My sweet, gentle Haresh has the disposition of a meek kitten. When one first meets him, one is taken away by his gracious, charming and elegant manner. He usually takes women's hands and kisses them, shyly flirting with them. With men, he gives them a jolly panda-bear hug. Children, he wins them over with fantabulous magic tricks. Bare choton se, saab se pyar!
Haresh is a man that one reads about in 19th century novels. He is salt of the earth. He does not take sides in politics. He does not display intellectual or literary prowess.
He is the epitome of harmony and cooperation while playing strategic board games. What's that game, Settlers of Catan? If you want to trade a resource, he will freely give you one. Missing an active knight when the barbarian ship attacks? Don't fear, Haresh is here. He will - raat din eik kar ke - make sure there are enough knights so you do not lose your city. Haresh the knight at your service!
Need to borrow some money? Haresh will empty both pockets to give you a loan and, then forget about it. Yaaron ka yaar!
Jitnee tareef ki jaye kam hai!
Speaking of tareef, he hates mirrors. Other men, waste time admiring themselves, flexing their muscles and posing. Not Haresh, he is humble and meek.
But what I really wanted to admire most about him is his sneeze. Despite his soft facade, his sneeze is something to behold, preferably at a distance, let's say the one between the North Pole and the Equator. When Haresh sneezes, you would jump like you would if, let's say, your car suddenly internally combusted! Haresh's sneeze sounds like the magnetic crash and sonic hiss of melting glaciers, crashing into the ocean. You really cannot be prepared for such a sound in your life. It is something to behold for your bleeding ears. It is truly a spectacle. It feels like the infinite time loop of the celestial bodies in motion. God knows if there is a beginning or an end. And, if for some reason, you manage to reach the end of the screeching sneeze, the sound will echo in your bleeding ears for hours to come. You will wonder, what was that? What was that infernal sound? Demons escaping the 7th circle of hell? Was that the clearing of a throat of an elephant from Jupiter? Was that the whoosh of a tsunami wave?
For this is my ode to Haresh's sneeze.
The sonic boom that is Haresh's sneeze.
Broke the sound barrier.
Reversed the speed of thought.
Deafened my ear drums.
The sound that launched melting of polar ice caps.
Made the polar bears homeless.
Caused global warming.
Lifted from their depths the majestic heights of ocean levels.
Drowned coastal cities.
And then all was quiet.
The sneeze is over.