This was just another Saturday night.
Her gait was calm and soft just like her voice or even her hair for that matter. She walked in to glare at the Amazon jungle that were my legs and went about her usual routine, which included checking herself out in my mirror, ruffling and styling her hair, cribbing about her skin and incessantly enquiring at the increasing size of her posterior. She was off to a party that night and asked me for the millionth time if I would like to join and for the millionth time, I refused. She just moved in, this little bundle of Bengali composure, with an addiction to her active social life and her undying love for vodka, cranberry juice and mutton biryani.
I on the other hand spent the rest of my night continuing to stare at the distemper peeling off my wall and wondering what it would be like having a female flatmate after so long. I gotta admit, I love living with Shak. I mean who wouldn’t? He was all of 5 feet and his hobbies were cooking, cleaning, dusting and jhaadoo pochcha. He was oddly nice and had no balls, precisely the reason why my parents were so surprisingly supportive when I told them that I will be living in big bad Delhi with a boy. But Shak provided no moral support when it came to non domestic issues, like now when I was trying to make sense of a broken heart and looked like the love child of Mamta Kulkarni and Anil Kapoor’s chest. And this is not because Shak was insensitive, but because he just had nothing to say and earlier attempts at cajoling and pacifying me with cups of cocoa resulted in emotional, PMS-y, teary outbursts, which scared the pants out of him. So you see, Shak WAS quite a man.
But this post is about something I have been meaning to put out there for a while now. It’s about the people who help me just be. As I have mentioned earlier, I have very few friends and they are nothing less than family to me. Even as a child or when I was in college, I was never a group person, never one who had that one big happy bunch where everyone was sleeping with everyone. No, I was one for fostering very individualistic friendships, leading me to have the most eclectic set of friends ever and that is exactly the reason I get a constant overload of opinions and perspectives every single day of my life. So let me just run you through some of the morons in my life who help me get by. My security forces, my friends. They will be mentioned in posts to come maybe, so you might as well get acquainted.
TANAZ: Now she is like my mentally challenged child. I personally believe that if you don’t have a Bawa (I will not say Parsi, its way too dignified) friend, go get yourself one now! They hang out outside the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) and at the gates of Kusro Baug in Bombay all the bloody time. Tanaz has a protestant mother and an Irani Bawa father (Irani Bawas are a tad worse than the non Irani ones in terms of their degree of public embarrassment). So Tanaz has no pristine, pure Christian values but is a true blue Bawa through and through, meaning hot tempered, loud and above all ,uncontrollably profane. Walking into the Irani household is like walking into a minefield where even the smallest movement can lead to the explosion of a string of the freshest stock of expletives straight from their forefathers. And there is the behavior to match of course, right from Daddy Irani singing ‘oh Haseena zulfon waali’ to the maid while playing the song’s beats by thumping his wife’s backside to Govinda dancing around the box which housed their new hamster- Pintoo.
Tanaz has obviously picked up all her habits from the man and has no qualms about displaying them in public places like at my place when she saw my dad heading out for a round of golf in his shorts and yelled “Arey oh tere daddy ke tangey dekh toh –saaaxy!” The father was too stumped to say anything of course,( but I did hear him gloating to the Maa later about how even girls half his age, find him appealing and he totally still has it). It’s funny how one of the closest people in my life is one of the last people I turn to in times like these, coz the only advice I have ever gotten out of her is “Fuck that shit. Men are shit.” So profound. So Tanaz.
KUNZI: When people in school or even college found out how close I am to him, it shocked the whole student community in my city. Kunzi is every mother’s dream son-- polite and courteous and the fatass plays no sports and therefore has hands as soft as silk and does not have a boisterous bone in his body. Kunzi is also the diametric opposite of me—non-drinker, non-smoker, pure vegetarian, and Gujju, in a relationship with a female Gujju for the last five years. The boy spells stability.
And needless to say the boy is extremely judgmental of my choices and especially my dating patterns. He is always the one to make sure I don’t go astray, discourages me to play the field and to have a marry-me-at- first- sight situation like he did, of course with some unsuspecting MBA with a house on Cuff Parade(Gujju hai bhai, so show me the money, honey!). He hates the fact that break ups have never hurt me and so was mighty thrilled that I was actually dying with this one, therefore according to him, I was no longer standing on a giant condom screaming “I am slut of the world” (yes, this is what he imagines I do in my spare time. My friends really do love me).
BISCUIT: This is more like a message to her and I hope she finds some time away to read this and finally start a blog of her own.
