Monday, January 16, 2006

Three's Company

One evening I sat in the rear seat of a car, where my only companions were two men who had grown up together as boys. Soon my silence drew a curtain across my existence and I became a silent spectator to what followed.
Their plan was to drink together, but since the decided lounge had cover charges; the easier (still enjoyable) option was to drive around town with a bottle by your side. So bachelors + no money to splurge = drunken driving.

“Hey she is nice”

“Naah! Not my kind…too slim”

Silence followed until we passed the next appealing hoarding.

“Now, SHE is NISE...she has that just out of bed look. You know what I mean, right?”


Well the conversation lingered over ‘hmms’ and ‘yeahs’, before it took a more masculine twist. Well it wasn’t really about fitness and physique, but they just have a different way of catching up. While the women get directly to the point, men flow with the time (and the alcohol) and get around in a subtle way.

“So how’s the corporate thing going?”

“Well we just did a camp with Rapid Eye” (waits for a reaction; so I’m guessing the company is real big)

“Vow man!” (Aha! I’m sure that is what he was waiting for)

“Besides I have approached some others.”

“BTW, I don’t know if I mentioned, but I changed my job” (now here is the other one hankering for attention. If he has it, I must have it too ;))

“Oh! You left your company?! Ok, so where are you now?”


“Haan, so now I know where to come, if I want a job!!”

Anyways the conversation revolved around the technicalities of their respective jobs, the competitors, the tactics and the trade secrets, that these guys are so proud to possess. Occasionally, one of them would voluntarily pass the bottle behind, but eagerly wait for it to return. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of a more personal conversation and I didn’t have to wait too long.

“K, why are you so quiet?”

“I’m sure she is quite disgusted by our discussion of bust sizes. Real locker-room talk.”

“Probably, she is enjoying it - a glimpse of her closeted lesbianism!”

“The only time I have been part of a locker room conversation was back in school.”

“Yes! The debates and discussions about Ms Gupta’s pallu that use to keep slipping off.”

“Mind you, she quite enjoyed the attention. All that time she took to collect it.”

It was at this point that I was suddenly reminded of my school days and Ms Wadan. The popular Wadan-kya-tera-badan phrase that was favourite topic of discussion. Some things never change and are probably never different either. While the guys drool over it, the girls mock their shamelessness. (But secretly enjoy the fun too)

“So where is Andy?”

“Donno man, I wanted to ask you myself. Probably earning loads of money in some multinational.”

“Hehe. I’m sure, in the next ten years we will still be sitting at some roadside and drinking cheap booze and Andy will drive past in a BMW or something.”

“Yeah! And when we ask him where he is working, he’ll say - you’ve heard of that company right, well I own it.”

“And earn a few millions…”


Vow! Men can actually have conversations like women. Simply put, they can also gossip and bitch…well in graceful way, of course. I don’t exactly remember when a long pause that followed this reminiscing ended; and the conversation traced some proficient talk about shares v/s investments, tacky brokers and property prices. With each one making the other feel good about his responsible behaviour and actually setting aside a moment to reflect upon how far they have come, the dialogue finally returned to the all-time favourite topic - WOMEN

“Hey C, there is very pretty and simple girl in love with me. She is quite nice, only …I wish she was a little cosmo.”

“Well mould her, my friend…”

“Would you want to try a hand at someone who ahs lived all her life at L?”

“Well have fun then…she anyways knows off your philandering.”

“No man, I need a girlfriend yaar - someone to mollycoddle and pamper.”

Well, now things were getting slightly senti, so C decided to switch the track of conversation. Well he managed quite efficiently, now whether that was his tact or R’s drunkenness…I don’t know.

“So how come you aren’t spending time with your mom?”

“I wanted to get drunk, precisely why I came to Pune.”

“So get drunk. I have been high a couple of times this past few weeks.”

“Naah, wanted company man.”

“OK, come lets get drunk.”

“but, you just said…”

“Anything for you my friend!”

With this the engine of the car reared and the two head towards a ‘wine shop’ before it got too late. I chose to step out at this moment, but a smile played on my lips all the way back home. There was nothing unusual about this conversation, nothing abrupt, vague or exciting either. But there was warmth to it…very boyish warmth, which maybe gave me one of the most precious glimpses of a relationship.

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