Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The other Strolling Bones?

All 17 of you may have noticed that the Sad Old Bong had a near-death experience this last weekend. Not, however, in the classic mode. Scenes from his brief life could not flash before his eyes – or on his monitor – because he had neglected to back up the archives. Lazy sod. He has, however, learnt from this experience. Those of you who are sometimes tempted to hack him down are now doomed to bitter disappointment. Every. Single. Page. from the archives has now been "saved as HTML". (Cue deep evil laughter fading into the distance, appropriate for Eric Campbell in the early Sennett films)

Saturday was spent in pensive mood, quietly mourning the presumed demise of the Sad OB. There was, however, a Party in the evening. On a Launch, yet. Your Faithful Chronicler reasoned that Friends should not be Disappointed, Social Obligations should be Discharged (such altruism!) and therefore (much to the Relief of A Certain Hippogriff) shut down Google Talk and trundled Off to the Riverside.

Where there was a Launch. With large numbers of People One Hardly Knows, but also a reassuring number (at least 5) of Old Friends. And no, one did not have any plans of Sitting on a Bench like a Bookend. The launch also had a Good Smell (which later translated itself into Good Food. Not that one really cares for these things, of course, but one has a Duty to One’s Readers, factual accuracy and all that). There was also Rum. Very nautical, even though the voyage was more a putt-putt up the Hooghly than a cruise on the Spanish Main.

Rum goes very well with Led Zeppelin. This is a Scientific Fact based on a Time Series of Careful Observations over Many Years. The same Series of Observations has also Established the Compatibility of Rum and The Doors, Rum and Deep Purple (worn, one conjectures, rakishly over the left shoulder), Rum and Dire Straits … a Full List shall be published in a Learned Journal very shortly.

Calcutta must be just about the only river-port that tries to ignore its river. No river-front revelry, no floating dance-floors or even restaurants, just an expanse of mud-flats bordering crumbling walls. An occasional rattle from a passing train - mostly empty - on the Circular Railway. As we cast off, lights rippled and bobbed in the water, reflections from the Millenium Park, from the State Bank building, from Foreshore Road on the Howrah side. Even that fungoid baroque monstrosity, Howrah Station, looked passable when lit up at night. As we passed under Howrah Bridge, we could see through the bridge railings the ceaseless streams of people that inspired shots in films by Mrinal Sen and by the Boss himself.

Sliding upstream, we passed a series of lovely 19th-century ghats. Wide steps leading down to the water, sometimes cupolas, sometimes flat roofs with ornamented edges. Then with an ominous whiff of charring, Nimtolla, the ghat beside one of Calcutta’s two major crematoriums. Smoke from a tall chimney, eerily suggesting souls writhing into the lowering sky. A pyre flaming down at the river’s edge. While we had our little tipple and rumble out on the water. Quite all right, I suppose, except that it’s all too close to II Kings (2:15), King James version.

But aarrgghhhh! One has Misguided Friends. Shameless, even. Who insist on listening to that Scourge of the Soundtracks, to wit, Himesh Reshamiyya. Early Attempts at Subverting this Plot were successful, but Ran Aground when the young DJ loudly asserted that Bryan Adams is “the best singer who ever existed, maaan!” No amount of enlightened self-interest could restrain my snigger. Whereupon aforesaid young DJ Went into a Huff and Flirted quite Shamelessly with Misguided Friend, who Used her Wiles to make him play Himesh R. Over and over. Oh death where is thy sting.

Therefore, for the better part of two hours, your Faithful Chronicler was reduced to lurking below decks, sulking and skulking in a hell-born plastic chair that Tipped Over Twice, all to escape the aural assault of Woh lamhe or the even more satanic Aa jaa aa jaa36 (which indicates "to the 36th power" and is NOT a foot-note). This Exile, however, was Not Entirely a Bad Thing. The Path from Galley to Upper Deck lay through One’s Nook and as a Corollary, various Trays of Good Things passed within Easy Reach.

Your FC was eventually run to earth and harried out of his corner by a horrible haggle of howling hell-hounds group of kind ladies. Serendipitously, at that moment the DJ tired of Mindless Noise, as evidenced by “You get a shiver in the dark when it’s raining in the park” as one ascended the ladder. Followed by Black Dog and – oh crackers and cream cheese! – Highway star.

Then I noticed the poles holding up the awning on the upper deck.

