Thilaké is a bit senior dude than us. Anura (ACR) and I used to call him Carlos Santana because his long wavy hair reminded us of Santana. He used to wear his wavy hair which reached the small of his back in a pony tail when going out. And he stuffed the whole ponytail under his shirt when he was going somewhere important. This formed a soft hump on his back, which I used to thump on every time I meet him. I also used t pull his curls which stretched to double the length and sprang back when let go.
He was very clever at electronics though he is actually a cartographer by profession. Recently one dude was curious.
“Thilaké, What exactly are you doing at the university?”
“I’m a cartographer.” Thilaké replied.
“Carto..what? Do you drive carts there in the campus, dude?”
“No dude, I’m just in charge of fixing horseshoes.”
Collecting old Volkswagen Beetles was one of his obsessions. There is a fleet of rusty Beetles all around his house at various stages of deterioration. He is in love with old German scrap metal alright.
His room was once our hangout. We loved to hear his tales, actually drama from real life. No matter how much we smoked and drank he never touched the stuff. He sat in a cloud of cigarette smoke and used to narrate his stories entertaining us as the host. All he did was dipping into our fries dish from time to time. We repeated our well worn but famous catchphrase, “Hey dude, don’t make meal out of our Fries. (Original: Don’t make a diet out of our bite)
We had a ritual we called punching the card. If I happened to pass his house any time of the night, no matter what hour it was I used to howl at the top of my voice,
“Hey.. Thilaké ooo..” and fly by.
And in return every time he passed my house in the night he flew by yelling,
“Hey Henry oooo!!”
I have woken up with a start so many times from deep sleep in the small hours, by his punching the card. Some days even my father asks with an amused grin, “Thilaké went by last night, didn’t he?”
One of his overused jokes was yelling at me through the bus window. Every time when the bus stopped at his place he would yell to be heard by everybody,
“Hey Henry, just smile a while dude so that I can locate you” then the rest in for the other passengers in general, “Only this dude’s teeth are white. You can see him only when he’s smiling.”
The passengers start enjoying because it’s new to them. The funny thing is he’s only fractionally lighter skinned than me. He… he…! (For non Sri Lankan reader: This typical joke has nothing to do with racism or color discrimination)
One night Thilaké had to go somewhere with another dude on that his brand new motorbike. They were in such a hurry none of them had helmets nor the documents for the bike. And Thilaké was wearing a sarong. (A sort of wrap around garment)
On their way back, with the headlight beam of an oncoming vehicle they had a glimpse of the cops waiting to catch traffic offenders. (Not the cops with rifles and traffic motorbikes.) Already one motor cyclist was stopped and being questioned. The dude throttled back and was about to surrender to the fate when Thilaké said,
“Dude you don’t stop. Just pretend you didn’t see them. I’ll see to the rest.”
Assured by Thilaké’s words dude whizzed by ignoring the cop’s signal to stop. A shrill whistle followed. Then a voice bawled, “Halt!” A powerful flashlight was beamed to light up the rear end runaway bike and the riders.
Back at Thilaké’s place the dude was grumbling.
“Now see dude. That was a stupid thing to have done. They would have noted my number plate. Now I’ll have to go to the courts. I should have stopped and talked my way out of it. All because of your stupid advice…I gotta be crazy to have listened to you...”
“Heh heh heh, don’t talk bullshit dude. What number plate? Number plate was in my sarong. Actually I’d lifted my sarong and covered the number plate tail light and everything.” He paused for a high five and continued. “But by any chance if you stopped, they’d surely have stripped me of the sarong, too.”
I warn you dudes who read this. “PLEASE DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME. THESE STUNTS ARE PERFORMED BY TRAINED PROFESSIONALS, BLAH BLAH BLAH.” And that is the Disclaimer.
Now to the main story. Another night Thilaké met a dude on the road who wanted to hitch a ride. (Now don’t ask why all his stories are night stories) Thilaké told him,
“Dude, I need to go to that funeral house over there, too. Won’t you get late?”
Dude said it was quite okay and got onto the back quite happily. Too happily for Thilaké’s liking which made Thilaké wonder. Ah hah! The road runs by the cemetery after a few kilometers. The dude is scared to go alone.
Near the funeral house Thilaké parked the bike and asked the dude to be with the bike till he pays a visit to the funeral. Dude agreed.
After about 15 minutes Thilaké returned and they started the journey. As they were nearing the cemetery the dude realized that Thilaké is unusually silent.
“Hey, Thilaké, why are you so silent, dude?”
Now they were passing the cemetery.
“Haah Haah Haah,”
Thilaké made an eerie laugh. Dude froze. Cold sweat broke out of his forehead. What he heard next made his blood curdle.
“...What makes you think I’m Thilaké?”
Dude nearly wet his pants. The still functioning part of his brain told him the real Thilaké could still be at the funeral house. And this creature also came from the direction of the funeral house and he remembered he actually hadn’t even seen his face properly in the dark. Or had he?
“Oh please Thilaké, please. Stop it. You are kidding, aren’t you? That’s a sick joke, dude.”
The dude was almost in tears, begging. Thilaké told us later he actually felt sorry for the dude and gave up the sick joke to the utmost relief of the dude.
What do you think about this post dudes? Why don’t you leave a comment?