Friday, December 18, 2009

Man Overboard

So what’s the deal with this women’s lib thing I wonder? I always considered myself to be one of those old fashioned, 'man open door' type chicks until I found myself single, in a city where sex is free flowing, and nobody expects anything in return. You go out, hook up and meet the next day as though nothing happened. That phenomenon has always scared me a tad. I can’t say I haven’t done it. I’m just saying I can’t do it anymore. Maybe it’s my heart that’s kicking in? Maybe my head’s fading? Or maybe I just don’t live in denial anymore? Who knows? But the fact is I now suffer huge heartburns when I hook up with someone I know and am friends with. I know, because yes, I caved and tried to blend in and no, it didn't do the trick. I’m not saying all sex is meaningful I’m sure I can still go out and find anonymous sex if I was looking for it. But I’m not anymore. Because I do believe that sex with another person should lead to something more endearing, otherwise I would just invest in a collection of sex toys instead. So yes, even if it’s just great conversation, a guy who makes you laugh hysterically, or someone who’s hug will lift the weight of the world off your shoulders…there has to be that added extra. The only problem is, once you have that added extra you automatically have emotions attached to it. It’s something you don’t want to get rid off and hold onto for as long as it makes you happy.

So I decided, that since all the pricks I knew were only interested in the newly painted sign on my forehead that read ‘single and available for one night only’ (which I hadn’t noticed of course) were going to get nowhere with me, I finally made the bold move of asking a guy on a date. He’s the sweet, nice, ‘good on paper’ kind of guy, who’s untapped potential had recently set my emotions on fire. At first there was this whole confusion, because his film had just released and he was fretting with every drop in box office figures. And so our date was postponed, indefinitely. I thought it was nerves and being in such a precarious situation, he was allowed them. He then postponed our date further by informing me he was leaving town to get his mojo back. Again, I excused him. Four days after he returned, he messaged to say he was back and asked when we were doing dinner. We fixed dinner for the next night at my favourite restaurant in town. He picked me up, I paid for dinner. Our date ran five hours long…and I thought we had a pretty good time. Good time enough for second date potential. He dropped me home and after accusing me of almost breaking his car door, he promised to take me out in return.  It sounded like a promising end to our first date.  And then he snapped his fingers and vanished into thin air. No ‘thank you’ message or ‘wassup’ message. Zip! Zero!...ummm…Nothing!
Three days later, I get a text saying “ I think I’ve become a 24 zombie” referring to his recent addiction to the popular televesion series. Then he somehow managed to invite me and my nearest buds to a 9 course meal at his restaurant in a neighbouring city. So we arrived, along with his mother, sister, friends…et al. It was a fabulous meal, and the whole experience of driving out of town for a meal was even more exciting. We came back knackered, and most of our company smashed beyond motor skill coordination.

The next day, he broke his agenda down very precisely for me… his head hurt, he intended on watching 24, attending his grandmother’s birthday in the evening and then going to the gym at some point in between it all. After which, he proceeded to ask me out for a movie the next day. I unfortunately passed out for the next 5 hours and only replied later on, by which time he had already made a plan to watch the movie of my choice with someone else on another day, but said we could watch another movie. I agreed.

The fated day of our movie date came along and he first asked if we could just meet for coffee as he wasn’t feeling up to doing a movie which later led to a complete cancellation of our plans on the account of his coming down with the flu. So in my empathic state, I asked him the next day if he was feeling any better? His response was that he felt slightly better. So I advised him to pop the vitamin c and wished him a speedy recovery to which I got the monosyllabic ‘ya’ in reply.  That was it. I had checked all my boxes off and he had failed. In truth, I just couldn’t deal with the practicality of it all…the death of romance was not something I was willing to deal with, at least not at this phase.

