Friday, March 02, 2007

Bad Music Junkie

“Picture of you in my mind” plays on the ipod. It’s a nice song when you’re walking. I wouldn’t admit listening to it normally. I have taste, you know. But yes, I like that part where it goes, “Why did it take me so long …?” Know what I mean?

I swing out of the office gates and stride right into rush hour on Mount Road.

Mount Road at twilight. Surreal. Gemini flyover dominates the landscape, soaring in and out of glitzy billboards which make me giddy with their glare. The people, the cars, the purple, the lime green, the nylon white, the breeze that dips and lifts, the fast food joints and the smell of oil, all that light and noise … totally hypnotic. I could stand there all night, watching the traffic go by and not get bored. That said it is so unlike Madras. At least the Madras I knew once. Someday I’ll show you a picture.

Bipasha Basu beams down at me from a height of hundred feet. “Cruise with me,” she invites. Thanks lady, but no thanks. Don't let hair-care advertisements take over the imagination, I admonish myself and join a waiting group at the pedestrian crossing.

I see her straightaway.

“Words” shuffles itself nicely into play. She’s looking from right to left, assessing the traffic. Shapely eyes. Nice swing of the head. Pretty. Instant heartache.

She’s almost as tall as me. Short hair falls gracefully on her swimmer-like shoulders; a few strands are a little frazzled at the top and the sides, but nothing a shampoo can’t fix -- Bips would vouch for that. Mustard coloured short-top, “wheatish” complexion, dark jeans that hug her hips and flare out fashionably at the bottom.

The light turns green and I fall in line behind her. A silver-coloured watch hangs daintily on her wrist…and she can walk, oh yes.

She’s talking into her mobile phone. I hear her voice rise above Boyzone. “No, I didn’t” … “When?” Nice voice too, I nod in appreciation. Not too girly. A little more base and it would be perfect. But then you can’t have everything. She ups the pace and I quicken my step.

The breeze picks up and that’s when the perfume hits me. Christian Dior. Poison. So, she likes to be classy, but not too classy as yet. I hesitate and then go right ahead with a deep breath, losing a little bit of myself in the process. Yeah, right! Poison, indeed. I slow down a little, letting her get ahead of me, shaking my head free of the scent. “From the coast of Ipanema to the island of Capri”, Enrique quavers into my ears and I grin sheepishly as I start following her.

Who is she talking to? Is it her boyfriend? Guilt grabs my throat and jealousy sprouts its green weeds somewhere in my heart soil. No, she looks like a level-headed woman. She would know that love is too much trouble. Probably reads more than one newspaper and wants to head her own business before she starts looking around. I cheer up, and start catching up with her. Maybe there’s time yet. Hope is an eternal spring, you know. Maybe she likes Enrique too. I say hi to Mr. Christian Dior again.

“Where does mom want to go?” Ah, it’s her dad probably. I picture an old man with gold-rimmed glasses who wears Polo shirts and goes golfing on Sundays. Yes, it would be her father. Has to be. I'm certain. She’s too sensible for boyfriends. They’re leaving on a trip tomorrow. They even have an SUV parked in the garage. I bet she has a dog as well. She looks the type.

Traffic on the other side of the flyover. We stop. Now it’s just the two of us. And she starts to step back as the traffic roars by, too close for comfort. My pulse quickens and starts to race. I don’t think she’s noticed me yet. That gives me a stupid little thrill. A yellow blur of an auto-rickshaw whips past nastily, and she jumps back, almost bumping into me. I hold my breath. Poison can wait. “I will stand by you forever … you … can … take … my breath away”. Enrique again. The idiot. Shut up dude.

We stand in the shadow of the flyover, watching the headlights whiz past, immersed in our own worlds. She’s at the edge of the kerb and I’m on the impossibly little footpath, playing stalker. The traffic thins and she ventures forth again. The sodium vapour lamps light her up, like sentries paying tribute. Christ, she’s beautiful.

