The Lonely Mannequin

The corridor in Ahmadabad’s NDBI Incubation Cell features a female mannequin. It must have been put there by a fashion start-up which either moved out or closed down. This mannequin is always covered in an old jacket and from the time I have been in NDBI, it had never been moved or touched. It was one of the old fixtures in the joint we never bothered about.

Until the fateful day. We started sharing our office with another team. In a leisurely break when I asked them about the place, the topic of fashion start-ups came up. One of the guys then informed me that the jacket on the mannequin wasn’t always there…and the mannequin, as he put it, was anatomically correct to a perverted level. Then he added a sly knowing smile, and said to my partner – “kyun sahi bola na bhai?” (Am I right, bro?)

From the hemming and hawing that came as a response from my partner, it was clear he was standing on a quicksand and we were about to facilitate his drowning. With hyena like smiles on everyone’s face and my interest piqued, my poor partner was a gazelle trapped in midst.

As it turns out, my friend used to work till wee hours alone before I came and didn’t realize that a camera used to watch his activities with the mannequin in the corridor with interest. So did the guards and eventually, the entire NID campus, with much amusement…unless someone put a jacket on the subject of interest. Now I understood why anatomically correct to a “perverted” degree. How he gave up his habit is a mystery. Whether it was the end of his perversion, his finding out about the camera or someone eventually covering the mannequin with a jacket as a subtle hint, its anyone’s guess.

You cannot question a person for mistreating a mannequin; hence my partner escaped scot-free. But on the very next day of this conversation, the mannequin was removed. Hmm…do they have microphones in the office??