Though it was 6.30 in the evening, it was terribly hot and the old Usha ceiling fan, which was badly in need of maintenance, in spite of running at its maximum speed, was making more noise than giving out cool air.
But both young men in the room were oblivious to the heat as they were totally engrossed in watching “3 Idiots” on a computer screen which was placed on a rickety wooden table.
In front of the screen, Ram and Sandy were huddled together on two metal beds that have been put together and covered with thin cotton matrices.
Ram was a tall, fair Bihari boy of 25 who loves wearing colorful clothes and who works as a software Engineer in a leading software development firm.
Sandy, on the other hand, was Maharashtrian and of 26 years old with average height and plumbic with a small paunch, who lived his life wearing T-shirt and jeans. He was always job hopping and only last week he had joined a new company as a back office executive.
Ram was seating elect on one bed watching the movie intently while on the other bed Sandy, who had racked both the pillows, had laid on his stomach and watching the movie comfortably.
As the movie reached a high point, the doorbell rang shrilly, but neither of them moved. The doorbell rang again, And again.
Ram said, “Sandy, you lazy bump, why don’t you open the door?”
Sandy laughed and said, “Look who’s talking. Besides that, I’m lying down and you are seating, it’s easier for you to open the door.”
Then the bell rang again shrilly. The person on the outside kept his finger on bell switch and bell kept ringing continuously.
Sandy made a loud snoring sound and said, ”I’m at sleep.“
“Lazy ass,” said Ram getting off the bed and pausing the movie using the keyboard and then he went and opened the door.
Standing outside was Aniket, a fair thin Maharashtrian boy of average height with a bachelor degree in Mechanical engineering. His face was red with anger as he yelled, “Are you guys doped? I have been ringing the bell for half an hour and why hasn’t anyone opened the door?”
“Chill man” Said Ram, “The door is opened now. Ok”
Aniket dumped his bag on the floor and then questioned looking at the screen, “Which movie are you guys watching?”
“3 Idiots” replied Sandy smiling, “And now the third idiots has joined us”
“Wow! I’ll also watch it with you guys.” Said Aniket excitedly.
“On one condition,” said Ram “that you will watch quietly and won’t interrupt.”
“No problem dude,” said Aniket as he tried lying on the bed between Ram and Sandy but decided against it and sat as the height of the two beds were different and it was uncomfortable to lie down.
As Aniket settled down on the bed, the computer screen flickered and went off and with the growing noise, the old usha fan came to a stop.
Since the sun has set and the computer was the only source of illumination the room was plunged into the darkness.
“Panauti,” said Sandy voice from the darkness, “You have done it again.”
Aniket replied, “Yeah genius, now blame me because electricity is gone.”
Sandy said, “Last time also when we….”
Ram’s voice interrupted, “Shut up you guys, it’s already hot enough without you guys making it hotter. So just chill”
“By the way where is Balu? I haven’t seen him off late?” Queried Aniket
“I haven’t seen him either.” Said Ram cautiously getting up from the bed and opening the door so that some cool breeze could come in.
Sandy said, “shit, even though the door is open, I can’t see the finger in front of my face.”
Ram laughed and said, “Then you can’t see my middle finger either”
All three laughed at this.
Ram said, “Last week, I asked Balu if he wanted to listen to a joke
He said, “Yes”
So I said, “Pussy”
Balu said, “Hey Ram, I don’t get it”
And I said, “Exactly”
All three boys laughed so loudly that the bed shook violently.
“Hey hey,” Ram said, “take care or I’ll fall off the bed”
“Who cares?” Replied Aniket with a giggle.
“You know what somebody told me that Balu got a girlfriend.” Said Sandy
“What crap” Retorted Ram, “He’s the blackest person I have ever meet and he looks more like a hairy monkey than a human being. ”
“And his voice,” said Aniket, “Sound just like a 5-year-old girl”
“Hey Aniket how are you?” said Aniket in a high falsetto.
Everyone giggled again.
There was silence for few second then Sandy said, “Have you heard what happened when Balu’s boss took him out dinner with the client?”
“No,” Said Aniket, “Tell us”
Sandy continued, “Balu’s boss took him to a 5-star hotel for dinner with the client and after dinner when they had served finger bowls you know what Balu did?”
“What?” Queried Ram
“He squeezed the slice of lemon into the warm water, added salt and pepper… and then drank it up”
There was loud thud as the body hits the floor then came Ram’s voice saying, “You idiot, you pushed me off the bed.”
“Sorry bro,” Said Aniket giggling.
There was a cracking sound as Ram climbed down onto the bed again. He pushed Aniket and said, “Move, make some space for me.”
Ram giggled suddenly.
“What are you giggling about?” Questioned Sandy.
Ram replied, “Just remembering what Balu told me last week.
He was sitting in the office bathroom when he heard a voice from the next cubicle saying, “Hi”
Balu replied, “Hello”
The voice questioned, “How are you doing?”
Balu replied, “I’m fine”
The voice then questioned, “Is there any problem”
Balu replied, “No problem, actually it’s coming out pretty nicely”
Then Balu heard the voice saying angrily, “Listen, I got to call you back after some time, There is an asshole in the next cubicle who keeps on answering all my questions.”
All three boys laughed so violently that the bed rumbled and shook.
Giggling loudly Aniket said, “Guys you know what Balu is so black that it would be impossible to see him even if he was seating in a chair in our room right now.”
All the boys giggled at this, Ram said, “Shit, this heat is too much, I hope the electricity comes pretty soon.”
As if on cue the computer came alive and the fan started its groaning and moaning.
“Yeah,” said Sandy as he switched on the light, “Now we can watch rest of the movie.”
When he didn’t get a reply, he turned towards Ram and Aniket and saw them looking over his shoulder in astonishment. Sandy turned and said, “What the fuck!”
For seating in the chair was an angry Balu with tears rolling down his cheeks.
There was an eerie silence in the room and then Balu said with the sob in his voice, “…. And I thought you bastard were my friends.”