I stand on the pavement, wondering what to do. Maybe I should go after her. Do I know you from somewhere? Oh sorry, you looked like someone I once knew. Where are you going anyway? Oh, I‘m from there too. Mind if I walk with you? Naa, that’s too old, wouldn’t work. How about I thought I should let you know that you look stunning? Might work if I just walk away abruptly; she might get curious about me. Like hell she would! Might get a tight little slap as well. Oh, she’s getting away. Quick! Do something! Where’s a poem when you need one? She’s near the median. I jump right out onto the road and a bus screeches to my left. Rubber burns. Curses mount. I can hear my origins being questioned. I run out.

Too late, she’s already on the other side, a sea of traffic sandwiched between us now. I'm stranded in the middle of the road, watching her white slippers turn around a bend.

And then she’s gone. Just like that. I stand with the drone of the traffic drowning the music in my ears. What are the possibilities of you seeing her again? I rue in hindsight.

Bye bye Poison.

That’s when I see her.

Long hair, proud jaw line, purposeful stride.

I catch her eye. “There’s a truth in your eyes saying you’ll never leave me...” -- Ronan Keating purrs into the earphones. Man for the moment.

I laugh into the night and quickly cross the road. Maybe there’s time yet.

24 comments:

catch 22 said...

Deja Vu..... How many times has this happened to me I don remember

Karthik said...

Is this the same guy i knew (or rather didn't know) in college ? Good .. Keep trying - u never know what u may land up with .. Reminds me of a story - when i was in the other company, we had a stupid training program .. There was this gal who was sitting in the system behind mine .. She was charming (lets leave the descriptions - am not very good in them - she even matched her dress colour with her slippers - does everyone do that - i donno .. but she was wearing a cute red dress and red slippers :D) Well i decided to take the plunge - hid my pen and my buddy next system's pen and asked her if she had a pen !! she was very sweet - gave me her pen .. That started it all off - we spoke with each other well for the whole day .. The next day i "accidently" came across her in the cafteria - but this time she was with her BF(I assume). I waved - no response and my Hi was greeted with a quarter smile and a fainter response !!! Hmm - Any morals from the story ??

Stallion said...

Dei...excellent post da Mama....gr8 work. Flyover...near ur office....Gemini I guess...Bus stop...must be the one near the church I assume. Easy way to see her again dude! Follow this:

Go to Ispahan's Cafe day daily to have a cup of Mocha. She'll surely come there someday. Cos Ispahani is THE joint for the Peter Maami's of Chennai. And also, the Mocha must the most expensive drink out there...so she would be impressed to see a guy getting the top class drink everyday, and ultimately fall for u. Appadiye illena...there is also a GYM in Ispahani....go and join there...another good chance of meeting her again. My 2 cents mayte. B-)

And also, why fall for a girl u saw in a Platform da? Upgrade ur taste mama. Good luck in ur search.

musafir said...

catch22

:) ... why am I not surprised?

karthik and stallion

Why don't you guys see the labels for the post?

Sometiems it's about opening your eyes :D

karthik

You know, to be very honest, we knew each other only through the CAT classes. But I thought you "knew" me well. Of course, reality inspires, but sometimes the imagination alone is sufficient. Besides, I was trying out something.

stallion

Firstly, I would like you to know that your nickname kills me whenever I type it. "stallion" leaves me rolling on the floor :D

I did mention Gemini in the post, so what are you going on about? As for the advice, I'll give it a thought - I'm not the type, you know :P

musafir said...

karthik

PS: Why do I get the feeling you're trying too hard? Anyway, moral from the story - Siva poojaila karadi :D

catch 22 said...

@ Stallion - Yeah I rememeber the GYM from Ispahani centre....you and me went there and asked how much was the monthly fee and they said some 4-5 Grand and we just told to each other machan namba rangekku ille da...

@ Karthik - You ask for the moral of the story ... I will tell ya...Never show the gal that you are such a contry brute that you don even carry a pen amd refrain from saying Hi when shez got company...frm my past experiences I have learnt that always catch women when they are alone....

@ Masafir - Have you watched a movie called 'Scent of a Woman " ?

musafir said...

catch22

Heh.

"I always knew
what the right path was.

Without exception, I knew,
but I never took it."

