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Dancing, yes, but to whose tunes?

Dancing, yes, but  to whose tunes?
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Needless to say, I had gone to the house of my friend, of whom I have written in this column off and on, to wish him and his family a happy Ugadi.A He...

Needless to say, I had gone to the house of my friend, of whom I have written in this column off and on, to wish him and his family a happy Ugadi.A He was not surprised by my visit; on the contrary, he said he had been expecting me for at least an hour; possibly because I am the only one friend he is left with and he is the only one I have.

After he had treated me to the special dishes prepared for the occasion, we got to talking of how decades ago we used to celebrate the festival together; what highjinks and escapes we used to enjoy, and all that.

Meanwhile, his college-going son walked into the drawing room and sat in on our conversation. It was understandable that he should have been interested in knowing all that his 'grandpas' had done when they were his age. But we did not let the boy's presence inhibit our talk.

"Do you remember that girl we spotted in a cinema hall one Ugadi day," I asked my friend with a mischievous glint in my eye because we both knew that one of the many traits we shared was not ogling at girls.

Just to get the boy interested in what we had done, or not done, years ago, we both brought into play our inventiveness, if I may put it that way. "Yes, I do," said my friend, and his suspended eyebrows indicated that I had asked for trouble.

"I hope you remember how, finding you staring dementedly at a girl on another Ugadi day, four of her relatives bashed you up," my friend said with a wink. It was just as well that the boy could not understand what my friend and I were on to.

Considering the occasion, we had decided to let ourselves go. At that point the boy interrupted: "Grandpas, since you have been friends all your life, tell me frankly if either or both of you ever had girlfriends."

Neither my friend nor I was prepared for that question. As we sat fidgeting, the boy volunteered a guess. "Please don't get me wrong, Grandpas. But after watching both of you for some years, I am convinced that you never had any." The conviction in his voice stumped both my friend and me. Feigning anger, my friend asked the boy how he could be so sure. The reply was pat: "You don't have boyfriends; how could you have had girlfriends?"

Leaving my friend and me to squirm in our seats, the boy got up, went to the door and bolted it. "Are you afraid that some of our girlfriends might barge into our house?" my friend demanded.

"No grandpa. For some days now a dancer accompanied by two instrumentalists has been intruding into every house she spots and, worse, forcing the inmates to dance! This is to bar her entry!"

Tailpiece: Teacher: Why is it that the siren of the police van sounds exactly like that of an ambulance? Student: Because the one leads to the other!

� M V

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