Monday, June 13, 2011

Becoming superstitious

Yesterday we were fighting, the usual khit-pit.

Things like

You don't spend enough time with me!
What're you TALKING about - we just met yesterday!
That's not the point!
Look, I don't want to watch Kung-Fu Panda in 3D! My head hurts!
What about 2D, what's the excuse there?; Mall? Sunday? Crowds?
You know what..forget it...

Half an hour later he calls me back.

Do you want to watch a play?
Which one? Do you have tickets?
No, but.. The Woman in Black, epicentre, we'll get tickets..Gunjan's idea
Ankur's fiance..
Ohh. How come? Well whatever. Ok. What time.
Pick you up at 7.

Altogether less yelling. Good sign. When the three of them arrive, I'm late. I've kept them waiting. He said seven. They're here at a quarter to. I'm annoyed. And only half dressed because I'd wanted to fit in a little exercise before the play, and this moving pick-ups forward has derailed my intentions to properly sweat. Anyway. Quick bath, stairs flown down, hair uncombed, I'm panting but sat in the car and apologising to this never-met-fiance of boys friend. Usual introductory backseat noises made: Hi, hi! Congratulations! For? Ohh, Thanks! Ha ha...

The play started at 7.45. By 7.50 I was freezing and wanted to kick myself. I know from experience and previously worn layers that I freeze in movies/ plays/ auditoriums at large. Going to a movie dressed under is like going for a haircut without lenses.You'll put your glasses down. They'll chop your ears off. And you won't be able to tell how much they're taking off from the back.

Anyway. There I was, at epicentre, in my red t-shirt and shorts, sinking further into my seat, shielding myself with my useless leather bag and being too much of an icicle to focus on the actors.

The Woman in Black
(They called it The Lady in Black -- 'adaptation') was without a break. And hour and a half. I got used to the cold, re-learnt my lesson - be warm or incur the wrath of the AC gods -- and started enjoying the drama, the spooks, the imaginary marshes, the sound of horse hooves -- old horse carriages and accidents key to the play -- the spray can rolling mist effects, the possessed rocking chair, the shadows to create ghosts - altogether nice-'oh look!'-theatre props.

The interesting part came at the end; curtain call, the two actors and the woman who plays the ghost bow, chap introduces the small cast, calls the light and sound guys to come on stage and everyone has to clap again -- all that was routine.

My this semi-cultured, semi-well-travelled boyfriend tells me that in the performance of The Woman in Black that he saw in London, the ghost lady was not introduced like the rest of the cast. She doesn't come out to take a bow (nor does she wear the uncool Halloween-style mask). When the cast has been lauded and is returning to the wings, the lights and focus on the faintest shadow of a rocking chair in the corner and there she is, barely.

I loved this nugget!

What I loved more was, back at epicentre, when the lead actor got done introducing and 'giving it up' for production guys, he spoke of the jinx. Or the curse. Or whatever -- the 'untoward incidents'. How whenever this play is performed, there's always a 'mishap on set', where ever it's performed. An in fact, just three days ago, they had their own experience with this ghost of a scorned woman -- at rehearsal, one section of the set just came crashing down, broke, had to be rebuilt. Nobody got hurt. It was just odd. He told the audience to google it. I made a mental note.

We walked out of the play, four of us, comparing little notes -- were you scared? decent acting, huh? -- before conversation veered to where to have dinner. One of us was fasting - Gunjan. So we were headed to a place she could have fast-friendly food: fruits and potatoes and milk products and or tea/coffee. Sunday night meant every place was packed to the gills. But we found a spot, parked and were crossing the road when all of us found it strange that there was a horse buggy right there, in front of us. Oooh! Just like in the play, hoof sounds and all. Two comments of a how strange! and wow man! nature later we're eating inside. Soon, we're done. We're stepping outside. Someone wants ice cream. We're waiting, general chit chat. It's past 10. Another horse carriage crosses. Not such a coincidence this time. But registered nonetheless. Maybe it's just a day for horses. And for what it's worth, one guy's brought his camel, trying to make a buck offering rides. So there ARE other animals in sight. And it's not like it's snowing and this is England a century ago.

I'm dropped home. Byes said, with promises of lets do this again really soon. I don't climb the stairs but take the elevator. Desperate Housewives should start any minute. At night, whoever gets home lasts texts/ calls to say hello, home. Twenty minutes is too soon for him to be home. My phone is on vibrate. Samsung is no Nokia. It's a miracle I heard it. I answer. He's speaking in the tone he speaks in when there are people around. It's not a leisurely hello. It's a "Hi ba.. there's no need to panic but we've been in an accident... relax, we're all fine... I'm just updating you, Ankur was driving.. we were going slowly, at the u turn an SUV spun into us.. I'll call soon. We're all ok"

I'm not a panic master. But accident is accident. I 've heard the details. I am calm. I call him back to remind him to take pictures of the "totalled car" for insurance and to hear the background sounds. He does sound fine, flustered, high strung, abusive of two cop-cars that didn't stop but still, FINE.

