Thursday, October 27, 2011


The ‘oil-painters’ came back with yellow brushes and their now spotted pants. Turpentine flowed and nails scratched but the paint stuck, determined. Our team climbed down from its rooftop repair site of the solar panel. We’d fixed the dish that had slow cooked us in return. It was a funny transaction…for each mirror we replaced and each bird poop we cleaned away, the mirror’s reflective wrath got only more intense. Someone wondered aloud if a pigeon flying thru its focal point would instantly turn into a hot dinner. Kids Aakash, Salman and Vijay had been our companions, directors, friends, entertainers and general rooftop accompaniment all day with expert commentary like “….do this…don’t try that…you guys don’t know….I have done this before…what is your name…do you play kabbaddi…why…whynot...”.
Team three was concluding a blue and green colored “whitewash” of a dorm building. There were no paint rollers to deploy, only brushes which meant that at the end there were no arms no muscles, only fatigued mushy appendages. However from the returning smiles it was clearly a win for mind over matter.
This team of ten tanned, dirty, yellow-spotty, blue-streaked, burnt, dehydrated and tanned IBMers now gathered to clean, groom, detoxify, drink chai and enjoy their collective high. There are times in life when the benefactor becomes the beneficiary and this was one. Wow, another dormant bulb has flickered on, another understanding gained. How many such hitherto unused bulbs do I have, I wonder. (to my wife: this is a rhetorical question, honey!)
BLR(babulalji) isn’t about to get teary-eyed and grateful just yet. “Don’t forget to bring your paint cans with you” he announces to the team. After a little more physical and in some cases verbal scrubbing with the oil paint we head off in the direction of the kabbaddi game.
What in the world is kabbaddi-kabbaddi-kabbaddi?

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