Friday, April 4, 2008

Autobiographical Stuff

I read a blog, the NITK Numbskull's page which chronicled that blogger's tribulations because of a highly defective memory. I immediately remembered an anecdote.

Now a word about my pathological need for chipping in with anecdotes. No doubt due to some grim incident in my childhood now residing only in the subconscious, I feel compelled, every now and then, to narrate an incident from my past which highlights the point I have been listening to. It is usually boring, often pointless and almost always jazzed up. After I've said it or posted it, I feel like an ass, but the next minute I'm ready with another one. And occasionally someone will recount that anecdote to me after several years and I have to use considerable histrionic talent to conceal my bewilderment. If we had a family escutcheon the motto would be "Naren, shut up".

So I'm going to give it up for ever and ever and ever. Just one last one, please, pretty please, I'll never do it again, whine, whine, whine. Ok? Oh thank you, thank you....

The story I'm about to narrate happened way back in the 80s when, a slender lad of some 18 summers, I had managed to acquire a driving license. The old pater familias issued a stern ban on any kind of charioteering save for the purpose of extracting the pride of our possession, Premier Padmini 82 model, from the parking slot onto the lane outside. But I have a sweet and obliging mom and I would wangle permission to take it out for spins in the afternoon when my dad, a doctor, had his siesta.

One day I took it to the market near the railway station, to drop a "friend" (no, ain't confessing nothin) and stood chatting with her. Eventually she hopped on to a train and I turned back. And what should drive up just then but a BEST bus, life line of Mumbai which, for the trifling sum of 50 paise would drop me home. I hopped in, reached home and got down to life in general. Soon it was time for dad to go to his clinic and, finding the key on the key rack where I had absentmindedly deposited it, went out to find his balance sheet shy of one item namely Car, sparingly used.

It was stolen, surely! A quick search of the neighborhood, with me leading from the front, revealed no trace of it and we decided to report it to the police station. On our way there, we found our car nicely parked and free of all injuries and evidence of mishandling. I was there, of course. I got an earful. The old dad is by way of being a Gandhian so there was no abuse or violence, but the general tone of his voice (God, what did I do to deserve this) was punishment enough. And the worst punishment of all was the enthusiasm with which this anecdote was recounted by aunt to aunt and from cousin to uncle, with a great deal of delight in the fact that Naren had finally flipped it.

There. My last anecdote for the foreseable future. I shall only talk about the state of the economy, or social issues far removed from any possible anecdotes.

The market is down 500 points. Reminds me of the time I......


Anonymous said...

lol.. very funny.. but I think I went one better...

The first time I took my cycle to school, I promptly walked back home.. searched for it the next day when it was time to leave...

Dont stop your anecdotes..

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Wow! YOU DROVE A CAR AT EIGHTEEN TO THE RAILWAY STATION?? Some guts! I can't handle my scooty properly! Should learn, I guess. :o

Praveen Krishnan said...

Hahaha :-)
Hilarious!!! I have done this with a cycle, but then, was quick to rectify the damage. :-)

It would have been great to see your family's reaction when you end up doing something like this :-)

Anonymous said...

Pls pls pls dont stop the anecdotes. They have a right to be heard, you know.

Now, chop chop..onto the next one.

Unknown said...

Hahahaha, this was still a car. My very absent-minded uncle once went to the market with my aunt. She prompty went to her tailor's to pick up some clothes and he went to the bookshop, bought a book, got the car out of the parking and drove home, forgetting the aunt behind. He didn't realise his folly until the aunt came back home huffing and puffing in an auto and mad as hell. It's still a standing joke in the family.

And plisss not to be stopping the anecdotes. They prove the wisdom of your grey hair. :P

rads said...

Naren: I have rightly crowned you the "king of anecdotes" - ah to be so rich that you can continue to regale from personal experiences!


Preeti said...

Im the anecdotes kind too...i HAVE to use an example in a conversation. Like if someone is upset over a lover's tiff, I'd go,"Sameeeee thing happened to me. He said this and I said that and..." I guess even if i didn't have a parallel example from my life, i'd sit, think and draw out an anecdote to recite the next time!

And now all my friends know my ishtories and go (just as u said), "Preeti, shut up!"

I think it's an inbuilt trait. Try as u may u wouldn't be able to stop. So, methinks u should just let it be!

Anonymous said...

that was probably the funniest of yours i've read so far ( among all the ones in ok's, drenched's, and bpsk's blogs).

So, even i would say, "Naren, don't stop!"


Bhel Puri & Seekh Kabab said...

"If we had a family escutcheon the motto would be "Naren, shut up"." - and the shield would feature a Shrek rampant, with arms akimbo, saying those words.

I don't understand why you feel embarrassed or guilty about sharing anecdotes. Granted, they don't have that certain philosophical zing that Kierkegaard provides, but hear me when I tell you this, they are a lot more fun.

p.s. why do I feel like the guys standing outside a temperamental Bollywood movie star's tent, begging him to come out, and assuring him that he is in fact much appreciated? :p


Let me chip in with my two cents' worth - please do not stop narrating these anecdotes. Thery are real fun. I would love to tell you how my husband left me behind and rode off on his Lambretta, all the while talking to me who he imagined was on the pillion. My only consolation - that my weight must have been so insignificant that he did not know the difference

Roop Rai said...

lol :)

although i'd mention that i was barely crawling in 80z when you'd already lived 18 summers. just to remind you of ur grey hair. hee hee hee only joking. fab blog. will visit again.

Unknown said...

@vijay - Thanks for your kind words.

@lakshmi - Back then, railway stations - indeed, even the most crowded of places - were nothing like they are today. I remember parking in the market and having narial pani with friends, without once getting honked at.

@praveen - The family's general reaction to most of my doings is one of fatalistic resignation. The Hindu religion is great in that respect. You can blame anything on sins of a past life.

@cw - Thanks. Chop chop it is.

@drenched - You and your grey hair! I'm just out of my teens, I say. Just the other day, my doctor told me that for a man of 43, I have the vim and vigor of man of 60.

I'd never have the guts to try your uncle's stunt with Sheela. I'm sure to end up missing a few body parts.;)

@Rads - I like YOUR anecdotes better. The one about your hands locked behind your back? I've been dining out on the strength of that one!

@preeti - Ah! Kindred soul! That's exactly how it is.

@gradwolf - Thanks!

Unknown said...

@bpsk - LOL at the 'temperamental Bollywood movie star'! I guess I was fishing for compliments a bit.

Thanks for reassuring me about the anecdotes.

@raji-LOL at continuing that conversation!

@roop rai - Grey hair! grrrr! ;)

Cynic in Wonderland said...

..sigh, the husband used to regularly forget that he had one femme along .. so car is not so bad.

he would stride ahead ( hes half a foot + taller than moi) and then look around with a bemused air of "darn there was SOMETHING with me, wonder what it was"