From then I call every ten minutes. I ask if I should drive there. He says no. He's dealing with the crowds and the other car people. He'll call me back. It's under control. His father's on his way. His phone battery is at 10%. Ankur and Gunjan are okay, shaken, not injured. There's no blood. The right side of the car is badly damaged.

The next time I speak to him, the development is that it wasn't the SUV's fault. A speeding black santro shot out of one of the village roads, hit the SUV and threw it off course. The SUV then hit their car, the red hatchback, that Maruti Getz. The black Santro had driven off. No damage to the SUV, the right side of the Getz all mangled, steel in the tires.. waiting for the crane to come pick it up.

The accident was around 11 p.m. They got home a little before 2 a.m. When I speak to him, I tell him the spooky thought -- the black car, the accident.. the play.. the mishaps.. That unnerves him a little. But he can handle stupid girlfriends with nothing better to do than connect the macabre. He doesn't say anything about it to the other two.

This morning I called Gunjan. Asked how she was, made light about the fact that she must have been ravenous after her fast when she finally got home. Ha ha, she said. No, she was fine. Shoulder bruised. Couldn't sleep. And was going to work late, but was thankful that no glass had shattered, nothing major except crumpled car. Felt lucky. Said something about the apathy of Delhiites who don't stop at accidents. How she's ashamed of her city and how she's pucca going to the temple to say a thank you and offer something -- Is that superstition, too, or just gratitude? Couldn't ask if she thought it had anything to do with the play. That's just silly! Besides, the rest of the audience apart, the four of us saw The Woman in Black. In the car they were three. They're over and saved and thank god for small mercies. But now, just a little teensy weensy wimpy bit, I feel like I'm up next, like the one pending delivery report. OMG!


The Unbearable Banishment said...

Yikes. Sorry to hear of the traffic mishap. I have an irrational fear of other people behind the wheel. (Not me, of course. I'm an expert driver.) One of the primary reasons I stayed in New York for 20 years is because I didn't have to own a car.

Well done on attending a play. I saw a play on Friday night that was so bad, so dull, that I thought if this is the first play someone saw, they'd never go to the theater again.

Nimpipi said...

Well done play as opposed to well done movie, right? I've seen my share of crap plays this year. Delhi's good that way. Just two weeks ago, I saw a very bad, almost comic life story of nehru-edwina life. Theatre version of a regret purchase. Like most are. And still, I go back. Borderline aficionado behaviour, if you ask me. AND I drive!

Perakath said...

Took me by surprise halfway through the post. Glad all are right. I was in another small accident recently; don't think I wrote about it. I was sloshed but not driving: sitting in the back seat. We hit a divider. Front right of car damaged, but all ok. Luckily I knew what to do from my extensive experience with these things.

The.Mystic said...

Did you say "Macbeth" before the play?

Sorry to hear about the accident, people are still learning to drive blindfolded! Hyd, has the worst plays ever, the actors try too hard and the costumes are bad and not too mention the high prices and crappy parking. Delhi still has good plays, some hyped, but still decent and if the play really sucks, we can be delhiwallas and talk loudly on our cells ( as we are described by Northis forced to live for long years in Hyd. and have no means to get out).

Do a piece on Delhi culture please!

Pringle Man said...

this is what you do best - slice of life posts, where you play a version of yourself.

Nimpipi said...

Perakath: How many accidents are you going to be in, fool?! Seriously, funny as that last line is, stop, stop! Backseat drunk on four wheels = soooo much better than dead on 2.

Myst: Piece on Delhi. Delhi is crude and people spit. Delhi is home. The end.

Pringle: Your comments have always given me a swollen head. But you, Ma'am, are getting very, very good at the precise. I love it! Thank you. =)

Nitika said...

Anything spooky happened to you yet?
Do they have interesting plays in epicenter? I should go see considering I stay a hop skip jupm away.

I loved your summer vacation post. I went home last weekend (travelled without a ticket... waiting going upto 250! Imagine) and Shatabdi was full of the tourist party. People from Bihar Gujarat going for a holiday. Not the regular hoity-toity Chandi crowd. Anyway, glad to know you enjoyed and had fun.

