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Monday, June 23, 2008

Mr. Right

As usual, I had no clue what this short story was going to be all about until I scripted the last word. I wanted a Shakespearean comedy where everyone is happy at the end. Styled, of course, in my own little way. * snickers*

I
Ok. This was an emergency (again). My best friend, JQ, broke up with her bf, Neal for the nth time. Actually, I counted till 20 in the past eight months and then lost it. It is always the same thing. He needs space. She prefers breathing on his neck. Finally, when he can’t take it anymore- he asks for some room. And she inevitably breaks down into tears saying that he doesn’t love her anymore. She has given the best years of her life to an unfeeling man yada yada. So when it happened for the 25th (or was it the 26th time?) time on a Friday, she declared that she was not going to waste her weekend crying. Instead, she would attain freedom from emotional bondage by exercising her right to sexual liberty by sleeping with a random guy picked from a random pub.

Till here, it was fine. Until she asked me to aid her to find a suitable prospect, at a suitable pick–up point. We zeroed down to ‘The Caprice Lounge and Bar’, which promised ‘people watching’ as one of its specialties. ‘You have more probability of getting watched where you can watch others’- she argued.

We called up Bob and Pam – two of our other friends from Grad school, and set out for a wild night to party-to slosh out and puke until we felt we were at Hell’s door. I am usually not prejudiced about people, except when I am prejudiced. For some reason, I think Bob is gay. He shows little interest in girls and keeps talking about a fictitious ex, who incidentally, in his opinion, smells like Pam. I have the greatest urge at times to point out that it’s probably Chanel No.5, but something holds me back.

II
I was late at arriving for the evening, caught up with some last minute wrap-up of a project that was expected to be over eons ago. For some reason, my boss kept extending the deadline while I had this strange voice speaking inside my head: It’s better to finish things before they are expected. When no other team member felt like coordinating and the holiday mood of Christmas was still continuing in February, I decided to put my foot down and define the client requirements myself. I could have been kicked on my smart-ass for this, but Jeff (my boss) said very complacently: ‘We have done well.’ I hate it when he uses first person-plural without contributing a rat’s tail worth of efforts. But that’s why he’s the boss. And someday, I’m going to be ‘The Boss’ too. *sigh*

Bad week at office was reason enough to want to get stoned. But recently, my very Indian mother had been injecting other worries into my head. She suddenly had a vision that I was growing old and past the marriageable age of a well-bred Indian female. I wanted to say that she had different views when I wanted to date that hunk of a guy in high school. Then I was too young. Now, I am too old. And in between, I had been too busy preparing for a life that never happened.

I had lost my father at a very early age. Earlier than he could have had any influence on me. My family consisted of my mother, my well-settled elder sister, married to a Financial consultant in New York. A marriage arranged by the two families- consummated by horoscope matches and all. I had different ideas about love and marriage. It was the order I preferred them to occur.

Growing up fatherless gave me a very blurry vision about the many perfections and imperfections of the male sub-species. And I often found that I imposed virtues on men I dated and was soon disappointed. The Mills and Boons men don’t exist in real life. And I could settle for nothing less. So, I contented myself with watching and weeping at the romantic classics from the 60’s with a bucket full of my favorite chocolate chip cookie ice-cream and Fluffy ( my cocker spaniel) licking my face off. Whether it was ‘cause he wanted to lick my tears or chocolate chip cookie was his favorite too, was difficult to say. I settled for the former and I believed that at least one male living thing loves me.

JQ says I have ‘Fuck Off’ written all over my face. Somehow dating men at my office was never even an option. I like to maintain a professional distance from my colleagues. I can’t think of sleeping with a man, waking up next to him to grab a coffee and drive down to the same place to work. It took the charm away from romance. I wanted time to miss my guy.

III
I shrugged to see the long queue outside Caprice. There was no way I could wait that long to get inside. I called up JQ and asked her if she could sneak me in. The bouncer at the door was extra nice and let me in saying, ‘Have fun ladies!’
I thought, ‘You bet’ and got ushered by JQ inside the semi-dark lounge with shadowy figures hovering around. The music downstairs was too loud so I asked her if we could go upstairs to find a quieter spot. Bob and Pam were conspicuous by their absence. 'I dunno, they had come with me but I guess they have gone to fetch a drink or two.’ JQ winked.

I wondered if she was wearing the new lingerie she had bought at VS with me the other day- her bosom looked so puffed up. I asked : That padded stuff? She hushed me: 'Ssh.' I often wondered how most people fussed about their secondary sexual characteristics; more than the opposite gender really cared about.

