November 2, 2008
I know a man called X. We’re related. He comes from a family of qualified professionals. His dream, a few years ago, was to invent the Pentium 8 chip. Noble, but it was with an eye to glory: he wanted to impress girls. This is not a fleeting aspiration. A few weeks ago, he announced on Orkut that he would be committing suicide. The next day, he published photographs of his hospitalization. Worried about the man’s mental health, a cousin called. “Oh, it’s nothing,” he was told. “I’ve actually got jaundice. I just wanted some sympathy from girls.” This cousin put down the phone, satisfied that X was indeed mad.
One evening before his B.Com exam, X called up this cousin and whispered, “I’ve got the paper.” The cousin understood this immediately, and they discussed it. The questions were real, and the source was legit. Yet somehow X managed to flunk it.
Last night, my wife choked on her tea when X said in all seriousness, “I’m going to watch Fashion. I’ve heard it has ego, competition, and ambition. It reveals the tough world of supermodels.” Without a blink, his grandmother countered, “And that world is vulgar. You’re not going anywhere.”
Not long after, as he sipped tea, we asked why he was quiet. “I’m tense.” What about? “Studies.” Anything in particular? “Yeah. I have a Monday morning class. I had to do some homework. I’ve not done it yet. I’m very tense. Very tense” He continued to sit still, sipping his tea.