May I begin by saying – the title is not what you think.
Remember that joke from school-time? Tom and Jerry were feeling Happy on the tree. Suddenly, Happy fell down. The title of this post may make you remember that, but surely your expectations are on the wrong track if it does. I never crack that joke. Never. Coming back now. For one, I have no Shy in my mind as I write this. Any resemblance to something coming in your mind at equal speed is coincidental. For two, I am too shy to write about matters such as those we do not speak about in polite society. Polite I am, yes.
‘Shy is coming’ is just another phrase in the world inhabited by ever-evolving languages and cross-country meets. Translate it verbatim to Hindi, and it may make more sense. But sense we need not. We just need to communicate. Hence this post. Only to communicate words, and not the monosyllabic ones most certainly.
So, when does shy come and how? (For ease of expression, let us just call her a ‘she’. Also because ‘sh’ seems to be 2/3 letters that they share. Plus, I can think of no better 3 letter word beginning with ‘S’ to fit the bill.)
Now, shy can come anytime and anywhere. Usually, it takes you by surprise, almost an uncomfortable one. Here you are walking towards the milk shop and there you realize your zip is undone. First reaction? The hands try to hide something that shows not. But they try, even as she is coming and making your face go red and redder. Even if they are holding a packet of oranges. Then you turn away from all eyes, knowing you can never be hidden enough. And murphy makes it happen – makes your zipper take long, very long, to slide back up. All this while, shy was coming. Screaming, out of your cheeks. Once done, you pat your zip in place and quickly ask for two litres of full cream milk. It is good for health, they say. Plus, you had come to buy milk, remember?
Shy can also come without a wardrobe malfunction. For instance, in kitty parties right after the board results are out. As soon as the first round of Tambola is done, pop it comes, a question about your son’s marks. You shuffle your behind on a chair which can barely breathe, to turn towards the asker yet mumbling a silent prayer to God to end the world right there. He missed touching 9 by a centimeter, you say. 89.9 percent. And shy comes. Full frontal on the face. Hidden behind the blush on but visible on those magenta lips biting shy away. Even in the be-jewelled hands, as they suddenly grab hold of the ball-point pen before them, and tick-tick shy’s assault away. Children, so much pressure they carry on their heads and put on their parents’ too. Next house – four corners, three lines and swimming pool. First number coming up – 6 and 9, sixty nine! Thankfully, shy makes way for Tambola again and the party continues like nothing happened.
The largest shy of all comes sauntering in to sit on your lap when you are proven wrong. Now this coming can happen anywhere. Just anywhere where there is something right and something wrong. Especially something wrong. Take the example of a drawing room where whiskey glasses were discussing Indian politics. One gentleman knew how much Mr. Aap weighed. Another knew the last thing Didi had had before her Bengali tummy rumbled. While a third flaunted having counted the 3 root canal crowns in Prince’s 40-year-old mouth, another stood up with his long, long and solid, list of statistics of those living BPL. So long it was, it confused all the men just counting the zeros. Impressed them too. Just then, in walked a
fair amount of sex member of the fairer sex (his wife I believe) to remind him, how, the last time she checked the data read different, that a couple of ‘Oh’s were missing from the statistics he huffed and puffed to generate. Shy comes and comes and comes and refuses to stop in such circumstances, when you are proven short by such a huge margin. Almost like an anti-climax, to the evening. Like an under-performance. Or none at all.
Now I stop. Something tells me shy is coming to you. Why? Never let it come.
Feel free. You can feel happy too. Why not!