When we waded past the ocean of human bodies tangled with one another and got some oxygen left in the room to breathe in, I felt it was time to get drunk. There was no way I was going to enjoy the horrible noise and the crowd while sober. JQ opined that I was a lot more fun when high. I opined: Then you should keep me high all the time. She snapped back: Oh you are high all the time anyways. On your work. I have never seen such a good piece of ass wasting her life at her desk the way you do. Get some banging done babe!’ I figured she was drunk already. She is usually very conservative with her speech. I smirked and took three tequila shots with the customary lemon and the salt. ‘Aah! Now, I am ready.’ I declared to no one in particular.

We hit the dance floor and JQ tried to squeeze to the center where a couple of gorgeous guys were trying to move their limbs. I almost laughed at them but then I thought it might spoil JQ’s chances and swallowed my guffaw half way through. They looked younger than her- but who bothered. I closed my eyes and wondered if I should have couple of more shots.

I realized I didn’t have my wallet about me. I must have left it at the counter when I tipped that kid. The thought of having to drag myself through that crowd again nauseated me. I looked around to find JQ. But she seemed busy. Suddenly, I heard a whisper, or it might have been pretty loud at another place–in this clamber it was difficult to know what I was saying to myself.

I turned and saw a tall, brown guy with a shy smile- holding out my wallet: Is this yours? I fancied he had pinched it just to be able to talk to me. But I let go of that notion and thanked him appropriately. I offered to buy him a drink as an acknowledgment. He said that he was a teetotaler and was in the pub on a friend’s insistence. Then he waved to a couple of guys sitting at the edge of the dance floor. They smiled at him. I am sure I looked stupid.

IV
I put my finger inside my stiff collar and unbuttoned the first two buttons of my shirt. I coughed: It is smoky and suffocating in here. Would you fancy a walk? He seemed uncertain. The voice in my mind said: Come On **** I am not a homicidal maniac !

He smiled shyly again and acquiesced. We went out on the streets and a gush of fresh air blew my hair away. Nothing pisses me off more than unkempt hair. I rummaged through my bag for a comb and hastily tried to fix it. But the wind grew stronger and wilder and I thought aloud: There must be a storm brewing somewhere. But there wasn’t any weather alert. Was there?

He said very philosophically. Not all things can be predicted. I proposed: We should go inside. He asked if I’d like to wait till it rains. I thought: Wait a second. Guys don’t like to wait for rain. Or he’s straight out of a novel or trying to act too nice. I was on my guard again. That little voice kept nagging me: Don’t trust a stranger. I shooed it away saying: Go back where you were when I asked him out for a walk! He said: I beg your pardon? ‘Oh nothing’ and I smiled at him.

‘You look beautiful when you smile. You should do that more often.’ Now, I blushed. I knew he was flirting but I was enjoying it. The tequila had burnt down my defenses. I thanked the blue agave and the Mexicans.

Soon I found myself talking to him- about books, movies, and my favorite genre of music. It was pleasantly surprising to find that we had so much in common. I almost squealed with delight when I discovered that ‘An Affair to Remember ‘, ‘Casablanca’, ‘The Pianist’, and 'La vita è bella' (Life is beautiful) were his favorites too. He opined that if I wanted to experience neorealism I should watch 'Ladri di biciclette' (The Bicycle Thief) by Vittorio De Sica. He told me it was a landmark film, like Rashomon for Akira Kurosawa or Pather Panchali for Satyajit Ray. I listened spellbound and I thought: Where had you been all my life?

The cloud gurgled and said something to the thunder and it started pouring. I felt like standing there as long as I could. I spread my hands wide, looked up to face the sky and let raindrops on my face. I felt so liberated at that moment and so unlike my usual self. He watched me and smiled again and suggested we race back to the pub. I nodded with a wink: ‘Only, I’ll race you to that tree the other way. Go!’ And I rushed. Suddenly I stopped, opened my high-heel sandals and started splashing on puddles that were collecting momentarily in the heavy rain. They’d soon dry out- and like this moment, would vanish too. I had a sudden urge to hold onto this second forever. Whoever my companion was, I stopped trying to judge him and was being myself. And I felt I had never been so happy in a long time.

