Escort5 mins 392 5 mins 392
I have been an escort for years now!
Oxford dictionary describes the word escort as ‘a person or group accompanying another for protection or as a mark of rank’
Don’t get me wrong by looking at my statement or its dictionary meaning and start to give wings to your imagination!
My job as an escort has been very unique and different from the one you are trying to imagine!
Ok. Let me start at the beginning.
During my college days, I was the only guy who never took to drinking while all my close friends – seven of them - did. If that was the only issue I wouldn’t have bothered. I was entrusted with the responsibility of first finding a good hotel for them to booze and then making sure that they all reached home, safely by escorting them!
You see, there was no Ola during those days to go home.
We needed to peddle our cycles and I would be taking at least two of them - the ones who can't even ride - on my cycle at any given time and, boy! Balancing was very tough literally and figuratively. The cycle was off balance most of the time making me think who is drunk here?
When I joined a large billion-dollar IT company, the first meeting, in a seven-star hotel was with the introduction to the CEO of the company. Sitting close to him, I looked at the well-clad billionaire and expected to get a few questions related to my job as head of learning and development.
But it was not to be. The first question he asked was whether I drink!
When I smiled and nodded my head sideways, the CEO heaved a sigh of relief and said, “thank god at least we will have one sober guy who can escort me to my room safely after I down six or seven pegs!”
“Sir, would you like to eat a Chikoo after your drinks, by any chance?” I asked only to get a cold stare from the CEO.
Poor fellow how does he know the secret of a Chikoo, yet?
Ok, ok. I am jumping the gun.
My story has gone ahead to the pub capital of Bangalore; but before that, I was in Mumbai after completing my graduation (then called Bombay) so, let’s go back!
Believe me, the place changed from Bangalore to Mumbai, after my college days, but my duty didn’t.
In the bank where I worked, my colleagues found out that I was a teetotaler and hence insisted on me joining them for the bash – meaning drinking endlessly – and as an escort; my job was once again taking a few of them safely home in the bulging local train.
What started off as a social service then became a bane for me.
Bhaskar, one of my close friends in Mumbai had a peculiar problem. He had no hesitation in gulping endless pegs of liquor; his problem was the awful smell that emanated from his mouth after drinking and how to get rid of it!
He was worried that people at home, his parents and sisters would know about the forbidden habit and he will have to face the dire consequences!
Suggestions came pouring from veteran drinkers; chew a paan, rinse your mouth with toothpaste, eat a banana or two and what have you.
But nothing worked for poor Bhaskar and he got a strict warning from his father – when he found out that his son came home drunk – that he would be homeless soon if he doesn’t stop drinking.
None of my friends were regular drinkers; they drank occasionally. But unfortunately, those special occasions came thick and fast.
One day, after Bhaskar got drunk, we landed in Borivali station. He had his stomach full of liquid and hence, ate very little. I was hungry and was desperate to eat something and chanced upon ripe Chikoos (Sapodilla fruit, commonly called as Sapota also) being sold in front of the station.
While I filled my stomach, Bhaskar ate a few pieces reluctantly.
Lo and behold! Within minutes, Chikoo fruit worked like magic. The awful smell went out of his mouth by just eating a few pieces of Chikoo!
After that day, it became ritual for Bhaskar to swallow a handful of fruits after getting down from the train at Borivali station before going home happily!
His father thought that his threatening worked and his son has become a good son and has stopped drinking completely!
Disaster awaited us one day when we landed in Borivali station a bit too late; Bhaskar was, as usual, drunk.
All the fruit sellers had closed their shop and gone home!
A crestfallen Bhaskar sat on the steps of the station and refused to go home; neither would he allow me to go home! He pleaded with me to do something so that he can go home and continue to be in the good books of his father.
I desperately looked around and found nothing.
Finally, I decided to pluck a few leaves from a nearby Chikoo tree. My reasoning was if Chikoo fruit had that effect, leaves too might be helpful. I brought and told Bhaskar to eat a few leaves.
Bhaskar, though drunk could definitely distinguish between fruits and the leaves, refused to bite my newly found idea.
I tried all my persuasive techniques and finally – as he had no other option – he chewed few leaves with a grim face.
Believe it or not, the awful smell simply vanished!
That day onwards, Bhaskar made me climb the nearby tree and pluck few leaves for him to chew every time he drank.
“But why do you want to eat leaves when the fruit is available?” I pleaded.
Bhaskar smiled and said, “why waste money on buying the fruits?
Instead, I can use the same money for gulping another glass of my favorite drink!”