Now I have, in my current state of ennui, been trying to go through a range of blogs including the ones I see on Twitter and Facebook, among other sources. Some of the stuff I saw there was very popular, with their own webpages, communities and what have you. Some of the popular stuff was good, but most of it was just pure junk. There is a fundamental problem with comedy and satire going terribly wrong in this country. There has been a recent upsurge of stand up comics and comic bloggers who have carved a niche for themselves, but the good ones always have a point, no matter how inane their ramblings may be. It’s this recent trend of unnecessary forced dark grumpy humour that is completely pissing off. And this unfortunately happens due to a lack of fresh ideas, a decent enough vocabulary and complete ignorance about what is happening around you. And man, if you are not funny in real life, there is NO way in hell you can be funny on paper, sorry. The most unfortunate part is this is a trend I see in a lot of women bloggers who are just trying too hard. It saddens me and the staggering number of followers they garner just goes to show how deprived we actually are of any wit whatsoever. Like seriously, you maybe proud of being a woman, but take the same pride in being a lady, so chuck the excessively profane, dirty talk. And if you still think that you need to be abusive to be funny then just sprout a goddamn penis (Yes penis, none of this pee -pee, wee -wee bullshit on my blog).
This is where women like Biscuit come to the fore. Smart, well-spoken and above all, is by far the funniest woman I know. She would just waltz into my house and waltz out leaving everyone clutching their stomachs and The Maa feigning a heart attack. So recently Biscuit got eve-teased in Delhi by some surdie boys (since you troubled my friend, your community shall never be bestowed with the 'da boyzzz' like your Jaat counterparts. Tough luck). So Biscuit calls me late that night and went on a rant about Sardars in general , because obviously some miscreants make the whole clan a bunch of desperate maniacs no?
SO she yells “Dude I get when you were living in a bloody forest and you were all martial and shit AND there were no salons or hajaams or wherever the hell it is that men go to get their hair cut AND you were too busy plotting and planning to kick Aurangzeb’s ass, FINE. But now?? NOW,when you are sitting your fat butter chicken backside down in your spare part ki dukaan in Kashmiri gate, Why do you need long hair man, What is up with that huh??”
Biting, aware and genuinely vitriolic. That's what I'm talking about.
Now the woman is ticked off but her rant had me in splits. I always wished she did stand up acts, or even wrote, just to prove that women can do more than just be profane and obnoxious to get attention.
PINKY DARLING: Pinky is of course is the anomaly in my friends circle, which means she is mentally way beyond her years and knows what she wants from life. Therefore is also ALWAYS the one I turn to for any advice in pretty much any aspect of my life. She is a proponent of good habits like waking up at 5 AM, sleeping before 11 PM and bathing atleast 10 times a day. So no points for guessing that Pinky was the first among us to tie the knot to a well settled older man with a steady job and complete family support, unlike the rest of us who are still in the mode where we imagine weddings to be big birthday parties with more gifts and the gateway to family approved intercourse.
So a night before her big day, we were just having some girly time, which included ripping the boy’s family apart and cracking filthy jokes at her expense. After about 4 shots of some terrible Tequila, Pinky Darling finally spoke. She looks at us and says “you know I love Z and he’s really into the physical stuff, but you know when I was with M, like wow! That was something, When he’d kiss me I would get totally transported dude! And that is what you guys should be looking for OK??” I looked on with so much pride. I realized we trained her well. She was not being blindfolded in love, but was realistic. And more than anything, she was definitely taking a part of our shallowness with her.
Cut to Cheems who was now back from her night of revelry and I who was, well…. doing whatever it is one does after a break up—eating a tub of ice-cream . Cheems walked in and lost her cool, something she never ever does. She finally forced it out of me. We spoke all night about what happened, what went wrong, what he said, what I said or shouldn’t have said. Something changed inside me that night. As I looked at her, animatedly talking to me, I realized that she would make a place for herself on that list above some day.
For the next year, my life was like I never thought it would be-- fun, work intensive and Cheems filled. I let it all out for weeks after and she listened to it all .Though the rest of my friends hated with a vengeance, the man who broke my heart, the truth was that none of them were physically present to see what it looked like broken. But she was. And for an entire year, she would watch it and care for it patiently as it recovered, healed and was finally ready to let itself go again . Then one Sunday, a year later, she barged into my room in her usual without knocking way and I yelled, “Cheems knock before you enter my room na!”
I was me again.
This one is to all you mofos (is that how you spell it?), apart from a few who I could not mention because I’m sleepy.
The song is Joe Cocker’s version and not the Beatles'.
PS: George Harrison, you are still my hero and choosing Joe Cocker’s version of this song over yours has nothing to do with Joe's surname, I promise.)