verifiable evidence for or against them), "and right now this girl's gotta-" "Yes, yes, we get the picture", said TR hastily interrupting what promised to be awkward revelations. JAP pulled up at the service stop and the three of them trooped into the McD's that was flashing its message of peace, love and cholesterol bravely into the afternoon sunlight.

As the threesome disappeared through the revolving doors, a couple of girls whom we've gotten to know pretty well revolved out. RCW was by now as excited about the new car they were going to umm borrow as BM. In fact more so, cos BM seemed quite blase about the whole thing. They had been walking in the parking lot for 2 minutes (give or take - length of a minute depending on other stuff and so forth), when they both stopped short and sighed in chorus. Their eyes had almost simultaneously come to rest on a lovely little grey Aston Martin shimmering alluringly. This was it.

Thursday, June 14

In Which Wiseling Does her Bit Introducing KSA (if only I had one, sigh)

RCW hummed along with the strange music that BM seemed to prefer. The monotony of the landscape had slowly lulled her into an almost dreamlike state. She was rudely jerked out of her reverie when BM suddenly, and rather forcefully, slammed on the breaks. The silver Mercedes right behind them managed to screech to a halt, but the other cars were not so lucky. RCW turned to BM, demanding to know what the hell possessed her to do that, only to see BM staring straight ahead with her mouth hanging open. RCW followed her gaze to see what the fuss was all about, and unconsciously mirrored BM's incredulous expression.
In the middle of the road stood a magnificent white stallion, the kind you only see in the movies. Distracted by the majestic creature, RCW was jolted once again, when on looking up, she found arresting blue eyes staring into her own. Mounted on the horse was none other than, (surprise, surprise) a knight in shining armour. The wind seemed to be whipping around the pair, all in all making the scene rather cliche and surreal at the same time.
The knight slowly trotted up to RCW and charmingly extended his hand. "Good Evening, M'lady. I, your knight in shining armour, am here to rescue you from the evil clutches of...." At this, he suddenly glanced and BM and looked confused. He retracted his hand to (aristocratically, ofcourse) scratch his head, looking more and more confused.
KSA suddenly got a bright look in his eyes, (y'know.. the light bulb look,) only to slump down and exclaim, "Oh no. Not again!" At this the stallion let out a snort, turned around and began to trot away, all the while muttering about stupid humans who refused to ask for directions.
On this note, BM turned to look questioningly at RCW, and finding nothing to say that could quite fit the situation, shrugged and hit the gas. They drove off, completely oblivious to the destruction that they left in their wake.

Tuesday, June 12

In Which Suspense is Preserved At All Costs

BM and RCW raced down the highway. RCW, after a coupla hours finally screwed up the courage to ask BM, "Umm do you always drive this fast?" BM looked at her (which made RCW even nervouser, cos shouldn't BM be watching the road considering the speedo showed 120?), grinned and said, "Nope. Not always. Only when I'm driving a stolen car that I mean to ditch ASAP. Or a float on one of those Pride Parades" she added as an afterthought. "Ah-ha-ha", laughed RCW nervously. Surely, BM was kidding. She looked at BM again. Just to make sure. The slightly manic gleam in BM's eyes didn't make her feel any better. "You're kidding, arent you?" "No, course not. But don't worry. We'll ditch this one as soon's we can find an alternative. This one's a little flashy, no? What dya want to ride in next? An Aston Martin?" RCW gulped. "Umm. Can't we just like rent a car or something?" "Hahahaha. Now tell me *you're* kidding.", chortled BM, with what RCW could only think of as inappropriate hilarity. "I have *never* rented a car in my life. Haha. Rent a car, it seems." RCW was seriously worried now. Maybe this hadn't been the greatest idea. "Don't worry, kiddo. We'll be fine. If the cops follow, you just lie low. In your seat, I mean.", BM smiled at her kindly (again looking away from the road!!). "Only in case of stray bullets. But they hardly ever shoot. Just relax, OK? And don't frown, kiddo. You don't want horrid lines on your face now, do you?". RCW seriously considered opening the passenger door and jumping out. But then, considering the pros, BM seemed perfectly nice. And had a strangely reassuring air about her. Maybe it would be a good idea to stick it out for a bit?

