Friday, August 27, 2010

The Legend of Phekaparambil: Before Dark

Okay, before I begin this post, let me remind you that I never publish a post about Phekaparambil without his permission. And all the characters in this story are assuredly perfectly cool about whatever I've written, so don't get worked up. If you have a feeling that you are about to get worked up, then read this after that feeling passes.

I have not been in Mumbai for quite a few months now. Resultantly, I’ve missed out on the recent happenings in the area I stay. I had gone to visit my parents some months back. Apparently, the builder of our housing society has built another housing society with a similar name in the same area. Earlier on, we had the problem of letters and couriers reaching the wrong building in the correct society. Now we have the problem of them reaching the correct building in the wrong society. When I went home one evening, mom told me that a parcel had wrongly reached us, and it should in fact have reached the same building and block number in the other society. Coincidentally, mom, because of all the haldi-kunku sessions, happened to know that a newly married couple had recently shifted in that flat. The guy worked in a call center and worked in night shifts, and the girl was looking out for a job. Mom asked me to go there and hand over the parcel to them. It was around 8:00 p.m. when I reached their flat.

I rang the doorbell. There was no answer. I rang the doorbell again. No answer. I rang the doorbell again. No answer. I rang the doorbell again. No answer. I rang the doorbell again. No answer. I rang the doorbell again. No answer.

I was about to turn around when I heard footfalls from the other side of the door, so I stayed put. The door slowly opened. The cold air of a centralized A.C. streamed out. Then I saw the face of the guy who’d opened the door. It was my old friend Phekaparambil! He had a towel around his waist and was sweating profusely. The red, angry face of his wife briefly appeared from beyond a wall to check out who was at the door. I greeted both of them with a very broad smile.

Upon seeing me, Phekaparambil's reaction was similar to what you see in the following video.

A bit out of breath, Phekaparambil said, “Mohit! this time?...umm..I mean…good to see you after so long…umm…how did you find me?…I mean the nameplate still has the surname of my landlord…see? It says ‘Mahadik’…need to change it…”

The reason behind that long monologue from him was that I was chuckling all that while. I handed him the parcel, and while on my way back, I took a look at the nameplate and replied, “Why change such a nice nameplate?”


triShie said...

*waves hello*
...what's a "haldi-kunku" session? :D

Mohit said...

*hello Trish* :) Thanks for the comment. Haldi-Kunku is an old tradition in the state of Maharashtra in India (where I come from). It's an event where a lady plays the host and other ladies of the area or housing society are invited so everyone can catch up. Some gifts are also probably exchanged. Very traditioanl stuff. Haven't really been to one because its a ladies' thing. Does not happen often these days because a good pecrntage of ladies in India work these days.

triShie said...

thanks for the explanation! sounds like a wonderful tradition. when women get together, it's never a dull moment of chatters! sorry it's not really practised anymore, but i'm sure ladies still get their own versions of "haldi-kunku" going! :)

Mohit said...

Still happens, though not often anymore. A good place for all the female gossips :)