At first I thought he was joking, but no, this man was dead serious and I could tell that soon, by the way his hands moved; persuasively, making signs in the air, pointing at stuff around, like he was the boss—a smart fucking Aleck, wrapped in polka dots. His statements were quotes, his words were jargons (well most of them), his gestures were unduly animated, and his one sided emotional blabber was fairly convincing for the man who sat next to him.
“Palash ji”, he said. “I had a very terrible childhood. I was very young, say, twelve or thirteen, when my mother passed away.”
That was, I kid you not, his opening line. I was at Starbucks, a table away from this man, and of course, Palash ji—the pumpkin of a man, who was wearing thick rimmed glasses over his frog eyes. He also had a pink baby face and wavy coconut hair, and if you made an effort to look closely, you could have seen the deposited clutters of dryheena on the scalp, lurking on the edge of the patchy hairlines.