I will be going to Japan soon.
If Joey Tribbiani were around me now, he would probably have asked me, “the country?”.
Speaking of whom, did you know, that while in his initial acting days, when he did commercials, he was able to buy a house, a car, a motorcycle and a wardrobe full of clothes just by doing an ad for Heinz Ketchup! Man, is that something or is it something??
Well, anyways. My company thinks that I am unmarried enough to have a plate of noodles and sushi along with Ketchup for breakfast, lunch, dinner and any other time in between, without that “oh-i-wish-i-had-someone-who-could-make-idli sambhar-here” look on my face, and finds me fit enough to handle the Japanese clients there. Of course, there they just call them clients.
However, when I refer to the word “fit”, it’s not to imply “physically fit”, that I am going to take on the mighty Sumo wrestlers there. That would be a virtual Kamikaze. I would rather escape on a Sumo if I ever get into a tiff with them. And by that, I mean the Tata Sumo vehicle, not on the wrestler’s back. Sumojho?
By the way, me thinks that’s a good tactic to fight them, especially for people who have non-Sumo like characteristics. As soon as he comes towards me, I being the more nimble-footed one, can easily get behind him, use the monstrosity of the undie as a foothold and climb on to his back, without giving him a moment’s chance to realise what hit him! Brilliant!!
*Pause for effect – some ecstatic moments of self-pat-backing, chest-widening and some devilish laughter*
What? Did the Dharam Paaji devotee just say “agar mard hai to peechhe se vaar mat kar”?
well, please try explaining that to the Sumo Paaji. I shall have a sushi and get back.
Everything is fair in love and vaar, I say!!
I am a little wheatish, by the way. Damn! Whoever made that “fair and handsome” ad needs to be sued!!
Anyways, as I was gloating in my newly-found combat abilities, and thinking out other strategies of how to be a Sumo-challenger, I decided I should get to know a little more about my opponent. You see, I am a big fan of Chinese sayings (along with Hakka Noodles) and one of them reads on similar lines that if you know your enemy, then you can win a thousand battles.
Of course, the presumption is that you will be fighting with the same enemy thousand times.
But, I didn’t have any such noble intentions. It was going to be that one killer blow. That one moment of truth- either him or his undie!! So, I rolled up my sleeves, spat on my palms, rubbed them and went on to wikipedia with a vengeance.
I am generally a calm, easy-going person, but that day my mother noticed the difference too, as I was on my laptop. She looked at me, and said what’s wrong with my eyes. I just looked at her, and let the moment pass. I was obsessed at that point. I had a heat in my eyes which even she felt.
She asked me,” What’s wrong with your eyes? Why are they so red?”
I told her in the deepest baritone I could muster, “amma, go away. You wont understand this. You cannot see what I can.”
Nonchalantly, she passed me and drew the curtains apart, and said, “Of course, I cannot see. And neither can you. Its so dark and you’re face is so close to the screen. You’ll get blind someday! This boy will never learn!”
And went away, muttering something about how stupid some software engineers can be. Catching hold of whatever pride I had left, I tried to reply, about software engineers, the Matrix and India’s economy, or something to that effect, but she was already out of hearing range.
Anyways, I didn’t let this affect me. I washed my eyes with water, felt a little better and got down to work. I knew I was not going to get bogged down by such jolts. I knew I had a gut feeling about this. And no, I was not hungry.
As I got back with rejuvenated energy, I came across something which was the proverbial bolt from the blue.
It was just a word, but it was blue in colour.
But it sent shivers down my spine. I looked at the curtains. They were drawn out, and there was enough light in the room. But all I could see was darkness! My mother was again saying something, but all I heard was a dull drone in my ears. I could see myself drifting away and looking down on me. How could this happen? Was this destined to be this way? Why had I missed the signs? How could I be so blind? My mind was racing away beyond my control through flashes of light, trying to decipher some rational in all this. Could it be true after all?
Now, I knew why I was not suprised when I heard that I was being sent onsite to Japan. It was not because I was thought to be of the correct profile, though to the rational mind, it would seem so. I now knew, why I felt that tingle in my mouth, whenever I heard Sushi, HaraKiri, Karoshi, Bukkake, and Sake. Ah! The ways of the universe and beyond! It works on something far more puzzling than rational and logic.
I took a look at the word again – “rikishi”. Years of solving crossword puzzles had trained my mind to look beyond the obvious. I could easily look at the alphabets come out and hit right between my eyes.
My name. It was right there. I was afterall, a Sumo wrestler in my previous birth.
And I was being sent back to where I came from to look for my Sumi.
 Don’t worry, I have not turned into a Gorkha calling out to Sanju. Thats my Japanese name I found here.
 I was referring to the ketchup there. And I was tempted to not let go of an opportunity to use Al Pacino’s famous dialogue from his classic 1995 movie “Heat”, where he shared screen space with Robert De Niro.
 Rough translation in English means – If you are man, do not attack from behind.
 It’s blue because a hyperlink shows in Blue. What else?
 You dirty minds! I was referring to my Japanese girlfriend whose name could be Sumi! Bleddy!