Hate The Player, Hate The Game

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

“Are we over Cold yet?”

Unexpected text lit up my phone screen and made me vomit just a little bit in my stomach. My infatuation towards Cold (a name just as apt as his response to most of my advances) was taking a toll on all my friends and family. The fact is, Cold and I have been having a bit of a hot-cold time ourselves in the last couple of months. For a fortnight now, I had been really thinking of shaking things up and moving forward. There was nothing more left to pursue in this push and pull for me. I have been emotionally drained, after having invested in a slab of stone for what seemed like eternity.

“Why, do you have someone to distract me?”

“What happened to *****?”

I was half hoping for the individual to answer in, "Yeah man, met someone great at this party last night and I really think you should meet him."

Instead, I was evading a conversation that would be headlined as something like this- Serial dater gets conned into snogging by a professional PUA

"Yeah well, he was a pick up artist so nothing is happening there."

"What, how do you know? :O"

I asked the said person to reconvene after dinner so I could fill her in.

When I flew to Thailand in September, I carried along a book instead of my staple magazine. Been on my reading list for long, Dave Besseling's Laid In India was perfect in my mind, for a breezy beach read and it ended up being everything I didn't anticipate for it to be. The book is an observational telling of Sid Malhotra (name changed, naturally), who claims to be India's number 1 pick up artist (PUA). I was expecting a list of tricks up the sleeve of the pick up artist and read more on the author's personal pick up stories and what became of them, a la fiction. Instead, missing on the AI sheet information cost me a bit. I read 3/4 of the book and promised myself to return to it before the year ends. That book deserved my bedroom way more than the carry forward hotel room reading.

The book did return, albeit in a manner I did not anticipate. My view to remembering it was IIT gate through a haze of fog. SDA market never fails to make less than an impression. My beau, arm in arm, a yummy 30 something who was more into me than I've ever been into anyone, including Cold.

Let me just take a minute and address this man. He was a total 10/10. The kind I never swipe right to, and least of all go out with. I settle for an easy 7 because they put in some effort in the conversation, they're usually funny/cocky and make up for the perfect 10 by being witty, if not perfectly alright to take that forward to date 2.

However, this man, ***** was everything I'm not used to. He was an easy six feet something, toothpaste advertisement smile and outfit straight out of Karl's notebook on how to be effortlessly chic for a date. When I complimented him on the same, he just brushed his shoulder and said,

"I like to be comfortable. This was really comfortable. I didn't quite put it together."

The man could tell me he's Charles Sobhraj's cousin and I would buy it off his perfectly symmetrical face. This is why, ladies and gentlemen, I skip the 10 and head towards the 6 and the 7. They don't have this effect on anyone. His stubble was well maintained and saying anything more would mean an awkward family conversation in 48 hours.

If Nicolas Simoes and Milind Soman ever get to make a baby, that man would grow up and look like my date from the evening. Yes.

Blame me, for I couldn't resist the company of ***** and all his lies that he conveyed staring deep in my eyes.

We had met for the first time after a brief conversation. Yet the entire evening in his company had been poetic in every verse of time. Minus a few misplaced rhyme schemes (more on this, later), this man seemed to be hitting every note right and placing every punctuation just as delicately as he had wrapped his arms around me.

Wait, what?

First dates are either awkward or cocky and hilarious. Never the one to have had a cosy evening with intertwined arms (let's say you're my mother and you're reading this- stop right here) that ends with heavy petting in public sight.

What the actual fuck happened?

Believe me when I say this, it had the making of this man not getting a response from me but within 20 minutes of brief interaction, I parted with my number pretty willingly. That's standard now, since you can block them later. I didn't realize that in 2017, this is still referred to as "closing interaction-1".

We spoke briefly on the phone, for what was half an hour. It was like how a conversation with an old friend rolls, very comfortable, nothing out of place yet every bit intimate. "Closing interaction-2" check.

"I think sex is a very serious thing. I'd like to think of myself in a pensive relationship before I can get out there and sleep with someone." to "You know Amour? The manager cornered me when I left the ladies washroom after a quickie. He knew what we were upto. It was so thrilling!"

Not sure, if that was the re-telling of a pick up artist or my very serious, mature and hot af date.

To be honest, there are times you let your thinking capacity die despite it working overtime. That evening was one of those from the calendar. While I was very sure about something being off, my head couldn't pin point to what exactly. It especially stopped working after we hit "escalation ladder of kino-closing" me into this man's arms. That's as much juice you're going to get from this year end drama.

It was in that moment, I cursed myself while staring into the abyss and thought, I wish I had finished that book. This man is just as smooth as that pick up artist I read about.

"So while I was telling Anid about him, I said that all his transitions were seamless. He was so confident and so smooth, it didn't seem out of place. Not inappropriate and certainly not forced."

"Yeah, just goes on to prove that you're as human as anyone and no matter how hard you try, you can't resist."

"No, it doesn't. It could have ended up in the washroom like the Amour tell tale but that didn't happen because I wasn't human enough." something I could only think of and not muster the courage to say, as I realized the person I was speaking to, is also a pick up artist.

"Wait a minute, you have the same MO. Are you...?"

"Haha what do you think I was doing all this while. You're a tough nut to crack."


The said friend didn't manage to nail me down for a bunch of logistical and other reasons, including wanting to have me as a friend.

"The number one rule of pick up game is, you fuck off right after. There's no contact to be established and I obviously didn't want that to happen between us."

Suck my dick, everyone whoever said "dick is everything. Chemistry, nothing".

It was after this conversation last night that I learned a few things about myself including, and not limited to-

1) I'm just as gullible as the newbie who just joined work at 22 is lucky enough to have never experienced a "heartbreak".
2) Pick up artists exist in 2017 regardless of Tinder being a commonplace to find love or lust and anything in between.
3) Your friends could be "negging", "peacocking", "kino-closing" women/men right under your nose and you'd have no idea. I also suggest looking these terms up.
4) When they say, "you've no game" they don't necessarily mean board game or online game. They mean the Game by Neil Strauss.
5) My brain works 9/10 times. The 1 time it didn't work, I felt just as foolish as Khurana at the end of Khosla ka Ghosla.

While I'd love to clinically describe the making of a pick up artist, the Game, the signs that you're being played successfully by a pick up artist etc, I don't want to give you ideas to try this out. I've been told it makes people feel good but if you're anything like me, you'd feel like shit at the end knowing you're a temporary mark up in a game, and nothing more.

As for my hot date, grapes might totally be sour but the man could do with learning about conjunctions. His perfect teeth won't take him very far in the Delhi circuit.

Meanwhile, if you're into dating, or are a single woman/man lurking around and stumbled upon this piece, I highly recommend doing some reading on the pick up artists, on the terms listed above and definitely reading a book or two on it. I've re-read my copy of Laid in India cover to cover, twice since, and possibly read every possible link on the internet on the subject. While my resistance to believe that, "This CAN'T happen to me" remains just as strong as it did when I was in Thailand, I would like for you to be adequately prepared before you meet one or more of these people out there.

They might have no ill intentions but I am not the one who likes being played. That said, I'd like to leave my date from last night a little more than the lingering fragrance of No. 5 on him. An impression of my knucles on his face, perhaps. 

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