Vedashree Khambete Sharma
You Wily ‘Ol Jinx
Yes, I haven’t been writing. Because I’ve been thinking. It’s a nasty habit I’ve picked up from Rook, who I’m sorry to say is something of a thought-slut, a person who flirts with more ideas per minute than Yuvraj Singh would with women at an IPL party.
I, of course, being perversely introspective, do not use valuable grey matter to ponder over the origins of The God Particle or the architectural aesthetic of the Empire State Building (he’s going to say he doesn’t do this, but he really, really does).
No. I spend my time thinking about matters past and present, how they connect and therein lies one hell of a problem.
You see, when I was growing up, my grandmum told me that I have a tendency to be jinxed real quick. Something nice would happen to me and then smackbamkapow, something utterly disproportionately bad would have to happen to balance things out. She told me it was because I was such a pretty, intelligent child. But then she was my grandmum and I think it says so in the contracts of all grandmums that they’re supposed to say such things to their grandchildren. That and embarrass them in front of potential boyfriends by calling them by their secret pet name.
I pooh-poohed her theory at the time. Couldn’t help it. It was the kind of age where you think anyone who hasn’t heard of Boyzone is like, totally lame. And wrong. About everything. I mean if you have no opinion on whether Ronan’s cuter than Stephen, then well… laaaame.
But I’ve observed a pattern since. All this jinx stuff – ill-luck, buree nazar, whatchamacalit – it actually happens to me.
Top of the mind example? When I got my first job offer – I was the only one from my advertising creative batch to get it in that round of interviews – I was on top of the world. Not in the least because it was from one of my favourite agencies, but because it had been the first job interview I’d given and the first time someone from the industry told me my work was good. I was happy, after a long time.
Then, that same week, my bike went nuts on what was apparently a completely clear stretch of road. I lost control completely, the brakes felt like jelly in my hands as my bike fell to its side and skidded downwards, dragging me along with it for a good 50 metres. The impact was so much my sneaker came out, my shirt tore, my lip was cut and I severely hurt my jawbone. Later, the mechanic was unable to tell me what the fuck had happened. I know this for sure – looking and feeling like a domestic abuse victim sure wipes the smile off your face.
And it’s been happening on a greater or lesser scale ever since. Mini-Me thinks it’s a silly superstition and maybe so do you and maybe it is a superstition, but I don’t think it’s silly.
It’s hard to disregard coincidences when they happen repeatedly, you see. You can attribute them to oh, lots and lots of scientific and logical phenomena, but that doesn’t change the fact that as Corny Cliche Coming Up as it sounds, now I’m scared to be happy. Because I know it’s going to blow up in my face. Maybe not today, or next week, or next month. But soon enough. Just when I’m feeling secure, it’ll happen. One fine day I’ll be grinning about winning half a dozen local and international advertising awards or about getting promoted or about finally meeting a boy who wants to stick around till the end, and the next moment smackbamkapow I’ll be down the second time in a month with a temperature of three-and-a-half, going dizzy, falling to the floor, having to crawl on all fours to reach my bed in the darkness of the pre-dawn hour.
Oh wait, but that already happened, didn’t it?