30 January

So-On calls: “Where had you gone off to? I thought you would call during the holiday weekend.”

Me, thinking to myself, “Well, you could have called too”, satisfy myself with a mere: “Bhopal”.

So-On: “Bhopal, why?”

Me: “Checking someone out.”

So-On: “What?”

Me: “I was checking up on a guy.”

Quiet. I can almost see the frown on his face, through the telephone line. I know he is wondering about how to ask the next question. I keep silent, refusing to alleviate his discomfort. It is fun teasing So-On.

So-On: “Appi, are you … I mean, are you going around with someone? How come I know nothing about this?”

Me: “There’s been nothing to tell, so far.”

That is the truth, isn’t it? But ambiguous enough to keep his queries going.

So-On: “But WHAT has been happening so far? I don’t know that, either.”

Me: “You’ve been so busy. And I’ve been caught up too. It’s never come up.”

So-On: “Yes, I know. I haven’t been calling. But you could have at least told me.”

So-On’s concern about my love life is very flattering. I want to be back home, alone in my room, and dwell on this conversation in solitude. If I had been at home, I may have continued teasing him for some more time. But I am at work. And have no time to continue stoking his misconception.

Me: “So-On, I’m only teasing. Can you imagine me going around with someone, and not telling you? I went to Bhopal with Comma. To look at a guy for her.”

So-On letting out a sigh: “Appi, you. For a moment, I thought, we were no longer best friends. That you’d grown up and all, and were not my sweet, little Appi any more. Who comes running to me for everything …”

This is not sounding too good, when put into words like this. This conversation is completely un-dwell-able.

I am getting a bit tired of being So-On’s sweet, little Appi and am not sure whether it is benefiting my romantic aspirations at all. Anyway, I DON’T go running to him for everything. Sometimes, I wonder if So-On has a clue about my real life at all.

But So-On is going on: “… Anyway, why did you have to go with Comma? Doesn’t she have family?”

Me: “Yes, she does. But I’m her friend.”

So-On, disapprovingly: “Hmmmph.”

Me: “She wanted my opinion.”

So-On laugh: “Really? She is a fool, that girl.”

Me, getting angry now: “What do you mean? That my opinion is useless?”

So-On: “Not in most cases. But what do you know about men? You’ve never even had a boyfriend, Appi.”

And whose fault is that, I think to myself, resentfully.

So-On: “And what a waste of time for you. I don’t know how capable that girl is of making a sensible decision even when she is given a sensible opinion. So why bother?”

Me: “You hardly know her, So-On.”

So-On: “And that’s for the best. I know her more than I would have wished for, anyway.”

Though Comma is not on the top of my favourites list right now, I can’t help but saying: “Shut up, So-On. She’s my friend, and that’s that. I don’t care if you don’t like her.”

So-On gulps. Any sign of my having any opinion contrary to his, always surprises him. He’s just got so used to me following him around like Mary’s little lamb.


One Comment on “30 January”

  1. desi-at-large says:


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