The Mr. India Chronicles – Part 3
I might have been selected for Mr. India and so Mumbai might have been calling, but then getting last minute train tickets to Mumbai from where I was staying was more difficult than trying to understand a David Lynch movie.
The organisers informed me at the last minute about my selection, and they expected me to start jumping like the Hulk on hearing this news so that I could make it to Mumbai on the next day.
Lack of gamma rays prevented me from turning into Hulk, and I had to put up with sleeping on the floor of a second-class compartment, being trampled upon by random people in the night, in a train heading to Mumbai.
Before leaving, I was aptly warned by my mother and other relatives not to listen to anything anyone said. “If any random person you meet in the train or at the station tells you that you are good looking and they can make you a hero, don’t listen to them,” I was told. “Mind your own business and don’t act like you are new to Bombay — you have an innocent face so people will try to cheat you,” they went on.
I reached my cousin’s place early in the morning, all pumped up and raring to go for the meeting, only to realise that it had been postponed to the next day. The reason was that the other contestants couldn’t make it at such short notice!
So I had a free day ahead of me, which I could either spend playing Call of Duty on the PS2 at my cousin’s house, or doing something constructive. I decided to do something constructive. I decided to shave my legs. Now a few people had told me that shaved legs would look decent if I was selected, so I went ahead with it.
My cousin warned me that it would take a lot of time since I was a novice at it, but I snubbed her. Now I ain’t no direct descendant of Anil Kapoor, in other words, I’m not that hairy. But it still took me two long excruciatingly painful hours just to shave my legs, and the hands were still left.
It was also painful because I slipped a couple of times in the bathroom. My cousin, who was probably snickering away at the thought of what I must be going through, knocked a couple of times in between to check on me.
After the act, my legs started itching like a dog with a severe condition of ticks, so I had to moisturize all over my legs. In the process, I felt almost like a girl in a Nivea commercial. The arms were dealt with later in the evening, in a flat 20 minutes. I guess I was a pro by then…
Later in the evening, I was again all pumped up and raring to go for the meeting scheduled for the next morning. Then I got a call. The girl on the other end of the line told me she was very sorry to inform me but at the last minute the official photographer had rejected my entry since she didn’t like my snaps! This felt like a giant cosmic bitch slap!
God had conspired against me, because I didn’t believe in him, it seemed. But I was not ready to give up. I changed gears and the ‘actor’ inside me came out. From a bubbly excited guy I became a sad guy tortured and plagued by circumstances. I started pleading with the girl. I told her I had come all the way to Mumbai within a day, and slept on the floor of a train. I told her that this was a dream come true and she was snatching it away from me. I asked her what I would do, now that I couldn’t participate anymore. I added that my career was ruined before it had even started. I almost cried on the phone.(Of course, I was acting).
Ten minutes later, I got anther call, this time saying that I could come for the meeting the next day to sign the legal papers to take part.
Next week – Who the hell are these guys? And what’s with the attitude?
PS: The Lokhandwala Lad is on Facebook, add him and tell him what you think!