On being 30 and such things.

Time : Midnight (the bitching hour).

Location: Five miles from the Arabian Sea.

Characters: A thirty something man Altamash, his wife Nida, a purple teapot and a rather irritable Kangaroo

It is Altamash’s birthday and a microsecond after midnight, the moon shines in it’s jaundiced glory upon the land of the pure.

Altamash: I think I am thirty.

Nida: Shut up and pour more phosphorus for the teapot.

Altamash: Yes dear, whatever you say, dear.

Teapot: I think I look purpler at midnight.

Kangaroo: I was just thinking about that. I think getting red highlights will bring out your eyes.

Teapot: (gryating like an insane planetary orbit)  That is so nice of you, of course, I was thinking that my friends from Noritake make fun of me because I was made in Sri Lanka.

Altamash: Nida, I feel old and depreciated. What do you think about this thirty years business?

Nida: No, no, you are appreciated.

Altamash: I said depreciated. My brain is hurting.

Nida: Kangaroo, what do you think? Is Altamash depreciated?

Kangaroo: I think he is a hot potato on a burning wooden spear that has emerald green hearts made on the sides in bunches of three.

Teapot: This phosphorus is horrid, it needs more Oomph! And so do you thirtysomething Altamash!

Altamash: No! Don’t call me that! Anything but that!

Nida / Kangaroo / Teapot: Thirty! Thirty! Thirty! Thirtyyyyyyyysomeeeeeethiiiiiiiiing!

Altamash: No! No! No! Out damned spot! A thirtysomething by any name is a thirthsomething!

Teapot: A pox on this phosphorus and it’s illegitimate children!

Altamash: (clapping wildly) Hamm bhee agar bachay hotay, aur khanay ko miltay laddu, aur duniya kehtee happy budday too yoo.

Nida: I was afraid of this, his brain is dying.

Altamash: Is that why Mr Teapot and Mr Kangaroo are hovering on a make belief ivory table having phosphorus and Brook Bonds Tea?

Nida: How dare someone have Brook Bonds tea in my house, even if it is the insane hallucinations of my decrepit husband!

Teapot: Shut up! I like Brook Bonds, it helps me grow fat and sturdy.

Nida: No honey, that is bone!

Teapot: (laughing like a hyena) Oh, yes, rather, quite, perhaps, quite, rather, oh, rather, cheerio, rather, perhaps, rather.

Kangaroo: Am I supposed to have this pouch? I asked the tailor to keep only one in my right trousers pocket and to keep it small. I hate Hamid, he always mixes things up.

Altamash: But, but, but, am I insane? Or old? Or both? Or neither? Tell me! Please!

Nida: Honey, I love you, but this is not helping, you need more glass for clarity! But it has to be Belgian.

Altamash: Yes dear, whatever you say dear.

Teapot: Kangaroo, do you think Altamash is quite insane?

Kangaroo: (with the gravity of a philosopher) I gather it is either the physical insanity of old age, or the mental insanity of young age, or the intellectual insanity of youth, or it is some other form of insanity that does exist but we can neither prove nor disprove its existence.

Teapot: I didn’t know you were Maniagnostic.

Kangaroo: I am, That I am.

Teapot: Remarkable. Quite remarkable. So, tell me your views on the recent book by Mr Dashinga Harvershin.

Kangaroo: Hogwash! Bullcrap! Humbug!

Nida: Shut up both of you! You are his hallucinations, not mine. Out with you; evil specters; out!

The teapot, the kangaroo and ivory table diffuse into the still dark air-conditioned air.

All that remained was: a microsecond after midnight, the moon shining in it’s jaundiced glory, the land of the pure, a life fleeting like time, and insanity.

Age creeps on slow wings, each hour now is equal to one hour, each hour in the future is equal to one year and each hour in the past is equal to one second.

And no, this is not Einstein’s theory of relativity.



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