&

"when the shit hits the fan,
some guys run...and some guys stay. Here's Charlie facin' the fire, and there's George...hidin' in big daddy's pocket."

That movie taught me everything I know now. and you ask me if I've seen it! Kids these days :P

And it's Musafir. Argh.

musafir said...

catch22

"frm my past experiences I have learnt that always catch women when they are alone" -- not bad, I've taught you well :D

Anonymous said...

@musafir - Hmm .. Good .. 2-3 years hasn't changed a decent guy to someone following people randomly on the road !! me trying too much - Hmm .. ""I choose stimulation over boredom"" Btw there are dozens of more stories in the previous company .. Some adventures have left me poorer by as much as 3000 bucks !! And it's always good fun at the end of the day - gives the guys something to laugh at atleast !!!

@catch - Hmm .. How many Software Engineers have pens with them ?? Check ur desk or ur pocket and u will find that am right !! Conventional wisdom says that all good chicks are "committed" right from Sixth Standard !! But to the right guy ?? Hmm .. And to be honest when i waved i didnt notice the BF - he was following behind like a body gaurd :D :D .. Btw - "catch women when they are alone" Hmm .. There's only one place where gals go alone .. And for the sake of my job - i cant follow them there :D :D

-MK

catch 22 said...

@ Musafir - Sorry about the typo.... Yeah I shud have guessed better that you wud have watched the movie since we never discussed it, i thot maybe I cud suggest one movie after you have suggested so many.... how naive.. Any way I love that movie a lot and watched it recently...Al Pacino is too good...."Whoo Bingo...The boys alive.."

@ Karthik - Err forgot the fact that we were SW engineers and by the way if I go to training or sumthing I do take a pen. But forget abt pens and all. What was that all good chicks are committed right from the 6th Grade ok so be it when did we ever start stopping once we realized the chicks were taken... Thats where the real challenge lies whats the fun in trying to get a gal who is available (though Nash wud disagree with me here)...We should always go for the Prom queen even though she is with Prince Charming... Yeah yeah I did get the place you were talking abt i did follow there once by accident and was met with err... weird looks before I cud turn back there were 2 already behind me throwing murderous looks at me trust me its not a great experience ... But there are windows of oppurtunities you can get just when shez waiting for her BF in a restaurant or when shez waiting to catch a bus its jus a matter of being patient and determined...when you have the chance grab it jus show what u have got and what her Boy Friend doesnt have and my dear friend you never know how a women's mind might change...After all in hindsight you mite be made for each other...So apply Avis tried and tested formulae and you wud succeed in all your endeavors...Thathasthu

Anonymous said...

@catch - Wow .. So i know what ur hobby is now :)) A word of caution - it can get rather expensive :D :D Also (sometimes)comes with riders like No Smoking :D .. Ok - after applying all ur methods what was the success ratio - > 50 % ??

Hmm - Actually i have been to that place too - but when no one was around :D .. A group of guys on a weekend when we were in college :D :D.. Hope more Windows open for guys like me and musafir :D :D

-MK

musafir said...

MK

Now why are you dragging me into this? I'm the "decent guy" am I not? :D {I almost spit my coffee on the screen when I read that, which reminds me, why do you have this urge to know/slot/categorize people/things? Take it as it comes}

Of course you know what they say about still waters?;)

catch 22 said...

@ Karthik - Before going by my formula you need to take a solemn oath.

" I swear by the many women I wanted to have but couldnt have for the lack of courage and tact that I, 'your name' would never spend a single Rupee/Dollar/Euro/Pound (My formula is rite now jus famous in these countries) to floor any woman I want to. I would just use my wits and charm for the above mentioned purpose. If I am found lacking in these two I would go to any lengths to beg, borrow and steal these. "

Once you have taken the above oath you have got nothing much to lose (financially ofcourse). If a woman ever tells ya not to smoke etc you shud get back to her saying that she is smothering and suffocating you and she should give you the space the way you give her by not minding her applying Lipppistick and eyelaner. You should uphold your freedom in circumstances like these. Then ofcourse put the cigarette down and crush it with your shoes. I guess now you will have a clear picture of my success ratio...

