Time and again I have been at the receiving end of A(rna)b’s vernacular idiosyncrasies and eccentricities. For a long time, longer than it should have been, I had believed that A(rna)b faked it, that he must realise the usual puns behind his expressions at some level. The incident yesterday, however, has put an end to whatever hope that I might have had in this regard.
The boys were back from Kalpakkam for the weekend, and were down in the dinner table after having toiled their day through endless et sessions. The following conversation followed between A(cha)l and A(rna)b -
A(rna)b: So, what are (Jaya)nth and P(adm)a doing at IGCAR?
A(cha)l: (in his usual bored and detached drawl) Jaya(nth) is screwing P(adm)a, what else?
A(rna)b: (incredulously) But how could he do that? Only a professor can screw her!
Nobody at the dinner table could figure out for a moment what he meant by this, much less how to react to it. When we finally understood, we couldn’t decide what was more appalling, his remark or his presumed innocence (but we laughed hard anyway), which, as I have remarked earlier, I doubted upon. In any case, A(cha)l decided to explain to him the meaning of the word “screwing.”
A(cha)l: umm … , Do you know what screwing means? Do you know who can screw whom?
A(rna)b: Kyon, pataa hai naa. I can screw R(avi)tej.
I laughed for a long time at this, prompted by A(cha)l’s choking next to me. And then there was peace, having come in terms with A(rna)b’s peace finally.