There was a book meet in IHC (India Habitat Centre). I was in class 9th perhaps. My English teacher had accompanied me and we were discussing R K Narayan’s works. Towards the end, we all were asked to come up with some funny anecdote. So this was mine. I have a habit of storing everything, however trivial. This is one of those.
“Autograph! Please, oh, please!” and I pitied on the little being craving to possess it. Thronged by students and people from all sides, I was actually sandwiched between my bodyguards. Out of the blue, came a reporter with the respect and elation one feels on encountering someone great and lord-like. “This book, please, sign it ma’am,” and as my hand moved over the soft cover of my own book, people cheered enthusiastically. Just then, I felt a nagging pain at my nape, I was about to warn my bodyguards to take care that the crowd doesn’t get the better of them, when there was a huge thud and reproaches. My eyelids heavy, somehow I managed to open my eyes and instantly my hand rose to shield my face from the fierce sun. Suddenly I recognized the all-too-familiar voice of Mum and when my hips began to ache, I found I had fallen out of my bed. Damn! It was wretched Monday! Hateful Monday! Maddening Monday! Why did this fateful day have to arrive? But not a single scream of my inner self reached mum who never spared a single opportunity to reprimand me of my worthlessness and hopelessness. Sweet Saturday and Sunday had flown off, as if. All my homework and learning work remained pending. Head heavy with Mum’s scoldings and pending work and what-nots and cursing everybody in sight, I reluctantly stood up wavering, reached the washroom and started applying Dad’s shaving cream on my toothbrush.