Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bullet Rani

She looked nothing like the conventional pretty girl - pleasantly plump, pierced brow and lip, bandana, tattoo adorned arm and leather boots. Yet, Rani happens to be the most beautiful person I have seen.

Every morning, I watched her zoom into campus on a motorcycle, an oddity in the parking lot of an all-girl college. She showed the helmet its place and walked swiftly to Nescafe each morning..every morning. That she was nearly bald under the bandana didn't make her less radiant for she always had a kind 'good morning' ready. I used to watch her till she was out of sight, oblivious to several 'What's the deal with her hair?' and 'Did she actually shave her head?!' remarks.

Lovely as she was, even the dogs on campus loved Bullet Rani- that was what I heard people call her. She somehow managed to be in the canteen, library and the chapel at the same time! Rani seemed to be everywhere, sometimes spread out in the sun alone while academic sessions were in progress, perpetually with food, iPod carelessly plugged, book in hand with her typical stare-on-I-don't-care look. That she had only one state -happy- seemed to grab my attention always and slowly, I began to seek inspiration in her. Rani's answer to life helped build an attitude impervious to judgement that shaped a person who valued kindness while not letting any turmoil affect the tone of her 'good morning'. A mother soon noticed her eternally pseudo-depressed teen happier than she had been in the recent past and was heard raving about how the 'II PUC stress' had failed to affect her daughter.

After a few months, there was no sign of her in college and the general assumption was that she had graduated. I did eventually find out that Rani didn't really run a razor along her scalp every Sunday; she was on chemotherapy for leukemia. That didn't seem to deter her from effortlessly bringing the Enfield to life with a single kick.

I do not know where or how Rani is is depressing to even think about the success rate of chemotherapy. Every morning as I start the Scooty, there is that one moment of regret for not getting to know Bullet Rani in person, for all the conversations that could have happened over the numerous donuts she downed and for the difference we could have made in each others' lives. All those endless hours idled in the basketball court - an amazing person was just a syllable away.