It was in 2012 I came to Chennai. It was a new world to me, fresh in every sense. I was like a trapped rat which is confused what to do. And Chennai was like a real got girl as she is always. Slowly I started loving this city. It took more than 2 month for me to get a proper living place. This house was 2 km inside from the heart of the city. We can’t call it a proper city but an upgrading one with the money of techies.
So let’s get back to home. This one is at the end of a street and of 3 floors. Ground floor was occupied by a family and we got the top floor which kisses the sky. And the first floor!!! There lived a guy whom we are now going to call Retired lieutenant colonel Mr.Uncle. He was our house owner. You might have seen many retired and aged army men in movies. If so then my task of his narration is half done. Obviously he was totally like every other retired army men. He always wore half trousers and T-shirt (bought from Kashmir or China border may be, he says so). He had a cooling glass which he never remove even at stormy rain or at sleep (our belief). And his moustache!!! Oh god, it was curved up till his nose and covered half of his eyes. If you just see him after breakfast then you can see half of the dosa hanging on the moustache. He gets angry easily but heart full of love. The only problem is stories, of Couse army stories of his service time. If it starts then you will have to wait until the end where you have you to clap and paste a smile on surprise on your face. Else you will have to die shot by his gun which he says given by a Pakistani soldier. Believe it else you are dead. I can write a lot more if I continue to describe him. So let’s get into the stories soon. I will tell two of them now.
Story number 1:
It was a weekend. As many of you knows, we techies sleep only in weekends. But here he comes our villain. We will be sleeping like sloths covering top to bottom with the bedsheets which we wash once in a year. He will come early morning and attack the room. Then he will kick your butts and you will loose connections of your dreams. You will get angry enough to kill him with NK 47. But you can’t. So what you do is show up your damn face with a gentle smile and say as a Corus – “good morning uncle”. Unfortunately we had to say this every weekend mornings. One day he come as usual and woke us up. I was about lip-lip of an unknown girl of my dreams. Lost it!!!
He started story telling. Our door opens to the terrace. He took us there and asked ‘what you see there my dear boys?’. I tried to raise my head and looked at where he pointed his finger. I opened my sleepy reddish eyes widely. Nothing I saw there. There was big ground which looks like it was an old paddy field at its young time. Also there were few cows searching for fresh grass and birds flying as if they don’t have any work at all. I thought to tell him these but controlled remembering the Pakistani gun. I smiled and asked ‘what’s there uncle?’. He was pointing the long and higher wall that separates the field from a college ground. And he said its not simple wall but china border. What to do, admit whatever it is. Then he said a story. He was serving our country as a junior soldier that time. His posting was near to a forest at China border. In his words Chinese soldiers are very good people. Because they use their guns only to shoot birds and sometimes just to show they are alive when they get real bored. Wow, that’s great. But one day they showed the real face. One day suddenly they crawled into Indian border without any invitation. Then started firing at our camps. It was early morning and uncle was sleeping. My mind voice said ‘even we were sleeping man, now you are our Chinese soldier’. So uncle’s team got alerted and fired back. But Indians were not prepared and so struggled a lot. Uncle said he was hiding in an underground trench which was covered by leaves and white sacks. Suddenly there were some movements above the trench. Some noises as if someone is crawling above the trench. Uncle shot at where the sound came from. It was not the enemy but a big snake danger enough to kill a man. The dead snake fell into the trench and uncle threw it out with bare hands. We tried to believe. This is all fine, but what he said next was horrible. Chinese soldiers got scared and few of them ran back. Uncle and his friend were standing behind a big tree and the real enemy entered a big white snow bear. It came running towards them. Uncle’s friend ran for his life (he wantedly said that that guy was a keralite, now this is a small gun shot on our head. Anyways we had to believe.). So now uncle is face to face with the bear. You can remember the Leonardo DiCaprio’s fight with bear in “The revenant” movie ( DiCaprio, forgive me). Uncle was confused what to do. Suddenly he remembered his grandma’s words which she told when he was a kid. She said ‘if a bear attacks you, then lay down like dead and the bear will go away ‘. Uncle said he did the same. Surprisingly bear didn’t say a single word and ran back. We all forgot our sleep and stood shocked by his story. Now fortunately aunty called him. Uncle was scared at aunty more than the bear, so he had to go. We were damn hungry and left for breakfast too.
NOTE: I doubt that he might have told any of his stories to the bear also. That’s why it ran for its life.
Story number 2:
It was in the end of 2012 when Chennai had to face a bad storm and many fishermen in ‘Mahabalipuram’ died. That day offices were closed early noon and we headed home. Whole day it stormed badly and we sat in the room shutting down all windows and doors. Still the wind penetrated and peeped through every possible hole with a horrible whistle sound. And somehow it got darkened and the storm became weak. I heard someone knocking the door. When I removed the door bolts the wind opened it for me forcefully. And there he stands, the man who is terrific than the storm – uncle. But his following words made us happy. The thing is aunty prepared dinner for us, because she knows that we are in trouble as there was no power. So uncle came to invite us for dinner. I felt really happy and thought to kiss on his cheeks. After an hour we went to the 2nd floor and had spicy delicious Andhra food. Then we all came out and sat on the sofas. This is an open place where the wind got all freedom to fly around. So we enjoyed the breeze and waited for uncle. Normal time itself he will kill with stories. That too today we ate his food!!! So he has all rites to kill us all. So we sat silently checking our battery dying mobiles. After few minutes he entered into the verandah. Aunty also came and wrinkled her eye at us. It is a help note saying – “if you want to be alive, then run to your rooms”. But we didn’t have that lucky choice. Today is his day.
He slowly started. It happened when he was posted in Kerala. I guess Kollam district. He was working as a senior officer. There was a guy who sells fish in the army headquarters. One day aunty complained him about the quality of fish. I looked at aunty and she nodded her head. Okay, so till now story is real. So what happened is this fishermen scolded aunty very badly in Malayalam. She didn’t understand a single word but got to know that she is insulted by him. So when our hero came home aunty told him about this incident. Uncle got angry top to bottom and took the gun in hand. But aunty consoled him and said we will handle this next morning as its too late now. Uncle agreed.
Next morning he went to the camp and told his regiment soldiers. But they tried to stop him from dealing with local people. They said they are very dangerous. But nothing could stop uncle. He took an open jeep with 4 soldiers carrying gun. And he drove it into the market. The jeep stooped with a sudden break and all people got scared. He found the fisherman and warned him very badly in mixed Hindi + Malayalam + Tamil + Telugu + English. He got scared and begged pardon in front of the whole world. Later aunty used to get very fresh fish everyday. Uncle said sometimes the fishes were double alive and tried to jump out from the vessel, they speaks too!!!
NOTE: The Andhra meals was not even started digesting. So as always we had to believe this story also. Clapped our hands and somehow said ‘goodnight’ and ran into our caves.
Will say more stories later…