Tony Threatens to Squash Dwarf
Not exactly my proudest moment, but ridiculously amusing all the same.
Winding our way through the crowded markets and bazaars surrounding Hyderabad’s Charminar provides the perfect opportunity for this week’s mental breakdown. 100+ degree temperatures combined with clouds of dust and exhaust fumes set the stage. As I push my way through the people, an old woman steps up and grabs my arm. “10 rupees!” she screeches at me. I continue on with her clinging to me. I yank my arm away and she curses me in Urdu. A dozen well-off Indians videoing the Charminar stand mere feet from her. She doesn’t approach a single one; instead, she makes a B-line for Thomas.
A man runs out and pleads, “What country? You want shawl?” I ignore him and the next three touts. Another man appears directly in front of my face, “Mangoes, mangoes, mangoes, mangoes, mangoes, mangoes.” Sounds good, but he is so annoying I decide I don’t want to reward him with business. Somewhere in the distance, I hear Thomas yell, “Weg! Lass mich in Ruhe! Get the hell away from me.”
Suddenly, I feel a tugging at my leg. I look down to discover a dwarf woman pulling on my pants. She bleats, “Rupees. Moneeeeey!!! Moneeeeeeey!!!” I rush forward through the crowd.
A triple amputee roles into my path, right up to my legs, and grabs on to my foot with his single arm, “Hello, rupees! Hello, rupees! Hello, rupees! Hello, rupees! Hello, rupees!” his small, nasal voice shoots out at me like a audio pellet gun. I stare at him for a moment stunned by the rather surprising new obstacle. “Hello, rupees! Hello, rupees! Hello, rupees! Hello, rupees! Hello, rupees!” My initial sympathy quickly fades when he refuses to release me. For a second, I consider kicking him into the crowd like a football, and then decide that’s politically incorrect. I pull out of his grip and move forward only to feel my pants being yanked down.
The Indian Chucky is back and she has ahold of my back pocket. Tugging at my pants, she hisses her demand for money, “Ruuuuuupeeeeeeeeees!” I’m a man on the verge of a nervous breakdown. “Get away,” I yell as I swat her little hand out of my pocket and reverse course to escape her.
“Mangoes, mangoes, mangoes, mangoes, mangoes.” I cut to the side into a dense crowd.
At the edge of the forest of people, I notice an enormously deformed little man on the ground, his frail atrophied limbs are twisted and folded over making him look rather crab-like. He suddenly spots me, and in a bizarrely synchronized four-limb effort he scuttles directly in my direction.
“Hello, what is your good name?” Before I can flee the crab-man, a smiling face appears before me. “You are British? I thought so. No, you are French. Of course, I know immediately. You are German? Maybe.” I smile falsely and jump away…
… directly into the path of the nasty dwarf woman. “100 rupees!” she fantasizes out loud. As I start to move away, she latches on to my leg.
Yanking away, I turn to face her. “Damn it,” I shout, “get the hell away from me!” She moves to reattach herself to my leg. “I’m going to squash you like a roach!” I scream at the top of my lungs, “a god-damned roach.” I know she probably only knows three words of English, so I stomp repeatedly acting out how I’m going to squish her. “LIKE A ROACH!!!”
Another very typical day.