Sleep sometimes refuses to come. Sometimes it feels like trying on an old blouse, now two sizes smaller. Its a stubborn effort, its painstakingly long and it is a grim reminder of the forgotten resolutions. kale, my ass.
I lay, eyes closed forcing all my fatigue to my brain. I was not dropping hints anymore. This was the romance less, “You, me, here and now” rendition.
I kept waking up throughout and my alarm went off at 5am. Relieved, I took a shower. At least now, there was no pressure to sleep.
Sleep eyed, I sat beside Jigi’s brother in the car, as he drove. I kept talking to keep myself awake at the expense of his divided attention. In the bus stand, we waited for Jigi to arrive, whatever time we had, we hunted for tea, drank coffee, he smoked a cigarette while I tainted his early morning cigarette experience ( if there is one? I dont know. What is the fuss all about? The entire trip, right? The exhale, the little masturbation exercise of watching the smoke drift by, like life, one cigarette at a time.)
Bored, we went back to the parking lot and waited in the car, watching a particularly charismatic Indian journalist turned entertainer yelling on national television. On a news channel. His familiar voice calmed my nerves. The senseless pride we feel at showing a friend the big garbage dump in the neighborhood was replicated. Come, see, here is India’s finest entertainment, disguised as news.
*Preach Begins*You watch some people do somethings not because there is any intellectual value in it, but only and only because, there is a shock factor to it, which when not coupled with brutality, is entertaining in healthy doses. *Preach Ends*
Arnab Goswami was the shock factor that refused to wear off. He was slow, killing, numbing and always, the entertainer. I let go. Entertain me, Arnab.
It was hot and comfortable inside the car and I was getting sleepier, in spite of the unnecessarily high pitched and dramatic narration by Arnab. Yes, Arnab. No, Arnab. Whatever, Arnab. No Arnab, a questioning is not reasoning. Reasoning results from… Alright, sorry Arnab. I will shut my mouth. Your show. Shame on me.
Jigi called. He was here. We pick him up.
Jigi eases into the backseat wearing a grey T shirt and all the misery of Chennai on his face. He shuts the door and says “Roll it”.