Monday, October 16, 2006

My Experiences With Older Women

As did Bapu learn from his episodes with truth so did I benefit from my flings with women who preceded me temporally. This talent of mine was discovered quite early. The time was around puberty. A few newly secreted hormones had announced their arrival as well spaced tufts of hair on my upper lip. There was a buzz in the air; curiosity demanded investigations to be conducted with urgency. In such an age - when lives are led astray; when impulses and pimples acquire a power of their own – I committed my first act of sin.

She was the daughter of a friend of my uncle. (Just) A year senior to me in school, she had by then built a reputation of being an accomplished Odissi dancer. I had eyed her in school on some occasions. And smiles had floated still in air then. Such moments had lingered on in memory whenever I imagined as to what great associations could have been formed between the two of us. Pretty and dainty, silent and smiling, she veritably came into my life one evening when I was huffing and puffing on my study table (after having dashed from a session of verandah cricket on hearing the approaching croak of my uncle's scooter to bury my head into a book and fit into the role of a studious ward). Poor little rich beautiful girl had come after a dance performance at the Kala Vikaas Kendra (faithfully translated as ‘Art Enhancement Centre’) to say ‘Hi’ to a sweaty little rickety boy and offer her enticing hand of friendship.

Attired elaborately in a yellow blouse and a heavily bordered saree, with chunky jewellery around her neck, a broad silver belt hugging her waist, ghungru around her ankles, and all accompanying finery she must've looked, well, a woman to me, or else, what I did to her in return can never be excused.

As she came into my room accompanied by my uncle and a coterie of simpering elderly women I dared not look up for I was sweating badly and ran the risk of being asked a few uneasy questions. As my uncle introduced her to me (not having known that we had already locked eyes), I, as any decently schooled and brought-up boy would do to someone who he was expecting to be an elder or elderly, got down on my knees to perform a mark of respect that is called mundia in that side of the world.

Mortified, she jumped! And shrieked, “What are you doing?” And the aunties? What did they do? In a breaking into of fanatical peals that their ages didn’t merit, their mouths rang out ‘hihihihihi’.

And imagine me! In a room full of chuckling aunties, having already doused any fire beyond re-ignition between my now ‘elderly’ love and me, and sweating profusely (that just heightened my chickened-out situation) I started counting six digit numbers in reverse.

But if you thought this early lesson might’ve taught me somewhat then . . .

During my Art of Living Basic course I sat across someone whom, for want of a more apposite name, I choose to call a woman. Now we were required to narrate our lives to each other in 5 mins. While I had rambled on and let her gain a much too private insight into my happening life and times this woman was very concise and to the point. How she fit her god-knows-how-many years into the smallest nutshell possible was this:

I was born in place X. Our family consisted of dad, mom and a younger brother. Stayed with them till graduation. And now working for company Y as a designate Z.

Done! Over! Before I had even registered her name in my brain. Not even a minute had passed. What were we supposed to do? Sitting right across with half a feet between us, the uncomfortable silence made me queasy, if not her. Unable to bear the thought of lip-locking (our respective ones), I blurted out something.

“How many kids do you have?”

Suddenly the woman acted like a living thing. And asked, rather loudly that made a few nearby heads turn curiously towards me, “What kids? I’m not yet married!” Again numbers came to my rescue. Only this time seven digit ones. In retrospect I think it was because of the calming ambience that nothing remotely physical was done unto me. Otherwise, my patron (who, in my defense, let me propose looked a potential aunty) could well have treated me better.

Age and women do not make a couple. It is better you take my word and not find this out from experience. And putting their feet into mouths comes naturally to a few deserving men like me.

11 comments:

PritS said...

(after having dashed from a session of verandah cricket on hearing the approaching croak of my uncle's scooter to bury my head into a book and fit into the role of a studious ward)..
tu bachpan se hi itna kamina hai.. :)

Ruchika said...

Hehehe.. nice one! I can imagine.. reminds me of a similar incident with my mom (as she tells me).. she is from delhi and when she got married and moved to dad's city, she was new to the mundia concept.. and her MIL was making her mundia maro-fy every other person, so much so that at one point of time she did mundia to the old maid of the house thinking she is an elderly relative! :-))

satyajit said...

prits: to survive in this cut-throat 'padhaaku' world i've always managed to come up with a variety of decoys and tricks and, generally, have had my way :-)

ruchika: thanks..
your dad is from orissa? this show of deference can actually be quite a busy engagement with elders trooping in for every festival of sorts and then you're on all fours most of the time..

shantanu said...

good humour..when am i getting the next transcript ??

Ruchika said...

Hehhe.. I know!! My g'dad (paternal) used to make me kneel down and count till 10 every time I met him... his hollering voice echoed in the hallway where he generally sat, and I used to be scared of walking past him! He had me in tears most of the time! :-))

Ankit said...

i must add to these experiences, one such incident you forgot to(or chose not to??) narrate..
when we were headed for a Team Fidelity Cricket match, which was held in some obscurely christened ground in some godforsaken corner Bangalore.. We were totally lost and were asking everyone in sight for directions.. we stopped near this "kalyana mantapa" kind of place there. there was this dressed up young lady(pretty young at that).. make up, silk sari and her mom's jewelery...the works.. guys will be guys.. we did pull over next to her to take directions.. not the one to miss out on such a good opportunity, our hero pops his head out.. and asks the "aunty" for directions.. the look of horror on her face sure put all the blush on her face to shame.. it was tomoto red.. needless to say.. we were spiting our guts in roars of laughter... and then we DID kick his ass.. as for the young lady.. ab kya boloon...

satyajit said...

in my defence: i was wearing contacts and it was somewhat dark... but i sure did realise my mistake by the end of our conversation and said 'thanks, didi' in the end..but by then the damage had been done..part of foot in mouth folklore :(

PritS said...

Aunty and then didi...
Kismat achchi thi bhaiyon ki tum log ki pitai nahi hui...

satyajit said...

@prits: there was a certain honesty in my contacts which even she didn't miss..hence pitai nahin hui :-)

SUCHARITA ROY said...

u talk about like this is just your way out here ...in college back here i keep doin a namaskar to all the attendants of patients confusing them to be doctors!!!by the time i figured out who they were..it usually was too late to mend..

dad and mom and evn apa have all been so particular about it..i evn have a mausi (2nd cousin's mom) who holds her hand parallel to the ground and blesses in the most solemn way whn u touch her feet "soubhagyabati bhaba"...i was specifically told to put my head to the ground in front of her feet cos it would make her feel i was a really cultured oriya girl ;) talk about me forgettin to do my mundiya to her that day cos my cousins wre gettin married..so guess she had to satisfy her appetite for blessin kids by spellin out my fortune in return for a mere brush of my fingers on her shins :D

SUCHARITA ROY said...
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