Sunday, January 07, 2007

Tension de Basanti

I am no social scientist. I am no 'intellectual-awakened-liberated' youth specimen who holds an opinion on everything from the tattoo on Rakhi Sawant's shoulder to Mongolia's nuclear policy.I am not the kind of driven youth who would lie awake at nights , look at the stars and think of ways to double India's GDP.I am a guy with views as superficial as John Abraham's acting skills and my understanding of social trends runs as deep as the neck line of a nun's gown. But lately , I am beginning to notice the subtle extermination of a rather happy social species - The Single male .

When I was a kid , having a girlfriend meant two things about the guy :

1. The guy ranks somewhere between Matt Damon and George Clooney on the looks index.He walks by a women's college and the girls trample the professor in their hurry to run out and catch a glimpse .

2. The guy ranks somewhere between Mukesh Ambani and Richard Branson on the financial standing index. He frequently uses a hundred rupee note to wipe his nose and his bank needed to hire an extra floor to stack his cash deposits.

But now , not having a girlfriend says two things about the guy :

1. He is gay.
2. He is definitely gay.

I mean , I look around and see even convicts serving life sentences in Tihar going around in the jail premises with the female convicts from the ladies ward. Guys who aren't even close to respecting a woman have girlfriends . Even Mika has girlfriends - two of them. To be as short as Ayesha Takia's skirt , I guess most of the Indian guys in the age group of 16-30 have a girlfriend.('Tell-me-why' query - Can someone explain to me why having a girlfriend is termed "going around" ? Does it originate from the hindi films wherein Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh spent countless hours running in circles around trees , bushes and water fountains ?).

And this social development confuses me and poses an intriguing question - When everyone around me is "going around" , and I am single , and not gay , why do I feel a girlfriend is a pretty ( or not-so-pretty) friend who eats up personal independence and hikes up phone bills ? To make things more rational , let me imagine I have a girlfriend , whom I shall call Basanti as a mark of respect to the evergreen Hema Ji. Now let me see how 'going around' with Basanti can dent my life.

1. "Kis se baat kar raha tha ?"

Basanti calls me up and finds my number to be busy .And even though the pre recorded Airtel voice says "The number you are trying to call is currently busy . Please try after some time" , Basanti hears " The guy you are trying to call up is highly cheap . He is talking to Shruti right now and is expressing is undying love to her . He may claim he was talking to his mother. Dont trust him . "

Soon after I disconnect the call to ma , Basanti calls me up and before I can say a hello , yells a "Go to Hell ! And take Shruti along with you !" shattering my eardrum. The insecurity of Basanti . Sigh.

2." Wo kutta pack kar deejiye"

So it is second anniversary of the day me and Basanti first had Pav Bhaji together and she expects a gift . It's not just a gift , but a sweet 'nishani' which carries the perfumed memories of that lovely day , she says . So I go over to the Archies gallery and look at stuffed dogs and overweight teddy bears , while in my single days , I would have spent the same time watching 'I see you' at pvr. After a couple of hours , I finally buy a pink and hairy dog which costs me more than the price of an island in the maldives. All the gifts a Basanti demands/requests/expects.Sigh.

3. Sniff . Sniff .

A fine lazy Sunday afternoon . I lie on the couch flipping between espn and hbo. The phone rings .

Me : "hello ?"

Basanti : "Sniff . Sniff."

Me : "Abbe kaun hai ? agle saal bolega kya ?".

Basanti : " Sniff . It's me , Basanti.Sniff.".

Me : " Oh ok . You have a cold ?"

Basanti : "I am....crying..sob.sob."

Me : "Oh . It sounded just like a running nose though.And I saw Bhagam Bhag yesterday.The movie got so boring towards the end , even the chairs wanted to leave the hall."

Basanti : " You will never understand...sniff...sniff..."

The emotional intelligence and "understanding" a Basanti needs from me . Sigh.

4. "Mouth close karke kha !"

Me and Basanti are digging into a pizza at the Pizza Hut . While trying to balance a pizza slice on its journey from the tray to my mouth , a particularly big onion piece slides off its surface and lands on the table with a plop .

Basanti :" Chee.Theek se kha na.Table manners !".

I scoop up the onion piece from the table with my finger , put it in my mouth and say cheerfully :

" Table manners gaye bihar , pizza khane de yaar"

Basanti : " Sheesh. You are disgusting".

While in my single days I could ravage a pizza splashing ketchup all over my shirt and chew as noisily as a tractor engine , now I need to take care I don't embarass the great manners ki dukaan , Basanti . The silly changes a Basanti demands from me . Sigh.

5. Abhi dinner ka jugaad karna hain.

Sorry for the abrupt speed breaker , but chal wapas real world mein aa ja .This has nothing to do with Basanti. Now I gotta go and find dinner . I cooked the maggi I had at the apartment for lunch so I need to buy some food now . So abhi main Aishwarya jee ka "barso re megha megha" over hotein hee iss R world se kat leta hoon.

About Basanti , I have around 236 more points I can write against her . But still , saara zamaana , girlfriends ka deewana , so there must be something good about Basanti. Just that I don't see it.