Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Yellow Lights and Disappointing Nights

"Music... music is like sex to the ears. And what these bands today play, that, that's just bad. That's, that's, you know, like, raping the ears."

That she was a self-proclaimed music aficionado was clear. After making this resounding statement, she leaned back, resuming her erstwhile comfortable position with her head against the wall and the rest of her sprawled out as a mass of disorganized limbs. Her words of wisdom did not linger much longer than her sudden change in posture.

He eyed her, the way she played with her hair, the way she self-consciously rearranged her t-shirt so as to hide the nebulous, yet discernible, symptoms of capitalist prosperity around her waist. When she licked her fingers after dipping a carefully selected french fry into the ketchup, she made sure that no ketchup remained, not even in the hard to reach region between the nail and the skin.

He knew that she knew, that she sensed his eyes upon her. Together, their eyes danced the tango of what passed for courtship, has been passing for courtship between humans for generations- they looked, they didn't look, they caught each others' eye, then appeared disinterested as though they were looking at some distant spot, as there always mysteriously is, behind the object of your affections, on such occasions.

The night ended quicker than he would have liked it to. He was hoping to get to know her a little better- she had intrigued him. And that was rare.

While everyone said their good-byes and parted, making their reluctant way back to their Mondays, he made sure that he was positioned adequately close to her. He made his opening gambit.

"Hey, you live near me, don't you? Let's share a cab?", he said, nonchalantly, betraying none of the quickening of the heartbeat he felt.

She looked at him and coolly said, "Sure. Sounds good."

And so it was that he found himself in the back-seat of a black and yellow taxi with her, whizzing past the numerous sodium lamps that showered the city yellow with their glow, with approximately thirty minutes to execute his quickly planned course of action.

After fifteen minutes of awkward conversation, he turned to her and made as if to say something, gulped and turned back.

With five minutes to go, the time had come for drastic action. He composed in his head, the sequence of words that would make him seem desirable, the bullets of literature which would ensure the success of what he had already termed, borrowing from one of his favorite movies, Operation Dinner Out.

His train of thought was derailed by her matter-of-fact voice. "Bhai-saab, ithar side pe rokh do, please.", she said, proceeding to open her purse for her half of the cab-fare. It took him a while to re-assemble, in view of this rude intrusion, a modicum of the contents of what was, two minutes ago, a perfectly smooth thought process.

In a desperate attempt to regain control of the situation, he babbled, "Oh, you're getting out?"

She cocked her head to the side, the expression on her face one of exasperation and disappointment,  "Well, I can't sit here all night, can I?"

And, with that, she made her majestic way out of the cab, leaving him with thoughts of emasculated inaction and, in his left hand, one hundred and twenty rupees for the joy of the cab-ride and his company.

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