V
The storm stopped and we decided to walk back. Then I said, I’d rather be going home. I called up JQ to say the same. She sniggered when she picked the call: You got lucky first, huh? I hushed her up and said it was nothing remotely like that. He was still beside me, and I didn’t want him to know what we were talking about. It was an awkward moment. I didn’t want to leave- yet I had to. The longer I stayed, the harder it would be to let go. I smiled awkwardly. ‘I had a long week- I guess I will go home and get some sleep.’ ‘Oh ok.’ He said. The voice in my head was back again: ‘Told you- he is an idiot!’ I snapped at it: ‘Shut up!’

Huh?

Umm.. nothing

Btw, if you plan to fall ill- why not give those germs a better diet?

Hmm?

I was thinking of an ice cream.

There was an ice cream parlor near by. He ordered two chocolate chip cookie ice-cream cones. I hoped the ice cream lasted for eternity. But those kiddie cones had grown smaller since the last time I had them. I asked: What next?

How about breaking some rules?

I looked at him. And he said : Let’s jaywalk on the road.

I reminded him: They can penalize you for that.

He laughed: I know. "What is life but a series of inspired follies? The difficulty is to find them to do. Never lose a chance: it doesn't come every day."

George Bernard Shaw ! Pygmalion ! He was too good to be true.

We walked criss-cross for a while and then marched: Left-right, Left-right. But there wasn’t any car around so we soon got bored. We sat by the pavement and looked up. The sky was clear and a little star or two peeped from behind the dark blanket of sky.

He said: I wish this night would never end.

I whispered: So do I.

He continued: I am afraid that I might not live to see tomorrow.

I looked at him with a blank face and he said: I was getting treated for an advanced terminal disease. When the doctors gave up, I decided I don’t want to die in a hospital. I want to live as much as I can.

My shock was evident on my face: But you look perfectly healthy!

Some ailments are not so evident on the outside.

You are kidding!

He said very seriously: Of course I am.

I felt angry and hit him on his back.

Now, now- see I told you I am afraid that I might not live to see tomorrow. He gaggled.

It’s not funny.

Really? I thought it was. At least, for me.

My furor was renewed and I wanted to hit him again but I did not. I clammed up like an oyster.

He laughed and teased me- imitating my expressions when I frowned. I laughed till my stomach hurt and when he headed towards the direction of the pub, I wished he would look back once. He did not.

I drove back home thinking if I still had ‘Fuck Off” written on my face. I stood in front of the mirror for a while but I couldn’t figure it. So, I finally broke down and cried.

The door bell rang and I thought it must be JQ with her catch of the evening. It was her all right, but he stood right behind her. JQ said: Ok guys, Neal had called up and I have to hurry.

He scratched his head when she was gone: I thought I could watch “An Affair to Remember” with you again. You said you had the DVD.

I giggled: Crash on the sofa.

With all these wet clothes on? He smiled.

VI
I woke in the morning and saw him sitting on the bed, watching me. I said: Good morning. He smiled ‘Good Morning’. I realized my hair must be looking unkempt and I tried to scramble out of the bed to go the bathroom. But he held me by my waist and kept clinging on to me. I said: Let me go .

No I won’t.

Let me…

Make me…

I tried to tickle him but he kept a straight face saying he doesn’t feel tickled.
Not anywhere?

Uh-huh- not anywhere.

Let me find out.

He said: Ok ! That’s enough! He laughed.

The doorbell rang again. I was alarmed: That must be mom ! I was supposed to pick her from the airport today. Quick ! Hide into the closet.

What?!!

Into the closet !

I picked his clothes from the floor and shoved them with his shoes beneath the bed. And then I broke a record sprinting from my bedroom to the door.

Mom looked at me: What’s wrong with you?

Me? What?

You look horrible. What’s wrong with your hair?

I breathed heavily. Oh, I must have slept too long. What time is it?

Past noon. I thought Neena had asked you to pick me.

‘She did. She did.’ I repeated myself unnecessarily. ‘But I completely forgot.’

I don’t have enough change on me. Can you pay the cab downstairs?

I tipped the cab heavily for no reason. Probably hoping that this act would redeem me from the sound explosion I was going to experience in a while. I got upstairs reluctantly and opened the door. But she was in the bathroom. He was sitting in the living room sofa with a smile.

I gulped: How did you manage to dress up so fast?

He smiled again.

Mom came out in a while and said: Hemant was telling how much he adores your paintings.

You know him?' Now, it was my turn to feel surprised.

Of course I do. He’s Neena’s brother-in-law. Nishant’s cousin. He wasn’t here for the wedding. But I had met him last time I had gone to New York to visit your sister- didn’t I tell you?

You did. But I didn’t realize..

