Monday, December 8, 2008

Love thy Enemy

It would be false and pretentious to say that Argon had no idea they acted the way they did. Of course he did; he spent innumerable hours walking the corridors of the Bam Bam School, sauntering in their library, listening to people as they spoke to him, doing quiet, soporific things after school, especially in dilapidated park-seats. In fact, he felt he knew almost everything there was to know about them. He knew that if one of them said that something between them would be strictly confidential, that piece of information would find itself in either of two places: as an announcement at assembly, for the consumption of a multitude of shouting, hollering Bam Bams; or as a large, declamatory poster on the bulletin board for the literary exercise of very bored Bam Bams as they promenaded the corridors instead of being in class. He knew that if they said they would be having a quiet get-together soon, it meant they would have selected for themselves one humungous building with nice loos (to be desecrated), and nice, big sofas (to be blemished), and invite by the truck-load anonymous carriers of the Substance. He knew that if they said they were 'friends' – oh, man – if they said they were friends, he knew he had only one thing to do: RUN.

Eventually, he realized that he did know enough about the Bam Bams to warrant some sort of association with them. Argon wasn't the sort of person who would keep quiet about something. If he felt he needed to tell someone about the possibility of spending time with the other person, he did exactly that. He didn't need to pretend it was a manipulated pre-cursor to being invited home, because it wasn't. How ridiculous. If the world was only made up of people who spent time together because they wanted to mutually participate in hebdomadal self-flagellation, it would indeed be a very different place. Let's just assume for a moment it isn't.

Now, Bally-sha (sex: F) and Bhaiya-rub (sex: M), two remarkable friends were walking home one day, when Bally-sha noticed that her phone was missing. Obviously, it was a very shocking realization. She had never lost her phone before. Her mom of course wouldn't mind her losing one at all. She would probably just pop another one from the first-aid kit at home and FedEx it to school from across the road.

Not that Bally-sha was a very conscientious person; she lost several things annually in the course of the year: boyfriends, girlfriends, contraceptives, many things. So it didn't really matter at all. But this time, she and Argon had planned a little meeting after school; they had decided to eat a hot-dog each at the mall nearby. It wasn't a very impressive thing to do; I mean, after all, she was supposed to be away from home as often as possible, why waste this opportunity? And even though Argon thought both Bally-sha and Bhaiya-rub looked a bit too prosperous otherwise for the number of times they simply ate off him, he didn't question their assumed indigent behaviour. He thought it made them rather revolutionary, pretending they were poor. How considerate of them to emulate the condition of the truly helpless!

So as Bally-sha and Bhaiya-rub ran back to school, not to search for the phone, but to get together with Argon, Bhaiya-rub called up Rohan Bad-annie (sex: N/A). Bad-annie was one of those people Bally-sha and Bhaiya-rub always called up when something exciting happened. It could be absolutely anything: two dogs procreating on the road, a woman wearing Chanel, someone saying into a TV camera, 'Bonjour, je suis Michel Adam', a transvestite shouting after them to pay up, anything. Occasionally, some really exciting things happened, like Bally-sha would go on a date. Then, lo and behold, they would have to devise ways to surreptitiously hang around the unsuspecting man. They never got caught.

Argon had no idea that this would be occasion for one of their little hee-hee-haw-haw operations. It seemed so wasteful; after all, he only wanted to eat hot-dogs, that's it. Where he came from, eating hot-dogs meant simply eating hot-dogs, it certainly didn't mean, 'I want to marry you,' nor did it mean, 'We shall be eating more than hot-dogs'/ 'Please be my hot-dog'. It was one of those insuperable qualities of the Bam Bams he didn't know about. This time, as he headed off to eat hot-dogs around the street-corner, he saw Bally-sha looking all flustered and heart-broken. She was the very image of distress. She narrated to him the entire saga of the lost phone, and looked so pitiful and lachrymose, that Argon offered to pay for the hot-dogs again. He felt it was the right thing to do. Behind them, Bad-annie and Bhaiya-rub sniggered close to one another, occasionally pointing to where they were standing. Bally-sha, once in a while, gave them a clandestine wave and smile, as if everything was going just fine. The two never said a word to each other the whole time. They just sat there and giggled. How lovely together they must have looked to passers-by.

But suddenly Bally-sha, in a manner most unbecoming of Bam Bams, decided to desert the operation. She suddenly felt that this wasn't right. She swiftly whisked Argon away from the spot, so they couldn't see them anymore, and walked briskly to another place with benches. Argon was too busy trying to evaluate if the New York or Chicago was preferable, so he didn't notice that he had been taken away. He sat, never really saying a word to Bally-sha, eating quietly. On the other side, Bhaiya-rub and Bad-annie were becoming frantic. This was the penultimate turn of events.

The two had disappeared. Immediately, in a swooping gesture, they both drew out their phones and violently sent out messages to the Bam Bam fraternity. (Dedicated to Baddy.)

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