As I slowly glide in my car into parking outside (always giving the bumper a slight bang against the tree), I am welcomed by my house that has been my home for the past 1 year since I started working in Delhi as a 'sales' man. Through the gates I march in, making sure I close the gate properly else the 'Grand Man' of the house will have a cow of the number of dogs sneaking in.
Its close to 9pm in the evening after one of those days when your boss doesnt ask you to stay back but you just do because you know he will feel better if you do. Dinner, has been laid on the table with the ol'Grandmother and Grandfather debating on which show to watch, (nothing new about that) but something is not right, my chair has been taken ! I had no information of having peopple over for dinner and nobody really comes to this house for the food, then what was the case ?
Narrowing my eyes with curiousity and some disgust, I approach closer and closer but before I can even apprehend my culprit, I am suddenly greeted by this unwanted customer with a tight hug ! Well, sure Im a lovable guy who likes hugs from the odd female but this was ridiculous really. Once the culprit is caught, its a usually a slap that takes them directly to the CID office this was not in the script !
Letting go of this solid embrace, I give a quizzical stare at my grandparents who couldnt care less with their eyes on the idiot box and I have a good look at this fiend, this rogue, this impostor. I was even half afraid that my grandparents had mistaken this person for me and had fed him dinner ! With a height as much as mine, lean figure, skin tight clothes, gelled hair (a little thin though), clean shaven and a silly smile on his face, I had just met my cousin for the first time.
Its surprising how you get through a quarter of your life without even knowing that you have cousins existing in all corners of the world that you are yet to meet. This one was from the city of Joy, Kolkata and had come to Delhi to work for a Tour and Travel frim. Supposedly, this firm organises tours for rich and snobby French Tourists who with their thrill and gusto for experiencing the Orient. India is one of those destinations to visit for them as they bring over their enormous rucksacks and Guide Books and this firm helps them by organising their escapades into the land of Tigers, Tantriks and Tendulkar. So all my cousin has to do is, look up touristic locations, study them and propose them to the top management and he his daily bread is made.
Well, you must be wondering whats so 'cute' about him then ? Since 'he' is not a 'she' and 'I' am not a 'Bi', why the false adjective ? Well I say so because of a trait I found in him, a very deep connection with his hidden estrogen. They say behind every man is a woman, I think in this case, she just piggybacked on to him.
Now before the critics begin to boo,hate,spit,shout and tweet about my so-called outlook of things, might I add, it was something I really take joy with no selfish motive in knowing, observing and sometimes 'absorbing' and as every brother loves his brother, I love him too.
Now that you critics have shut up, might I add, he has this affinity to finding anything and everything as superstitious too. His love for fighting the evil spirits makes him a well deserving candidate for the Medal of Honor but for now he was happy just collecting all of his good luck charms. From travelling the entire length of the city to collect one rock that he could hang around his neck to avoiding paths that have been cut across by cats, (Be it any colour, he too had a dream...) he always had something up his skin tight sleeve.
But what amuses me the most are his long stares at my forehead as he scans it from left to right asking the same question over and over again, "Where do you get your eyebrows done ? Mine are so hard after I come from the boutique, you know when you shave your chest, yeah exactly like that". He never believes me when I tell him I do neither of those but he goes ahead and accuses me of being a liar and goes and complains to my Grandmother about it ! And she has one line prepared for it:
"Na puttar na, jhoot nahi bolte, bata de raje nu, phir saath mein jaana"
(Dont lie to him son, tell the sweetheart and then the both of you can go together.)
There was even once an incident when he made me sing out "To the Moon and back" during a Karaoke night at a pub. At the end of the song, even the crickets wanted the last 5 minutes of their life back. I was never allowed in that pub ever again. Being from Kolkata, he was able to converse well with my the home domestic servant or better known as my Grandmother's arch nemesis, Raju in Bengali and they would share a 'Didi' joke or two from time to time. Despite the friendly banter, at the end of the day, even Raju would have a word or two to say about him as he grinned and giggled.
My cousin dreams of tattooing his arm and sporting studs on his earlobes as he looks to defy his age (Its bad manners to speak it out) till his parents find him a suitable match. When sad, he sits by himself and sips his Breezer but when he is his jovial self, he shall talk of his famous Fashion Designer friends, his escapades in 'Cal' and ofcourse, my eyebrows.
There's more that I'll soon get to know about him and probably smile about. Im glad we finally met on that fateful night, sooner than later. Sometimes, you see people on the street, and sometimes they see you, with no words, no handshakes, no feelings, they walk past by you and you by them. Other times, its nice when they just come over and give you a hug.