|Pictture courtesy : http://theprayingwoman.com|
Honestly, I never understood the concept of dancing in the dark, rubbing oneself on other sweaty, often foul smelling bodies. As I was busy contemplating I heard a loud crash and a woman screeching. It turns out it was two women screeching at each other having an argument over another man. Where have I got stuck, I miss my books and my bed. My weekend is royally wasted.
If I sat inside any longer, with my rotten luck along with headache I will land up with lung cancer too, with all the cigarette smoke that engulfed that god forsaken pub. I excused myself from the party (my friends and their boyfriends) and made myself comfortable on its staircase. As I sat, considering if I should go out to the cafe just adjacent to the pub as I was starving and all the smoke was making me feel nauseous, one of the screeching girl came out crying. There were loud sobbing noises, people standing there pretended as if they heard nothing. I too pretended to hear nothing, but then she almost tripped over me. Rotten luck at play, you see.
"Are you okay?" I asked out of sheer courtesy, ready to go back to my phone. But as my luck would have it, the girl decided to sit beside me and cry. Cry is an understatement she was howling. This time the idiots standing around me decided to look at me and her.
"Can I help you?" I asked gritting my teeth. The last thing I want is to mother a drunken woman.
"My boyfriend, that slimy bastard is cheating on me" she cried. I looked away, desperately trying to show my disinterest in her sob story. In the middle of her cries, she fainted. Yes, she fainted over my shoulders. Now was my turn to shriek. "Hello, are you okay?? Hey, get up. “I tried to shake her. I knew she was alive as she was breathing. "Please somebody get some water." I pleaded. A man rushed in, before he could come with the darn glass, her highness decides to come back to her senses.
"You gave me a fright." I told her wiping my sweat. "I am hungry and I am going to a nearby cafe. I think even you should eat and hydrate yourself." I muttered. If I didn't eat I might faint too.
She looked at me with teary eyes and said "Okay" feebly.
We both got up and started walking towards the cafe. Bright side- at least I had company. I hate to eat alone in a restaurant. All I had to do was hear some sob stories and that's okay. Just hmms and ohs in the middle should do the trick and she'll think I am listening. Moreover, she is too drunk to notice I can very well smell the liquor.
We sat looking at each other and I was hoping against all hope that she doesn't start crying all over again. To my surprise, she said "Hi, this is Aashna." in an even tone and she smiled weakly.
"Good, you sound better already, promise of food has that kind of a magical effect on mind." I laughed and was sure she would crack up too. But she looked at me as if I was the dumbest person on the planet. It was better to shut up and wait for the waiter to get the damn menu card.
"That was a good one", she said slowly. Hearing her tone I had no wish to continue any conversation.
"I am sorry for being such a bore. But being dumped publicly does ruin your day." and this time she smiled. Though it was a sad but I smiled too "Yes, it does." I agreed.
"If you don't mind me asking, what happened with you out there?" Part of me screamed that it was none of my business. Just have your food and leave. Bloody, it’s her monkey and her circus. But the writer in me wanted to hear the juicy details, hoping for more fodder for my story.
"My boyfriend dumped me... I think everyone now knows that." she looked down, so was hard to see her expression. "Where is the stupid waiter, I am starving."
“I also know that he cheated on you, so I guess I know more than most people out there.” I said, spotting the waiter and signaling him to get the menu card.
“It’s not the cheating that’s hurtful; it’s he being so cool about it. There was no repent or embarrassment. Imagine the girl he’s cheating on is a friend of mine. I was told that my bf was cheating, so I came here to check on him and here he is with that bitch.” She paused, tears welling in her eyes. She took a sip of water and continued “When did the world become this heartless? There is an etiquette, a certain set of rules that needs to be followed when u break up. I miss the old school romance, the real men.”
I couldn’t agree more, I too joined in her rants “Yeah, true there are no real men these days. Real men like Sunil Dutt, Dev Anand, Clarke Gable, Harrison Ford, George Clooney, the kind who wore trousers and shirts, with blazers…
“And hats” she added.
“Yeah, hats and the kind who would hold doors for women, who would carry handkerchiefs, to give to the lady if and when required. All that is left are these poor excuses for men who have the bodies of adults and the mentalities, as well as the social outlook of toddlers. Horny toddlers, but toddlers nonetheless. We can’t really blame them, look at their heroes, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Hrithik Roshan all 40+ but they simply just refuse to grow up. They still act as Virgin, 20 something old silly boys. It’s not building character that’s important anymore, all they wish to grow is that silly stubble and build even sillier six pack abs. What we really lack is a good role model” Frankly, I didn’t really expect to go on and on about this. But honestly, I was tad bit disappointed with our generation “Boys”. Sorry but I simply refuse to call them men, even if they are 30+.
Well, the girl sitting with me gaped. I know I went too far with my ranting. She must be thinking that I am some feminist who’s never been laid. I composed myself and went back to looking at the menu card. I looked up and she was still looking at me. “What?” I asked.
