5 DecemberPosted: October 9, 2010
Comma came back from leave today. If we had been in the Law College Common Room, or even on Linking Road, we would have both been screeching into each other’s face, “EEeeeeeeeee.” However, at Neem, you can’t do that. The place is too full of solemn people, for such girlish silliness. And we are both too scared of Neempatta raising her left eyebrow.
I never thought I would miss Comma. She’s not my type, really. I don’t make friends easily and would never have made friends with Comma myself, but she didn’t give me a choice. She just blabber-mouthed her way into my space.
She is like that, loud, chatter, chatter, chatter all the time. She can give you a headache if you listen to her too carefully. The trick with her is to shut off half of what she says.
She’d gone off to her ‘family village’, to attend a family wedding.
Me: “I don’t know how you can do it. I find these things so tedious.”
But Comma says that family weddings are like the catwalk for ordinary girls. Where else can a girl dress up, make up and strut around, showing off her wares? And possibly pick up the right man.
I object strongly to her desire to strut before a male.
Comma: “There’s nothing wrong about it. It’s natural. Even animals do it, preen around, throw out colors and smells to attract the opposite sex”.
Me: “We are not animals”.
Comma just laughs: “You’ve got a lot to learn, baby”.
I give up. Have to, when she calls me “baby”, because then I know the fight is going nowhere. I can argue all I will, and she’s just going to fob me off with her ridiculous take on life.
Through all her descriptions of the wedding I am thinking, I don’t even have a ‘family village’, and have never been to a family wedding like that. Ogre does go to “family functions”, as she calls them, but Etcetra and I always make excuses not to go and she never pushes us. We think it’s too boring to make small talk with relatives.
But now listening to Comma, I wonder if it could be fun. Maybe the next time, Ogre asks me to go with her, I will say yes. Though I don’t have many clothes that would qualify for preening, I think. But that will be a good reason to buy and wear a pink sari for a change.
It may also be fun preening before some one. I wouldn’t do too badly at it. Of course, I could be taller. And a little fleshier. My face could be a little less long. And my eyes could be a little bigger. But it’s all wrapped up in good skin, and topped with thick, wavy hair and will do.
But the problem is that I have loved So-On for so long, that it has never struck me that I should make an effort to attract anybody else. Or in fact even that I should make an effort to attract So-On.
My feelings for him are so confused and crowded with:
1. Our childhood memories.
2. The fact that he is my best friend.
3. All the girls he has been attracted to and gone out with.
4. The details of his various attractions and affairs, which he speaks about to me as naturally as if I was a guy.
He seems to have no idea about how I feel for him. Or perhaps he does.
Once we were in his room. I was 16. I was sitting at the window, my favourite place, with the flame of forest tree outside and a sliver of the Oval Maidan across the road. He was writing something.
Suddenly, he looked up and said, “Stop looking at me with such soulful eyes, Appi.”
I blushed, and turned away. He laughed, and put on some music and began chattering about something to cover up my embarrassment.