Stormtroopers

A long time ago.

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Light sabers

In a galaxy far, far away.

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Yoda

DO or DO NOT. There is no TRY.

Darth Vader

No, I'm your father.

Villains

You don't know the power of the dark side.

The Force Awakens

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X-Wing Fighter

Long live the Rebel Alliance.

January 4, 2012

All right,ol boy!

In an old age home,two men were talking.
"I tell you Ronit,I hate these group photo sessions. When we line up for the picture we look like the snow-covered Himalayas,"the first man cursed."I am seriously considering shaving my hair off and turning bald like you."

"I won't recommend it," the second man replied."Being bald doesn't make me look any younger, it just makes my head look like a fossilized dinosaur egg."

The first man smiled.

"You know,Sanjay," the second man,Ronit,coughed a bit and continued to speak,"I miss those days when we used to roast the hell out of all the newcomers here.All the jokes we cracked at the newbies to lighten the somber mood .It's hard to make fun of someone else's age when you're the one exhibiting all the symptoms of dementia.Why the last time fresh meat was brought in,I forgot half of what I was going to say, and I think I combined the wrong punch line with the wrong joke.Judging by the reaction anyway. It made me remember when I didn't need glasses or any other medical aids to perform the simplest of functions.And pulling others' legs has always been the simplest of functions."

"Yeah,congratulations.We officially graduated to being the grumpy,senile old men who become the butt of everyone's jokes,"Sanjay chuckled.

"Grumpy,huh?" Ronit's weary old eyes flashed momentarily in amusement."You know what makes me grumpy? If I see one more Viagra commercial somebody's gonna get hurt. I don't need someone promising me that my hour hand can be at three o' clock instead of six o' clock all the time. Especially when it comes with serious side effects."

"A friend of  mine tried that stuff,"Sanjay lowered his voice,smiling slyly."He experienced a painful erection lasting longer than four hours.It became so bad,he had to get himself admitted.Hell of an embarrassment.Can you imagine that kinda thing happening to you?"

"Hah!Like I'm actually going to go into a crowded hospital waiting room and inform them that my missile is stuck in the stratosphere. I'd rather tell them I'm having irregular bowel movement  and say -Oh, by the way, could you check below, my flight is experiencing some landing difficulties," Ronit replied with a smug smile.

Sanjay burst out laughing.

"Speaking of side effects, there are some pretty interesting ones for the medicine I take for my constipation as well," Ronit continued with enthusiasm." The medicine that is supposed to provide you relief while you relieve yourself....has two side effects; It gives you a runny nose and your sperm count goes down. Now any medicine that affects my sperm count while it's fixing my sewage disposal is going to make me wonder if the medicine really knows what it's doing down there. After all, it's supposed to be unclogging the drain, not turning  the tap on top into a leaky faucet. And I certainly hope the runny nose isn't a missing link to where the missing sperm are going. I don't want to have to worry about getting some poor girl pregnant every time I sneeze."

"Ha ha,"Sanjay was roaring so hard by now that he had started coughing.

"I could go on but I am feeling drowsy," Ronit smiled wryly."It's the drugs I guess.I am not getting any younger,that's for sure."

Sanjay's coughing didn't stop.

"Hey,Sanjay,you okay?"Ronit asked in a concerned tone.

The coughing showed no signs of lessening.It only grew worse.Sanjay's face contorted in pain as he clutched his chest.Ronit watched with horror as his friend suddenly became unconscious and fell off the chair.

**Five days later**

"Pneumonia?"Sanjay asked in a slightly incredulous tone."You mean to say just a teeny-weeny pneumonia knocked me out?Sheesh!!I was thinking it would at least be a heart attack or something.How on earth am I going to face the guys back at the home,Ronit?I am a blot on the rich heritage of our home's inmates getting knocked off by severe,incurable maladies.Damn!"

"Do me a favour and spare me that sense of humour,"Rohit spat back.

He looked haggard and spent.Spending five nights without a wink of sleep does that you.He was tirelessly doing everything in his power to nurse his friend back to health.Sanjay's condition had been critical.The medics had been apprehensive about his chances of survival.If it had not been for Ronit's indefatigable efforts,and even the doctors had no qualms admitting this,Sanjay probably would not have made it.

"Spare you my humour?Do us both a favour and buy one!Ronit!You look like someone just run you over with a steam-roller.This old nutjob made you go through hell,didn't he?"

"Yes,you certainly made me slog my ass off,you bastard!!Why,even the goddamn nurses on this floor started whispering in hushed tones that there might be something going on between the two of us."A naughty smile crossed Ronit's lips.

"Really?I wonder what they might be thinking.Two gay old men.Inseparable.Staring lovingly into each other's eyes,holding each other's hands and watching the sunset together through the hospital window.Tch tch.Straight out of a Mills and Boons novel.No wonder the nurses are all excited about it."

"One of those nurses is a bomb!"Ronit's lips stretched back to reveal a toothless smile.

"And you were ogling her like anything,weren't you?You lecherous dawg!Say,was she the reason you put your arthritis-ridden back into caring for me?Man,she is one half of half your age.It's going to take a lot more than that to get into her..whatever it is you want to get into,"Sanjay's eyes lit up in wicked amusement.

"Bye,Sanjay," Ronit got up from his seat grinning."I will come down tomorrow.They will let you go in a couple of days.I am waiting for that day with bated breath. I soo want to beat the crap out of you and get you admitted again."

"No doubt so that you can have more staring time at that nurse,jerk.See you tomorrow,Ronit."

As Ronit turned to leave,Sanjay called out,"Hey ol chum!"

"Yeah?"Rohit turned back,that smile still plastered across his wizened face.

