I have to make this quick, as i've got dinner plans tonight, so please excuse the pace if it permeates through the note. I just had to cleanse myself of what transpired today before I went out; so in essence you the reader will be my bathtub :)
Sit back, relax, enjoy, and when youre done dont forget to pull the plug and turn the lights out.
I was invited to Desai's home for lunch today, and informed him that I would only grace his hovel with the pleasure of my company if his wife cooked one of my favourite indian curry's, Butter Chicken.
I got there and was introduced to his nephew who's boarding with him. The kid couldnt have been a day older than 16, and if his adolescent pimples werent a dead give-away, the overpowering smell of Brut aftershave certainly was. Thankfully I was seated at the other end of the table, for I fear the combination of Butter Chicken and Brut on my nasal sensors may have given me a migraine!
Anyways, I transgress and I really do need to hurry this up...
It turns out that Desai had convinced his missus to prepare an elaborate lunch only because the insurance assessor from Santam was going to come over to discuss an event which had transpired, and I at the time was not privy to.
The week prior he had, fortunately or unfortunately (depending entirely on your taste in vehicles) his vehicle stolen from his yard.
The best way I could describe the perimeter to his home is to have you imagine an Alcatraz facebrick wall, with razor wire along the top, and electric fencing above the wall, with cameras strategically mounted upon all of the above.
His driveway gate is a standard swing gate about waist high, with a rusty "Beware Of The Dog" sign affixed to the centre. On it is a picture of a rather mean looking rottweiler, not to be confused with the wedding pic of Mrs Desai which is on their fridge. Rumour has it she could afford the services of her friend Francois who was a professional groomer, and the fact that he worked in a doggy-parlour didnt seem to matter at the time. Thats an entirely new story, and one we shall delve into further at a later stage....
You're wondering now why Desai had Fort Knox built and then instaled the kind of rickety main entrance you would expect in a John Wayne western bar-scene.
Well, he only really undertook to renovate and improve his home after having won some money at the casino, and since he was never one for planning or thinking ahead, he blwe the whole lot on the wall and fence and electrics only to realise he was back to being broke by the time he needed a new gate installed. So there you have it. The gate was literally waist high, with no locking mechanism and only tied together by an old rubber hose. The wall on the other hand, was 3 metres high at its lowest point!
Anyways, just as I sat down to lunch, the doorbell rang, the nephew scuttled off to answer the door, and soon returned with a burly Afrikaaner guy who looked like he was pissed off that De Klerk had lost the 1994 election and he was here to set things right!
Now im not one to make fun of white folk or Indian folk or black folk, but a white guy who can get sunburned walking 20m from his car to the doorstep, go red in the face and sweat like his having a stroke, and pant like 2 rhinos having a shag under the african sun, deserves to be made fun of! All this before he's even started eating Mrs Desais colon-clearing fiery Butter Chicken with green chilli dip!
This day was turning out splendidly, and it was only 1pm :)
Now I know most cultures would find it slightly odd, bordering on suspicious, but Indians by nature would find any excuse to prepare a meal and turn the moment into an eating extravaganza. Somebody could knock on the door asking for directions, and 2 hours later with a belly full of roti and vegetable curry he would be back on his way.
This particular meal was in honour of Santam.
Mr Van Tonder was the guest of honour.
I later learned I was only there for moral support.
Young Gopal Desai was a key witness to the events.
And the Desai couple were of course, the unfortunate victims.
I love the way insurance folk always have to revert to an official opening of a meeting, even if they've been in your company for almost 30 minutes already.
Here is a brief transcript of events as they unfolded, now that the stage has been set.
Mr Van Tonder : VT
Young Gopal Desai : GD
Desai : D
Mrs Desai : MD
VT : Sir and Madam, I are from Santam and I are Mr Van Tonder. You can call me Mr Van Tonder. I have wif me the forrims (his pronunciation, not mine) which you faxed, claiming for the ve-hicle. Are this correct?
D : Yes
VT: A 1982 Datsun Pulsar, dark brown wif a cream coloured boot, and original hub caps. Are this correct?
D : Yes.
VT : Now are this the young chappie who witnessed the events? *points to Gopal*
D : Yes
VT : How old is this lighty.. man.. sir.. I apologise. How old are you young man?
GD : 16 years and 3 months.
VT : ahem.. *clears throat* the mumfs only count when you under 3 ne'. *winks at GP*
Please tell me what you saw on the night in detail.
GD : Ok. There were these 3 ouens right....
D : There were 4... not 3, 4.
GD : Oh shit ya! There were these 4 ouens right... and they were scaling the wall in front..,.
VT : Wait. They were coming over the wall you mean?
GD : Ya.
VT : All 4 at the same time?
GD : uhm... ya. And they had balac... uhm... balacav... blacala... oh they were wearing black caps, right...
VT : Wait wait.. what about the electric fence and the razor wire?
GD : The fence wasnt working...
D : No No, the fence was working, but that night I think Eskom was having power problems again..
VT : Ok, continue...
GD : Ya so anyway, I saw them jump the wall and my uncle and auntie here were at the bioscope...
VT : The what?
GD : The bioscope..
VT : The bioscope?
GD : Ya man.. the movies..
VT : Oh, ok. Yes, and then...
GD : Ya so I called my bra Bobby Naidoo from the 2's and tjoened him to came-way and bring the gonies coz these jumpas want to dalla with my connections wheels.
VT : WHAT?
GD : My bra Bobby Naidoo, from the council houses, you know.. the 2 rooms... i tjoened him to bring his knife coz these ouens were looking for trouble.
VT : So they were in the yard, trying to steal the ve-hicle?
GD : Ya, and Bobby Naidoo was still filling juice in his tymas car, so he was late.
D : uhm.. no, Bobby came walking, REMEMBER! His fathers car was in an accident last year!
GD : Oh.. ya.. he ran here. Then he opened the gate and saw the 3 jumpas.
D : 4!! There were 4! Not 3!
GD : Sorry uncle. Ya the 4 jumpas.
VT : Wait.. he opened the gate?
GD : uhm... ya, he opened it.
VT : Ok. *Furiously making notes*
GD : and I dont remember much after that, but when we all came way home from the bioscope, the wheels were gone!
D: Ayoh Ram!
MD : Tea anyone?
D : Fareed! You just going to sit there and not say anything?
Myself : uhm.. 2 sugars please?
Something tells me im not getting invited over to Desai's for Butter Chicken for a while.
Im not sure if they plan on paying his claim, but this evening I saw them fitting a more respectable gate on.
Right... gotta go...