Monday, February 16, 2009

Dateless in Bangalore

Ok, that title should actually read dateless on a Saturday night in Bangalore. Or actually, stood up on a first date on a Saturday night in Bangalore. Or even, stood up on a first date on Valentine’s Day on a Saturday night in Bangalore. Or… but I’m getting ahead of myself.

To begin from the beginning, which is always a very good place to make a start if you ever want to start from somewhere, let’s start with V day.

First of all, I hate V day (which is what we’ll be calling it from here on cuz it sounds so much cooler than Valentine’s day and my word is god, so there) I hate V day because this is the most mindless day in the entire year where mindless 15-year olds give pink plastic roses to other mindless 15-year olds who croon about how swwweeeeeeeeeet that is and then they all go live happily ever after in Karan-Johar-land while meanwhile back on earth the one-day sales of Archies Galleries across India spike by 7652%. The whole swapping of pink chocolates and teddy bears is like watching some incredibly primitive form of mating ritual observed in an intelligence-deficient species. It’s like watching sea slugs trying to build a particle accelerator.

Back in college, V day always fell during the inter-collegiate fest that the university organized. Since we were a bunch of highly intelligent and complex engineers living in a pre-orkut era, we devised a highly intelligent and complex system of color-codes to indicate to the opposite sex if we wanted to ‘mk frndshp w thm’. If you wore red, you were already spoken for. Green meant, go ahead I’m open. Yellow meant, let’s just be friends. Multicolored meant, I have multiple personality disorder and am possibly color-blind too which is why I dressed in the dark and wore this god-awful vomit-colored shirt.

Another common custom of this elaborate mating/dating ritual included random dudes walking up to you, extending a rose and saying – I love you. Do you love me? – And when you reply – no, you asshole, I’ve never seen your face before in my life – they’d get all depressed and slink away into some corner of the campus. Invariably, three days later, random dude’s best friend will walk up to you, call you out from class (random dude and his cronies are usually seniors, which means they can pull juniors out of class anytime) and say – why did you refuse his love? He used to be a gold medalist, but because of love failure now he is failing in everything. 

Before you can devise a rational argument to counter his irrefutable logic, random dude’s best friend number two, who has throughout this conversation been standing in the background with his arms folded and his face expressionless, will hit upon an epiphany right then and loudly declare – machan, that time itself I told! Girls na eppome problem da! (translation: girls = problem. See, Tamil really is that easy.)

Then friend one and friend two will put their heads together and get random dude out of depression. Random dude meanwhile, him being ever the pro-active hyper-enthu cutlet, would have in this time been frantically reading up on wikipedia on what to do when love failure occurs and writing to agony aunts across all newspapers... dear x, I proposed a girl, she disagreed for my love, please suggest good brand rat poison. 

So that’s the complex series of sacred rituals and customs that collectively make V day the happy pink-hearts-and-teddy-bears festival we all know and love. Joyful isn’t it? I can see why we all celebrate it.

This year however, that fine bastion of Indian tradition, Sri Ram Sene chief Mutalik has decided to safeguard Indian sentiments by cracking down hard on such unpatriotic acts like celebrating V-day. I agree with him completely. Valentine’s day is against Indian culture. How dare people publicly display affection! Abisthu abacharam! After all, everyone knows that Indians don’t have sex. One billion people? Dude, you must have double vision or something. It’s just me here in India. Who you gonna believe, me or the National Census Bureau?

So to show my solidarity with his cause, and as I would anyway be in Bangalore on Saturday, I decided I must find a random dude and then go out drinking that night (which is also against Indian culture, because we all know that the Indian body is anatomically programmed to only consume curd rice. This is backed by irrefutable scientific data that Mutalik possesses and guards safely in a vault within his underwater secret cave) and get arrested as an example and warning to loose and forward women everywhere. See, this is what you get if you visit bars! You get put behind bars. So with such noble intentions in heart, I called my best friend, who called a friend, who agreed to boldly go where no man hath gone before – or in this case, on a first date at Hard Rock Café.

While we’re on the topic of dating, a slight digression here. What with me moving to the States in four months, shifting to Bangalore in two, a month left to launch a new business initiative and then four months to stabilize it and implement a remote management system…. I don’t need boyfriend woes to add to my stress. Dating is the term I use to imply meeting interesting people. I don’t define a relationship and would much rather let things unfold at their own pace and comfort level… which means that a lot of my so-called dates end up becoming good platonic friends. It also means that at any time, I am casually dating a number of people. The way I see it, unless I’m absolutely sure about someone it doesn’t make sense getting into a commitment. According to my cousin, the term ‘dating’ refers to a much more sophisticated craft with clearly defined protocol, motivations and intent, and what I’m doing is apparently just ‘hanging out’. Tomayto, tomahto. Doesn’t change the fact that I’m still sexually frustrated.

So anyway, V night at Hard Rock it was. Except that at seven in the evening, blinddateguy messages saying that something has come up and he can’t make it. First of all, who the hell cancels a seven pm date AT seven pm?! And more importantly, who will take on Mutalik now? Of course, the fact that I’ve been stood up on a Saturday night in Bangalore, and all my other friends have already made plans, and my colleagues have left on an earlier flight while I extended my trip by a night just so I can head out for a night about town had nothing to do with me telling blinddateguy to go boil his head in lizard piss. I was merely vocalizing my frustration at being unable to carry out an act of mutinous rebellion as a symbolic protest against anti-social extremist factions in an otherwise secular nation. 

