Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Titled Gent Gets Kicked; It Is a Privilege To Be There

The Delhi summer has taken its toll on Anna. He is eating less, preferring liquids (hot or cold) to solids. He is walking shorter distances. He is lethargic and sleeping more.

Weather 19 May - 25 May 2016

It is only after the heavy downpour on Monday, that Anna has walked to the park or eaten a proper meal. And I, smacking-myself-on-the-side-of-my-head-with-my-palm, have just realised that it is the heat. Tubelight that I am.

This morning, lethargy gave way to a new story of his young adulthood. We are drinking our first liquid of the day (Anna has hot coffee and I have warm water with lemon).
Photo Courtesy

Anna: You know, I have had the privileged of kicking a "Sir".

I am very surprised. I didn't know Anna knew or interacted with any titled gentlemen from the Commonwealth. How had I missed this story as a child?

Me: You kicked a "Sir"? When? How? Why?

Anna: You know we were together.

That seems obvious, as he had to be near a "Sir" to kick him.

Anna: He was very happy to see a machine that was made by his family in the 1930s at the factory.

I now realise that this incident must have happened when Anna was a Director at the National Small Industries Corporation, where he was responsible for the growth of small scale industries.  There must have been some titled gent who came to India, as a part of some government program.

But that does not answer the question "Why, did Anna kick a "Sir"?" So I decide to ask him specifically.

Me: Anna, why did you kick a "Sir"?

Anna: I didn't kick him. We both got kicked.

This is becoming murky.

Me: Anna why did you both get kicked? And by whom?

All is quiet and so I change the topic. I see a great story ready for the telling and want to know more details.

Me: Anna, what was his full name?

Anna: I don't remember. He was a "Sir" from Scotland. Maybe Sir Badami or something that sounded like that.

Now, I am getting really excited. My maternal grandmother was born a Badami. She had fair skin, red hair, and blue green eyes (we teased her about her ancestors having liaisons with Scottish sailors). Maybe, Anna's "Sir" had a name that sounded like Badami.

Me: So why did you both get kicked, Anna?

Anna: I provided succour to him when we got kicked. I got him into the railway station in the 5mins that the lights were put on. We slept the night at the station.

This must have been long ago when not all stations had electricity 24x7.

Me: What station was this, Anna?

Anna: He told be all about travelling to England from India. I told him how to get to Scotland from London.

I am not sure how Anna knows about travelling to Scotland from London.

Me:  So Anna, why did you both get kicked?

Anna: Not kicked. Kicked out. From a party.

I want to know the juicy details! I can almost see my eyes twinkling.

Me: Anna what did you both do to get kicked out?

Anna just gives me a small grin.

Me: Anna, did you get kicked out for getting drunk? And misbehaving?

Anna: No.

Me: Anna, did you flirt with women and hence get kicked out?

Anna: No.

I can't think of any other reasons why Anna and a Scottish "Sir" were kicked out from a party in the 50s or 60s.  So I decide to get a timeline on this.

Me: Anna, when did this happen? What year? How old were you?

Anna (looking at me strangely): It just happened. A few hours back.

Then it hits me.  He has had a very real dream.

I ask some more questions, trying to determine if there are any facts that form the basis of this dream. I don't get anything. Finally, he asks for his holdall, which is with his grandmother's sister, so that he can open it out on the berth and sleep.

The dream has not completely ended.

I tell him that his holdall has been opened and his bedding has been spread out on the berth. We take him to his bed for his post coffee nap. He lies down on his side and grabs the protective rail as if he is on a railway carriage berth, and promptly falls asleep.


  1. Oh what a wonderfully written piece Sangeeta. I am sitting here, reading, drawn into the story of 'Sir' and your Anna getting kicked out of a party. I am drawn into both dream and reality. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thanks Shikha. When I met him in the evening of the same day, I asked him if he recalled this conversation. He didn't. Then I told him the story and he smiled with amusement!