It takes a certain ability and concerted efforts over a period of time to build up an awe inspiring mess. And to live in it with attitude!
No, I was not wandering lonely as a cloud, when I saw a pair of shoes and a half, (three shoes, to be precise), empty cardboard boxes of Dominos’ Pizza lying on top of some shabby under garments, dog-eared books, towels in a colourful disarray, a basket of shelled peas, peeled potatoes, on a table and the peels on the floor, which also happened to be the dirtiest one could see at a glance.
And let me confess, I indeed am guilty of resorting to hyperbole at times, and hadn’t Wordsworth also reportedly seen ten thousand daffodils at a glance? Believe me, there is no hyperbole here!
I was just heading out for my morning walk when a strong odour assaulted my nostrils. It was coming from the flat next door, where I was told, four or five students lived. But every day, I could hear the rumblings of a violent storm there, and more than a dozen boys trooping out at all odd hours.
I turned away sheepishly, afraid that they would see me peeping into their room and I was no octogenarian bodybuilder who could ward off their attack by beating the intruder with a broom or whatever was handy. Just the other day, I had read of an eighty two year old feisty woman, Willie Murphy of Rochester , New York , who had clobbered a burglar who did not know she was a very active, award- winning body builder with nerves of steel, who could lift 102 Kgs and could also do one-handed pull ups and push ups. “He picked the wrong house to break into,” she had quipped to the journalists later.
But I had not picked any house to break into, the flat just happened to fall into my line of vision and the odour just wafted from there to hit me bang on my nose!
“Dammit! You are staying in a house, yeh tumhara ghar hai, not a stable. Do you think all this stink and mess is awesome?”
I whirled around to see who this sane voice was, only too glad to turn away from the insanity that I had just glimpsed.
“Good morning, madam,” a dapper, handsome boy greeted me with a very warm smile, peeping apologetically into the room and shrugging.
“It is you who create all the mess here, you and your stinking shoes!” One sleep- laden voice was shouting.
“And your socks, how they stink! Have you forgotten that?” Another voice, but of a boy who was fully awake, and frowning, crinkling his nose and jitterbugging all over the room.
“It was you who ordered that pizza. I never enjoy pizzas. Give me a homemade parantha any day.”
“That reminds me, there is stinking mess in the kitchen. Who was supposed to carry the garbage bag out?”
“Whoever heard of shoes lying on a table? And such huge size eleven shoes.”
“Awesome, are they not?”
I stood disoriented outside my flat, as these accusations and counter accusations fell into my ears from the flat next door. It was as if a stable full of riotous horses had taken it into their heads to neigh at the same time.
Trying to steer me away from the noise and odour emanating from the flat, the boy who had just arrived on the scene, tried to make small talk, after he had hurled rebukes, reprimands and exhortations at the roomful of his ragamuffin friends in the stinking space which they called home.
“We are getting late for the class. Get ready, quick!” he shouted to his friends and turned to me.
“Madam, you had once come to our college for a poetry workshop, and you wrote a poem on the word ‘Awesome’, at the spur of the moment, it was hilarious. You had the class in splits, when you recited it. You poked such a lot of fun on the way we use the word awesome, that I have not used the word Awesome, since then.”
“Yes, madam, never!”
“That is aw…amazing, I mean,” I said, almost scampering out into the fresh air, still awestruck at the awe-inspiring mess created by my enlightened neighbours. It takes a certain ability and concerted efforts over a period of time to build up such a mess. And to live in it with attitude!
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