the hynea, the vulture and the hippo.

They were an unusual platter of friends.

She was inflammably plastic and the doctor had advised she to stay away from open fires. He was a pathological ass-kisser. Her was ordinary personified; ordinary to South India and wore her stereotype snugly around her neck.

They met each other after been subject to a common environment and immediately took a strong dislike to each other. However, complaining to one about the other and having the latter expose the hate-laden rants to the third left very little secrets between them. When the cycle was complete, life was infused into the newly born friendship.

She couldn’t help stop laughing at the smallest things, at inappropriate things, to just fill in the potentially awkward silences. She was born with a deformity- a congenital neoplastic zygomaticus major that wouldn’t give contraction a pause. When she had been born, her parents had thanked God for a child, held a puja to commemorate the occasion. They loved the abberation smeared over the baby’s plump face. Her conversations were punctuated with random bouts of hysterical laughter that had eventually raised her eyebrows to her hair-line. The tumour was obviously metastatizing. The plasticity, however, contraindicated radiotherapy. Surgical dissection would leave her without chunky face. She managed to make her place among the others though. You can’t go wrong with extended cancerous laughter. So on she went with her life giggling, smirking, snickering, and applying a layer of lip gloss thicker than her lips. They really helped her speech. So on she rambled about colleagues <laugh>, couples <laugh>, TV and movies <laugh>, everything under the sun <laugh>, all the while straining to contain herself before letting it all run wild gasping for breath and turning red and then repeating the cycle.

He was a silent observer who nodded his head a whole lot more than he spoke. The opportunistic streak did shine through his eyes though and never failed to kick in when the chance arose. He was scheduled to marry at the end of the year; he needed to have a clinic set up before that. His parents had decided that for him. They were looking for a prospective girl and a favourable place to set up shop. He had decided that he needed to get laid before life took its course. Downloaded gigabytes didn’t do it for him anymore. In preparation, his parents had also agreed to pay this lecherous, conniving professor at college a hefty sum to teach his the tricks of the trade. The leech had sucked him dry for what he was worth and let him to dry in the blistering sun. So here he was, stuck practising to remove sutures and extract teeth that would fall out even it bit on fresh, just-out-of-the-oven bread. He had wasted fours years in the institute more than he needed to and now planned to prolong the period even more. Van Wilder by his own right!

Her had striking features that weren’t really favourable to her. Hobgoblin-like characteristics only highlighted by her screeching voice and the annoying emphasis on words her deemed important to her speech. Her was engaged and bloated and wore the fact like a medal on her XXL lab coat. Her liked surprises and when her parents had opened the nicely wrapped box with its enormous bow to reveal a would-be groom, her screeched louder than her ever had and the rest of them had to put up with an earthquake and the disarray it left behind. Her parents were happier though; proud parents who had conceived an good, obedient girl. Those things are priceless. Her would only leave the nest when her was ready to mate and set up a nest of her own. The parents had already drafted some blue-prints for those too. Everything was covered. So on her went- rolling her eyes as easy as her would have rolled down a hill, pointed, intonated, criticized and opined in her rasping voice that sounded like husk being together.  Her mattered here at this watering hole. The 45 minute long bus ride her took every morning, as she sat digesting her bland idli, was worth it.

So on her went diverting every conversation towards her fiance. He nodded his head emphatically and agreed to almost eveything. The rest where he had a different opinion- he graciously allowed to be crushed while she cackled with laughter. It went on until the end of the year when they all got married one after the other and went their own separate ways.

I suffered incessantly until then.



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