Two articles that appeared in Maharashtra Herald in the last month - written by moi!!!
I don’t drive my car! I have a very trustworthy person to do the honors, my wife! And no, I am not joking, as she will not take to it kindly in public, being my driver!! Oh, Why, because I am mortally afraid of speed, heights and all other assorted body heaving and mass disturbing things in life. My family decided to, please note that I had nothing to do with this catastrophic decision, go to an Amusement Park while we were in Bangalore on a short but hugely money-guzzling trip. They went willingly and I grumpily and grudgingly. Hello, I am not talking about the expenses that I rightly thought were obscene but I knew that now I had a whole day of tackling, dodging and dribbling with fright of all mortal kinds!
The gates of the Park were still closed when we arrived there. I happily pronounced that probably the park has shut down because of low attendance or some such likely thing. I got evil glares from the young and not so young in my group immediately. I clammed up. The gates opened. The Ticket windows opened too. I was unfortunate to stand in and around that line and suffered my first roller coaster then and there. I have not seen a more healthy pack of vultures since then! I careened towards the counter on borrowed legs and found myself confronting a very colourful counterperson. I had not counted the people in my group. I looked around helplessly only to find my little one all of eight ready with an answer. The magic figure of nine was shouted out. The tickets were in my hand in a jiffy. I was shooed to the nearest entrance by very overzealous Black Cat security cops with all the swish. Vroom, I was into La – La land.
My group immediately became a sickeningly childish bunch of Neanderthals, yelling, roaring, eyes glistening, arms waving and furiously gesticulating at me to join them at some nearest contraption that waved its arms about frantically in glee while some poor unfortunate souls were trapped in the buckets attached to its arms. That was a very angry piece of human invention. I must have done the fastest dash to the nearest seating canopy and found solace with seventy year olds grinning maniacally at my photo finish to the chair. My group was already in queue to get on to the angry arm waver. The wifey waved at me to join her. I waved her on. She is my better half. So, there was no sense in endangering the worser half. If anything had to happen, the worser half could carry on like Hydra, amoeba or some other such creature!
The angry arm waver again started with my group in various buckets. They guttural shrieks terrified me if not the very people who were emitting those shrieks. I did not know how humans could be so terrified and yet so thrilled. I was spilling my guts out seeing the spectacle! The ride ended. My goofy group came back and shriekingly related the stunts once more. They were frothing at their mouths in excitement. I said that we give it a little break and was hollered at, GIVE US A BREAK, MAN!
Next they sat in a contraption where they were just dropped from thirty feet. God, I nearly got a qualified seizure seeing those gravity struck faces. My kidneys were in my mouth. I had to gulp them back. But the children came back dizzyingly happy. Wifey was already gravitating towards a giant wheel going in all directions. Now, I had tried a wheelie while in college with my Kinetic Honda and had landed about ten feet behind my own bike. So, anything to do with wheels was definitely out!
Wheelie boy started and the group went ga-ga. I went guhh-guhh. My muscles were stricken with fright, I was lock jawed just seeing the wheelie boy do the act. It was eternity before the wheel thing stopped. The group came down delirious. My first reaction was to try and take their temperatures, CT scans and other medical health reminders. The group only felt that it was time to move me into action. They chose a simple train ride through a lot of tunnels, valleys and caves. I thought that this would be easy and got on with the Neanderthals. The train started. It suddenly turned right at a fast clip. My breakfast banana started bobbing in my esophagus. We entered a tunnel and the train went into a dive. My teeth and my bile started a war in my mouth. My eyeballs wanted to break shackles of their sockets. The dive eased only for us to turn lurchingly left. Now, the banana, bile, tongue and teeth were fighting for space in the mouth. I could vaguely hear an announcement that the first stage of the train ride was getting over and people uneasy within could get down here. I was out of the train in a flash. The Neanderthals were oblivious. I stumbled out of the platform onto the nearest bench and motioned for the Park staff. They arrived fast sensing disaster. I do not particularly remember what happened after that. But yes, I could hear wifey cursing my senility, age, sex, height, sloth, condition and culture in no particular order as I had deprived her of some Jurassic thrills in La-la land as she had abstained from further entertainment to take care of me. Poor she!
Anyway, the group proceeded to have a great day, irrespective of their tortured elder. I thanked all the gods for keeping me alive that day.
Who knew that one day I had to be running a similar establishment here in Pune!!!