My buddy next door...

He was waiting eagerly at the door, though not for me, it would seem from the expressions on his face. Constantly checking his wrist-watch and his wall clock he seemed to be in a hurry, wanting to head off, somewhere or maybe… nowhere. Anyways, more than courtesy, it was curiosity that prompted me to ask,

“Expecting someone?”

“Yeah, about time they arrived…”

“Oh! So expecting some people, I should say, not just one, eh!!”

“C’mon man! For once improve your PJ’s, if not, for a day atleast!!”

“Why? Is the girl’s family coming to see you or something?”

To that he turned a flushed beet red!! I was surprised, for I hadn’t seen him go that red before! I couldn’t believe it. I wondered whether it was out of anger or it was the shying of a typical to-be-wedded-indian-groom… Anyways, he quickly regained his composure and before I could pass further comments, he disappeared into his house, making some lame excuse.

I was tired too, exhausted in fact, after a long day’s work… So I entered my house making a minimum fuss… As I freshened up, ate dinner and sat down on my PC to write my day’s Blog, I thought I heard noises outside (Well, they were actually sounds, politically speaking. But had you heard them, you would have agreed with me that they were fit to be called noises!!). Withot a moment’s hesitation, armed to the hilt with, well, a cricket bat, and a slipper, I opened the door as noiselessly as I could. But, it being, ‘Ye olde faithful’, creaked at the last moment, and I had to open it with a full swerving action. Voila! There I stood with a cricket bat in my one hand and a slipper in the other, with the strings of my PJ’s dangling loose and nothing but my birthday suit on the upper half of my body!! Quite a funny sight to behold, you may be tempted to think, but it certainly wasn’t funny for me, when I saw the crowd that had gathered in front of his house. Half scared out-of-my-wits and the other half scared-to-death, I tried to use whatever thinking capacity I could muster. Fortune favours the brave, they say. Maybe, I wasn’t brave enough or I was so brave that I scared even fortune away!
Anyways, there I was in that comical state with nearly 20-odd people staring at me, as if I were either a mad man or an entertainer (can’t call them clowns anymore, gotta be ‘politically’ correct, you know!) and nobody knew what I exactly was. Sensing that I was in some grave misconception, my friend (Ah! My Hero!) came up to me calmly and spoke the sweetest words I’d ever heard from him till then:

“What the f* do u think you are doing?”

“Oh!! I…. I was …er…. I was …..doing…..the cricket…. Hawaii…. no….. I mean the Hawaiian cricket … Yea that’s it!! I was doing the Hawaiian Cricket dance. Just saw it on Discovery. You wanna see it?”

Shoving me aside to a corner where the members of the ‘audience’ couldn’t see me (I thought I heard them heave a sigh (of relief maybe) and at the same time I heard murmurs, or so I think), he said, “Look here. These people have just arrived. They have done a long trip from the States to here and they are exhausted by the jet-lag. and blah…blah…blah…blah…blah…blah…blah…blah…(The blah…blahs are because I couldn’t understand what he was saying. It seemed so sweet to the ears, no swear words, just plain ole’ English)…blah…blah…blah…blah… blah…blah…clear the F* off?” Those 3 words jolted me back to reality.

I mocked up a pretty decent military pose and yell so loud I think I shattered his ear-drums (so much for consolation!!):

“Sir!! Yes Sir!!”

And off i went stamping my feet into virtually non-existent marching field, into my house, locking the door behind me. Once in, when I finally comprehended the situation, I started laughing. I laughed so hard, I went into splits and tears came into my eyes. It wasn’t the girl’s family after all, that he was expecting! It was his own Mom and Dad who had been to the States on a vacation for the first time in their lives! And he had arranged the rest of the family to meet them for a “Grand Welcome”.

Well, they got a “Grand Welcome” all right, the grandest they could ever get!!