by Ambareesh Sr Ja
“I’m angry. All the time. That’s why I never smiled at you in the lift. I hate the new lifts. The old ones, the ones that remind me of ‘Silence of the Lambs’ were perfect. One could just slam them dead, and smoke away in rage. It always left fellow travelers in a state of confusion. ‘What did I do?’- I could read it off their faces. Why do you have to ask me stupid questions all the while? Why do you care where I worked? Why do you want to know if I’m married? It’s 9.88 seconds on average from the 6th floor to the lobby, and you want to make conversation then and there? Why? Because it is socially acceptable? Well, you know what? I don’t want to be socially acceptable. For all that matters I don’t even care if there is a society. There, I said it.
It never occurred to me that I was special. It never will. Oh yes, the people around me kept telling me that I was. When I could read by two, write by three and remember remarkably well by four. Solid data, and at good retrieval rates. There were a lot of competitions. They were all easy. I wasn’t the smartest, but the others weren’t that smart either. That was my explanation. I hated it all. It involved a lot of standing. Right from waiting for my turn to be asked questions; to waiting for the speeches to end so that I could collect my certificates. I hate standing. I hate queues. For an average 25 year old, I hate a lot of things.
Then there were Ma and Pa. They were nice. Or so I have been told. I don’t recall meeting them. Maybe I was busy learning word roots. That’s how you remember a billion words, by the way. You learn what the root means, and learn a million other small things and learn how they are tied together. Billion words. Any language on earth. Ma- they say was a good teacher; taught English in the neighborhood school. She looks gorgeous in all the pictures I have. Pa was a lawyer. Not sure how good he was in the court, but he must have been a lousy driver. Otherwise I could have had them both around for some time more. I hate truck drivers. Especially the ones who drive fast, and rash.
I was good at chess. Before I stopped playing it five years back. I hate anything with black and white now. I was ruthless in blitzkrieg. They have rankings. You can look up my name. I was good. When I played.
That being said, you can look up my name at a lot of places. The record keepers love me. Loved me. I was always not rude. The latest issues probably wouldn’t have me in them. But the old ones surely would. Look for the ones starting with ‘The youngest… ‘. There would be one complete page, at the very least.
I don’t know why you asked me out. Dates weren’t my thing. Girls aren’t. Romance isn’t. But I don’t recall talking to anyone like I did to you. You don’t make me angry either. Well, not anymore. I was, when you stopped me outside the lift. I don’t know why you are doing this. I am so confused”. He broke down.
“Honey, it is fine. You are panicking. Reception is in two hours. I think you should go change.” She smiled at him lovingly, before ushering him into the room. “Oh also, I knew whom I had stopped at the lift. The newspapers always had photos”
Ambareesh Sr Ja