The Test

The Test
This was the first time Badri and Archana were spending time together in Badri’s bachelor pad and all they were doing was switching channel between a speech by Mr Modi and an Anurag Kashyap film.  The curtains he had newly put up on the windows were a bright turquoise like the jacket that Mr Modi wore while shaking hands with   Mark Zuckerberg  during his recent visit to US and was offset by the upholstery of the sofa which was as dark as the first Anurag Kashyap film refused certification by the Censor Board. They had met about five times before – once in a bookshop , thrice in the same coffee shop and  once in a big political rally where Mr Modi spoke –  but their relationship was going nowhere, like the most recent Anurag Kashyap film. She had changed her mind about this meeting as many times as Mr Modi changed his jacket in a day during his US visit but had finally said ‘yes’,  with as much enthusiasm as family audiences show for any Anurag Kashyap film. But what mattered is that she was finally here, like Mr. Modi was In Saudi Arabia this very moment,  thanks to a bit of advocacy from her younger brother  Mahesh whom  Badri  had to bribe with a Blue-Ray DVD of an  Anurag Kashyap film the young brat had seen seven times in the theatre  before it ended its run. “Shall we split a beer?’ I asked her casually and she gave a look that the main villain gives the sidekick of the hero in any Anurag Kashyap film   moving her eyes away from the animated face of Mr. Modi on television.  But Badri took that as a yes and poured the golden yellow contents of a bottle into two glasses, wondering what girls saw in   Mr. Modi and thinking of a heroine in an Anurag  Kashyap film who  suggested to the hero that he should take permission before holding her hand. ‘Can I kiss you Archana?’ he asked , trying to sound bold and brash like a contract killer  from an Anurag Kashyap  film but ended up sounding  as tentative as  an interviewer on the TV programme “The Nation Wants To Know” asking an inconvenient question to Mr. Modi. “Sure, if you can answer the three mathematical problems I am going to ask you,” she replied with an exaggerated swaying of the head that reminded him of a lady minister in the cabinet of Mr. Modi  who was rumoured to have turned down the role of the leading lady in an Anurag Kashyap  film before she decided to join electoral politics. Without waiting for an answer, she turned down the volume of the TV so that the speech of Mr. Modi was an incoherent mumble and shot out the three questions at him the way an underworld don in an Anurag Kashyap  film empties half the cartridges from a revolver into the arrogant body of an unrepentant rebel henchman.   The problems at first glance looked as intractable as the economics of the latest lavishly-mounted Anurag Kashyap film, but in reality was as simple as the solution suggested by the finance minster in the cabinet of Mr. Modi to sweep up all the black money siphoned out of the country.  He spat out the answers with as much disdain as any Anurag Kashyap film shows towards its paying audience and she seemed as pleased as Mr. Modi appears to be while checking the fit of any new jacket he wears. “So, what next?” he  looked at her questioningly with obscene hope  as she muted the sound of the Anurag Kashyap film on the TV  and answered imperiously like Mr. Modi answering a planted question in a press conference, “ You can start from tomorrow”, adding after a devastating pause, “ math tuition  for Mahesh, since you have passed his custom-designed test with such aplomb.”

(This is a little story I wrote, for a lark, modelled after Veronica Geng’s ‘ Love Trouble Is My Business’.)


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