Incognito said...


for example -
"Becoming superstitious"
posted by Nimpipi at 4:11 PM on 13 Jun, 2011

"'How I spent my summer vacations'. Single spaced and gushy-gushy."
posted by Nimpipi at 4:11 PM on 11 Jun, 2011

now what are the odds? eh?

further -
throw in a bit of numerology and we get 4+1+1=06 Jun=06 11+2+0+11 =6

(aint I Ramsay in the making :D)

Or you could just blame it on the khit pit :D.

Nimpipi said...

Nitika: Nothing spooky yet. Unless getting a job counts:P.

Epicentre's always got decent stuff on. Except that I never learn, it makes so much more sense than trekking all the way to the habitat centre. Join mailing list?

I never have the balls to travel without a ticket! I hear these stories from my friends of staying locked up in the train ka loo to avoid TT and all. Hats off to you. Home for the weekend must've been a good change. Sahi :)

Incog! Bhai, what a brilliant observation! :D How did you even see it? Yes, yes, you're a total Ramsay! Moonlight as a numerologist, I say. Most impressive! Wonder what it means. Am I haunted?

Sanchari said...

I had a similar experience with "The Haunting of the Hill House" (the 1959 Shirley Jackson novel, not the movies that were based on it). However, I am saving that one for a Halloween post later this year.

I sure hope nothing is in store for you. But if something does happen, you will update us, won't you? (by the way, congrats on the new job! This calls for a new post! :P)

The.Mystic said...

Nice work! :P

Nitika said...

You've got a job? WOW! And here I was thinking it's fun to quit and stay unemployed for sometime. I wish I could but I got to pay my lawyer's fee. You know how they suck every penny out of you. LOL.
Maybe someday. I live in hope.

Travelling without a ticket isnt that big a deal. I mean if you're ready to pay the fine (twice the ticket price) then there is no need to avoid the TTE. I told him I didnt have a ticket, paid the fine and got the seat. All this before the train reached sabzi mandi :) I did however avoid him till the train left NDLS. you know, just to be on the safer side. Uske baad toh kya hi utarta woh :p

I think what also helped was that I take the Delhi-Chd Shatabdi very often. Like once every two weeks. So there might have been a little recognition on the TTE's part too. He's checked my ticket numerous times before.

Ellie said...

Why can't they get the temperature right in those places?!!!!

At least the accident wasn't that you froze to death!

Glad the reverberations of the accident seem minor enough (a blog post and some jitters, I imagine.)


Nimpipi said...

Sanchari: Will wait for your Halloween post then. In the meantime I'll download the book on my la dee dah kindle and see agar mere rongte khade hao jaatein hai -- i.e if I get goose pimples. Of course, I'll update! Iss what I live for:))

Yea. That job. Sheesh. Monday's my first day. Mixed feelings. Mostly relief though. Post coming up as soon as I find those damn papers and tick them off in that a to j list of documents they need. Whaddabore!

Myst: Hah. Yea. I'm a wizard :)

Nitika: Tsk. Iss too bad. Hang in there. If need be, I know some decent divorce lawyers. Don't ask me how. But if ever you need some, oh I don't know, references?, I have lawyer friends -- Perakath for one -- who in turn have better lawyer friends who will know... you know how it goes. I also have a handful of battling-it-out non-lawyer friends taking/been taken to the cleaners. Just saying. So if need be...

Surplus information: I have this one friend who's skin is GLOWING one year after her divorce! She's travelling and exercising, meeting new people, cracking jokes about herself, has a new job and mention of the harami ex doesn't bother her anymore. Happy days ahead. Just you see. xx

It IS fun to quit and stay unemployed for sometime. The sometime becomes too much time when people you meet say, oh right, you're still doing doing nothing.. how's that working for you? Bitches, all.

P.S: Still admiring the ticket-less brazen-ness! :)

Ellie: Close shave, I tell you (with the death freeze). And I'm feeling a bit cheated of my spooks, frankly. I waited and I waited and I even crossed a black cat and NOTHING HAPPENED! Phhhrbht! Stupid universe and its empty threats...

Anonymous said...

Sigh if only I knew what that meant.

Heh, all this while you were giving me company - you were not the only one who was on a sabbatical which by popular belief means doing nothing.

So did you find a job where they let you cook in olive oil all day long? :P

Incognito said...

Ps. Anon = Incog

Sorry for the inconvenience. stupid mouse has a mind of its own.

Sanchari said...

Rongto ka pata nahi..but I had a nasty day-mare when I dozed off reading the book mid afternoon in my office. I am pretty sure the book was responsible.

Aah, kindle! I am still debating about investing in one. I am more of the "lets get those paperbacks and hardcovers on my shelf, where I can look at them and feel good about myself" kind of person.

Your first day is going to be great, submission of boring documents aside. Awaiting that post.