So now I’m led to think this poor guy has either been hurt real bad or he’s just not interested. But mostly I’m just thinking…what a waste of an effort! And So much for women’s lib! I got onto to the net today and his status update read ‘It begins with a glimpse or a passing thought and it ends in heartbreak’. I’m all out of tricks with him now and back to waiting for my knight in shining armor. Yes he does exist! And he will come knocking on my door. Won’t he?

Run Away Lover

That old feelings back again
The sound of the click,
The sound of the silence,
The sound of waiting, knowing noone’s going to answer.

I’m laughing out loud
Mind the puddle of tears on your way out
I’d loan you my gumboots
But I’d rather you splashed around a little

You take your time to come around
I’ll take my holiday now
You say you try
I’m saying you tried

Yes it’s that time of the year again
The same time as last time
To pack your bags
Go on vacation

Check into your heartbreak hotel
Maybe you'll meet Elvis
Maybe you’ll bump into a hooker
Don’t pay for sex, It pays for itself

The hotel room’s for free
And so is the vacation
The shopping's where they'll fuck you

So I take the next flight out
Bye bye birdy
This chicken has flown the coop

If I could spread my wings, I would
But chickens don’t fly
So I take the plane instead

Yes that old feelings back again
The sound of a crack
The sound of your head
The sound of you knowing he’s gone for good

So put your phone off, it ain’t gonna ring
This plane’s ready for take off
And I want to land safely.

Groupie Love

She said come now baby,
I went along.
No questions asked, no tantrums thrown,
Against my intention to this day prolong.

I’d heard him before
But this time was blown.
What say you to a boy with locks,
Spins yarns and tunes to make you stay
I stayed and stared, like never before.

He saw me I think
But I can’t be sure
I stared too hard to notice.

Ask me what he looks like
And I haven’t a clue
But name me the song and I know the lyrics.

He finished his song,
I waved my hat,
I’ve seen you before he said,
I’ve heard you before I said.
He smiled and walked away.

I’ll be your groupie any ol’ time,
I’ll hold you to it, said he,
Still walking away.

I meant every word
He couldn’t care less
I tipped my hat to bid adieu
And followed the rest.

So here I sit,
Writing this shit,
There seems not another way
To get him to come out and play.

And so I rest my shit for that day
When to his songs again I'll sway.

Aliens Househunting on Carter Road

“Doesn’t it feel like home?” she asked putting her bag down and taking in what she wanted to be her new home.
“I’m just worried about the wind factor,” said he looking out at the sea.
“I think it’s just perfect. And a little wind never hurt anyone anyway,” she said.
Without waiting for him to agree or disagree, she pulled out her little stove from her trunk and began to boil the water for their evening tea.
“Is it that time already?” he asked, placing his reading chair in full view of the sea and looking at his watch, “I didn’t realize it had gotten so late.”
She looked at him from behind the gassy waves of disillusion coming from the stove and smiled in his direction, but to herself. Of course he had no idea. That’s what she was there for. She gave him his cup of tea and perched herself on the arm of his chair, as they both stared out at the beautiful view of the ships coming in, meandering in their respective thoughts.
“I think I like our new home. Don’t you?” she said breaking the silence.
“I can feel the wind already. It’s going to get cold in the nights I’ll tell you that,” said he, fidgeting a little in his position.
Just then, a gust of wind blew causing a twig to fall into his cup of tea. He picked it out, slightly irritable and threw it on the floor, taking another sip of his tea.“The twigs here have a funny flavour”, he said crossing his eyebrows and smacking his lips as if still trying to decipher what went wrong with his tea. “I’m sure there must be other places with a view where the twigs don’t taste so funny” he said and stood up as if he had made up his mind. “In any case the wind over here is going to cause much trouble,” he said picking up his suitcase and hat. He looked at her waiting for her to get up, while she stayed perched on the chair, in the hope that he would change his mind. But when he put his hat on, she knew there was no convincing him to stay. So she packed up her stove and the tea cups and the strange couple walked out onto the promenade, hand in hand, their belongings on their back, completely oblivious to the looks being passed from the onlookers taking their evening walk, as they trudged along, looking for a place to call home.

