So my muscular neighbor begins his ascend of the jackfruit tree with the dexterity of a lama. He climbs, swings from one branch to another till he reaches that coveted jackfruit. The li’l kids below had been throwing stones at it since morning but had achieved nothing except making a few birds shriek. The boys were glad the messiah of the colony was at the job because frankly, nobody else could have dreamt of climbing up a tree that steep .......with just a towel on.
Yes you read it right...a towel.
Any Indian boy who has ever had to wear even a dhoti knows how wearing it while doing nothing at all can still qualify as multi-tasking. But there aren't many challenges beyond Mr.T's capabilities.
By this time, the colony had assembled near the tree to witness the impossible. In an Urban set up, it may be slightly odd to picture a man wearing a towel strolling the mohalla, but in an almost rural part of a small town, this didn’t raise many eyebrows.
The ladies of the colony always swooned at Mr. T’s effortless bravado. Right before bathing time, Mr. T would walk around his house with just his towel on....... leaving very little to imagination. There would be some sighs, some surrenders or at the least some tacit acknowledgements.
Mr. T would always do things of heroic nature. We’d sometimes lose our cricket ball inside the compound of an aunt who had professed her profound hatred towards us in not so subtle ways. Mr. T would be our sneaky ball ninja who would jump in and out in a matter of seconds and get the proverbial balls-deprived-kids of the colony...u know...... their balls back.
Anyway, here was Mr T up in the highest branch of the tree, the prized jackfruit in his hand, while we stood down... helpless... watching half the colony see their savior in awe. Mr. T looked down at his subjects...and probably to set his own benchmark of heroism at an unattainble altitude, he thought of descending not branch by branch ...but by jumping off the highest freaking tree in all of DTown.
And so he did. One step of Mr T, one giant leap towards social suicide.
His towel had remained at the topmost branch of the jackfruit tree as an ‘I was here’ signature. A few feet below, stood Mr. T, stark naked, with a 3 KG jackfruit in his hands keeping the remainder of his tattered dignity intact (well not really). His house was almost 500 meters away posing a difficulty of logistical nature. He seemed to lack the time or the voice to plead anyone for shelter.
So, Mt T ran …for 500 Meters...holding a jackfruit.
The kids went to his house to retrieve the jackfruit but nobody opened the door.
Have not heard from him since. Heard rumors that he has developed an acute aversion to jackfruit…and towels…and bathing. I exaggerate for effect.