“So you guys serious?”
“Serious about what?”
“I don’t know, like you love her and everything?”
“I don’t know,” I said.
That is how men talk about their relationships. Nobody knows anything- neither the questioner nor the answerer.
Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat
A red cab on the road. Five people inside. Four professionals and an amateur. The driver obviously a pro drove silently. A freelance photojournalist, a lawyer and a journalist cum a lot of other things. I sat in between the later two. We were on our way to interview the fourth candidate in a row. Maybe I was tired, maybe I wasn’t. But a question like that I surely wasn’t looking forward to answer.
“So you have a boyfriend?”
“Aba ma jasto ramri keti ko boyfriend nahune ta kurai vaye ni!” (Now how can a beautiful girl like me not have a boyfriend?) I replied.
I was already regretting my words. Damn, why can’t I give a straight answer? Surely because I don’t want to talk about it I console myself.
The lawyer gets the sarcasm in my voice.
“Kina ra timi ramri chau ta.” (You are beautiful..) She says.
What the ….. That is what exactly I would have retorted if anyone of my known had ever dared to say that. But it’s a different situation altogether. The damage is done by uttering the wrong thing at the wrong time. Never too late to mend I realize.
“No, I am just not that kind” I utter another combination of senseless words.
Damn! “Not that kind!” What the hell does that mean? Something in my mind tells me it is AGAIN the wrong way to put it.
It’s the Photojournalist now. She turns back to say “ Tyo hunu naramro ho ra?” ( Is it wrong to have a boyfriend?)
Oh God! Me and my words!
“Didn’t mean that. Well, I just haven’t found someone mentally compatible.” I finally make some sense. Hmm “Mentally compatible” I congratulate myself for the invention of a new phrase which can now be repeated over and over again to silence the Great Inquirers. I smile at myself. They bother me no more. What relief!
That was some months ago. Sometimes the mind stores the most mundane of things just as it is. This must be an example of that.
A month or two ago I met him at a friend’s place. A familiar face but he picked up an unusual topic for conversing.
“You have a boyfriend” he inquired.
“No” I replied.
“I thought so” he told me.
“I think I scare men!” I laughed at my own mundane joke.
He (another friend) in the room caught me saying that again.
“Oye, herna tyo Men Scarer Re!” he roared with laughter.
Why can’t I really Scare Men I thought.
“I hope you’ll have one someday. Then you’ll get it.” He imparted his blessings on me!
A week ago. We were having lunch in a fine hotel. Nope, not dating. It was Lunch time according to the workshop schedule.
“Your birthday?” he asked.
“Why does it matter?” I replied.
“ Kasto yar.. Timi jasto nisthuri lai kasle maya garna sakcha?” he said.
“Nisturi??” I repeated after him and roared with laughter. I just don’t think the word “nisthuri” goes with my character. Feels more like an adjective people give “ Nakkalis”. Not the psychos like me who hurry outside the cinema washroom floors unable to look at the mirror due to shyness because the “Nakkalis” are busy wearing Makeup. Heaven knows why? So nisthuri that just can’t be me!
“Why not give me a hint?” He continues. “Sometime in summer, monsoon, winter…”
“ Hyaaa. What use knowing me? You know hers’ don’t you? Then why burden your mind with other dates?” I reply.
“Yo nisthuri lai ni kasaile maya garla ta?” He repeats while I continue smiling, enjoying the meal. “Maya garera khana sakkina kyara” I think and continue relishing the meal.
Wish People were like this, pure white..untainted with lies…..
Another workshop again. Its early morning. She walks alongside a friend.
“Touch me, don’t touch me..don’t touch me soniya” she hums.
“Did I touch you?” he asks.
“When did I say you touched me?” she retorts.
“Then why such a song early in the morning?”
“Because I like it!”
“Why don’t you sing something like “Bahon me bhar lo…”
“Why should I? Moreover that’s the evening kind of song.”
“No, a song for the evening ought to have a lot more than that!” he laughs.
“I just meant that such romantic songs are nice to hum in the evenings when you are walking on the streets ALONE” she stresses.
A moment of silence. The venue is reached.
“Will the workshop be over by three?” She normalizes the conversation.
“No. It’s till five and you can’t leave in the middle.”
“ Damn. Then I’ll be missing two dates!” She replies.
“With a guy?” he inquires.
