I have got a confirmation to make. I’m not really a writer. Oh! but I suppose you figured that out long ago. I say this in the light of a scary incident I had a few days ago. I met an old friend from school — oh, and I mean, ‘old’ friend, because I just could not remember his name. After a pointless pretend-to-care conversation, (which one tends to have with ‘old’ friends), he jokingly ended with, “Now it’s time for you to retire”. This left me perplexed. Retire from what? I mean what do I exactly do? My career would be exactly like a Rakhi Sawant script. Not anything really there. Anyway, I ended the conversation in the usual way you end conversations with really ‘old’ friends whose names you can’t remember. I ended with, “Take care, boss”.
This remains one of the most under-utilised phrases in the English language, as it conveys the right amount of familiarity and affection, with the added bonus of you don’t have to actually remember the ‘old’ friend’s ‘damn’ name. However, his parting shot stumped me, he asked if I could help him to get a couple of tickets for the India Pakistan World Cup game in October.
I felt like slapping him immediately. I felt I needed to at least call him some choice names. But since I just couldn’t recall his original name, I just smiled and looked at the heavens. Honestly, I wasn’t prepared for, any prolonged dialogue after, “Take care, boss”.
Take Care Boss, has a finality to it, like the phrase ‘The End’. I mean how many times have you seen a movie go ‘and one more thing’ after ‘The End’ credit has rolled? I made some legitimate excuse like the ‘Girl Guides Group of Bhandup West, Mumbai’ were felicitating me on the same day. Now this was a complete bald lie. They were felicitating me the next day. No way ‘Old friend’ would know, since I was almost 60% sure he wasn’t a 13-year-old girl in the Girl Guide movement.
But that’s when the real problem started. Within the next 24 hours, I got inundated with calls, requests and demands for the tickets to the India Pakistan clash. I don’t know how this happened. People texting, insisted that I was the Chairman of the B.C.C.I. or at the very least vice-captain of India’s cricket team or that my father’s real name was Mr. Wankhede, or Mr. Feroz Shah Kotla, or perhaps Mr. Chidambaram fondly known by his mates as ‘Chepauk’.
People I swear on all things holy, which for me, at present, is my carpenter’s head, (that’s because he’s still not completed the simple task of building one cabinet) — I have no connection with Indian cricket. I did once work with ESPN Cricinfo in for about three minutes, in the recent past. Oh, and I once made 44 not out on one leg in a building competition for kids under 12, which was as recently as last year. I also sat next to Ravi Shastri on a flight, seven years ago. But that’s about it. So please don’t call or text me, and especially, no emails. For me emails without attached dirty pictures are not emails. Please leave me alone. Oh, and one more thing, ‘Take care, boss……..’ ‘The End’.
The writer has dedicated his life to communism. Though only on weekends.