I didn`t believe when it happened in Mumbai. I didn`t believe when it happened in Gujarat. Now, that it has happened in Chennai and I have experienced it, I believe in life after rains a la life after death.
The last few days have seen unprecedented rains in Chennai. Unprecedented is the wrong word but I am using it because when it rained in my city last, my grand pa was in my great-grand ma`s womb.
Like I was saying, Chennai has got 30 centimeters of rain in the last two days. Some say it is low pressure over the Bay of Bengal which has resulted in the rain. The more intelligent – like the weathermen – say “Though our records show that the best days for a downpour are Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays…God only knows from where these rains came.”
I say my life has changed because now I can`t get out of my house without becoming a canvas for all those artistic Chennai residents. Last evening, a speeding car splashed a Picasso like free-wheeling art on my white shirt. Before I could thank the car driver, he sped away.
Even as I surveyed the free-wheeling art all over me, I realized I was not alone. There was competition – almost everybody in Chennai was turning into an artist. Well, if not the artist, at least the canvas. Copy cats, I tell you.
A dejected me walked up to the autorickshaw driver and asked: “Sir, can you drop me at my office – Satyam City Center – in Sholinganallur.”
“What can you give me in return?” The driver seemed a hard bargainer.
“You tell me. You definitely know the market better.” The first lesson in negotiation is, ‘never quote first`. What if you quote first and undercut yourself?
Â “Rs 100?”
“No. I will settle for your washing machine.”
I was shocked. “Are you charging me my washing machine for a trip that would otherwise have cost me Rs 50?” I asked.
“Yes!” The driver knew he had the upper hand.
The sarcastic me took over and I said: “Why don`t you take my refrigerator? I bought it only recently, and anyway it costs more than the washing machine.”
The auto driver said: “That`s fine sir. I already got a refrigerator from the earlier customer.”
I decided to walk down the wild side. When I am angry, I can really walk a long distances. The other day I was angry with Rekha and walked all the way to our mailbox to pickup our mail.
As I was saying, I rolled up my sleeves…only to realize that rolling up ones sleeves during rains is of no use….rolled them down again…and rolled up my trousers …and started walking. After three hours I reached office. The mood was upbeat.
I saw Rosy the pretty girl staring at her computer. “What happened?” I asked her.
“I had to sell my jewellery to reach office.” She seemed pretty dejected. The good Samaritan in me tried to cheer her up but it didn`t work.
As a last resort, I said: “At least, you have a nice home to go back to. Think of all those homeless people suffering in the rains.”
“Ohh…I forgot to tell you, while I sold my jewellery to reach office my husband sold our house!”
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