“ No. With a guy and a girl, both the outings.” She replies casually.
“Wah! Kya Dhukka bho yar!” He laughs again. (What relief!)
“What’s wrong with this guy today?” She thinks walking up the stairs.
The workshop begins. It’s reached the halfway mark. The note arrives.
“I ♥ U” It states.
It’s a small piece of paper which has “Curruption” written on the other side. Wrong Spelling. The Martin Chautari Map catches her eye more than the pencil scribbling stating the Three Golden Words as he puts it later.
Wrong place, wrong time and Definitely The Wrong Person.
So what the fuss? She wants to reply back but doesn’t bother. Not a conversation she’s interested in. Feels? Absolutely nothing. A subdued hormone, numbed senses as her friends tell is her case.
Life’s just taught her a lesson: “Every dog has its day. “And good news is monkeys are cute too! Lol But she’d replied back to life “I’m no dog. So I don’t want my day. No intention of replacing monkeys either!” Deliberately Mean that’s she.
“So do you love me too?” Another note.
She doesn’t bother. The repeation of the question!
Why me? What wrong have I done? Oh Gooood…..She’s just incapable of making head or tail out of this nuisance.
But must do something. Wordplay will help perhaps.
“Love, the word holds no meaning for me. So what if I told you I didn’t understand your question?”
“ Oh please..No philosophy (The question is repeated) I want an answer.”
What is this? A 106 degree February Fever??
She takes her time. Why can’t she fabricate some story? A mom of two kids should work? Polyandry? That would probably send him running to the poles! Will that even pass for a Lie?? Mom re? And how did that Polyandry thought even come to her mind? Something saner..But why lie? And as if she could ever do that in the first place!
“Answering such a question has implications I believe as we are both young! And I don’t think I’ll ever answer such a question to anyone. Not until I’m 25!” She passes the sheet of paper already regretting the 25 there. Where the hell did that ever come to her mind? 25! Hell with it. Sometimes she so wishes she were more like her. Fabricate stories, fake tears, pretend innocence and escape unscathed!! How does she do it?? But she’s not her. Never will be.
“From an hour to years? But I’m ready to wait.”
“Waiiiiiiiiiit??” Something yells inside her head. “Keep waiting. I’ll be dead by then. At least will make sure I’m just at the other end of the world in lands you’ve never heard of, just unreachable. Wait? Waihat. She thinks. But the note is entirely different.
“Yah please do. That’s lesson number one in Love. By then your best friend will see the light too, you’ll be together finally.” She writes back.
“Let her remain a best friend. And why has your smile vanished from the face. Something so close to you. Isn’t it the heart where smiles are formed? My words seemed to have affected your mood.”
She is just completely out of her mind on reading it. What the hell is that? Formation of smiles and the heart. But she finds that pretty amusing, his strange way of linking things.
“My face is hurting because of smiling too much and you inquire where my smile is?? Silly buda.” She writes thinking that will bring him back to friendly terms from his High state of affairs!
He dwells on the last thing she expected.
“Kasko buda” he writes.
“Kasaiko hoina. I don’t think I need to remind you that you always call yourself “ Jawan Buda” she reminds him.
“Teso bhaye timi budi huncha?”
“No ma Yuba” she scribbles.
Thank heavens the A4 size paper has every bit of it covered. No more disturbances.
The impact is something she feels slowly. Why her? What crappy conversation to be involved in? Why did she trade seats in the first place? Its so sick. Sick, sick ,sick…
Why can’t they leave her in peace? What is it, a matter of global concern if she is single or not??
They talk of love as it they know it all.
One moment its “You’re getting it all wrong”.
The next it is the right thing. What’s right? What is wrong? Who are they to decide with their confused minds? Does it distract? Does it attract? Is it the looks? Is it the touch? What do they think they know?
Does saying prove anything?
What’s it an experiment?
Is there an invisible here I want a boyfriend written on her forehead? What the….. Is going on?
Leave her alone, can’ you?? Just give her the peace of mind she deserves after hearing the liars go on and on about their love stories damn it! Fake tears, fake identities, she wants to be among them no more.
Those lovable lies…..and love that lies in those eyes…it LIES, LIES, LIES…
माया मलाई चाँहीदैन खोज्दिन पनि
पाइला जता चाल्छु म उतैको यात्री
Song by Catch 22