“Nothing, just that did you too break up with someone? You sound bitter.” She asked looking frightened.
“No, I don’t even like boys.” She gaped again, if you think of it she’s kind of good at ‘gaping’. “...in a non-lesbian way. Someday, I’ll find a man till then I am happy single.”
“So you’ve never been in a relationship?” Why is she asking me questions? I wasn’t the one screeching and fainting.
“Yes, I have been in a relationship but you know what, whenever I meet a man, they meet their future wife. No, it’s not me. I am usually the one right before the right one comes along. So like you I too get dumped.” I said, desperately trying to show that I was unaffected with the rejections and failed relationships. “Seriously, I no longer miss a male companion. I am happy with my work, I have a great gang of girls, who today are acting like love struck pups but usually they are pretty good and attentive to me.” I added.
“I feel I don’t even have friends anymore. There is nobody I could trust with my life. Who would have guessed my friend would do this to me.” She said. I pitied her. With us, my friends and I, there was always an unspoken rule, never eye your friends boyfriend. We all have religiously stuck to it.
“You know I have a talisman and I think you should follow it too…Have friends who have same taste in clothes and different taste in men. Trust me with that your life would sort.” I said pretending to be an ultimate love guru. But in all truth, I had negligible love life. I had fallen in love for the first time at the age of 13 with Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice) and then with Mr. Rhett Butler (Gone with the wind) followed by Howard Roarke (The fountainhead). By the time I was grown up to have a real bf, all boys failed when compared to the men I was in love with. I don’t blame them, they were all good but they somehow lacked the polish and finesse of real men.
The food was served and the way the girl pounced on food confirmed that she was pretty hungry. She chomped on Nachos as if she hasn’t had food in days. “You shouldn’t drink on empty stomach, you know.”
“I don’t drink.” Prompt came the reply.
“But you smell of liquor…” before I could complete the sentence she said “My boyfriend threw it on my face.”
“Oh okay, to think of it beer is good for skin and hair or so I have heard.” I knew it was not necessary but I needed to change the topic.
“Have you ever read Pride and Prejudice or Wuthering heights, that’s the kind of romance I want, warm, filled with longing and intimate” She looked al dewy eyed as she uttered those words.
“But to think of it, if pride and prejudice was written today, I doubt Elizabeth Bennet would have been the heroine. Kitty Bennet would have played the lead. She was everything, a man is attracted too. Silly, free spirited and promiscuous… she Is an ideal Karan Johar heroine.” I said, almost priding myself. Yeah go girl; you are on a roll today.
“Oh, wow. I never thought of that. Like when we were young our parents would give us lectures, recite stories as to how good girls like Cinderella, snow white landed up with prince charming. But in reality it’s the bad notorious girls who get everything while good girls die adjusting to whims and fancy of their partners. These bad girls are bad at everything from cooking to writing without making 100 grammatical errors. Yet, they’ll have met a man who would be happy eating off their hands like trained puppies.”
“Now, that was deep, Bravo”…and with that I clapped proudly.
My phone buzzed, my friends were finally tired and ready to head home. I checked my watch it was one in the morning. Time flew. “So, I have to go now. Do you want me to give you a lift?” I am usually not the concerned type but this girl was nice, at least well-read.
“No, I’ll go home. I am feeling much better thanks to you.” She said. I covered the bill and was about to leave when a guy stopped us. “I have been listening to you since last one hour. You think it’s only you who face everything, while men just jump from one girl to another. Well, you are wrong.”
“Dear, it was private conversation, it’s wrong to snoop around and what we said…”before I could complete this man interrupted me. “I have been dumped by a girl because she thought I was a pansy and old school. You guys say want old school, but when faced you can’t handle it because it lacks edge of the seat thrill. You admonish us for we like bad girls, while you drool over bad boys. You mentioned Mr. Darcy, well he was once considered to be proud and obnoxious, Mr. Rhett Butler was a man with horrible reputation and Howard Roark rapes Dominique Francon…. Yet you idolize those characters and call us Boys. Think about it.”
“You are right and I am really sorry. I would have loved to extend this umm… conversation but I really have to go. Aashna are you coming?” I said as I looked at my phone. My friends were calling me incessantly.
“Nah you go let me speak to this gentleman.” Aashna looked interested in that boy-man.
As I sat in the car and I passed the café I saw Aashna and that guy sitting together immersed in an animated conversation. I guess the guys and the girls are sailing in the same boat, facing the same issues. I can safely say that I blame the entire concept of “love” for the current state of affairs because as soon as you utter those three magical words you start walking the road of disillusionment, as reality of other person’s faults becomes more and more apparent with each passing day. We can choose to shut our eyes and continue or we could move on. Either of the ways we have to agree WE CAN’T LIVE WITH ‘EM; WE CANT’T LIVE WITHOUT ‘EM. I looked at the line again and then with a smile I clicked on publish.
*Now this is one of the few memoirs that made it to my blog.
*Now this is one of the few memoirs that made it to my blog.