11 March

High BP and I wait at the Borivili flat for 2x-y to arrive lock, stock and barrel. After all he has done to find her a flat, I can hardly refuse to go with him,

When he says: “I have to hand over the keys to her. I could send someone, but my friend wanted me to check the flat before I give it to 2x-y, and also collect the bills and so on. Saves him a trip to Borivili.”

When I reach the flat, High BP is having it cleaned by the watchman’s wife.

High BP: “I thought might as well get it done while we are waiting. Saves her the trouble.”

I smile. This is a side of him that I had glimpsed at his Christmas party as he looked after each and every one of his guests, but I hadn’t realized that he could extend himself for someone he hadn’t even met.

High BP: “We should have gone and fetched her from Nalla Sopara. We’ve come half way there, anyway. It would have been fun to leave her landlady with some more mud to sling.”

I don’t want to tell him about Motorbike Man who is probably fetching 2x-y. But in fact, 2x-y turns up alone. She doesn’t have much with her, 2 suitcases and 3 boxes. After the formalities have been dispensed with, the keys handed over, and her effusive thanks have embarrassed High BP enough, we leave her in solitary peace.

In the car, suddenly High BP says: “You must be wondering why I suddenly want the case to be closed. I owe you an explanation.”

Me: “No, you don’t. You know I was always in favour of you settling outside Court. So I’m glad you finally want to do that.”

High BP: “That’s fine. But I need to tell you before you get to know it from somewhere else. Pallo is gay.”

Me: “What?”

He nods.

Me: “Then why did she get married to you? … Sorry, I don’t mean that, I know that this often happens.”

High BP: “Yes, the obvious reasons. She was terrified of her family. Terrified of disclosure. Poor girl. I feel sorry for her, because I know what her family is like.”

Me: “But then why didn’t she stick with it? It would have been the safer route for her, isn’t it, to continue being married to you? This way, she’s brought even more attention to herself.”

High BP: “Yes, but you know how it is. You get so pressurized sometimes, and you think you have the solution. But when it comes to the crunch, you can’t go through with it. The wedding night must have brought her to her senses.”

Me: “Do you think her family knows? Do you think they knew before the marriage?”

High BP: “Now when I think back about it, I feel sure that they did. They must have thought marriage would ‘cure’ her. Or something of that sort.”

I keep quiet.

He makes a feeble attempt to joke: “Maybe they felt that I was handsome enough to make her change her sexual preferences. But I’m just not tantalizing enough. I seem to have lost my touch. Look at you, how sternly you rebuke all my advances.”

I make a face at him, and on an impulse, reach out and hold his hand. I can rationally understand why Pallo must have done what she did, but I feel sorry for High BP.


2 Comments on “11 March”

  1. desi-at-large says:

    I wanna hold your haaaaand….Now Appi will really give him high BP (I’d never have hit upon the reason for High BP’s name until you explained, pardon me, most times I’m slow).
    High BP has steadily risen in my esteem. How thoughtful of him to have the flat cleaned! Pick up bills for friend! Show such discretion in the Pallo matter. How perfectly he deduces her family’s reasoning – his good looks could’ve `cured’ Pallo.

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