Saturday, June 27, 2015

"Which one do you like?"

We were not facing a situation at Sarojini Nagar. Instead, both of us were perched on an uncomfortable sofa, facing a friend, another friend and his friend at a noisy corner of a bar in Delhi. I was meeting her after three years if not more. From being annoyingly hysterical to ridiculously hyper, she's now turned into a meditative sort. Filmmaking has that calming effect, with or without substance in the body. I don't know how to explain it to you. If you've been around the industry or in it, you will either be one of us or facing us on the opposite end of the spectrum. You can't be an average Joe pulling work out like a 9-5er would.

"Neither. Who said anything about liking?"

I'm a horrible fiction writer. This draws from the fact that fiction writing is all about creating fake scenarios and being affirmative about it. As someone who finds it hard to lie and have a resting poker face, I can't pull off an act. I was struggling to find a look.

"Come on man, atleast tell me which one of the two likes you?"

I could feel my face turn into beetroot red from pale yellow. Damn haemoglobin, this question works like a blood transfusion. I stared hard at the table and looked at her smiling,

"You know, no one. Come on, I'd tell you about it."

"But, I heard something about one of them and you..."

This statement was a ride back into 11/11 or some ridiculously symmetrical date, three years ago. Barely a month after meeting her then, I was in a completely different geographical landscape, between an absolutely different crowd, doing an incredibly morose thing- sitting and talking. If my memory allows, it was a similar setting. Meeting of both the worlds is always unsettling. He and I were at the peak of whatever we'd had and this was the first time we were going to be in public, facing a crowd. Considering their breed functions differently, I was thinking on his behalf too. I'd tried underplaying the scenario and the situation as a rehearsal in my head, several times. Heck, I'd even made an entry with someone else, in order to lessen the impact of the situation. Like I said, all in my head. None of the people who were around when the evening unfolded would probably care about this, but to me this is as solid as anything I've ever held close to me. Anyway, not digressing but when he entered, my heart skipped a beat. No silly, I didn't die. Something else went down and after a series of confusions and a big drama, he was released from the custody of the million party guests. He occupied a non-threatening corner of the room and picked up the newspaper around him. I think at this point, the party crowd was divided in two rooms. Naturally, I had to leave the place and inhabit the other one by myself.

"Isn't he the same guy you've been dating?"

My face managed to conceal the blood rushing up to colour my cheeks. Weekend theatre classes were paying off. With the most confident high pitched laugh, I answered,

"No no. Come on, I'd tell you about it. Besides, how do you even remember him? It beats me because I haven't heard from him in a long time."

I've apologised a multiple hundred times since to you, for lying so convincingly. Naturally, I'd known you'd be the recipient of my drunk dialling where I'd possibly pour my broken heart out to you, I'd be less of an idiot around you with my lies.

"But, I thought you'd said it was him you went out with. Isn't he the one who likes you?"

By this time, I remember being distracted by a balloon. I fucking love balloons. You know what's so great about them? The fact that they can occupy space and yet kinda float when kicked. It's like human beings on weed, only much kinder and easier to kill.

"What's your plan for the evening?"

You bring me back to the moment, where I'm still perched on that ridiculously old and trashy sofa, unable to move without calling in distraction- my dress is too short and my lies, too big for me to handle gracefully.

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