Ironically, by a twist of fate I actually had pink chaddies that night, thanks to my very loose and forward thinking servant who had the foresight to throw in that one red sock with the rest of my tighty-whiteys, and I was all set to start a revolution. Waiter, a round of Molotov cocktails for the house!

So there I was, pink chaddies, and heels (um, and a little more) and all geared up for a night out about town with great music and greater booze and instead I’m staring at my wretched phone and wondering why I don’t know enough single interesting men in Bangalore.

Maybe it was the Saturday, or maybe it was the V day, or maybe all the planets lined up in a straight line and the universe thought, today is lets-screw-lav day, but they were all busy. Backup number one doesn’t do weekends. Backup number two wanted me to be his girlfriend after a second date, so I cut him loose. Backup number three fled town this weekend and Backup number four turned into a giant green tentacled thing and teleported himself to the planet Zyborm. I need to go on a recruiting spree for my harem again.

I was down to two options: call up another random dude (friend of a friend. Aren’t they always?) and head out with someone lame enough to stay at home on a Saturday night and be willing to go out with someone lame enough to be home on a Saturday night looking for someone lame enough…. Wait, did I just uncover an infinite loop of lameness? Ye gods.

Or option two was drag platonic friend and TLR (read: The Last Resort) out and paint the town red, or a mild pink hue at any rate. TLR being home and eating peanuts when I called was promptly bullied into meeting me at TGIF. (is it just me or is this paragraph suddenly being invaded by too many abbreviations?) TGIF is the place I used to frequent when the old airport was within city limits. Of course now that we need to take a flight, cab and bullock cart to another country to get to the new Bangalore airport, I hadn’t been there in a while. To cut a long story short, I didn’t like it – too much light, too much food and random smiling man in a suit handed me a rose at the entrance. I have a thing for flowers; I hate them. Ergo, we left.

The rest of the evening was spent waiting for transport, then waiting for traffic to move, then waiting for the lights to change, and waiting… and waiting… and waiting… till we got to a pub on Brigade Road at which point I changed my mind and decided to walk down to Hard Rock instead. Here’s the thing with Hard Rock; it’s like home. No matter how shitty your day was, or how tiring, or disappointing, or whatever HRC Bangalore always leaves you feeling top of the world by the time you’re done. So after walking 3 blocks in a pair of 4 inch heels through the most horse-shitted road in all of the country – I swear this is true, it’s like a horde of horses descended from the sky just ten minutes before I took a walk and held some sort of horsedumping contest – we made it to HRC at a quarter past ten.

The next one hour was probably one of the most fun times I’ve had in a really long time. Bangalore has a strict no-dancing rule in its pubs. Somehow that night I think they suspended it. Except for the few guys at the tables which were all pushed away to the walls, the rest of the space really was teeming with people in various stages of inebriation exhibiting loss of sensory motor skills. Around eleven, big guy in leather jacket starts tapping these group of men who look like they're participating in some sort of sponsored epileptic fit. Well, I guess they couldn’t completely suspend the no-dancing rule. I’m sure with his keen sense of perception leatherjacketguy was the only person who could’ve accurately determined what constituted ‘dancing’ in the real frog-in-a-blender-sense and what was mere alcohol-induced swaying with minimal loss of sensory motor skills, and was hence rewarded with a leather jacket as testament to his skills. 

It was just one hour, but boy was that a good hour. I had calmed down enough to think maybe I was a little too harsh on blinddateboy. Boiling would be a bit much, perhaps he could care to go and gently marinate his head in lizard piss instead.

I must remember to thank TLR by the way – for the beer, the good time, the sympathetic ear to my grand plan of sending blinddateguy boxes of estrogen-laden chocolates and watching him develop man-boobies and, well, for turning up I guess. TLR If you’re reading this, I owe you one. Will send you chocolates, minus the estrogen or pimply fifteen year old.

As for blinddateguy, last I heard he was ‘really really sorry’ and said he’d call ‘in a bit’. Well, that was then, this is now… no call yet. Also my girlfriend just called today and wants to know if we should go catch that new movie ‘He’s not that into you.’ Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something.

I think the only explanation here is that blinddateguy is heading this super secret undercover covert operation and had to go away to defend our country from alien invasion while I was slowly getting drunk at Hard Rock. Also, I think all that contact with aliens and radioactivity fried his phone and also erased his memory of the last two days, which is why I’ve received no communication from him.

I’m sure he’ll call. Got a vial of estrogen and 'best brand' rat poison just waiting here for when he does. 


amritevil said...

u didn't attend dipak's reception bcos u wanted to hang out with the blinddateguy blindfolded :-O ...

compos mentis said...

dude. my flight got delayed in the morning! I was supposed to be there for his wedding just in time.

Kaushik said...

Now that is a rant. Others who claim they are ranting must read this and cower in shame. You have set the ranting standard.

karan said...

sigh.. im sure blinddateguy is flattered by the amount of attention.. he got into ur blog by just one act of defiance..

compos mentis said...

thankee pinkus. tis a noble honour indeed.

dont think you can get me to delete it by needling me w that, evil friend of blinddateguy!

oprina tiberiu said...
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