Bonky and Pongo's Day Out- II

>> Friday, September 28, 2007

The all-pervading aroma from the door on the right proved to be a unisexual bathroom while the door on the left was stoutly locked, which led to an inevitable choice of the center door. The first room turned out to be a hall which had been converted into a sales counter. The compulsive shopper in me called out to look at the delights at display, books mostly, with cheerful titles like "Governor Generals of India during the British Raj" and "British Trade Policies (1870-1930)" . It was again the more practical Bonky who came to my rescue by reminding me that if we pooled our funds, we would only be able to scrape a few hundred bucks for a book we would end up gifting to our grandparents. Better sense prevailed and we moved onwards.

Actually we did not. The sales counter man doubling up as a security guard asked us to halt and said visitors were supposed to go the rooms to their left, the rest being private quarters. Our conspiratorial minds immediately went haywire, forming theories of a room where skeletons were kept, hung from the overhead chandeliers which where the last governor's wives' corpses after he had consumed them (cannibalism happens to be one of our many interests). However, remembering the fact that even Scary Movie 3 scared me out of my wits, we dutifully went leftwards where the treasures of Metcalfe Hall were laid in front of us in all its splendour and glory.

"Bricks?"

The query resonated throughout the room. All the room contained was glass cases with bricks laid lovingly and protectively in them. Wondering slightly at the hobby of the last resident of the Hall, we roamed around, trying to fake an interest in stones, if only to please the septuagenarian
looking wonderingly at us from his post at the sales counter. It was then that we discovered a brick derived from the foundation of Bethune College. (A query here. How do people acquire foundation stones? Do they dig the place up? Or do they take it out before the rest of the building is made. If so, then can it be technically called a foundation stone since it never was allowed to remain a part of the foundation?) College loyalists that we are, we made it the mission of the next fifteen minutes to hunt up the foundation stone from our college among the fusillade of bricks collected in the room. Sadly, the stock of the foundation stone of our college had apparently been low and the room lacked severely in any bricks ear marked thus. On a happier note, none other bricks were found from any other college and we left the place, disappointed yet pleased.


Bonky suggests an inventory to be made of the bricks we met there so here it goes:

  • some bricks from a temple
  • many other bricks from some other temple
  • ditto
  • ditto
  • don't remember much else
The next room had a few canvases with pictures of less known temples in West Bengal but a cursory glance was enough for them. What really intrigued us was a couple of spiral stairs at two ends of the room leading to a balcony giving a bird's eye view of the room (not that it needed it). The conversation which ensued between us brilliant and absorbing conversationalists went like this :

P : Stairs.
B : Guk.
P : (in case something had missed Bonky's eagle eyes)Two stairs.
B : Indeed.
P : You take the right and I take the left, I guess?
B : (as always the more practical one) The balcony will fall down under our combined weight.
P : (avoiding looking at the carved structures which were an excuse for supports) Not really. People must come here sometimes and use it.
B : Oh yeah? How many brick lovers have you exactly met during your lifetime?
P : (hazarding a guess) Sweepers do come, right?
B : Oh, lets do it. At any rate, we might be able to avoid looking at our results.

And on this happy note, we comported ourselves on the stairs when we deduced the main reason why the balcony had not needed ample support. The stairs had been made to fit Chinese women in the age when their feet had been bound in yards of bandages owing to the lack of shoes for size ten feet. Holding on to the banister for dear life and almost tip toeing on the stairs (which had hollows, which meant a wrong step could lead to a foot hanging mid air from one of the steps), we finally reached the balcony. The next conversation we had went like this

B: So, sweepers, huh?
P : What I can't fathom is how do birds reach a room where there are no windows?
B : Mysterious indeed. So, do we get down the other end?
P : Hey, descending was never a part of the contract!

For here, a forgotten fear of heights attacks one of the protagonists and she begins to find excuses to remain on the balcony until she loses enough weight to have her knight in shining armour arrive and carry her downstairs. She was wondering at repercussions of the plan when

B : Dude, I believe that is the secret room.
P : (Immediately closing her eyes) Can you see the skeletons? Is there muscle peeling away from the bone. Will I be able to sleep tonight? Oh, THE HUMANITY!!!
B: Yeah well, all I can see is more books. I guess that's the stock room for that sales counter. Who do you think buys these books? (The economist in her perks up) Is that like an inventory investment?
P : (giving a look no one should give a friend and a fellow sufferer in the cause of education) Will you please concentrate on how to get me down from here? In case you don't remember, we have a movie to watch in, like, three hours and neither of us likes the idea of watching a movie alone. Also, the food is in my bag.
B: Oh, come on. The most that can happen is that we break our necks here and die, our dead bodies undiscovered till two more jobless girls come around here. On a brighter side, death can't be that bad. After all, we did give miserable examinations.

The question of dying thus admirably settled, we proceeded on our way down. It was the classic RDB moment. We had faced so much fear in the name of the impending results, that we had actually gone to a point beyond fear. It was more with the hope of death in our hearts that we tried to fit in our big feet in the tiny foot rests.However, as it is during times when you actually want to die, we did not manage to break our necks and came down, with clammy foreheads and hands a mysterious shade of brown as the only memento of our great climb.

