Disclaimer 1: This is not the only kind of stuff my boss and I discuss in office. We do work too. Not much, but yeah, we do (get that snigger off your face if you know whats good for you grrr)
Disclaimer 2: I've spiced up the story a bit for readability and to compensate for removing the swear words my friend used when he was telling me this story (No swear words here, I run a tight, family oriented ship here. Also I don't want my family being scandalized if they ever come across this. Yes, mom i'm a really good boy, you know :) )
Now the story...
So anyone in my age bracket, plus or minus 5 years, living in India knows about a certain channel that used to air in the heydays of 1998-99. It was a Russian channel where, if you were patient enough (and an insomniac), some..er..rather explicit content used to air.
Now its a phenomenal phenomena that every single person, from anywhere in the country, that i've met has his (emphasis on his, I haven't really come across any girl who has a TB6 Mockba - yeah, thats the channel (like you didn't guess already!!)- story) own TB6 story. It was like the underground movement of India where everyone in the throes of adoloscence at that time seems to have seen/admired this channel, yet, officially it didn't exist.
As an aside, I was priviliged to be at exactly the right time to enjoy this channel and have seen this channel in a hostel setting as well which is an amazing experience.
Moving on to the incident (jeez i've started digressing big time again)
Well, million and millions of post-pubescent boys cooked up weird stories to get to the TV late late at night and watch TB6 with their hearts thudding and fingers twitching over the remote in anticipation of the 'right' program starting and also of being discovered in a rather embarrasing situation.
So this friend of mine, apart from the normal dangers that everyone across the country faced had another problem. He had a dish antenna at home which at one angle received your normal star plus, star movies, Zee etc etc, i.e. the mundane boring normal channels; and at a different angle it received OUR channel, i.e. the Now-we're-talking-channels.
So late at night, way after mid-night some insomniac road trawler would see my friend (aargghh lets call him S)slipping stealthily on the roof of his house, moving the dish to the appropriate angle, slipping back inside and then moving back up an hour or so later when the good stuff stopped airing and shifting the dish back to its normal position.
And so the days were passing, comfortable but sleepless, and all was well with S.
And thus began the night that inspired this post. S, sitting silently infront of his study books, waiting for his parents to eventually get tired and go to sleep so he could begin his nightly ritual. All was going to plan,
"Son, you're not sleeping yet?"
"No mom, I really need to study a bit more. I have some big exams coming up"
"Yes beta, but i'm worried. Your eyes are always red in the morning. I hope you're not studying too hard. I don't want your health affected."
"Don't worry mom, nothing will happen, but I just have to study a bit more. Good night"
The clock keeps ticking as our protagonist stares at it with ears cocked just the way his pet dog Snowy does. Waiting to spy on the snores of his dad and the deep breathing of his mom that would liberate him from his study table and allow him to proceed to the most important activity of the entire day :)
Hark, there comes the sound that he had been waiting for with bated breath. And about time too! Yes!! He throws off his blanket, walks silently to the door, nudges it open and sneaks out and begins his odyssey to the roof. Everything is going smoothly, the dish moved easily and was at just the right angle for perfect reception, no sound had broken the dead of the night, no light shone from any house in the colony, much less his house.
Just as he began his descent he heard a little yip.
Funny what could that be?
That came from the road - let me investigate.
He leant over the parapet, as his eyes adjust to the dark he sees a small white dog running freely on the road, sniffing here barking there.
Ha, just a dog. Nothing to worry about. Wait! it looked familiar. Oh God that was Snowy. I must've left the door ajar and the stupid mutt made its bid for freedom aarrgghh!!!
Hehe needless to say, the night's plans suddenly took a whole new dimension. And the dead of the night saw a school boy running around traversing the dark streets screaming "Snowy, snowy" in a hushed voice :)
PS: He got the mutt back. But if you think there was a moral to the story? Well the only one S got was to leash the dog before he starts on his nightly quest.
PPS: 2000 was a sad year in the history of all teenagers here in India. We came under the regime of a rather religiously devout party and the Information and broadcasting minister, Sushma Swaraj, became the most hated woman in the entire country overnight when she shut down the airing of this channel.
PPS: That bully! If she'd tried this in election year and if teenagers were allowed to vote, her party, BJP, would have lost so badly that landslide defeat would be a mere trifle infront of the avalanche defeat they would've faced!