I used to sit on the 21st floor. Now I am retired

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

We are like this only

A friend of mine changed jobs recently and joined a company in Delhi. He moved into their chummery. He is the partying sorts and thus always has alcohol in his room.

One day when I landed up, he asked me whether I want a Teacher's or a Bruichladdich, which he has got from a trip abroad. My answer was obvious.

So, he goes to his wardrobe and fetches the pale green cylindrical can from behind his suits. He takes out the bottle and exclaims. I was looking at the whisky in the glass bottle. The pale gold was striking, but not enough to make me exclaim. I looked at Friend.

"Half of it is over"
It indeed was.
"No, it should not have been. I was at least three-fourths full."
Now, if this was Old Monk of yesteryears, I would not have been concerned, but one-fourth of single malt is no joke.

*****

We had a good time that day. Finished the entire bottle. Later, Friend found out that thefts of alcohol were quite common in the chummery. There were three characteristics which were noteworthy for him:
  1. Nobody could never really figure out who was behind it. There were theories about the cook and the caretaker. There were some fingers pointed at neighbouring rooms, but who could be sure?
  2. The loss of expensive alcohol was common. There were also stray cases of money and jewellery getting lost. However, the most common missing items were pieces of laundry which never made their way back. Mostly, the loss used to sting for a short period of time. Then situation would become normal.
  3. At times, the lost items had a sentimental value, which punishment or justice could not heal. Hence, his flatmates did not bother complaining to the Admin department. Even if they did a few times, nothing really came out of it. Hence, the situation came to be accepted as normal. Angel's share, they used to call this loss. Which was a little in-joke.The costs of preventing the thefts were just too high compared to the angel's share.
That's all there was to it. Losses, which I would find very startling, were nothing but normal for the inhabitants of the chummery. A way of life. Which my friend just got used to.

*****

Within two months, there have been eight blasts in Maharashtra - seven across trains in Mumbai and one in Malegaon. Over 250 people have died, according to official counts. Unofficially the number is much higher. Three things are notable about these as well.

7 Comments:

Blogger amit varma said...

Great post!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 12:38:00 AM

 
Blogger Mr. D said...

i liked this post. much.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 5:05:00 AM

 
Blogger J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Very neat parallel.

And angel's share = ullage? HA!

J.A.P.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 5:11:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said.
I dont mean to get political, but I think the current home minister is the weakest we've ever had.

Dunbar.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 7:52:00 AM

 
Blogger corporate whore said...

Nice one Dk2. I didnt get the first time, had to backtrack and then it hit me.

Thursday, September 14, 2006 6:12:00 AM

 
Blogger Monica said...

More "startling" is when underthings disappear. Known to happen as far and wide as girls' and boys' hostels in Bangalore (circa 1998 to 2003 AD) and rooftops in Panchsheel Enclave (circa 2005-6)!!

Sunday, September 17, 2006 1:34:00 AM

 
Blogger dhoomketu said...

Amit, Mr. D, J.A.P., Dunbar, Corporate Whore, Thanks.

Monica, yes, them and socks. Today, I lost one pair of socks.

Sunday, September 24, 2006 11:14:00 AM

 

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