Now, the voice was back again. ‘They are all in it.’ It said spitefully.

I looked at him unbelievingly, my words came out in installments: Did.. you... know... this?

Yes, well –I had seen you in Nishant’s wedding album and I had recognized you at the very first instant but..

I sat down on the sofa and tried to put my thoughts together. The whole night was a sham then? He had known all about my likes and dislikes from my sister and pretended to be Mr. Right and had swept me off my feet away like no one had. It was all an act! I felt cheated.

He asked permission from my mother to leave. She insisted that he should stay for lunch. But he reminded; I’m going to come over with my parents in the evening anyways.

When he was gone, I asked her what he was talking about.

Mom said very nonchalantly: You have a strange idée fixe about falling in love first and marrying later. When I got married to your father…

I know. I know. The third day you met was your wedding. The second day was your engagement. And the first day you had met only for an hour with a houseful of people.

And yet, we were happy together. She sighed.

Then she reasoned: Marriage is a gamble. You bet on a person to keep you happy, forever, or as long as it lasts. You have to take a few risks. You have to believe. And this guy isn’t a stranger- he belongs to a good family, has a good job, and has been in love with you ever since I have known him.

I looked at her: You sound like you just watched "What Happens in Vegas".

'This isn't a movie. This is real life. You have to script your happy ending yourself. At least, give it a try.' She pleaded.

I decided to give it a try. It hasn’t been perfect always. But I have realized that the perfect relation is not ready-made. You have to make efforts to keep it working. At times, I feel what should I do with him? But most of the times, I feel- what would I do without him!

My mistake has been that I have sought perfection all my life, and subconsciously imposed virtues or vices on people. But these biased opinions took me away from reality. And the closest thing to reality is : We are all humans with our flaws and idiosyncrasies.

Spending a few hours or a few days together doesn't acquaint us with the real person. I believe that when you have seen someone hot and sweaty and cooking a meal for you, throwing stuff at you because he has a sudden urge to clean the house; he is flexing muscles in front of a mirror and you are thinking, "He's more self-obsessed than I am ! ", ; when you feel that "He's a complete pain in the ass"- the next moment he calls up and you feel "OMG I missed him so much ! ",- it's then you begin to truly love someone. Or are on your way to it. If I can’t find happiness with him, there is no way I can find happiness with anyone else.

Btw, JQ told me that Bob isn’t gay and Pam can vouch for it.

* Note: For more short stories, click on the label 'short story'*

46 comments:

sejuti said...

Nice post, your signature style tat i love so much.But im more partial towards the earlier short stories, maybe cos im a romantic who believes in romantic love and Mr. Right..lol..one question.. did the guy fall in love just seeing the girl's picture in a marriage..but guys must take a cue from u how to impress girls..wink.. and of course, caprice and JQ coming out to sneak her in rings a bell in my mind..lol.. cudn't help mentioning what i feel after reading al ur posts..in every story there is so much of the author somewhere or the other - in every character or plot or experiences.. and maybe tat makes JQ,Bob, Pam, mother n of course Hemant and the girl so real

Sam said...

That was sweet!! really liked the story... and a very subtle message too.. or am I reading too much between the lines.. you keep writing such stuff.. and I might start bugging you daily for such stuff.. :D
keep writing!!

Aparna Kar said...

@sejuti
Lol. I believe so too. This isn't one of my better ones. I just wanted to script something light-hearted for a change. You will be surprised to know know how much of the details are from real life. If you remember- the guy who returned my wallet that day was an Indian too ;)

Btw, about how to impress a girl- I believe I can write a book on that. Hee hee. Good that God decided to make me a girl at the last moment- or else I'd have been the next Don Juan ;)

Aparna Kar said...

@seju
P.S. Well, guys do claim to fall in love by just seeing the pictures. :P In this case, he must have heard enough about her to encourage his feelings.

Shantanu said...

Very nice! I jumped into the story without reading the first few lines and at first thought it was real...worthy of a Yash Johar movie. :)

KimyaShafinaaz said...

hi there

i love your writing style and read at first, totally enthralled by the idea that this was real; ie experienced by you! i hope that these written adventures get to be published at some point! they're really engaging; readers will devour them gladly :)

best,
ks

Aparna Kar said...

For JQ
Oddly enough: Woman sues Victoria's Secret claiming thong injury

Aparna Kar said...

@Shantanu
I translate Yash Johar movie= complete entertainer, but complete nonsense :P But too much of Shyam Benegal is not good either :)

Aparna Kar said...

