When I came down from US for holidays I had to finally face the fact that I had gone from hunk to huge. Like any self respecting adult I had stoutly refused to acknowledge my rapidly expanding bulk till the day my buttons tore as I struggled to compress myself into my shirt. I stole into my brother's room and borrowed his shirt and would have kept doing that if he hadn't informed dad about my creditable achievement. Much remonstrating and cajoling later I was forced to commit to a more healthy lifestyle. Consequently I ended up one day, joining my friends, on an ill fated outing to play beach soccer.
There was Anish, Vinod, Janson, his cousin and me. We got together at Janson's place in the morning. Chatted, joked, ate, played games and had a rip roaring time till roundabout 3 o clock in the afternoon. That's when I sat on that wretched weak chair of Janson's which promptly squeaked it's final breath and collapsed under me. It was a none too gentle reminder of our decadent lifestyle and so we decided to do something outdoors. We talked about different options and soon we were all pumped up. We wanted to climb mount Everest and take K2 on the way down, but because we dint have any equipment we settled on soccer, or beach soccer to be more precise.
Since we were all committed to this new healthy lifestyle and were all going to be chiseled hunks in a few months we decided to play were all the babes would be out to watch us. Off we went to the most famous beach in Kerala where we could play with loads of sand in front of us and a turquoise blue ocean behind us. Unfortunately this is also the place where the foreigners crowd. They are very friendly folk, but they attract a lot of anti socials and so the police presence in such areas is quite strong. These policemen are instructed to keep an eye on the locals to make sure they don't harass the guests. Not ones to worry about these minor details we rolled into the beach. Soon a spirited game was on and a small crowd had also gathered to watch us. Suddenly something shot through the feet of the people and charged at the ball. It was a dog. Looked like a mangy mongrel that needed a good feed. "I got it" said Vinod, gave it a kick, and sent it yelping on it's way. Police whistles blew all around us and a fuming cop came charging through the crowd.
"How dare you harass foreigners!! They are our guests, where is your culture?"
"psst Vinod .. You sure you kicked the dog? Or did you get someone else?"
The policeman was staring straight at Vinod who, for some insane reason, was staring right back. It dint help matters that Vinod looked like a bouncer at the local bar. His body had run out of space for his muscle and it took up a little space in his skull too, that was the space reserved for common sense. The situation was getting out of hand, but we had a veteran troubleshooter with us. Pratheesh stepped in and negotiated a truce with the cop. Apparently, the mangy mongrel was actually a pedigree dog that came on an airplane with one of the foreigners. It was the guest the cop was talking about. Anyway, we apologized to the foreigner, to the dog, to the cop, and even to the fishmonger who wandered by see what's going on and finally the cop cooled down.
"I'll keep the ball, you folk go, take a swim and come pick it up from me on the way out" he said.
We clapped pratheesh on the back for his slick handling and set off for the water. But something was wrong. We were 6 people and right now there were only 5. Elation turned to dread as we turned round and saw Vinod still staring at the cop.
"I paid money for that ball, who are you to take it?"
Next thing we knew we were all in the police station with one foot in the lockup. Vinod was still trying to handle the situation by waving the ball in front of the head constable whose face was getting redder by the microsecond. I stamped down hard on vinod's foot and brought him back to earth. The cop dint care who was right. You insult him .. you get thrashed .. it's as simple as that. He started off with the choicest abuse I had heard in my whole entire life. It was almost like poetry, the rhyme he managed to find while stringing out the sentences. He was heartily joined by any cop who happened to wander down to where we were. A good fifteen minutes later he said that the rest of us could go but Vinod would stay. Us leaving then would be like leaving Vinod to the guillotine. We doubted if he would make it out alive. All of us started remonstrating with the cop explaining how his tough exterior hid a soft and tender heart and how his muscle had invaded the common sense portion of his brain. The policeman responded with a new string of words even stronger than the first. But we persisted and finally he relented. The evening was over and so were our aspirations to reform our lifestyle. A sadder, wiser group of friends trudged home and resolved to never mention this incident again.