BATTLE FOR BITTORA Chauhan Anuja.pdf
with a set of gardening shears every month.
'You concentrate on your kitaanus,' I advised Rumi coldly. 'I am ordering pizza. We should be
all done by three in the morning, max.'
I ordered the pizza, tucked my feet under my butt and opened the Harpic Kitaanus file.
I soon figured out what was wrong. He'd made the eyes too big. That's why they were looking
cutesy. The trick is to give them tiny eyes, low idiot foreheads, huge snout-like noses, slavering,
downward-sloping mouths and weak chins. I know this because, in the two short years that I've
been working at Pixel Animation, the largest animation and special effects studio in Mumbai,
I've animated dozens of germs and kitaanus. I have even earned the somewhat dubious
distinction of being the best damn animator of germs, khich-khich, mosquitoes, cockroaches,
larvae, viruses and bacteria in the city of Mumbai. In companies like Reckitt-Benckiser - the
makers of Dettol and Harpic - I am practically a celebrity.
Jinni Pande, Kitaanu Queen.
I sighed and rumpled my hair a bit more.
In the beginning I had loved my job. I'd lapped up all the stuff the senior guys at Pixel had told
me: Respect the kitaanus, Jinni. The battle of the kitaanu against the cleaning agent -be it
medicated shampoo or nasal decongestant or toilet bowl cleaner - is the battle of Good against
Evil. The Light triumphs, the Dark side is vanquished and crawls away to lick its wounds and
plan revenge. It's like Spidey's fight for Good on the mean streets of New York. Or like Batman
taking on all the Evil guys in Gotham City.
More like Gotham Shitty, I thought sourly as I added more warts to the kitaanus in the toilet
bowl. The truth is less noble. Pixel just has to do a lot of kitaanu animation (instead of, you know,
hardcore animation stuff like Inception or 300 or Tim Burton's Alice or whatever) because
kitaanus - along with cheesy special effects for mythological TV serials like Mahabharata -are
our bread and butter.
I'd been slaving away for ages, sucking on the foul Hajmola golis that were the only edible
thing in the office, when we finally heard someone shuffling about in the deserted reception area.
'It's the pizza,' I told Rumi, as my stomach rumbled in anticipation. 'Go sign for it, quick.'
He came back three minutes later, a slightly stunned expression on his face. 'There's
somebody outside,' he said faintly, 'asking for a Sarojini Pande. Uh, dude, is that your real name
I nodded, going a little red. Just my luck - somebody from my bank or my mobile phone
billing company had wandered into office and ousted my old-fashioned name. It's such a lame
name. It was given to me by my grandfather. He was totally into Sarojini Naidu, the famous
freedom fighter and poet, the 'Nightingale of India', you know. Bauji loved all these really sappy,
tinkling 'lyrical' poems she wrote. Like,
Bangle sellers are we who bear
Our shining loads to the temple fair.
Who will buy these delicate, bright
Rainbow tinted circles of light?
Lustrous tokens of radiant lives,
For happy daughters and happy wives.