Story 3. The Room Boy.


I would not have used quite the same language, but read on. In a cockeyed way, this relates to this story.

This story would not have happened had it not been for Prohibition. Most of India suffered from this bane for many decades immediately after independence but, sanity was restored due to sheer economics and all but one state in India have now totally removed that aberration or have liberalised regimes that do not consider drinking alcoholic beverages as a criminal activity.

My story takes place in Gujarat where prohibition is still in force but where one can easily get all popular brands of drinks at often lower prices than the neighouring states. In fact, Gujaratis claim that they enjoy their parties more because there is prohibition.

It was in 1986, just about a year after I had one hip replaced that this happened. Those were the days of wine and roses for me and I would not ever consider being without my sun downers anywhere.

I had to visit Gujarat as part of my official duties and I would mostly keep these visits to the bare minimum possible for the obvious reason. Whenever I had to stay overnight, my local contacts would arrange to purchase a bootlegged bottle of whiskey for use by me during the visit. I would gift away and left over before I left the state, much to the joy of the recipients.

In this particular instance, the hotel that I used to regularly stay in could not give me room due to a big convention and I was put up in a newer hotel. I checked in late in the evening after a full day’s work and a cheerful Room Boy carried my bags to my room. I gave him a generous tip and bade him good night and settled in. I took a shower and got into my after office attire of lungi and kurta, fixed myself a drink and settled down to watch some television.

There was a knock on the door and on opening it I found the cheerful Room Boy enquiring if I needed any other service. I thanked him and said no and said that I would order for food from Room Service and shut the door on him.

Fifteen minutes later, the same thing happened and this time he was more specific and asked me if I wanted a bottle of booze using sign language. I said no and sent him off once more.

Fifteen minutes later he was back again and I could sense that it was him again and was a bit annoyed when I opened the door and told him clearly that I did not want any liquor and that I did not want to be disturbed again. He cheerfully said, that he understood but whether I would be interested in “any other service” winking and making it obvious as to what was on offer. I lost my cool and told him that if he disturbed me again, I would kick his backside all the way to the staircase and decided to give him a demonstration for his troubles.

I came to after a few seconds. I was flat on my back on the floor, having tripped over by the kick not finding its target but my lungi. I lay there petrified for some time hoping that I had not damaged my artificial hip joint. I made tentative movements and having satisfied myself that I had not, I slowly got up and shut the door that was still open with no sign of the Room boy. I sat down on the sofa and telephoned my local contact to fetch me take me to an orthopedist after taking an X-ray. That was duly done and it was midnight before I came back to sleep.

I never stayed in that hotel again. And I never kicked anything or anybody again when wearing a lungi.

PS. Thanks Mitch.

24 thoughts on “Story 3. The Room Boy.”

  1. LOL! Now that’s funny, and I can’t imagine even trying to kick someone to begin with, let alone in a lungi. Punch someone yes, but I can’t ever remember trying to kick anyone, though I might have as a little kid Great story; thanks for sharing that.
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted..Karma And Intuition

    1. I am glad that you found it funny Mitch. I have often thought of why I did not go for a punch and the only reasonable excuse is that I had one hand on the door handle and the other supporting me on the door-frame. In Hindi, we say “laath maareygaa” to inform someone that we intend punishing the person with a kick and that is what I told him and followed up with an actual kick.

  2. And there I was (it’s early) reading your title as “The Rent Boy”.

    You can’t hold it against the poor chap: After all, he was working in the service industry.

    As to your fall. Whilst regrettable (and why would you kick someone instead of just punching them?) it shows that you are not a woman. Women know their limitations when it comes to attire.

    Other than that I could kiss you (and will – if and when given the opportunity) for that most marvelous quote.which had me laugh out loud, will print out forthwith, nail to the wall, carry in my heart and remind myself of every day:

    “When you walk to opportunity’s door, don’t knock it. Kick that bitch in, smile and introduce yourself.” Ramana, it couldn’t have come more timely.

    Ursula recently posted..Calling

    1. In Hindi, we say “laath maareygaa” to inform someone that we intend punishing the person with a kick and that is what I told him and followed up with an actual kick. I learnt my lesson alright.

      I am glad that you found the quote apt. That is a first for you!

      I await that kiss with bated breath.

  3. still laughing!
    you just get better and better.
    somehow … informing someone you’re about to kick them is a little like setting yourself up for the fall. lungi or no lungi!
    tammyj recently posted..bin bizy bak soon!

  4. This was really funny to read. Maybe not so funny to experience, but you got out of it OK thankfully, so we can laugh now. Educational post too, I know now what a lungi is and what it looks like.

  5. A friend of mine, while visiting Bali, decided to wear a lungi and explore the rural locality around his hotel. He slipped on a flight of mossy stairs in a narrow lane and landed at the bottom with the lungi wrapped round his neck like a scarf. Dangerous things. Luckily, nothing was hurt but his pride. Also luckily, he had worn briefs under the lungi.

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