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The Chetak Diaries – Part II, Year 1998.

The Chetak Diaries – Part II

Scene 1: He took an elaborate drag and smoked out a big cloud of smoke. Something he spoke to his friend cut that cloud of smoke and pierced all the way through as we stood a little ahead in that bus stop. We three of us abruptly stopped talking about inane things at school and heard him. “There’s a nice scene in that… They will make out in the car… They show their hands like never before… every single finger of the hero is between the fingers of the heroine in that car. There’s so much of heat that the car is filled with steam. ”

“What are you saying… they have not cut out the scene from the theaters . Papers said the movie has been running since almost a year…! I have not seen yet” said his friend, also smoking a beedi.

We three school kids stared at each other in awe and we knew what to do next. We dumped all kinds of discussions about school and the new girl in the class we individually admired but collectively hated. We now brainstormed as to how to get our parents to take us to watch that new movie.

After around half an hour of brainstorming in the bus-stop, one of us had a valid doubt. He said “Oye… But what is the name of the movie ?”

We made our way through that cloud of smoke like three musketeers, with backpacks and water bottles. “Uncle, what is the name of that movie ?” I asked to the shocked and stiff look of that beedi guy. Beedi guy, part 2 also gave a stare like his guru. Then both of them smiled a little wickedly and pointed at a wall which had a poster of a boy, just a few years older than us, resting his chin over the neck of a beautiful lady who looked much older to that boy.

There was a Giant ship which took up the rest of the poster. Now we knew :).

Scene 2: “Appa, we have an assignment for this week. For the Monday’s class, we have to write an essay and it has to be based on a movie.” I said to my father while he washed his  Chetak.

“What. What kind of assignment is that. Stop cooking up stuff and go back inside” he groaned.

“No no Appa, really. Social Studies teacher has given that assignment. We have to watch a foreign language movie and write 500 words about it. Its an essay question Appa. She did not write the question on the board.

Or else I would have showed you. We have to write about the countries, rivers, oceans, era and the kind of culture they had. Its for History and Geography together.”

His angered look was now somewhat turning into a suspicious look, he continued washing his Chetak without saying anything for the next 45 seconds. Yes, every second counts when the conversation is with your father. “OK, sounds good. I will play a couple of movies from the collection of movies I have on video tape. You can select between Chaplin, Laurel Hardy or wait, you liked that Honey, I Shrunk the kids; you can choose whichever you want out of the three.”

Oh Boooogers . That, I DID NOT expect. Chaplin. Come on. What am I… Eleven . I was Twelve now. Not a kid anymore. I had to give a final try so I hurriedly ran inside and got my notebook. Showing my notebook, I gave my final try “Appa, the teacher suggested that we watch this movie for the assignment.”

He looked at the book and said “This. We already saw that 2 months back. You slept throughout the movie.

You had slept even before we entered the cinema hall and never woke up till the last 15 minutes. Don’t you remember. Watch some other movie from the video collection we have at home”

WHAT. I spun around my world for the last several hours trying to convince him to take me to a movie, which I had already been to. I would actually be banned in class if I ever mention that I slept through this movie and missed the car scene. I swore to not tell them, ever !

“You said Social Studies assignment right. Then why have you written the name of the movie in Art and Crafts book ?” he asked while he pointed his sharp sight right to my eyes which was a signal that I better answer fast or I would be run over by his Chetak !

“I had forgotten my Social Studies notebook Appa. And Crafts book is anyway always empty. So I used it” and then I added my punch-line with an extra-powerful sympathetic look “don’t you trust me Appa ?” End of Discussion/Suspicion !

Scene 3: “Jack, I want you to draw me like one of your French girls” the heroine says “Wearing this” as she points to a stunning big diamond necklace.

“Alright” says that boy as he explores that diamond.

And then she adds to it with a heavy whisper, but loud and clear “Wearing ONLY this !” and then the stupid boy finally looks at her, and his pupils dilate a little !

I would have whistled if my dad wasn’t sitting next to me in a fully packed Cinema hall. At least, I would have just howled like a wolf, because whistling is something I was yet to learn then. (And yet to learn now. ) But I stayed shut and watched in awe. But the next thing I see, scene is over.

Bajaj Chetak

Damn. All they showed was a little of the sketching that he scribbled, and even that, in just parts !

A lot of other things happened later and they had now entered a dark place with full of cars and other heavy shipments. I was sure the beedi guy was referring to THIS. The Car scene was about to start.

They enter the car, they get so close that the boy is almost breathing the leftover breath of the gorgeous Aunty. And the frame immediately changes to their hands hitting on the steamy rear glass of the car and in no time they’re running around the ship and the glacier hits the damn ship. That’s it.

You kidding me. Anyway, Good. This stupid ship deserves to sink. Or the people who have managed to cut all the critical scenes deserve to be hit by that glacier !

Scene 4: As we were riding back in our Bajaj Chetak, I felt a sense of pride that I had achieved something. I started to like the movie bit by bit as I tried to recall the good scenes like the one with dolphins swimming with the majestic ship. Felt the same heavy breeze against my face as my father rode the Chetak, I was waving my arms all around just like the boy and the aunty did on the tip of their Ship…!

My dad’s Chetak was good enough for me. At least it won’t sink !

Bamm. Before I could realize what happened my right hand had hit a van and I fell out of the scooter. No idea what happened after that. Hours after, I woke up in a Satan’s Den, which was otherwise referred as a Clinic.

My hands were plastered.  I had got my First Fracture. Appa was staring at me with THAT look. Oh damn. I turn around and there she is. Even mom had turned up out of nowhere. I am as good as a dead rat now. Anyway, this phase will soon pass and I might get my share of sympathy ice cream, or so I wished !

As usual, I sat sandwiched between Appa and Amma in the scooter. Appa said “You can’t write the assignment now. I will come speak to your teacher tomorrow at school that you couldn’t write the essay because of the fractured hand. Or I will tell her to ask you the Historical and Geographical details you observed in the movie. You can answer orally.

She’ll understand. Don’t worry. Sit tight without moving now”. I have a strong feeling he said that with a wicked smile,  which I obviously couldn’t see !

Oh Crap !

End of Part II

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