To Abhay with love

Who the hell is this guy?
I call him “gust of wind”. Because that’s what I thought he was when I first encountered Abhay Deol, at my cousin’s house in London. He came into the house, dumped his rucksack at the bottom of the stairwell, ran up the stairs and then ran back down holding two jackets up in front of me. “Which one?” he asked. I looked up to see two, almost identical, jackets dangling in the distance between us. “The one with the elbow pads,” I said. He chucked the other jacket onto his rucksack and put on the one I suggested. I looked at my watch; it was time for me to head back to the gallery and get ready for the opening of my exhibition. I picked up my bag and headed toward the door. “Hang on we’ll go together”, he said picking up his wallet and rushing in front, to open the door. On our way to the bus stop, just before he got on his bus, he cut me a deal: “I’ll come for your exhibition if you’ll come for a party with me after.” I smiled, he had himself a deal. But I couldn’t help but ask myself “Who the hell is this guy and what the hell is he doing here?” That was it. I put it out there for the universe to bring me the answers.
I arrived at the gallery, did the final touch ups and waited, then decided to make the best of the free bar and started to get light headed….the people came, I smiled, answered their questions, took some critique, drank some more, pretended to look at the stuff like I’d never seen it before and just when I thought I had my fill of it… in he walked, in the jacket of my choice, disarming everyone with his smile as he made his way past the people to the video exhibit. I waited. I watched…. he got up. I went up to him…. “I recognized only one actor. Because of the mole.”  No hi, no hello…no siree, he cut right through that opening conversation. “Drink?” was all I could get myself to say. I grabbed the free beers… he grabbed my hand and then we grabbed a taxi to his ‘Socha Na Tha’ party. That was Abhay Deol’s debut into my life and ‘Socha na Tha’ was his debut in the Indian film world.
The next evening we decided, on a random whim, to go see a movie. By the time we got to the theatre, the movie had already begun and just as I was buying tickets thinking we were only 5 minutes late, I noticed Abhay walking off. “I can’t watch it. We already missed the beginning.” And he left. That was Abhay Deol. No questions asked, no answers given.
I think that’s the last I saw of him until he randomly called me three years later in Delhi, “Do you know who this is?” he asked. How would I? What kind of a question was that? That’s when I finally met Abhay in his world, on the sets of Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Dev D’. I hugged him tight and looked into his face. It was him alright…. but not. He was more aware, more cautious, more actor, less person…. he was on his way to become the “critically acclaimed” star of Bollywood. The Abhay Deol that they were waiting to fall in love with, with his next two releases of ‘Dev D’ and ‘Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!’.
With ‘Honeymoon Travels’, ‘Manorama Six Feet Under’, ‘Dev D’ and ‘Oye Lucky’ under his belt, I thought it was the last I’d see of him and his newly acclaimed stardom. But then came Bombay, and I found myself standing in his open doorway, seeing him perched atop his dining table with a purple chandelier in his hand, “Do you think this is too much?” It would normally be too much, but it was perfect in his pop-kitsche house. And the familiarity whooshed back; he still refused to open a conversation. It was as if I had been standing there since the first time I met him.  That was Abhay Deol, not the star, not the gust of wind, just a guy dripping in sweat, waiting for his air-conditioning to be fixed and doing up his new bachelor pad.
“I’m moving to New York,” he told me “I’m bored.” And that was that, he signed on four more films, got himself an apartment and moved to Manhattan. I called him yesterday to ask him when he was coming back and he said, “For what?” “Life…film…family…. friends?” I say. “But I still have all that,” he stated. It ended there. No questions asked, no lies told.
So the universe did answer my question. Who the hell is he? He is, Abhay Deol, the gust of wind with the rucksack, who became the star, remained a friend and is sitting in Manhattan waiting for someone or something to give him reason to leave and come back.