Because the house wakes up in spurts, between 4 and 5:30 in the morning everyday, the house sleeps between 10 and 11 every night. So the other night was no different. Lights out at 11 and I'm lying in bed thinking of the day when I'll be allowed to sleep on my bed in my room, and not have to hear my mother snoring or waking up and watching CNBC in the middle of the night to check what price stock markets all over the world have opened at. If no man wants to marry me because all that's left of my face are a pair of dark circles around the eyes, you know whose fault it is.
Anyway, I'm quite the thinker. I can lie in bed and stare at the ceiling and draw concentric circles in my head. Sheep float in and out of them, and on some days zinger burgers on wings. I can wonder for hours whether 1 is a prime or a composite number. I can rue not having been able to figure out permutations and combinations. Or calculus. I'll turn on my side and fret over whether I'll wake up with dengue in the morning. On days I'm feeling optimistic, I think of waking up with Johnny Depp.
Continuing thus with my philosophical musings and thoughts that will change the world, I heard the sound of a motorcycle. I haven't been a fan of the motorcycle since it started being owned by men with shrunken penises and big egoes. Something was happening to this motorcycle, though - here, in front of my house, at the ungodliest hour of the night. It appeared to be growling in crescendo and pacing about in a flurry of activity. Of course, behind all devilish activities, there is a man. I held my patience for a while and lay waiting for the bike to go away. But it didn't. And then I heard a man slur and yell for a particular 'Rani'.
Now, I'm not Rani. Never was. And if your going to be a man slurring his speech in front of my house at a quarter past 12 in the night, you're pretty much trying to do the mambo on my nerves. So I got up. Giving this illustrious individual benefit of the doubt, I figured maybe he wasn't screeching at my house and calling it Rani. Maybe he wanted a neighbour. In which case I'd be happy to provide directions to the edge of eternity.
I look out the window and there he is. Going round and round in circles on the bike - like a dog looking for a good spot to poop in. By this time, I'm very very angry. He's not even bloody pretty-looking.
I'm assuming anyone who deigns to read this blog understands hindi and bangla. So I'm not going to bother to translate.
Me: Erom majhraate chNyachachhen kyano bolun to?
Drunk Dude: Raniiii-eh! Raniiii-eh ko bulaooooooo! Abhi bulaoooooo!
My Hindi. It's dynamite.
Me: Kaun Rani? Aare bhai, iNha pey koi Rani-bani nahin rehti!
DD: Raniiiiiiii-eh! Aaj mein tujhe ley ke jaooonga nahin to yehi pey jaan dey doonga Rani!!
Me: Aare ki mushkil! Hum aapko bolta hai ki iye Rani ka ghar nehi hai, aapko bishshaash kiu nehi hota?!
DD (ok, he's very very agitated now): Raniiii ko bulaooo! Abhi bulaooooo! Maar daloonga! Rani Ko BULaoooooo! Bulao bulao!
By this time, the caretaker of the building next door is up. He's not only up, he comes out with, 1. A torch [even though the street is sufficiently lit up in orange], 2. A whistle [ I haven't a clue why], 3. A stick [honest].
Old caretaker (most suspicious): Didi, apnar bondhu?
Me: Aare na rey baba! Kotha theke eshe tokhon theke Rani Rani kore chNyechiye cholechhe! Ektu dekhoon to!
The stick appears to have elicited a favourable reaction from our friendly easyrider. He's cooled down drastically, and is eyeing the caretaker warily.
Caretaker: Ui chhokra! Idhar sey jao nahin to hum poolish ko bula dega!
DD (reasonably): Mujhe sirf Rani sey milna hai.
Suddenly, it dawns upon me. My mother, pleasantly snoring at that moment, goes by the name Indrani.
Egad! Was some ugly twit half her age harbouring romantic feelings for my MOTHER?!?!?! Seething with rage, all non-violent thoughts vanished from my mind. I wanted to tear his well-oiled hair into tiny shrivels and scoop his brains out and mash them with my stilletoes.
Nudging my mother awake, I told her some crazy boy was screaming out her name.
My mother: Baaje bokish na. Ghum bhangiye dili! Thhash kore maarbo!
Ma: Uff. Choti khule maarbo, jei hok na kyano.
She sprang out of bed. When my mother is angry, she can take a hundred Saddams out of ratholes and make them pee in their pants.
Ma: Aei, ke rey tui? Bhaag ekhan theke nahole Police ke phone korbo! Darwanji aapni okhaane dNariye dNariye moja dekhchhen kyano? Maarun na dhorey!
Caretaker: Madam, maarbo?
DD: Aunty! Rani kahaan hai?
Ma (she's up in smoke. she's about to rip apart the window grill, jump out of the window and pounce on DD down below): RANI?!?! KONO RANI NEI EKHAANE! DARWANJI OR BIKE TAAKE DHORE RAKHUN TO, AMI POLICE KE KHOBOR DICHHI!
DD: No no, please! Galti ho gayi aunty. Mein shayad galat gali mein aa gaya phir.
He revs up his bike again and is gone in a flash.
Don't drink and drive. If you wake up my mother, there'll be a vision of hell you don't want to see.