Ambuj was a simple day to day architecture student, carrying such big T-squares, like Rambo's sword on his back, and eyeing other girls in the professor's class, which by any standard provided him better entertainment than the lectures, which he anyway could not listen to- not due the substandard content delivery, but the content acceptance device malfunctioning.
We all felt we all knew he had a problem in his left ear. He would often nod vigorously if someone came to him, and muttered something feebly about the professor being a dimwit, and he would somehow stretch his audio capabilities to extract the information about the professor's name, and the word synonymous to dimwit, say Idiot. As a next step, he would often shout loud professor's name, and idoit simultaneously, so that the original speaker would wish somehow a bush would grow and he could hide himself there, when the prof would turn back and see Ambuj still trying to make out the correct meaning from these two words.Rakesh always sensed something was wrong in that part of Ambuj's brain where he had no circuitry developed dedicated to audio functions. He narrated it to me once- You know what happened! Ambuj kept his mobile facedown, and was chatting with me, and suddenly a truck honked somewhere far off, and he jumped and grabbed his phone shouting "wait! my cell is ringing!".
Recently, Ambuj had been trying to increase his optical power from 5 to 6 so that he could undergo some "Leejig" operation.
Having established the premises of my experiment, I decided once, on an Architectural Tour, in december, that I would try to test his logical skills as well, in my very subtle way, and this story revolves around that pivot.
That fateful day, we all went to study the design of Rajmahal theatre in Jaipur, and it was a grand theatre, with stairs running from both the sides, and every inch squared of the floor carpetted (i profess, i do not remember more than this about the architectural details there). The movie which we were seeing [so as to understand the architecture better] was a typical bad indian flick. Ambuj was sitting on the right side of me, paying his every bit of attention to the dramatic sequences unfolding, that hero was ailing from cancer, with his doctor being misinterpreted as his wife by the heroine. On my left side was sitting a junior of mine, let's call him Ramesh for name's sake. Sitting between these two guys, I was forced to enjoy the movie though I had undergone the torture the last week in Chandigarh's Piccadelli Theatre.
Out of blue, Ramesh passed a drawing book, which contained the horrible sketches Ambuj had, and asked me to pass it to Ambuj. This was a perfect opportunity to administer the experiment, with Ambuj as a lab chimpanzee, and observe how Ambuj would react, given that he was engrossed in some extravagant flow of emotions, with his left (faulty) microphone towards me. So, I told him to pass the notebook to Ambuj, deliberately using his own name, than simply shoving that notebook in his lap.
Usually, animals have a sense of self, which in some cases they assosiate it partially with their names, I guess this might be a reason, why people respond when we call their names, but as infants, we were never formally told what our names were, we just started to follow it somehow.
With all his remaining faculties channelised towards the silver screen, Ambuj took his own drawing book, and passed it on to his right, without any instructions, and the notebook kept on travelling till the far end, where Hasita noticed that it was Ambuj, her apparent suitor, whom she ignored, was the owner of his notebook. With Hasita's voice calling his name, Ambuj suddenly woke up from his trance, where may be he was the hero, going for the sacrifice for the country. He quickly realised his mistake, and shouted at me- why didn't you pass it to me? I replied- I passed it to you, with instructions to pass it on to yourself, why didn't you pay attention to me? In case you want to talk, talk to Ramesh. Now, finding a good reason, Ambuj almost verbally pounced on Ramesh, calling his names, and how he hailed from one of the worst places in Bihar, and what else can he do by bringing all the guns he had in his house, which his grand fathers used. Ramesh was quick to return the sentiments. Having no such history, he claimed that he knew how to make bombs and how he wouldn't hesitate to drop one on Ambuj's head, and given a chance, would certainly drop one on his native country.
With these two Biharis sitting besides me, flexing their muscles, I was having my own share of fun imagining the not- so- braveheart, thickly bespectacled Ambuj, fighting Ramesh, firing guns as big as him, and rusted to the core, with their wooden butts hollowed by termites, and Ramesh, with his pallid self hurling a granade, with swearings mutually returned. All of a sudden, with a tight slap, i came back to the reality.
Ambuj, in the semi- darkness, tried to hit his perpetrator who was keeping him from watching the film, and ended up slapping me. From a third person view, it was a mislanded slap, sending shivers to Ramesh, who found it worthwhile to flee from the scene.
It was not a long day afterwards: Rakesh suspects that it was another of my mischieveous plans to frame a poor harmless soul, like I did to butterflies, squirrels and other dogs and bitches whom I would lure with a bread and then shoo them away to derive a sadist pleasure. Another guy Swapnil, who all the way was sitting in the room, embellishing the whole scene with his guitar, and hiss- chik hiss- chik sound of drumming, as he produced from his mouth, made a mystery out of it, about whether Ambuj slapped me, as I claimed, or not, with his supposition that I was barking up the wrong tree. I spent the whole night shouting, swearing and fighting with Ambuj, and he, crouching in a corner, smiling obnoxiously.
Post Script: Recently while going to Tirupati temples, Ambuj accepted that he slapped me, as if it made some difference to me. But he was soon to deny of any such thing in the return journey. It was Rakesh's younger sister Alka, whose justification I'd find worth mentioning: "I guess he was going to the almighty, so he didn't want to lie, but while returning, he was in his own good harmless self again!".
Disclaimer: Every soul mentioned here is a figment of imagination of the semi- lunatic author. Even if they are real, it is highly doubtful, like the slap which the author received.