You ask for more windows for Musafir...you bloody half wit who do you think Musafir is...some kind of a joker like us... My dear friend listen to me carefully ....Musafir is a veteran when it comes to things like these...where do you think I get all my gyaan from ? He is the Master..... Musafir sollaran naan seiren...

musafir said...

catch22

I'm going to have to kill you one of these days.

But yes, "you bloody half wit who do you think Musafir is" has to take the cake for sure.

musafir said...

MK

Don't you believe him (I'm a "decent guy" :D), or get disheartened, my lad. There's hope for you. Just keep trying. Only next time, don't hide pens, that lacks class. Totally.

By the way, have you heard about the law of depreciating assets? All I want to tell you is, Benjamin Graham would agree I'm sure, don't buy a stock because it's going up. More importantly, don't sell it when it's going down.

Anonymous said...

@musafir - Hmm .. Good observation - Will mark u in the "uncategorized" category here on :D

And regarding the Still waters thing - i prefer to throw stones and check the depth !! Offcourse - for all you know, it may not be as deep as it seeems !!
Depreciating Assets - Which assets :))

@catch - (Looking Suitably Enlightened) What do u want as guru dakshina :D :D

-MK

catch 22 said...

@ Karthik - Well get yourself a gal, that will be enuf guru Dakshina (Why am I so kind hearted ?;))

musafir said...

to the two idiots above me

So much for the inteelectual stance this blog tends to adopt. Damn both you guys to eternal singledom.

Stallion said...

@catch22

Yea da...that GYM in ispahani is a ' Pagal Kollai'. But Capeshwaran a.k.a Musafir needs to shed a few bucks to correct the Peter Maami da. Things dont come easy mayte. Thats the Aussie way. B-)

Stallion said...

@Karthik:

Edhukappa unakku indha velayellam? one good idea mama....next time ur trying to correct a figure....dont use the pen method da. Use the money method. Why I say is cos...a saadha ball point pen is just Rs.5.50. Nobody cares if u give it back or not. So, next time u meet a Peter Maami...go and ask her 100 bucks da mama. Next day Hi sonnalum solli thaan aaganum....bcos if she doesnt and doesnt care the Rs.100 will be loudified by u. So, she is compelled to greet u and talk to u. I hope this is useful

Arundhathi said...

That's a nice post ... a blank countenance at a traffic signal could actually be a volcano of emotions unexplored!!!

musafir said...

stallion

A definition of "stallion: on the web -

"A male horse, generally retired from racing, that stands at stud and is used for breeding purposes."

While it's sad to see that you've retired, it's good to see you going strong, if you know what I mean.

Funny that you still carry notions of the Aussie way which the Aussies themselves don't espouse anymore. The motto down under, to be pedantic, is more like beer, beach and babes. Of course, being aggressive and trying hard is in their nature but so it is with the Irish and the Turks and the Cossacks.

You can keep the Peter Maamis, while I go get myself a tan :) Besides, your parents might approve, considering they are going to reign the "stallion" in :D ... appruma Get Up-na Get Up, Sit Down-na Sit Down, Lol.

arundhathi

A sane comment amidst all the madness:)

I read "unexplored" as "unexploded", but then I read again. Some explosive things are best left unexplored, I guess. But yes, traffic signals are interesting if you indulge in people-watching.

Stallion said...

@capeshwaran:

Dey dey dey.....2-3 englipich words learning and wat scene putting da dey!!!?? Dey....guess u picked the worst possible explanation/description for a stallion. Look at what the first hit in Google gave me:

A stallion is a male horse that has not been castrated. They usually have a thicker, "cresty" neck compared to mares and geldings, as well as a more muscular physique and a fiery temperament.

Check out the last line dude.B-) And Irish, Turks and Cossaks are people from smaller countries which some people dont give a damn abt. Aussies r the toughest mentally and physically as far as majot countries are concerned. B-)

And, I dont want a Peter Maami, cos I am a saadharana manushan. Romba over comment ur vittifying....ull also get there one day mayte.

Stallion B-)

ck said...

well nice one..as this is been the first time for me to look in to ur writings..well understood one think u must be very much experinced in this...nice wrok keep going on