Monday, April 25, 2011


I don't want to be like this
avoiding more people than I like
liking fewer than I want to avoid

Thought #1: I could be a song writer. Thirteen year old girls could shriek when they saw me get off my car, my black stretch limo, at South Extension, outside Planet M.

Thought #2: These are what my day dreams have been reduced to. Strategising ways to avoid people and coining gibberish for entertainment. In my head, I'm a Hrithik Roshan dance move, fluid in my monkey thoughts as he is in his water steps.


Last week, I was at the Alliance Fran├žaise (third time this year) for the book launch of a friend's first book. His invite said if you can't find place to sit, hang by the bar. So that's what I was doing, hanging with friends at the bar, waiting for the beer. (I don't drink rum and that's all there was on offer, which is fine too, because I'm worried my vodka tolerance has gotten pretty good even though the trouble is always bloody wine).


There we were, doing the book launch routine -- wishing the readings would end, the liquor would start, the trays of food be brought out, the hullos be said, when one by one, we -- us three hangers-by-the-bar -- started avoiding people.

Not just hoping so-and-so doesn't see us. Not just living the no-eye-contact-means-didn't-see-therefore-not-guilty. This was full on changing direction, standing behind one another, answering imaginary calls, counting leaves against the sky, quickening pace, and cutting into little circles people form so to leave behind that guy you can sense is about to butt into that last circle you scrammed from.

This routine, smooth as a scene out of Catch Me If You Can, was a great practical demonstration of world weary and about as mature as a 6-year-old screaming at a Mother Dairy outlet for an ice cream preference: almond chocolate not cookies and cream!

The Hollywood fun element at a book launch apart, I felt my people-to-avoid ratio tipping over. Oh dear. This is not good. A social gathering as a crystal maze. I've already had a few of those this year (not all at Alliance, at least). And I feel I can't do it anymore. The inward groaning at the sight of yet another vacuous entrant, the plastic up-turned corners of your mouth -- as if no one can tell grin from grimace, stupid woman!, the getting more refills than wanted -- what other respite is there for people who don't want to deal with other people except to have another glass of rocks and pretend: no, I don't think we've met.

Between the three of us at that launch, we avoided a stalker, a woman spurned, a former work colleague and five other shadies. Some stories blur. You don't remember why so and so is being avoided. But when you've been ducking at the sight of someone for a while and a long while passes, you tend to let norms be norms (and pathetic be pathetic).

And then audacity finds a voice and makes sure you hear it, via, what else, facebook mail.

Hey there, saw you at Samrat's book launch, recognised you but thought i didn't (don't ask me explain that). Came up to say hi but it's difficult saying hello to a turned back :) Anyway here's saying hello. Hope we are cool.

Thought #3: If only there were more messengers left to shoot. Or would that not be hint enough?


Perakath said...

Tell tell Nimpip... which woman have you spurned?

Nimpipi said...

Haha, so mal(u), your 'tell tell'! :D I didn't spurn no woman. If woman go around getting spurned then what's fault of nimpip, i ask!

And anyway it was this psychotic seven foot tall gents who little bit loves me and fancies himself as an author. But as you well know, Rupa don't count as being published. (*rawr!*)

(P.S: It's not what you think, ok!:D)

Perakath said...

I didn't think it was!