Inappropriate

So there is this thing I have been wanting to talk about, but I have no one to talk about it to. My only girlfriend is my mum, and she takes whatever I say quite seriously. And this is just something that I am cultivating like a hobby; an inappropriate private hobby that exists exclusively in my head. So I am going to talk about it here! Lucky you!

Tl;dr version: I have developed a crush on a very cute guy, very much younger than I am.

Full version: I have developed a crush on a cute coworker, who is not only younger than I am, but also has a partner. Not that I would have pursued this avenue anyway, because I tried dating someone younger once, and it was a car crash. The maturity level was so atrocious that I wound up with severe mental and emotional scars. So making out with cutey is not an option.

But. Fantasy is a whole other thing.

We do interact quite a bit at work, since our work overlaps. However, I have avoided letting myself get too close. This is new for me, because he is usually just the kind of person I would be pals with, and perhaps that’s the draw.

We have loads in common, and loads of things that we vehemently disagree on. Most of our non-work interaction is argumentative, and oh my god he loves to irritate me so. The trouble is that I kind of enjoy his irritating behaviour, which I solely attribute to the above-mentioned crush.

It doesn’t help at all that he has a deep voice, which I find impossibly attractive in a guy. I have no idea why voices cast this spell on me, and to look back all my exes has lovely deep voices. It isn’t conscious at all, and if I appear to be shallow, I should also mention that I have dated the ugliest guys too. None of it matters really, but a crush is an indulgent fantasy after all, and I can gush a little about the creamy voice.

Next, he is cute. Like REALLY cute. Full lips and nice eyes. Also, he isn’t overweight like me, and isn’t a skinny little stick either. He has a full head of hair and broad shoulders. And he smells nice! Not that I sniffed him, but I have been often enough in his vicinity to notice.

Initially I thought he was developing his own crush on me, for many reasons. But I don’t think that’s true any more. Which is perfectly fine, because it is less likely that we will find ourselves in a position to take this any further. Whew.

There is just this thing. I know my tells when I am attracted to someone. [Thankfully no one over here else does.] My tells are that I have a small smile around my crush or when I am thinking of them. I tend to look straight into their eyes, with a slightly wide-eyed look. [Because I have big brown eyes, and they work dammit!] And finally, I blush very easily. Thus far, I have blushed only once in his presence, and that is because the group was asking me about a Tinder date. I was a little flushed because he wanted to know all the details, the gossipy creature!

Also, I am fairly aware when someone is attracted to me, even slightly, and even over the Internet. Hence the confusion of earlier.

But. That one thing I mentioned earlier? I know that mostly two people who are attracted to each other look into each other’s eyes. It is just too intimate for a casual or friendly interaction. And yet, in some of my unguarded moments, I look straight into his eyes, and he looks into mine.

It might mean absolutely nothing, but I cannot help the little fireworks in my head. And I know quite well that my eyes are shining [read: big brown eyes from before], and I see his eyes dilate just a little. And those moments are amazing and terrifying in equal parts.

So Much Noise

I am not complaining. Really. This is not a rant. It is the beginning of me posting to the blog more and more, because of what I am trying to avoid in other online arenas.

The noise of other people. It has become overwhelming.

In Pune, and then Goa, I took to Twitter like a dying fish to life-giving water. It provided me release from my isolated life, and thrived in the micro-interactions on the platform. But then, I had no work to speak off then. I spent very little time in productive pursuits. I tried to fill the gaping holes of my existence with validation in the form of 140-character messages. And it worked.

Fast forward to Mumbai, and I was happy to shift focus to WhatsApp, and the messages from my dearly beloved. Only from him though. Very few other people messaged me at all. I am led to believe now that a single girl has a lot more friends than one in a relationship. Empirical evidence bears me out.

But now, I am swamped with God-given work. I am deeply grateful for all the opportunities to flex my productivity and grow in these ways. Whatever little free time spills over, I spend with my mother, and with my close friends. The common thread of these friends are that they are undemanding. If I want to chat with them, they will. But they keep it light. There are days and weeks that go past without us talking. And that’s great.

However, I have given up on social media. I put out one tweet, and I am inundated with responses. Most of the times, I don’t want responses. I just want to vent or express a thought so that it will get out of my head. But no, people have to comment. HAVE TO. There is a driving compulsion to do so that makes me groan with frustration. Why? Because they aren’t doing anything wrong. I have just outgrown the interaction. I don’t want to exchange more than a few words with anyone in a given day. I am tired of long discussions.

On the upside though, that means I’ll be blogging more. I still need the outlet, and the relative obscurity (nothing relative about it!) of this blog wins.

And that makes me quite happy!

Another Day, Another Celebrity Death

It isn’t that I don’t feel sad about death, because I do. I however don’t understand the mourning for someone who is an art icon in their own right, no doubt, but ultimately a stranger. I don’t understand when people are die-hard fans of other people either, but then if I start listing out things I don’t understand, I will never finish this post.

