As it periodically happens, with unfailing frequency, yet again, my life was shattered.
As anyone who has read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy knows, a towel is a very important device that a interstellar hitchhiker should have. When you meet someone and you feel that they are alert and aware, you don’t tell them “Hey you! You know, you come off as a person who looks rather alert and aware about his surroundings”. No! You go up to him say “You seem to know where your towel is!”
I was walking down the street to get some coffee the other day, when I walked right into a lamp-post. Something was not right. The world seem out of balance for some reason. I thought I would try my space travel trick to reassure myself that everything was alright. “Beam me up Sujit Kutty”, I said. Yup .. outsourcing has hit Star Fleet too.
Nothing happened. That’s when it hit me. I had lost my towel. I could not show my face. Everyone was staring at me. I had to hide my face. Alas! I had no towel to hide behind. Oh what a shameful situation to be in!
I felt naked as I ran home. My wife asked me what was wrong, but I couldn’t come clean with her. She asked me if I was okay as she saw the sweat dripping down my face onto my shirt. I took off my shirt and sat down and as I watched the beads of sweat drip onto my chest and missed my loyal red companion who would have dabbed it off in a jiffy, she asked me “Is there something you want to get off your chest?”
That was it. The emotion overcame me. I fainted.
When I woke up, I could make something blurry in front of my eyes. I got up slowly. My wife was sitting beside me.
“Rest honey”, she said, “it will be alright. Your head is burning”. So saying, she dipped a pink towel into some hot water and dabbed it on my forehead.
Pink. towel. Not my red towel. Not even red. Pink. Her. Towel. I fainted again.
When I woke up the next time, there was no one in the house. My wife had left for work. I quickly went online. I had to get back my dear red towel, the source of all my powers. Using the search function on my Galaxy phone, I searched the cosmos for my prize towel. It was nowhere to be found.
With no option left, I quickly designed a poster and put it up on the Inter-galactic Bulletin Board. There was nothing else I could do.
I got a few calls from some of my enemies who thought I had thrown in the towel, and some more weird ones who, by extension, thought I had kicked the bucket. Why were they calling me, I wonder.
But the towel remained elusive.
Desperate, defeated and devastated, I took a walk around the corner to the local watering hole – Sam Bar.
I got in and ordered my usual, a Black Russian.
The bartender told me that she wasn’t coming in today, she was having sex on the beach.
I stared at him in disbelief. “How about a grasshopper then”, I asked. He said “You know we’re a vegetarian bar”.
Finally, I called for a Bloody Mary. He took out a screwdriver, went into the back of the bar, came back with red hands and told me – it’s ready.
When I saw all the red, I remembered my towel again. Boy! Did we have some good times!
The seat next to me was taken suddenly. I swiveled around expecting to see a pretty lady, but as luck would have it, it was my old friend Bunty Joginder. Many years later, he would change his name to Bon Jovi and become famous, but none of us in the bar at that moment were aware of this irrelevant fact. He looked more miserable than I was and I found consolation from this . I asked him what was eating him.
“I’m not the man I used to be”
“What happened? You look like what my dog deposits on our lawn every morning.”
“I .. I .. I lost my towel.”
“You WHAT!!?” Someone else had lost his towel too. How could this be? Was there a serial towel stealer on the loose? If there was one, what would they call him? Towel Prowler? Wonder how they would catch him? Obviously, this guy was into towels. They’d have to bait him with a towel. Who were “they”? Would a they be even interested? Mere mortals cannot comprehend the significance of what a towel meant to a enhanced beings like us. Us .. hmm .. I’m here with someone aren’t I? Oh, there he is looking at me. I haven’t spoken anything for 5 minutes now. Hope he hasn’t realized it.
“You haven’t spoken anything for 5 minutes now.”
“I was doing a math problem in my head, but I have realized that it is hypothetically plagiarized and there indiscriminately decipherable.” I added two coughs at the end for good measure.
He squinted at me. His eyes became very narrow. I looked like he was trying to see my words through his narrow eyes hoping it would make sense to him. It didn’t work. I didn’t think it would. He gave up and ordered for a glass of water.
“I’d gone to the park and I put the towel on the bench next to me. One minute it was there and the next minute I was gone.”
“Hmm”, I said scratching my beard and thinking I should grow a beard soon, otherwise I may look very stupid scratching a non-existent beard.
“Hmm”, I continued, “who do you suspect?”
“Everyone! I feel miserable. I wish there was something I could do”
Now, every once in a while I get an amazing idea in my head. I wouldn’t call it brilliant and genius, but you could call it that. This idea would just change everything about my life and everything about everyone else’s life. My last big “flash” was when I deflated the school bus’ tires because my hair dryer wouldn’t work.
“We should write a song about it!!”
Bunty cheered up a little. “A song. Yes! That’s a great idea. People will sing the song everywhere. And then someone will hear it, find our towels and give it back”
“Er..yeah..that’s why we should do it. Great!”
And that night both of us sit together and put together this song. Of course, when Bunty Joginder moved to the US and changed his name, he changed the lyrics around a little bit (he had my blessings, of course) and released it as a song called It’s my Life.
Here’s the original lyrics of the song that we wrote that momentous night.