@KimyaShafinaaz
Thank you for those encouraging words. That is the whole idea actually. To improve before I publish my next book. :)

Thanks for visiting:)

Lahari said...

well written. Good story. I totally go with the point that marriage, in one way is a gamble. one shd be lucky to win the game. Not everyone are lucky. Am happy to say i'm.

Sam said...

why don't u write that book?? it might help some blokes!! ;)

candid diary said...

Sorry 4 d late attendance.
Another well yarned story with all the plausible characters oxidised within your brain cells and taking shapes of everyday individuals. It does not matter if the episode you described really took place or not – you make the story highly convincing, readable and entertaining.
Kudos.

Aparna Kar said...

@candid diary
Der aaye durust aaye.
I'll never understand the inclination of most readers to find the percentage of truth in an offering. A composition is a composition is a composition. My English Professor had told me once- "The art of writing well is to bluff convincingly." I've obeyed that rule since I was in Standard VIII. Maybe I'm just not artful enough :P

And in case you're curious -I haven't gone out with any of the guys who had tried to pick me at Caprice that night :D I debated whether to really kill Hemant with a terminal disease or let him live as Mr. Almost- Right in the story. I decided the later and I don't know which one is sadder. But I believe what I said : No relation is perfect. You have to make it so.

Aparna Kar said...

@Sam
And what about the guys who will try it on me? The trick of the trade is to keep it your own. :P

deee said...

how true ... perfect relations are not ready made ....
nice post :)

Aparna Kar said...

@deee
Glad that you agree. It took me a while to realize that :)

Aparna Kar said...

@Lahari
That's a wonderful thing to say.My best wishes for you. A relation might not be the be the be-all and end-all of someone's life, but a true companion makes a lot of things easier.

Crimson Shimmer said...

"she was truly a princess :)" - ty

i've never taken a liking to indian movies, but gotta say i thoroughly enjoyed this one :P

Saltwater Blues said...

I will be in Boston mid september. Maybe we can have a coffee down at Harvard Square.

Aparna Kar said...

@Saltwater Blues
Harvard Square is very predictable. If you want to see the real colors of Boston, you should go to Quincy market on a weekend. But yeah, the coffee would be on me then :D

Aparna Kar said...

@Crimson Shimmer
Lol. Are you sure the Indian censor board would approve of a Hindi movie like that? I have seen more rape scenes on tv in my childhood than love-making. Makes me wonder how perverse it is to think that the former is integral to the story and the later is not. Someone needs to grow up.

paromita said...

luvly post!!enjoyed it a lot ...luv u...

Aparna Kar said...

@paromita
Finally you commented my silent admirer ! Love you too sweetheart. I'm so glad that you liked it. :)

Btw, consider this: my roommate's mother asked me, 'What is a night stand?'
I was replying to this comment and said:Huh?
She asked again: 'The ad says :"One night stand" '
I blurted : 'Where did you see that?' And borrowed the newspaper.

I was relieved to see it was a furniture ad for a nightstand. *Phew* Now, I realize how embarrassed our parents must have been when we used to ask them those weird questions. :D

raven said...

where's that missing post.... Ummmm?

My reader still shows it

candid diary said...

A kid asked his mother, "From where have we come, Maa?”
The kid's mother scratched her head and started explaining 'birds and bees' in a round about way. The kid listened for some time and said, "I don't get head or tail of what you are telling. My classmate Vicky says they have come from Delhi and Pinkie says they have come from Lucknow. I just wanted to know from where we have come."

Aparna Kar said...

raven
Wait till I write the complete story.

Aparna Kar said...

@candid diary
LOL. Good one. We complicate simple things sometimes. Did you notice the Parent-child role-reversal? It is something like explaining to my mom what a 'purono movie' is. :D

Aparna Kar said...

@paromita
Correction: That was the second time. :)

Crimson Shimmer said...

lol!

not that im experienced in the hindi movie department. but from the 5 - 10 minute scenes that i've been exposed to ( i used to be lured into my moms room with the fresh scent of coconut, and as soon as i was transfixed, they would hold me to a chair and chain me up, making me watch people who were supposedly in love dance around a tree and change clothes like magic behind them. guess this is where my love for trees stemmed from and my delusions of love, anyway: five minutes is all it would take to obliterate the coconut ) back to your story: and hence I would say that its what bollywoods lookin for` :)
grown up or not ;)
btw: the more recent indian movie covers my crippling eyes have managed to fall over, look like porn movies.
ughm that was half a complaint.

