Thursday, September 14, 2006

Limousine Eyelash

One of the many great things about catching up with Tua is that one never needs to feel apologetic about being late. The odds are always against her being on time, and hell in the seven-sigma event that she did turn up at the appointed hour and crib, with over five years’ acquaintance and evidence, it is an argument I can easily win.

The weather was a classic City fall. Confused sunbeams from behind the orange-rimmed cumulus, at war with the long shadows, sometimes bounced off the glass of the skyscrapers, whose steel scaffold the business district skyline. A crisp, tad nippy breeze, ruffling empty paper bags. The crunch of the autumn debris - leaves and twigs, under the hurried feet of weary homebound suburban human traffic.

Stepping into the Bar and the cursory glance over the heads- I was not surprised to find that she hadn’t yet turned up yet. I took my place at the table I had reserved earlier in the day. From past experience, I knew that the wait could last anywhere between right away to an hour or so. So I ordered my poison and set myself down for an indefinite wait.

To be absolutely honest, I cannot really blame her for being late today. Earlier in the afternoon, I happened to leave behind my hand-phone in a cab, and hence she would always have that exit. Well…

As I sipped in the amber liquid, and sank in my chair I began to contemplate on the day gone by. It had begun on a terrible note- I was about an hour late into office, having dropped Priya and the kids at their mother’s the previous night. Though I had intended to head back immediately her family had insisted on dinner, and then some more. It was amazing how these people could go on forever. By the time I settled into my desk, my day’s unread message count had reached 67.

Actually, I am pretty ok with drinking alone as long I don’t have to stand. As a bachelor, living away from parents for over a decade- most of it with only “settled” friends, I have had ample experience at it. I proceeded to survey the occupants of the restaurant, subjecting them to the vacuous introspection of the habitual drunk. The blonde at the bar, the redhead further down the hall, the brunette who just walked in - another day another time they would’ve been of some interest. But today, and possibly for the rest of my life, they belonged to a section of the menu that my diet did not permit. Sigh!

The thought of the menu reminded me that I hadn’t eaten since morning, which was also why I probably felt a little heady just into my first drink. As a regular at this place many years ago, while the waiters would keep an eye and ensure that my glass was never empty, ordering anything non-standard took forever. Things hadn’t changed much over the years- I craned my neck to search for the once familiar orange and black shirts that the waiters here wore.

For a minute, I couldn’t believe my eyes. There had to be some mistake. After all these years nothing seemed to have changed. Nothing. The same backward tilt of the head which went so well with the hearty laugh, the same glint in the eyes, I could almost sense the lilt in the voice as well- and I thought, well, I must be pushing my luck now. But it had to be her. For across the bar, the first time in over seven years, I caught a glimpse of Tanya.
(To be continued...)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Daydream Delusion

Two questions I asked myself this Sunday afternoon.

1. Am I looking for a relationship?

The answer is maybe. Who isn’t? But I am the difficult sort that wants to be loved but not give anything back in return. I’ve been in and out so many times that, I just can’t escape this truth. Relationships are great, but in my case they just don’t last. And I hate breaking up, because I like my comfort zones a bit too much. Getting in is difficult, getting out is painful. And then when it happens, i.e. when somebody is breaking up with me, I remember the last time I broke up with someone, and how little I thought about her. I want to think that both of us are going through all this pain and everything, but hey its actually more like- I’m just glad its over.

The bigger problem is that every once in a while that all-important connection happens, and then I think I should make that attempt. I read somewhere that if there’s any kind of God it wouldn’t be in any of us, not you or me but just this little space in between. That if there is some kind of magic in this world, it must be in the attempt of understanding someone, sharing something. And for people who suffer a delusion of this degree, it is almost impossible to succeed.

2. Will I get married anytime soon?

I see married people all around me, all the time. Sometimes I too want to be a good husband, share spaces and it feels really strong at times. But then at most other times the whole idea just feels really silly and that it would screw up my life entirely.

Someone who I recently met after a long time told me how in the early days of her arranged marriage they’d drink almost every other night so that the act of sex didn’t have to be rationalized. So that lust takes over, and after that it’s the libido. How they’d keep condoms all over the house, because the only planning they ever did in having sex was downing a few stiff ones. I know exactly how that feels. And I don’t want to feel that way ever.

Of course there is this bigger problem as well, because when I get married, there’s got to be love. And considering what I wrote in 1 above it is unlikely that it is happening anytime soon. I get extremely bored with nice simple uncomplicated caring people. Like in one date flat. There’s got be complication, which needs to be sorted out, or lived with- things that poke into my ambient self every once in a while, to remind me that I’m with this person because she’s special.

Parting Shot

I have this little theory about class. People either have it, or they don’t. Those who do, think very little of it. Those who don’t, attempt to acquire it by association. D is one of the more classy people I know, but she’s the unsocial sort and as a consequence always rubs people the wrong way because they just want to associate with her- everyone, people at work and otherwise, and she keeps pushing them away. And she often asks why it happens like that? And I tell her this is why. (As a corollary, I’m reasonably fond of D and hang out with her often. Does that make me a “not have”?)

P.S. Don’t ask what led to all this. Oh well, this was what happened anyway… Bumped into her at JATC this afternoon. She was wearing pink and looked stunning and was with a pretty faced guy- nattily dressed and everything. And I thought of what I probably looked like- skinny in my shorts and T-shirt, with my weekend stubble, hair all over the place. Eyes red and my skin sallow from last night’s alcohol. And it struck me in there that women like their men well hung, not hung over. After that the choice must’ve been obvious.

P.P.S. This thing about marriage is getting on my nerves. I guess there is no escaping it now- that I turn Thirty this year. The problem is that on a Sunday I can’t even say I’m busy. In terms of turnaround times, my parents are more demanding than my employer- and at work at least I am genuinely interested. Every time my parents call there’s little else to talk about, and that is so terrible.

Oh, and there was a Third one too, but forget it.