Kind Reader, keep in mind that this musical bounty followed after aeons of Howling Himesh. Blame it Not on the Rum, nor on the Vodka that Came After. Think of the Gaze of several Eminently Respectable Old Coots who were Obviously (and Owlishly) Decrying this Debauched Adoption of Western Mores, and who Equally Obviously deserved a Collective Boot (Size 13) on their Overloaded Self-Important Posteriors. Think how pleasure, relief and the river breeze fuelled the Over-Arching Desire – nay, Necessity! – to Cock a Snook at that Awesome Array of Asininity.

I danced.

Only to realize that a moving launch in the middle of a tidal river does not provide a Stable Base on which to Shake One’s Booty. An over-ambitious cross-over step almost up-ended me. Which was when I Grabbed the Pole. Thus was its Potential Brought to my Notice. To summarise – (a) opportunity to improve foul mood (b) Messrs. Gillan, Morse, Glover and Paice (c) the Inherent Instability of the Ground (deck?) beneath One’s Feet (d) support and opportunity combined in the form of pole, steel, bolted, reassuringly solid, one.

Wherefore the August Assemblage, already Apprehensive at the Spectacle of one large bureaucrat Stepping High Wide and Plentiful, were Reduced to Quivering Awe by the Unprecedented Revelation of Aforesaid Bureaucrat Pole-Dancing.

And doing it dashed well, too, though I do say so myself. I didn’t hang from the pole by my crossed ankles, but I did manage the Complete Revolution with Feet Off the Floor (umm, deck). Twice. Once with feet hooked round the pole, once even (prepare to gasp) with legs spread wide (causing Alarm and Dismay among Those Who Had to Skip Out of the Way). Mimi in NY has competition!

Whereupon my friend D** - quiet, suave, urbane, RESPECTABLE D**!! – was inspired to join me. And the DJ, bless his sneaky heart, played Highway Star twice through while these two old fogies bumped and ground and bounced and shook their booties round that Pole, almost to the point of melt-down. Need I say that the evening wound down after that?

Fun came.

**** ****


Anonymous said...

Re:Himesh Reshamiyya
And they call this sufiana gayaki. They should just call me the Queen of England.

Re: Pole-dancing-Bureaucrat
Oh the *pictures* in my head! Oh my eyes! My eyes!!

Thank you, the week begins to show signs of life.


PrufrockTwo said...

Had returned to my computer after an especially foul altercation with the Powers That Be at work -- to chance upon your delightful post. Thank you for brightening up the day.

The Marauder's Map said...

My my, what decadence!

Anonymous said...

While striking-through the gaggle of "h"s, you also striked out an "a" which ought to have remained. At least that's how most people know English Grammar, Don. :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh sad n old altruist,
Nice narration. Himesh R troubles me too waking me up early in the morning thanks to my friend's affinity to his nasal exploits.

- The good(-yet-Lynchesque) boy.

Gamesmaster G9 said...

Oh my sainted aunts! How I thank the great lord Google that I wasn't there.

I mean, who wants to hear Himesh Reshammiya AGAIN. Nothing to say about you pole-dancing - nothing at all, honest!

See comment. See comment.

The Aunt said...

Hey fellow bureaucrat.
Have just met you through Mimi.
Hahahahaha. Must get self a pole.

Or Pole? They're all in fashion at the moment where I live.

I'll be back.

Falstaff said...

JAP, I'm disappointed in you. You of all people should know that the right way to listen Deep Purple is to stand intensely in the centre of the room, air-guitar clutched tightly in hand, look of furious concentration on face. All this pole dancing stuff is for teenage floozies taking a night off from their Britney Spears albums. Beware the slippery slope (or, in this case, the slippery pole) - start dancing to serious rock and before you know it you'll be listening to the BeeGees and remix versions of the Doors and modelling yourself on John Travolta. That's the point where you stop being too young to die.

Besides, you realise that Sub-clause 471 b of the pole dancers union says that you can only indulge in these kind of shenanigans if you're wearing spangly pants or a really, really short skirt (tell me you weren't)? You could get into serious trouble you know. You could wake up one morning and find a bevy of skimpily clad women conducting a slide down strike on all the streetlights outside your house.

Teleute said...

Ooh! Ooooh! Is there a videotape of the pole-dance?

