Monday, December 28, 2009

InkTank to carry the olympic torch!

akshay kumar was honored recently when he was asked to carry the winter olympic torch in canada. reminded me of the day when i was asked to carry the beijing olympic torch, while it passed thru india last year. this is what happened...

My eyes gaped at the email, as I read it again and again, trying to absorb the shockingly unbelievable content. I also checked the date, and confirmed it wasn’t april 1st. the matter was such…” blah blah an effort to involve the common man in the Olympics, you have been selected to carry the Olympic torch in delhi. We are arranging for your travel to delhi….blah blah blah…” zapped I was, as I stared at that email for long. And then I let out a long scream, a hybrid mix of shammi kapoor, and tarzan, and broke into a dance.

Aarti(wife) and rohan(son) rushed upstairs, to see, and cudnt believe as they saw me go berserk! I just pointed to the monitor, and then they saw it too. aarti was sure it was a prank. “ your husband gets to carry the Olympic torch, so its but natural that you see it as a prank”… luckily we didn’t fight that evening.

I did not now what to do next. Woowwww, I was to receive the torch from nandita das and pass on to aamir khan. Or maybe sachin tendulkar would give it to me, and I would give it to bipasha basu. I thought of all the combinations, and aarti asked me to stop daydreaming, and if at all the email was genuine, I should start practice first. Well, I confirmed by calling the numbers mentioned in that email. Some gentleman from the home deptt answered. He said the govt had selected 5 emails at random, and these 5 persons would get to carry the torch, in new delhi, along with the other celebrities, and one of the 5 emails landed up in my inbox.

The preparations had to begin. I had to practice running with the torch, so that theres no fiasco in delhi. Me and rohan got hold of a stick, a thick stub of wood, of the length of the torch, and wound a napkin around one end. By now, the neighbours had been informed, congratulatory messages had begun to pour in. a proud aarti patiently doled out cups of tea/coffee to all those who visited to meet the torchbearer! I suddenly started feeling like an athlete. I even searched, and found some old posters of daley Thomson, carl lewis, and mary lou retton, from the junk, and pasted them on the walls, and started to preach rohan, the importance of running, and keeping fit and all. He gave a big yawn, and continued with his video games.

Once the napkin was tied and the torch was ready, it was dipped in kerosene, and I prepared for my first run, with most neighbours watching from their balconies. I decided to run on the main road, and dreamt of crowds lined up on both sides, cheering me endlessly. Thank god there were no groups of female cheerleaders, otherwise I knew in which direction I would run. As rohan ignited the torch, there was a huge flare, and as I started running, I couldn’t bear the blazing heat that came from the spiraling flame. The first attempt had flopped, a few kind neighbours suggested a smaller torch, some others just went back inside their homes, it was a big flop show on the very first day of practice. Not knowing what to do next, we just wound up the whole thing.

I thought of running at midnight. I didn’t want embarrassment again. A friend suggested that I should carry a battery torch, a large one carried by security guards, when they patrol housing societies at night. Like a stupid ass, I too said a yes! Aarti did mention this was a clumsy idea, but I was in no mood to listen. Have you heard Olympic torchbearers listening to their wives and their mundane apprehensions ever?

So off we went, this time I just had this friend for company, at 1 am in the middle of the night, with a large size battery torch held high, me jogging along and my friend following on his bike. As soon as I took a turn to come on the main road, a few dogs started to bark, it was unusual for someone to run with a lighted torch, pointing skywards. Very soon, some more friends joined them, and a pack of dogs started to follow us menacingly, barking together. I stopped, and tried to throw some stones at them, they scattered, but then the barking became louder. Instead of making the matters worse, my friend asked me to sit on his bike, and we went in the direction of the stadium, it was decided that I practice my run over there.

As soon as we reached the stadium, and prepared for my run, a police jeep stopped by, and 2 policemen got out, they wanted to know what were we up to, at this hour, they looked at me suspiciously as I was fully dressed as an athlete, with tracksuit, head and wrist bands, sports shoes and all, yes the paraphernalia had to be there, so everything was bought new, spent 2500 bucks, I wasn’t going to be an ordinary runner after all. They didn’t believe our story, and started to laugh when they saw the torch and all, and politely, yet firmly asked us to go home.

Soon I was back, feeling a bit dejected. How will the country have sportsmen, who will bring laurels to this country, if circumstances were such that an Olympic torch bearer wasn’t allowed to practice even, I said to myself, exasperated at what had happened in the last few hours. I then went to bed, and soon dreamt of me carrying a torch, and rahul Gandhi waiting to take it from my hands….

“anand, anand, get up, its 8 am already, and see the papers” – it was aarti, excited, and smiling. I sensed something instantly. She had that typical expression of victory, mixed with her smile! And rubbed my eyes, as I got hold of the TIMES. At the bottom there was a small news item, a clarification from the home deptt, of a fake email doing the rounds… rohan waved from behind her, a twinkle in his naughty eyes, holding the battery torch, grinning widely!

I looked for a place to bury myself


vicious said...

lol!!! that was quite an experience !!

Uncommon Sense said...

lol tht must b embrassing

IdleMind said...

I could laugh aloud on the line - 'Have you heard Olympic torchbearers listening to their wives and their mundane apprehensions ever?'

But in the end, wives do have the last laugh. Such is the holy spirit of the Olympic run. Enjoyed reading you after a while.

Chhaya said...


this reminds me of a post u made @ ibibo... hai na?

love ur writing :)

Anonymous said...

i was thinking that the dogs must come to chase.. and yes...!they came and the police followed too...
it was a real interesting read..

wish you a very happy new year.

Vittaldas Prabhu said...

LOL! :-D A gripping and hilarious read. You bring out some very nice contrasts. I loved this piece thoroughly.

swapnanjali said...

Hello Inktank ..tagged you for 10 honest point ...

Anonymous said...

aur han ek baat to me pahle b bata chuka hun... the style of your writing....

to jyada ku6 nahi tareef karna lekin as uauaL mindblwing humourous!!

Anonymous said...

starting ka ek pera read kar ke pata chal gaya ki aap masti ke mood me ho. aur agar mene ye post abhi padhi to ........ pet pakad ke hasna padega..

so socha baad me fursat me padhunga.. kyun ki mere mobile me b ek torch hai..;) olympic ki torch se ku6 kam b nahi hai wo torch aur mobile b beijing ki kisi company ki hi banawat ka hoga made in china :P


nice post.. majja aaying padhne me :)

shubd said...

That was hilarious !!!
But you know what at least you lived it in your dream ! That certainly gave you your moment in the limelight .. or moonlight if you please ;)

And if dreams can be interpreted ...may be you were just dreaming of .... an old flame :P

Thanks for appreciating my 'seeing' eye :)

I am curious about two things though ..

I see you write ... despite which you preferred to comment on my pictures rather than my poems .

How did you get to my blog ?

Hope you will visit again . After all Puneites should support each other :D

sehar said...

a real intrresting piece to read