It continues . .
I ran from her room straight to the hall where I had kept my mobile. K was with his other friend discussing racing cycles & cyclists. I was racing myself now. Quickly accessing my email — no link?
“Of course not, fugger! It’s in the other one.” Cursing myself, I logged in to the alternative email, got the link and reached Zoom.
“Sign Up to Zoom.”
Oh F*@#! My Zoom was linked to the other email. Why did I book tickets under this email?!!
Why? I groaned aloud.
“Is everything alright?” K asked, mostly because I’d interrupted him, not because he cared.
I flayed my hands, signalling confusion, mess-ups, late as shit but will get through. Of course, he didnt get a word, just nodded & sniggered away.
8:38pm. I put in all details, pressed ‘Enter’ and…
“CHOLI KE PEECHE KYA HAI?”
The famous/infamous Bollywood item-number screamed at me. The small mobile screen was divided up into 4 tinier screens. Three of them had actors in garish make-up, dancing away to the song a second later, courtesy audio-video lag. Live, of course!
Then something bothered me — the fourth screen.
When a rectangular screen divides itself into 4 equal parts, with 3 of them hosting colourfully-dressed & attractive women — my friend included — and the fourth part of the screen is empty, you would end up paying attention to the 3 screens, right?
My mind couldn’t stop worrying what that empty screen was doing there. Was that on purpose? Did I miss something in the first 8 minutes? Was it a theatrical device? An actor making a late entry? A technical glitch? Something in my phone?
The questions kept me away from the otherwise powerful characters on screen. That dark part captivated me — like the image of a black hole. The characters, dialogues, colours and life itself kept getting sucked into that 4th dimension that I kept trying to solve. No luck!
That was the time K’s friend chose to leave, thus breaking my spell. Thank the heavens! I said bye and exchanged a couple of dialogues with K, who decided that was the best time to supply random info about a champion cyclist. I finally put my hand up and told K, “Later”. He gave me a look. I ignored him and went back to my screen.
To realise Zoom had thrown me out.
Shucks! The play had just passed the 20-minute mark. I remembered the words from the ticketing site’s email, ‘Locked out after 10 minutes’.
I logged back in without a glitch. Oh, okay. Good.
“What age were you?” The counsellor asked.
“Young, very young.” The young lady replied.
There were 2 less tiny screens now with two women, one middle aged and the other young. They were depicting a counselling session. Hmmm…
From the corner of my eye, I saw V standing right next to me. I looked up. She signalled for me to drop the headphone. I dropped one of them while keeping the other one on. My mistake. The conversation with her and through my headphones sounded like this.
“I am ordering dinner. Will you have rice or roti?”
“What do you mean you were happy high?”
“Rotis, 2 please.”
“On a scale of 10, it would be a 6.”
“Thats too less.”
“That sounds good, not drunk enough.”
V went away. I had plugged my other ear-phone in when my Insta-page pinged.
Normally, that wouldnt have worried me, but this was the time we posted on our blog. Work stuff. What if it was work stuff, something Homi wasn’t able to answer? It was my post today, wasn’t it. What if, what then?