Our journey back from Metcalfe Hall was eventful enough, what with absence of trams, burgers for ten bucks each, visits to haunted churches, trying to find our way to a movie hall in the middle of nowhere, having softies, gazing enviously at young people for their youth and the fact that all of them had boyfriends (at 19, we are aging young), happily gazing at tall guys in blue shirts, green shirts and white shirts and of course, cheering loudly at the women in Chak de India when they beat up the guys at MacD. However, that is a tale for another rainy day and as far as Bonky and Pongo are concerned, the tale of their day out is over.

Next story in line is hopefully the results of using a candid camera at Elliot Park.

p.s. The cartoons are highly amateurish in nature since I have never drawn anything in my entire life and used photoshop even less. Their purpose is nil and will probably be removed someday. They are to be taken in a humorous stride and all evil critics commenting against them will have the curse of the backside itch put on them. If you are a nice critic, may you have a harem of your own :)






13 scaly flippers:

Kaushik Chatterji 4:22 pm, October 02, 2007  

Ludlum rolls in his grave :D I for one don't wanna visit Metcalfe Hall.

Nicely done, esp. the conversation. And the sketches ;) Eagerly awaiting Elliot Park!

Just one question - how heavy are you two?!

(So do I have to pay by credit card, or can I opt for CoD?!)

ad libber 4:26 pm, October 02, 2007  

The case in point is not our heaviness but the fragility of the supports. (Both of us take affront at the query made regarding our heaviness)
The blessing for your harem is free of cost. The legal aspect of it is, however, your concern

WHAT'S IN A NAME ? 11:03 pm, October 02, 2007  

1. Metcalfe Hall !!????!!!??? Ehhh ?? emmm.... lemme see.....naah! Can't remeber . Where's this place ?

2. "a forgotten fear of heights attacks one of the protagonists and she begins to find excuses to remain on the balcony until she loses enough weight to have her knight in shining armour arrive and carry her downstairs."- CRACKER of a line !!!

3. "Next story in line is hopefully the results of using a candid camera at Elliot Park."- A GREAT idea!

4. The cartoon is just fine.

5. I am no evil critic.....
( Read-YOU write very well. )

ad libber 2:08 am, October 03, 2007  

1) I have no clue myself. Get down at BBD Bag and start walking towards nowhere. Though I remember there was a building across the street which we presumed to be the Calcutta mint. Also, surrounding it where many old buildings where people now hang there dirty linen on.
2) :P Its very true though
3) The idea is still under wraps but lets see.
4)as long as you dont call the cartoon ad names, you are no evil critic
5) Thank you
(Read- may you have a harem of your own)

WHAT'S IN A NAME ? 10:39 pm, October 03, 2007  

Ritika, Is it ???

Well, Calcutta Mint is closer home. Its in Taratala. I am not too sure if it's employees eternally engaged in agitations would ever make way for your visit there. A Mint is meant to be a high security place, remember ???

Moo-lah Buzinezzz! 10:46 pm, October 04, 2007  

Nice.Funny.
Some day-out both of you had,eh!
Reminds me of my young days.

I cant really visiting a Metcalfe Hall.Maybe Ill try it out on some random venture when I visit Calcutta.
Recommendations:This post. :)

And yes,the cartoons totally sutied the post.

ad libber 4:07 am, October 05, 2007  

@what's in a name
Hmm...then we probably got the building wrong. Knowing our sense of directions, altogether I am not very surprised. As i said, go to BBD Bag, and leave yourself to luck and you might find it, if it helps, its on the left side of the road if you are walking from the hsbc building towards it, wherever it might be.

@moo-lah
At 23, when you reminiscence about your younger days, I know I am aging young
Yup, some day out we had. We had to leave out a few of the juicier bits though, no clue yet whether blogger censors or not.
And, thank you.

Priyadarshini 9:09 am, October 05, 2007  

hey, thanks for dropping by.. you know, i think one of the reasons people do that (discuss tagore that is) is to show off that they know something in life and also to cover up their inherent insecurity of being labelled as being 'un' bong. It drives me insane.

anastasia 5:45 pm, October 05, 2007  

awesome. love ur blog. its just as wacky as i hoped it wud be.( many ppl dnt like me coz i am wacky) and those momos are found in front of avani heights..rabindra sadan metro station....yum factor has to be tasted to be believed.

ad libber 11:46 pm, October 05, 2007  

oh i know it now, my entire school life was spent in front of that particular momo shop..i applaud your taste buds.

many ppl don't like me for the same reason :(

dreamy 7:24 pm, October 06, 2007  

"a forgotten fear of heights attacks one of the protagonists and she begins to find excuses to remain on the balcony until she loses enough weight to have her knight in shining armour arrive and carry her downstairs."...

I looove this part!..and the rest of the post too!


well only that, because your blog comments are just so intellectual and funny and all, I get intimidated, because I am real bad when it comes to commenting [maong other things] ...yeah..so point is...errmm..I forgot the point..anyway..nice post!..eagerly waiting for the next!

dreamy 7:25 pm, October 06, 2007  

among, i meant among* other things

ad libber 2:55 am, October 07, 2007  

(gives the wheezy laugh so typical of her)
Delve deeply in my comments..they absolutely mean nothing, I just have a very developed skill of typing nonsense which sometimes does not sound like nonsense. I believe the fact that I talk too much has contributed to it.
I am eagerly waiting for my next post too.On a creative hibernation yet again :(

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