Pramod is a good guy. A half-decent cook. Generally efficient housekeeper. Importantly, his demeanour is mostly pleasant and cheery.
The problem with Pramod is that he's on vacation. Gone to Gaon.
And hence, Raju. The cooker of cabbages. The shirker of sweeping and swabbing. The ignorer of things-that-he's-flaming-paid-to-do.
And when you're five guys living in a nice flat, and you have a choice between :
you'd have to go with i) every single time. ii) is not quite a viable option, unless you enjoy eating cabbage. No, I mean, you really enjoy eating cabbage. No, I mean, you wish to eat nothing other than cabbage every single day of your life.
But I digress. This was supposed to be about the rat.
It's a bold one, this rat. Earlier this afternoon, he sauntered into the kitchen, just as Shashi and I were having lunch. Having reached the centre of the kitchen, approximately equidistant from the fridge and the dustbin, he paused, and looked straight at me. I'm not kidding. Straight in the eye. For a full five seconds. Only when I showed aggressive intent by rising from my chair did the damn animal retreat. Not in any great hurry, mind you. He just sort of de-sauntered back under the sink, from where he had emerged a few moments earlier. I can imagine him rolling his eyes disdainfully , saying "Oh all right. Have it your way, then. I'll just come out when you're off to wherever you go to do your miserable job, and then who'll stop me, eh?" The evil bastard. I'm going to call him Jagmohan. And I'm going to work out of home. Now who's so clever. eh?
But I digress. This was supposed to be about Raju. And no, I haven't forgotten the cockroach.
After a few more appearances from Jagmohan, we decided that enough was enough. Can't have evil rats having the run of the place. Bad for the appetite, and all that.
We marched to the kitchen to take affirmative action, only to find Jagmohan strolling about the kitchen floor as if he was cooking dinner, and Raju lounging about the same location as if he wasn't. To make things worse, Raju was carefully stepping over the rat (so as not to disturb the vermin) and going about his duties without so much as a what-ho? As if the filthy rodent was some sort of favoured pet dog. A chihuahua perhaps, or a pekingese, but that's not important.
Hasty orders were screamed, and who do we send out to acquire a rat trap at a local merchant's? Raju. We must be shining geniuses. And we deserved what we eventually got - the empty-handed return of Raju, with the fantastic excuse that there were no rat traps available in the good neighbourhood of Versova. All fucking thirty square miles of it. Of course, his investigations revealed that rat traps were available in Andheri. Of course, he didn't bother to actually GO there or anything. What for? To him, the rat was no different from a fucking pekingese.
So night falls. Raju leaves. The rat stays.
Rahul throws out the mayonnaise.
I can't help thinking - maybe we would have got better results if we asked the rat to get rid of Raju. And while he was at it, to cook a decent dinner. I'm sure even Jagmohan could whip up something more interesting than cabbage.
Oh - and I didn't forget the cockroach. That story is coming up.