Friday, June 8

In Which We Follow JAP and TR For A Bit

Last we knew, JAP was banging impatiently on TR's door, remember? Well, to resume the narrative from there, the door opened creakily (around ten minutes after JAP started knocking - which of course was when we were occupied discussing RCW and her exploits - these details are for the saint btw- the celluloid side) to reveal the Prof, in a ratty dressing gown-type thing (atleast there was reason to believe that the thing started its life off as a robe though one would scarce think it to look at it now) with tousled hair and a pipe stuck in his mouth (this was for ??!). "Erm", he enquired politely. "Get dressed. There has been a Crisis", yelled JAP (who had what we must confess a habit of stampeding into other people's houses yelling at them and also of pronouncing his capitals). "Erm", replied TR even more politely, allowing the distraught Baron to walk into his hallway. "RCW has run away", continued JAP sticking to the decibel level calculated to make hair raise. "Could we tone it down a notch, old chap?", asked TR in his cultured tones, "Had a rough night and I'd appreciate some sensitivity in the yelling department".

A half hour later, a much calmer JAP was settled on the sofa with a glass of port in his hand, as TR bustled around getting dressed. Or at least trying to. "Oh fuck this. We don't have time for pants. The chase is on. Let's just go before RCW beti gets further away from us". "But Professor, are you sure you want to come in just your dressing robe?", asked JAP a little hesitantly. It seemed to him that it wasn't quite the thing. "Enough with this childish need for sartorial elegance, JAP. Let's be on our way. Your car or mine?" JAP thought about the grey Aston Martin gleaming in TR's garage and the forest green Jeep in his. It didn't even deserve a passing thought. "Yours", he said gleefully.

As they pulled out of the driveway, JAP behind the wheel there was a sudden scream. "Unkel ji, don't go without me", screeched a familiar voice. "OMG", said TR, trying vainly to scrunch further into the seat and disappear. Since he hadn't yet mastered the art of becoming invisible, this didn't have a visible effect.

(To Be Continued)

Monday, June 4

In Which a New Player is Introduced (with a Bang)

RCW woke up with the sun shining in her face (which is one of the top 10 nicest ways to wake up, *I* think). She swallowed the bit of toast that she'd stolen from the kitchen and finished it up with a bar of melted chocolate from her pocket (y'know the ones that are so melted that you have to lick them off the wrapping?). She realized with a pang (at her own stupidity) that she hadn't thought to bring any water with her. She'd have to remember that for next time. Feeling quite happy overall (mainly cos of the chocolate. There's nothing like chocolate for making everything feel better - even suffocating in an air-conditionless airport with really sleazy men giving you the once over till you feel like punching their eyes out and then being assailed by what you believe is a wasp that has somehow gotten under your ankle-length skirt and proceeding to yelp and flap around (you, not the wasp) thereby attracting even more unwanted attention and almost missing your flight out of this hellhole- yeah, that's another story), she folded up her dupatta, stowed it in her bag and set off on her merry way.

By mid afternoon I'm happy to tell you that RCW was at the freeway. She had been hearing the noise of cars and trucks speeding by for almost half an hour before she caught a glimpse of the tarmac. But she was unprepared for what she saw in spite of that. The speed at which the vehicles were traveling was actually more than scary. However being a brave girl with a *lot* of gumption, she decided that the nicest thing would be to be inside one of those vehicles moving away from the blogosphere rather than standing at the side of the road, looking. She decided to hitch a ride. This is, in all cases, a very delicate venture and successes are far and few between (or few and far between). But RCW was lucky (beginner's luck it's called no?) and within 5 minutes of standing looking hopefully at passing cars did the trick. A fire-engine red BMW stopped with a screech within feet of her and the passenger side window lowered.

'Need a ride?', asked the lady who was driving, hitching her dark glasses up over her forehead. 'Umm...yes, please', said RCW hesitantly. 'Good, hop in', said Fashionable Lady with the Sunglasses and the Extremely Pretty Scarf. RCW got in to the car, feeling like she was entering a spaceship to an alien world. 'Name's Brown Magic', said the Lady, 'and boy, am I glad to get some company'. She flashed a dazzling smile at RCW. RCW gaped back at her. She could have sworn she'd seen a distinct twinkle in Brown Magic's eyes (y'know like the one in Tony Curtis' baby-blues in The Great Race? Remember?). Something told her this was going to be *quite* the ride.