My point is that death is sad, I get it, but the death of celebrity shouldn’t cause you so much anguish that it shuts you down like you lost a dearly beloved family member. I should say though that this is purely my opinion. Other people make the argument that a child dying in Syria because of ISIS is far more tragic, and yes it is, but that doesn’t diminish or augment other sorrow. You cannot compare away sorrow; it’s an emotion not the stock market.

Having said that, I do feel sad when a beloved celebrity dies. I feel sad that their greatness of talent and spirit have left the world. I feel sorrow for their families in their time of grief. I feel sad that, if they were great humans in the bargain, the world will be a lesser place without them. There is a moment of reflection on the fragility of life, and I move on. No stirring speeches or copious tears.

But today I wake up to the news that Chester Bennington committed suicide yesterday.

Chester Bennington was the face of Linkin Park. When he and Mike Shinoda sang, their voices hit chords in what felt like my soul. Their band mates played music that stirred emotions I didn’t know I had. Linkin Park music was a balm for my 20s, at a time when I felt alone and isolated, and unable to find love (even though it was there). I was at my lowest ebb in those moments (of course this is before I lost my father), and Linkin Park was succour. There were moments I wanted to reach through the music, and touch Chester, and thank him for giving voice to the pain I felt. In those moments and for many years later, their music became my anthem. And I realised for the first time how powerful a drug music is.

I still don’t mourn for Chester Bennington, because what I said before still holds true. However I do mourn for the comfort that man brought into my life at a time I needed it, and wish that he could have received the same for himself.

The world will be a lesser place, because he is no longer in it.

Maybe It Is You?

I have the fortune to live in a city with a multitude of affordable (relatively) travel options. One of these is sharing taxicabs; Uber Pool and the Indian avatar of this, Ola Share. In addition to the latter being cheaper (and available in my home area which Uber Pool is not), it has these share passes, which fixes a flat rate for rides of a certain distance. All this guff essentially means I travel in unprecedented luxury, as compared to my earlier, train-bound commutes.

Now, sharing a cab with other passengers, not to mention the driver, can be quite the experience. For about 45 minutes every morning and every evening, my life intersects with some strange characters. Today was no exception.

[Side note: I try very hard not to outright judge people, but my mind does tend to give them elaborate stories and personalities. Call it a writer’s quirk.]

A middle-aged man entered the cab after I did this morning. He appeared to be the kind of person who is perennially upset about some issue or the other. You know the kind: unsatisfied, twitchy, and cantankerous. For the first 5 minutes, he didn’t do much, apart from fidget in his seat, fuss about with a water bottle, and generally make himself comfortable. But after that.. hooboy.

First, he started facepalming. And I don’t mean the gentle tapping of one’s forehead in an oops sort of way, but a full blown lament which invited the very real risk of brain damage. He had forgotten something, and his phone was being spectacularly useless at coming to his aid. He was searching for someone’s contact, and it just wasn’t there. Useless piece of junk.

Then, he calls his wife [as I learned later], to ask her to call this all important individual. Sadly, she cannot hear him, so he puts the call on speaker. Now the driver and I can hear her quite clearly, but he still claims she is practically inaudible. Right, a hearing-challenged person too.

He proceeds to tell her to call the individual, and instruct them. To which his wife irascibly replies, “You left the house without telling me!” Monsieur was irritated by this out-of-syllabus remark, “Don’t ask me questions, when I am telling you to do something.” She grunted, but the “Fuck you!” was implicit in her silence.

He went back to querulously telling her to call someone, and to give that person instructions about food for his mother [who presumably stays with them]. She is in a sour mood herself, so she says, “Tell me what to say to him.” “Say anything,” he yelps. “Fine, I will tell him to do what he wants. I take it you don’t want dinner this evening? Don’t complain later on then!” And so on, back and forth. I don’t want to rehash this highly boring conversation between the miserable couple.

However, his Parthian shot was quite something: “Behave well with your husband!” She didn’t quite catch it, as it was half muttered, so he just disconnected the call. And proceeded to call her names. All this took place in Marathi, and the curses were in Marathi too: “Nalayak bai!” and “Haramkhor!” and so on.

Edifying.

I usually find the rides quite comfortable and relaxing, but today I wanted to bolt. This horrible little man and his horrid little life were poisonous enough to infect my mood. Eugh.

Too Explicit

So, I recently signed up for Tinder. And when I say recently, I mean it has been 6 days. But of course, being the person I am, apparently the universe cannot resist messing with me.

I matched with a bloke’s profile, because it had uproariously funny pictures; none of which was actually of the guy himself. Also, his profile said ‘married’ and he was clear that a relationship and booty calls were off the table. So I thought – because apparently no alarms were ringing in my head – why not, and swiped right.

At first, conversation was great. He was witty and played off being chauvinistic (I presume) and I enjoyed the whole back and forth. He then asked me for my Whatsapp number, which I figured was an easier app to use for communication and I gave it to him.

