Last week, we arrived at a printing press to give final touches to a journo friend's wedding card. A bedraggled man ushered us into a dingy, unlit room. "We have come to mark changes in the card," I said. "But the card you are referring to has already been proof-read thrice over and cleared for printing…" the lady owner curtly replied.
A little persuasion and she agreed to take the 'changes', provided we wrapped up quickly to enable her to meet the other 'deadlines'.
Finishing off quickly, we stood up to leave, the sample card and the corrected versions safe in our hands. She told us to leave behind the corrected copies. Willy-nilly, we decided to do as desired. She narrated an amusing anecdote to justify her seemingly brash behaviour.
She confided that she had a similar 'encounter' with a young bride-to-be, who came calling to have her wedding card printed. The latter herself proof-read the matter, once, twice, thrice and, inadvertently 'allowed' her own name to 'go' as per the sample card.
Immediately after the cards were delivered to her, the young woman drove down to the press and started raining obscenities. "What the hell have you guys printed… my own name gone 'missing'. How come…?" she hollered. A disaster was averted by showing to her the final proof-read copy.
We humans are known for our forgetful nature, be it the making of a grocery list, paying mobile bills, annual insurance instalment or filing annual income tax returns on time. We tend to forget our birthdays, wedding anniversaries and even death anniversaries of our adorable kin.
I recall how our bachelor neighbour locked his pet dog Sheru in the house and left for Shimla for a wedding. We came to know only when we heard Sheru's incessant wailing. We devised ways and means to set the dog free, but in vain. We tip-toed to the main door, only to see a heavy-duty lock dangling down it, with Sheru lying almost unconscious. Discreet inquiries on the phone revealed that the 'forgetful' neighbour had already left homewards to 'liberate' the canine under siege. We all heaved a sigh of relief, and so did Sheru.
I remember how I had boarded the wrong bus to my hometown in Kangra district. My exams over, I was excited about the journey. Hardly had we reached Ropar when a burly ticket-checker shook me out of my reverie: "You are on the wrong bus," he yelled after seeing my ticket. Embarrassed, I looked around and found my luggage missing. Thanks to the driver's generosity, who drove down at a break-neck speed and intercepted the 'chartered' bus, I was able to reach home safe with my luggage.
The other day, I accompanied my wife to the 'apni mandi'. She went ahead to buy fruits from a vendor in an unlit corner, while I stayed back. Minutes later, I saw my 'spouse' coming back. I held her hand tightly and walked a few steps. I got the shock of my life on discovering that she was not my wife. The lady let me off with a deadly grin!