Anonymous said...

hmm..I know what you mean.. I was subjected to the chap in question for 4 days straight, loafing around in the wilds of uttaranchal this was the only tape our driver possesed and he insisted on playing it like an infintite loop.
no suicides or homicides occured,

Just Passing By said... Money_Spinner/article.aspx?cp-documentid=143479


BTW, what does get out of whatever G gives you for your ad-strips. And, come to think of it, did not the last said entity recently click-through a "buying of the peace."

Whatofit!? You're right. Is any of that anyone's busniess?

No! But unfortunately, how many of us can afford to be C#$%^&* K*&^. Are we all to be animals! Not have any use for any kind of ToIlet paper.

Oh! right again you are, Sir. We should all, all 17 of us, keep reading you over and over. Six times a day. At least. May be skip a couple of meals.

And eat voraciously (err, make that vicariously) with you. Best ever diet regimen that. I can see the dust-jacket already.

"Meals I Have Had With JAP, AND How That Lost Me 20 Pounds IN TWO WEEKS JUST BLOG-READING"

But again, maybe ...

... everything does have a point, you know. Like a butterfly that flutters by ...

So, maybe we should aim for 10 times a day. Maybe even do a readathon in tagged human-chains. Aks the Boss's fan-club, if you need know-how.

You could even suggest (subliminally) that the benders (or bounders) hidden in your posts are really worth identifying - if anyone sits down with a dictionary and a grammar-book and identifies all those "mistakes" first. And, thus, give both the mindsport guy and the sudoku people something to think about. Finally.

Anyway, I just read the headlines and get on with my job, job. The one I like. The one I have. Love it all the time. Even if its Tom Sawyer I'm doin' it for. Won't stop doin' it. Unless I want to.

Need = Greed.

And greed is good?

Isint it?

Are you sure? Either way?

I answered that for myself a long, long time ago. And would thank the Man who asked me the qestion when and where he did.

Keep blogging though. Its a catharsis. If nothing else.

The caveat is: any kind of calories, esp. in excess, cease to be solutions; but become ....


Tabula Rasa said...

"Fun came"! Concatenation of circs., eh?

Sue said...

Gabharnment kormocharis pole-dancing on the Hoogly... *shakes head in resignation*... is there no end to the debauchery of our elders?

Bonatellis said...

ahha ... rum and Led Zeppe/Deep Purple/Jim Morrisson ... evokes some wonderful memories ...

what may be your vintage, if I may ask, kind sire?

Anonymous said...


Holy crap is that what you did after we discussed my kidney ?

- A

Poorna Banerjee said...

JAP you should include a copy of the dance for the benefit of us lonely, desperate females in order to learn exactly what we should be doing (apart from reading blogs).

And do learn to acknowledge your age, you self-pitying, alliterating, scuttling beast!! What will the next generation learn??

And I totally understand this Himesh Reshamiyya thingy... after all

"Ashiq Banaya BAAPNE"

Did I leave any spot??

Priya said...

You have been tagged. So do get on with untagging yrself..plz.

Priya said...

oh rotfl @ Bonatellis' most polite question. Over to u JAP!

Unknown said...

OMG!!!! howlarious post- though I am surprised that you have not been snatched up by the 'Tantra' management to perform every friday and hone your Pole-dancing skills.

Ah! kolkata!! never a dull moment.

Ron said...

Erm..about Himesh,I have amongst my client list,m a cetain popular music channel and in the course of my work I frequently receive CDs, pictures and buts of information on the man. Which I am supossed to go through thoroughly, then extoll his virtues to the media and organise interviews for him !!! My trauma is bigger than yours I assure you, it never ends. I think he will be visiting Bangalore sometime soon and I shall have to meet him and listen to him singing live! Oh the horror! The HORROR!!!!!!

PS: To echo Teleute, can we not get to see the video recording of the pole dance?? please????heh!

Smith said...

great blog dude, i am a bong-o-phobe, although i love calcutta....and i know that's irrelevant to everything! cheersTMO

Deep said...

Is there a pole at DI?? *wonder wonder*
And btw, Bonatellis, I assure you, he's vintage.

Rimi said...

Picking up random words from preceding comments (while I wait for the next post or for the Venerable Vintage to drop by at my blog, whichever comes first)and rearrangeing them at will:

What decadence! Nothing to say about your pole-dancing. They're all in fashion at the moment, after my kidney. Honest. Just call me the Queen of England, and tell me you weren't wearing a really, really short skirt?