Saturday, April 29, 2006
Adventure on a pleasant and normal Bombay evening
It’s such a normal pleasant evening by the sea. Mom, Dad and I slouch back on our deck chairs on the balcony as we sip our sundowners. Dad has poured himself a whisky, I’m having a feni and soda and my mother is enjoying a local red wine. Red wine, she claims, is good for her asthma and her heart.
So we’re talking about this and that when I see a shadowy form flit across the tiled floor. It scurries in a zig zag fashion towards me and before I know it my legs are in the air to avoid the wretched creature. Long before I know what the hell it is my brain has informed me it’s a roach and has done its usual hysterical act. Luckily the roach which seems just as hysterical has zig zagged faster than Michael Schuhmacher towards my mother who is so surprised at the thing brushing past her feet that she goes “Eeeeek!” And she prizes herself on being so calm and nonchalant in the presence of cockroaches and laughs about me being the scaredy puss!
So anyway Roachboy, intent on saving his own life takes off for some dark corner where he presumably gets lost and we forget about him and get back to chatting about what’s been happening generally, about the traffic problem and about Mahajan’s state of health and other stuff, when my mother picks up her glass, inspects it, smells it, gets up casually and goes into the drawing room and looks into her glass carefully again, by the bright light indoors.
“What?” I ask her and my worst fears are confirmed.
“Cockroach,” she says – and I must say she is very calm and tranquil as she breaks this news to me. “That darned insect must have fallen into my glass.”
I am flabbergasted. When?! How! We were all there and none of saw anything! Anyway it’s happened and there’s nothing to be done about it except to pour out the remaining wine, rinse out the glass and pour in some fresh wine. “I smelled something funny,” Mother says. “It didn’t smell like wine any more and I had a strong suspicion the cockroach must have tumbled in. It’s happened once before. Cockroaches like red wine too, apparently.”
I ask her, “Did you drink any of the wine after the creature fell in?” And mom shrugs. In her usual pragmatic manner she says, “I don’t know. But I’m glad it was one of the cheaper Indian wines. Imagine how much worse it would have felt to have to toss out a glass of expensive, imported Shiraz or something else!”