Somehow, the conversation suddenly became very creepy. There was a lot more suggestiveness and raciness in the messaging, and again, not knowing where to draw the line, I started feeling mighty uncomfortable. And apparently my go-to line for this sort of situation is: “I’m sleepy. Good night.”

Except, just before calling off, he messaged me: “Do you enjoy explicit stuff?” I replied saying: “Jokes only. And then too, the tamer ones.”

“Videos?” he asked.

“No,” I said.

“Ok,” he said.

The next morning, I wake up to a clip on my phone. I press play, and it was thankfully on mute, because it was a video of a huge group of people clapping. The camera moves in towards the centre, and you then see what the people are clapping for.

A relatively nude woman on her back, legs in the air, being boned by a dude in just a t-shirt and his jeans around his ankles.

I recoiled a bit, because while I don’t object to porn, I do object to people sending me clips of it! Then it struck me that there must be a joke, like that picture of a buxom woman in white crossing the road is actually about a dog driving the car. So I watched a little bit, started feeling sick, and fast forwarded to the end. The end, where the guys ‘ends’ all over this woman’s face.

Spoiler alert: it wasn’t a joke; it was porn.

*Block*

 

Midnight Awkwardness

During the first few months of us being together, I confided in my ex about being plagued by importunate men, who refused to back with just hints. I had to choose between bombarded with constant messages and hints, or choose to be brutally honest and block the guy. There was no middle ground, and for me, it was hard to shut down someone who wasn’t really doing anything heinous. [Just sexist and uncomfortable, but since that is a gradual scale, it is hard to find a concrete point to say STOP.]

I loved (still love?) my boyfriend at the time very much, and well he knew it. He didn’t try and interfere with any of these ridiculous situations, until I asked him to. I wanted my word to be respected, regardless if there was a man in the background. But he did offer me a tip: Don’t entertain calls or messages from these guys post-9 pm. Friends and like, family: all fine. Just not these guys.

Hm.

I did that, and lo and behold, it worked wonders. No lonely boys after work, who pleaded for a little time to chat. No midnight messages. Nothing. Just zip. And for 5 years [4 in the relationship + 1 getting over the relationship], I lived in this blissful realm of no encroachment.

Until yesterday.

Of course, being me, I had forgotten how it felt to be on this receiving end again. So I reply to messages when I receive them, unless I am otherwise occupied. I also signed up with Tinder, and well that requires a certain flexibility. And last but not least, I had lived in the comforting embrace of a relationship for so long, I forgot how little my refusal counted for anything with these romeos, with the lack of a supporting boyfriend/husband.

That’s the background. The second bit of background is: remember this guy? He messages me at 1 am; after two years of radio silence and removing me off all his social accounts, here is the highlight reel of the cringe-fest he sent me on Whatsapp:

KD: Looking out for someone
KD: Was scrolling through my contact today when I got to see u
KD: Feeling awesome to get in touch with u again
KD: Let’s be in chats until then
KD: Would love to know u more
KD: I mean things u like and all
KD: Shall wait for ur ping then
KD: And well please let me know if you have a nick name
KD: Really sleepy or can spend some time with me here
KD: I was feeling alone
KD: Let’s date if u r ok with it
KD: Let’s give it a try
KD: I find u romantic
KD: Especially love ur nose ring
KD: I use to observe u a lot

NO. OMG. I said no 4 times. And yet, I get a ‘I find you so romantic’. *shudder*

Must Be Famous

There is a new moniker I’ve earned from my frequent Facebook about the crazy people I meet on a practically daily basis. I’ve shared once before about a Romeo and Juliet cab ride, so this is an episode 2 to the ongoing hilarity that is shared cab land.

Yesterday, I had the misfortune to be stuck in a cab with a driver who knew very little about the city’s roads. He was following the navigation on the dashboard, and therefore came to a standstill near a pickup. The following conversation ensued:

Driver calls the passenger: “Sir, where are you? I am at the pickup point.”

Customer evidently asks for a landmark; not an unreasonable request.

Driver, ignoring a huge bank, a large shopping complex, a few branded restaurants, and much more, says: “Sahara airconditioner repair. I am on the opposite side.”

In sheer amazement, I turn to look for this repair shop, only to see a tiny tin shack with a flimsy board, without a door, on the opposite side. This is what he chose as a landmark?

Surprisingly, the customer was not familiar with this tiny, blink-and-miss tin shack. Shocking, I know.

Then the customer says something, which I can’t hear, to which the driver says:

“No sir, I don’t know the plot number.”

The two clearly deserve each other.

Epilogue: The driver tsk-tsk’ed at a passerby, who came up to his door. He then handed the phone to the passerby, who took it bemusedly, and said: “Who is on the other line?”

The driver then said that it was a passenger who was lost. That’s right folks, the PASSENGER was lost, not the driver.

Moron magnet, someone called me. Of course.