The stripteasing began at home in full glare of all the occupants. First to be removed was the shirt. Not very entertaining for anyone. Gradually all the remaining garments would come off until it was time for the shorts to be dropped. This was the moment of great reckoning, the climax of my useless art.
Since I was very skinny, unbuttoning by shorts would make gravity greedily pull them down my bamboo-thin legs. I carefully removed one foot from the 'hole'...and kicked the shorts high into the air with the other. The joy of catching them as they descended was immeasurable! Since the 'kick' wasn't exactly masterly, there was no predicting which way my shorts would go or where they would land. This uncertainty added to the fun. The descent has a rather illustrious history owing largely to the trajectory it traversed.
Running after a dropping pair of shorts had become a recreation for me. Sometimes they would go up steeply and drop right on my head. At others, they were flung almost horizontally and I had to dive to get hold of them. Of course, I failed on many of these awe-inspiring avionics. My shorts fell in all sorts of places like behind the bed, underneath the dining table, in the kitchen, behind the refrigerator...and on the fan!
The fan deserves a special mention in my hall of fame. Each time my shorts were trapped in one of its blades, I had no option but to switch it on and let the swing loosen them and let them fall. Of course, where the shorts fell this time was anyone's guess and catching them required the practice of a maestro. That's me.
My just dislodged shorts cut through air like crazy and I ran after them with commensurate zeal. The acrobatics could have got me qualified for the Olympics. There was one risk involved though. The dislodged shorts sometimes swung out of the fan, out of the open window and finally out of our house. That's when mom would chase a semi-nude me (I had to put something on) out and order me to bring back the treasured possession immediately. I had to meekly comply. I ran down the stairs, went around our building, probed for my fallen and dirtied shorts, found them and brought them back. Didi especially loved these trips of mine. Getting rebuked by mom was a spectacle she wouldn't miss for the world.
Anyway, retiring to the bathroom brought on its own set of joys. More on that...later!