This short story is only available in German.
Read the German version here!
Kevin didn’t want to return to his studio apartment right away. The day seemed magical and he just wanted to drowse away the morning in a cozy little coffee shop. He didn’t want to think about Kari, but he did.
“Give us another one, Mac!” Mac was just polishing a few glasses as he looked over to Barney. “Don’t you think you’ve had enough now?”
He answered with a sound of pity in his voice. “Ooh, go to hell, you bastard, it’s none of your business how much I drink! What do you think I’m sitting in a pub for?” “Sorry Barney, just calm down, will ye? You’ll get yer drink. I just thought … well, ye know, was just worrying ‘bout ye. “For dammned sake”, Barney cried and with a thud his fist hit the bar. “No one has to worry about me or feel sorry for me, hear me? I’ve always managed everything on my own. You just shut up, give me my drink and, for God’s sake, leave me alone!”
January end is usually a month of marriages in semi-arid Saurashtra peninsula of Western India. Rich Patels – Farmers – of this region have this month almost reserved for marriages of their just adult sons and daughters. Such weddings always have dinners-nowadays buffet dinners. They have become popular of late here. Usually such dinners are held in Wadis (Community halls with large kitchen-pantry and rooms for marriage parties) or in an open land called Party Plots.
Parth, son of a wealthy farmer Gokalbhai was getting married to a daughter of Bholabhai, a wealthy man and owner of a chain of Motels in America. Top gentry of the town as well as guests from many cities of India were attending this wedding. Beautiful ladies in expensive sarees and most modern dresses and costly jewelry were seen with chubby children at the reception in this Patel Wadi. Big posh cars and latest bikes were piled up in parking lot outside the Wadi. Gaudy colors and strong perfumes reflected crude tastes of the community. Dinner was sumptuous but much spicy and hot. However five star hotel cooks were attending the cooking. On top of it, some variety sweets were brought from Mumbai by air to exhibit affluence.
We had finished the dinner and were walking out after greeting and blessing the young couple. “What do you think of the burglary at Paras bungalow yesterday?” asked my friend and a fellow press reporter of ‘Divya-Jyoti’, Mahendrabhai.
‘I think it’s a family affair’ I replied. ‘You very well know that many a times it so happens here in this part of the region, when a young boy in the family wants to have partition but fails in getting it done his way’. Mahendrabhai said, “Well, we’ll discuss it on the way”. “I too have some doubts”, he said and then added,” I have my Bike parked here”. We started towards the parking area. Brijesh son of Hero Honda bike dealer Manjibhai was walking along with us. He had flair, not just flair but a craze for new and most expensive bikes. He would do anything to have new and a unique one. Even in a place like this, he could afford to change Harley Davidson frequently..! Then I replied to Mahendrabhai, ‘No, I too have my bike, a brand new bike that runs on a bio-fuel’, “Bio-fuel? What is it?” asked Mahendrabhai. ‘It’s an amazing thing. Anything organic like milk, water, fruit, and bread anything can be used as fuel…!’ I smiled and continued. ‘Non-conventional fuel, almost absolutely maintenance free, mentally programmable, computer aided and dependent on natural variables, it can run anywhere at mind-set speed. Engine can be replaced within seconds…!’ I went on, ‘though it is run by such an incredibly sophisticated analog computer, it still has some limitations, but one would not mind them looking to such an unbelievable affordable price’.
Brijesh was curiously listening to it. “Where is it?” He was very eager to see it, ‘there in the parking’. I replied very casually. This was killing him. ‘How much does it cost?’ I said, ‘it depends on the model. Some experimental and formula-type models could be highly expensive too but otherwise not out of reach of anyone of us’.
By now we were in the parking lot. Brijesh was keenly searching my fantastic bike in the lot. I went close to a Hero bicycle, an ordinary bicycle with a small mechanical bell on the handle bar. Bewildered, Brijesh asked me where my Bio-fuel run bike was parked. I said, ‘Here, this bicycle. It runs by a human being-a biological engine-consuming bioorganic fuel called food. It runs by a mind control a greatest of the computers. Limitations-Speed and Horsepower.’ Isn’t this an amazing bike?’
He was shocked and frustrated. He fumed but had to show us that he was not taken in by my witty language. He went to his CBZ kick-started it, confused and restlessly whizzed past us like a rocket. Mahendrabhai and I laughed our wits out looking at my little two-wheeler waiting for my computer commands, sorry bio-computer commands.