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Monsoon Ecstasy – by V. Rao and V. Kohli

October 20, 2009

And Lo! The Curse was broken! Monsoon made peace with the lands of Delhi! The kingdom lay drenched in its delightful marvels. The sky goldened up at its edges. And there, standing by the open window, with startled raindrops in her hair and a perky rhythm up her sleeve, she said- Oh Life!!
*****
She looked down from her balcony; the city had turned into a lake. Every one was so happy despite the inconvenience of travelling in the rain. Some people wore a happy smile on their face. Other’s celebrated it as Holi; this meant that celebrations were quickly turning into a massive water-splashing, mud-slinging orgy. It was not often that people got a legitimate excuse to indulge in a mega grope-fest. Joy Oh Joy.
Meanwhile, a hippopotamus, who had waded in from a close-by river, was happily munching a bunch of floating cauliflowers–they must have belonged to a nearby vegetable vendor..
*****
It was an unusual sight. There was much activity and all seemed occupied with it. Wild animals were floating about and so were unclaimed vegetables.
The landscape was changing. From drenched it was turning to flooded.
People were stalled under asbestos sheets. Dogs barked. Cats climbed up buildings.
Her hair still held those raindrops from the window. Her eyes were gaping at the lazy Hippo. She suddenly turned away from the window.
“There’s a basket of freshly baked cookies on the Ground Floor.” She thought.
Her teeth stood clenched over a nervous fingernail.
*****
“Am I hallucinating?”, she asked herself. “Could it really be a basket of freshly baked cookies?” “After a while, she convinced herself that they were actually freshly baked cookies. (Henceforth, we use the acronym “FBC” for
“Freshly Baked Cookies; it’s kinda tedious to keep writing “freshly baked cookies” over and over again).
Her mouth watered at the thought of biting into the FBC. She thought of the FBC creating waves of dopamine induced ecstasy in her brain. Then the low decibel moans, the feeling of complete bliss. “FBC, here I come!”, she said aloud. She was still nervous though: what if the hungry hippo also liked FBC? What if he had spotted the basket too? Would it be worth it to get into a fight with a hungry hippo over some silly FBC?
“Look, stop panicking”, she told herself a litte sternly. “That Hippo has been munching on floating cauliflowers and god-knows-what-else the whole day. It is unlikely to be hungry now. Just stay focussed on the ‘dopamine and the low decibel moans’ part, and you should be just fine.”
She made her way down via the staircase. There was no other way to get down because the elevator was out of order. But she really didn’t mind making the effort as she was rather preoccupied with her strong desire for FBC. She reached the ground floor. She spotted the basket about 20 meters away from where she was, and could hardly control her excitement as she waded towards it through the murky water.
Finally, she reached it. The basket was in her hand. She took one cookie from it and ever-so-gently, bit into it.
Oh My! Oh My Lord!!……….. O damn. They are soggy.
The cookies were totally ruined.
The FBC had built up so much excitement, but the end result was horribly soggy cookies; what an anticlimax. How could she have overlooked the weather? After all, it HAD been raining cats and dogs; the FBC were bound to be wet and soggy. Her euphoria about the FBC had clouded her rational mind. Damn.
“Now what to do?”, she thought. She was still desperate about getting her hands on some fresh, tasty, and very importantly, CRUNCHY cookies.
She thought, “There is a bakery about a kilometre away. But it is very late and dark now. Plus, the city has become a lake with all that water. Still, even if the shop was closed I could always break in and steal some cookies, but how would I wade so far?” Just then, she caught sight of the Hungry Hippo. It was quite close-by. The Hippo was half submerged; only the upper body was visible. It somehow looked quite benign from that distance, like it could not even hurt a little fly. And she was desperate for some FBC. Heck forget fresh, even just old baked cookies (OBC) would do right now. (note: OBC not to be confused with “other backward classes”)
She then had a brainwave: she decided to approach the Hippo and coax him into ferrying her to the Bakery. “Perhaps I’ve gone crazy, yet I have this gut feeling this is going to work. I can ask him if I can sit on his
back to take me to the Bakery.”
So she waded towards the Hippo. The following conversation ensues between them:
Girlie: “Ahemmmmm. Hello.”
Hippo: “Grummmmmmmmmmm” (Possible Hippo sound, with no well defined meaning — perhaps something similar to our word, “Hmm”)
Girlie: “Hey there”
Hippo: “Grummmmmmmmmmm. Myself Herbie”
Girlie was tempted to use a format that a lot of boys had tried with her: “Myself Girlie. Do you want to do FRAENDSIP with me ?” But better sense prevailed and she refrained from doing so. Also, she suddenly realised that she could speak Hippo Language. Crazy. Maybe she could speak Hippo language for a reason. Maybe it was all destined. Maybe the meaning of her life was soon going to become clear.
Girlie: “Hi Herbie, I’m Girlie. How are you?”
Herbie: “Fine. Grummmmmmmmmmmmmm.”
Girlie: “That’s good. OK Herbie, I’ll get straight to the point. The thing this that I have been fantasising about FBC…” …
Herbie: “FBC? What the funk is that?”
Girlie: “Oh sorry! FBC is short for freshly baked cookies”
Herbie: “I see.” (slightly contemplative tone)
Girlie: “So the thing is that there is a shop that should have some cookies. But it’s a little far away, and I dont think I can make my way there all alone through this water. So…. I was wondering………….Ummmm”
Herbie: “What you wondering?”
Girlie: “Umm, if you could ferry me to the bakery”
Herbie: “Look Girlie, I would like to help you, but you know I’m not exactly a taxi service. Moreover, I’m sorry to sound selfish, but what’s in it for me? I don’t like cookies.”
Girlie: “OK, but you do like cauliflowers, don’t you? I saw you devouring a whole bunch a few hours back. You seemed to be really relishing them.”
Herbie: “True. They really were quite delectable. Also they had the right aroma and crunchiness.”
Girlie: “So here’s the deal. I know the city well, and could direct you to the vegetable mart. But first, you have to take me to the bakery. What do you say?”
Herbie: “OK, but Girlie, I hope you’re not deceiving me. If you are, I might treat you like I treated those cauliflowers and make a meal out of you. ”
Girlie: “Don’t worry, Herbie. I won’t let you down”.
Herbie: “OK, let’s go. Climb onto my back and lead the way”

What adventures are in store for Herbie and Girlie? And what conversations are they going to have?
Tune in soon, to another episode of “Monsoon Ecstasy”.

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