“Does it have to take an earthquake to stop me from ignoring the facts?”
It was rush hour. Things seemed normal except for a strange rose coloured mist in the air. Cars zoomed by as I crossed a busy street to get to work. Mr. H was by my side. An ordinary man, Mr H was dressed in his usual stoic office outfit with a plain bag strung across his shoulders. The only thing that differentiated him from the streaming line of wage earners was his seeming openness, charm and adept ability at carrying out an engaging conversation.
However, this time there was only silence. As I glanced towards him, I saw his nose grow imperceptibly longer. Suddenly, there was an explosion of sound and activity. Workers with road drills appeared and began to hammer away at the asphalt. Dogs began barking as the vibrations from the drill spread to the road. The barking grew louder and louder.
My eyes flew open. A scream escaped my lips as I became aware of the tremors in the room. We were having an earthquake. It was around 4.45 am on my bedside clock. I rushed to open the door. Outside, neighbours were yelling – some were praying. The dogs kept up their tirade. I stood under the doorway. Had heard somewhere that it was the safest place to stand during a hurricane or earthquake. It was all over within a minute. The shaking suddenly ceased.
Later in the day, as I walked to office, I came across Mr. H. He always fascinated me with his tales of magnificent palaces, maharajas, exotic places and riches. Nevertheless, his stories were like an ornate curtain that has been fluttering over a lighted lamp for too long – full of holes. Though I knew him to be untrue, I couldn’t help make up explanations to justify the inconsistencies.
He caught up with me and began weaving his vibrant tapestry of myths. This time, I wouldn’t spare him. I challenged him with the discrepancies. He kept spinning taller tales. A truck rumbled by and made a nearby gate shudder. A dog ran up to me and pawed my leg. Was I blind? Why didn’t I just give Mr.H a cold look and walk away. Is life so monotonous, that a conversation with just about anyone is fine, just so long as it kills the boredom? Or does it have to take an earthquake to stop me from ignoring the facts?
He said expectantly, "Hope you'll be there tomorrow too".
Me, dismissively, "Hah."
"It takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen." Homer Simpson, from the TV show 'The Simpsons'.
(Btw, the Mr.H in question, is an innocent looking guy who tries to impress me by lying about almost everything - his job, car, business, family, income, gadgets, property and the like. I meet him almost everyday as he works near my office and end up having to listen to his bullshit. He sort of resembles Uday Chopra a bit.....and that ain't at all good!!)