The rhythm would have made even the pillars of Stonehenge shake off their burden and break into a frenzied jig. So how can I be blamed for not making any effort to rein in my head bobbing up and down, going forward and backwards in keeping with the rhythm of that number?
The doors of the other three apartments are usually left open in the evenings when I walk (not briskly) up and down the corridor between the apartments for an hour and a half. My ipod is my regular companioin during this exrcise. Am usually acutely conscious that my friends would be looking out into the corridor. No matter how stimulating the song blaring into my ears, I take special care to walk like a nun pacing the floor deep into her prayers.
But on that particular day, the doors of all the four apartments were closed. I vaguely remembered a conversation among us in which it was mentioned that on a particular date, we(those in my apartment) would be the only people on the floor as the inmates of the other three wwould be away. As I entered the corridor and noticed that all the doors were closed, I closed the door of my apartment too, and started walking. As usual, I switched on my ipod.
The first song was Ishk-A-LLami.
What a rhythm it had! And I walked up and down the corridor, my head bobbing up and down keeping time with the rhythm of the song.
And then I started singing along.
Before I continue, I must confess that my baritone voice with just about an octave range is not made for singing. I had been warned of this on several occasions.
Allamiiii, I crooned, nevertheless; I didn’t understand what the words meant or what language it was - Arabic, Hindi, Urdu or ?, But it didn’t matter. I knew the lyrics without knowing the meaning. And sang my heart out, stretched my voice way beyond its permitted, possible range. I really let my self go. Up and down the corridor I went, my head bobbing up and down like the handsaw of a carpenter or back and forth like his hand plane, or from side to side like the pendulum of a clock – all in medium fast motion.
The song was about to get over and I was approaching my end of the corridor – and I really and truly freaked out before the grand finale. My neck was making creaky sounds from the unusual flurry of violent activity. And my voice was raised till I could hear it above the ipod’s full blast. I reached the end of the corridor. I hope that other than my head, the rest of me was behaving itself like a well groomed and disciplined nazrane female, for , on reaching the end of the corridor, I whirled around and –
God! Three pairs of eyes were looking out of the apartment doors on the other end of the corridor. Two to my right and one to me left. All three of them had strange expressions on their faces which I couldn’t decipher. But if I were to put a name to that expression, it would be the same for all the three faces.
I stood rooted to the spot, dumb for a second. Then I recovered. I held out the ipod to them and with what must have been an idiotic smile on my face, I told them “pattu, Pattu’ (song).
They looked at each other, perhaps to see how the other was reacting so that they too could follow suit. But no one reacted, no change of expression on their faces. Then, they nodded to my ‘pattu, pattu’ and quietly withdrew their heads into their respective apartments and closed the doors.
I went into hiding for the next 10 days.
During which period my husband met them severally.
“Molly not here?” asked my friend when she saw him in the lift.
“Yes, she’s at home,”
“Don’t see her these days. I miss her. She’s such a jolly person”. My husband was surprised at this remark from an otherwise reserved person.
Another day, he saw the husband-wife who had also seen me in action.” Molly not at home?’
“We don’t see her walking in the corridor these days”, said my male neighbour.
“She’s such a bubble of joy”. That was his wife.
My husband was really startled by this sudden interest in Molly and her bubbly nature.
I guess they were sending feelers to him hoping some information would fall out of his mouth about me having been sent somewhere for irregular behaviour management.