"You were never going to give up on me,were you?"

"Never."

****
A year flew by.Good times came and went.So did the bad.Until one day,Ronit was diagnosed with liver failure.The doctors announced that there was nothing they could do.He had a couple of weeks left at most.He was put on ventilator.His son was informed.

As Sanjay stared at his friend's still body ensnared in a mesh of medical equipment,an intense grief overcame him. Pain, memories, and questions sttarted haunting him. He wondered if he would ever be the same again.Whether he could ever really laugh, ever recover, ever be able to joke again. He felt that life would never be the same because this gaping big hole where Ronit was would swallow him up and never let him see the funnier side of life. His family had forsaken him five years ago.Left him to rot in an old age home.It was Ronit and his humour which made every passing day bearable for him.And now,even that would be snatched away.Ronit had saved his life more than once.He was more than a friend.He was the family which cried and laughed with him,when he cried about not having a family to laugh with.And now he could just watch him die.Helplessly.Hopelessly.


A week later Ronit passed away.

The nurse came and handed Sanjay a letter."It's from your friend,"she said.

Sanjay opened it immediately.Ronit must have written it during the little spells of consciousness he had in the past couple of weeks.
"Hey chum,missing me already?Cheer up,ol pal!Look at the bright side.You are now the undisputed chess and bridge champion of our home now.The only person who could have whipped your butt in those is pushing the daisies by now."

Sanjay's eyes swelled with tears.Ronit had sucked at both.And yet he had always stuck to the opinion that he was a better chess and bridge player than his friend.Sanjay wiped away his tears and continued reading.

"Now don't feel so glum,chum.I know you are feeling messed up.But for this old cronie's sake,just let the pain go.Don't even think about being disloyal to my memory and all that baloney.My dear wifey always used to say-the ultimate loyalty and honoring of what is lost is in remembering well and forging ahead by taking with you the best of your memories to inspire your way forward. Remember well to live well and you honor both yourself and me.

Good-bye old chum.I didn't give up on you.Don't you dare give up on me now.I would have to come back to haunt the living daylights out of you otherwise.You wouldn't want to give so much trouble to an old spooky arthritis-ridden ghost,would you?"

Despite himself,Sanjay smiled.He neatly folded the note and put it into his pocket.He looked one last time at the room where Ronit spent his last few days,patted the note in his pocket and said,"All right,ol boy!"

**The End**

Reactions:

25 comments:

  1. This was nice, a complete story. Fun element is so nicely written, whole plot is nice. :) Title is apt to the content. :) Good going :)

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  2. Its great!! I'm so glad you tried different stuff... The conversation parts that you write are always a treat to read.. This ones good too.. Not sure if real oldies would agree..But it was fun and the end beautiful...

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  3. Rahul you have out done yourself!!!!
    i couldn't help laughing and crying and smiling.
    This is the best you've come up with by far!
    you are truly amazingly talented.
    Please think twice before you think bout giving up on writing,
    as Ronit says you wouldn't me to haunt you in getting back to writing now, would you?

    PS Ronit reminds me so much of my Grandpa :)
    Thank you so much.

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  4. Its was ....just perfect one. :D
    Nice touchy story with humor

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  5. Oh WoW! You had me laughing as hard as Sanjay was doing, so many times throughout this story! The phrasing of the humor was amazing! So sad when Ronit passed but he still managed to make Sanjay smile with the letter he left behind. I loved it and can't believe that we may not have seen this if you had left :P This is fabulous writing, Rahul. You are NOT going anywhere, comprende? (Understand) :P :D

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  6. wonderful :)

    ..Marching ahead of the pit ..taking the beautiful memories with you..is the way it goes. TRUE.

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  7. Rahul, i must say, this for me is one of your best posts !! .. i completely loved the entire narration, the bond, the love, the friendship is so well narrated here...

    love the dialogues - 'the viagra ones' lmao ...

    loved the letter as well.. like i said earlier this deserves an APPLAUD ....

    Loads of love and wishes for the year ahead :)

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  8. Wonderful story! :)

    Will surely come back for more..keep writing!

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  9. I really love it! Wonderful! :)

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  10. And you want to stop! Psshhhtt!! Do you know what the world will lose if you do stop?! An amazing writer! :)

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  11. @Sreya I am just glad I got my writing groove back.:-)

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  12. @Anonymous :-) I would have tried different stuff one day or the other.Better late than never as I always say.

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  13. @Rahika I am glad I was able to write something which you could connect with.:-)And anyway,I came back...and I came back because of you..do remember that..:-)

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  14. @Fiona Comprende...indeed...:-) And my gratitude..

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  15. @Radhika I am just glad you liked my stuff...:-) Thank you..

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  16. @Menachery You and Rachika make so wonderful comments that you make me want to write just more and more..Thank you so much..:-)

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  17. @DawnZhang :-) Ahh well..coming from a brilliant writer such as you,that comment really means a lot to me...THank you so much..

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  18. Ah a complete post. Humor, drama, love, friendship.

    For me friends are more than family, not just in numbers, so having a bond like thiers at a stage in life where your family has isolated you is very emotional. But lets not forget everyone is not so blessed.

    Beautifully narrated.

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  19. @Pooja THank you so much for your kind words.:-) I am glad people are enjoying my story.

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  20. This was painfully beautiful!
    You cracked me up at places and then you made my eyes well up..
    Stratosphere!!!!Ghahahahahaha
    and tht letter... :(
    Simply beautiful!

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  21. Very touching..I love the way emotions flow in here..very different and heart rendering. Loved it :)

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  22. Dude, check out my blog. You've got an award in store :D

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  23. love it a nice one :)
    http://timetoseedreamzz.blogspot.com/

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