Aparna Kar said...

@Crimson Shimmer
Porn? You must be kidding. Looks more like comedy to me. Proof: here
Dunno about more recent movies though. The latest I have watched is Wall E. And I'm sticking to that genre.

candid diary said...

I do not know if you have read the book (‘Siddhartha’ by Hermann Hesse) or seen the movie. I immensely liked both the book and the movie.
The video clipping taken from the movie is only a passing phase in Siddhartha’s life, a phase every one of us has to pass through. Siddhartha, ignorant about sex, gets his lessons from Kamala and accepts her as his Guru. A scene lifted out of context from the movie may look erotic or even funny but the story (set at the times of the Lord Buddha) of Siddhartha is actually about his journey through life to find himself. Are not all of us doing the same thing? After following different paths Siddhartha realises that he cannot follow any particular course which he has not found and experienced himself. Once Siddhartha experiences life as a successful business man in a city, he returns to a river and integrates the realm of the spirit with that of life. Siddhartha becomes a ferryman, symbol of a catalyst to share his experience with passengers travelling back and forth between the two river banks, symbolising spirit and nature.
Siddhartha (Shashi Kapoor) is depicted to be free from all bondages but at the end we find that he certainly loves his son (Kunal Kapoor) and probably Kamala (Simi Grewal) though he is fully aware about love being a powerful, blinding emotion that makes a person forget the unity of all creation. At the end when Siddhartha says that love is the most important thing in the world, he means loving and recognizing the world for what it is. Unconditionally loving life and the world we live in is the path to peace.
Now, serious talks apart the caption of the video clipping should have been “Shashi f****d by Simi Grewal” :D

Aparna Kar said...

@candid diary
‘Siddhartha’, and 'Steppenwolf' by Hermann Hesse have been on my to-read list for years now. Your crisp synopsis has only renewed the desire. Currently, I'm reading 'Seven Years in Tibet' by Heinrich Harrer and the first few pages gave me the thrill I had felt when I was reading Shantaram. However, the sheer volume diluted its richness in the later. It'd be interesting to see how Mira Nair shoehorns the epic into a movie.

You are right about Siddhartha's journey : it's our story. Most of us are trying to find something or reach somewhere and we are exploring different paths towards attaining it. But recently, I talked to someone who said that he didn't have a dream destination but a wish to cover the gypsy trail on land from London to Kolkata. It was the first time I had come across someone who stressed the medium of travel instead of focusing on the destination (Kolkata is his home, so he'd be pretty familiar with it. My dream destination is Salzburg, you probably know it already :D )

From here, I get a bit philosophical. We all know our ultimate destination is death. It's how we live that should matter. Love is essential - but its manifestations are many. You can choose to love what you want. You or I can love a dream, a person, a job, a house, our kids... Some people love their nation, religion, ideologies, even to the extent of fanaticism. Others opt to search for the ultimate truth. They decide to love and nurture it when they have found it. And often, what they find is this: Love (Similar to Siddhartha’s realization )

I agree with you about the caption. Though why he was making such funny faces I will never know.

Munmun said...

I agree with the philosophy you put in the last few paragraphs, relationships aren't perfect or ready-made, and then there isn't any Mr Right!
Well done! I just loved it!

dolby said...

When so many have already pointed about the story let me not get into that part. I know you write and express well(Exceptionally). So it makes me feel kinda monotonous to say "Wow wonderful post" every time i strike across your post and it's not an act of depriving the appreciation u deserve. But i do believe, with the story some of your views infused along side. So let's get into that.

"Marriage is a gamble" is this your real view or just a dialog by the character in the story?

He he he he he.. btw If marriage is gamble then what will you call an open relation?

The way Hemant flattered reminds me of "Book of possibilities" from "U Me aur HUM"

Aparna Kar said...

@dolby
U me aur hum? Isn't it the remake of 50 first dates or so I have heard. Anyways, guys like to have a plan (watch Hitch again), it isn't that their emotions are not genuine. A guy who woos with red roses and chocolates doesn't necessarily mean he's trying to buy your affection. He just doesn't know how to show that he likes you and gifting those little things is a way he finds it easy to express it. Some prefer words. Hemant wasn't exactly flattering. He was showing her brighter side, and unwittingly making her fall in love with herself. Isn't it what we all look for in someone? Who can show us the best we can be? He was the mirror she was missing, where she could see her own beauty in.

About 'open relations', I will never understand the ground rules. How can you be comfortable with the idea of sharing your long-term partner? If he's Mr. Right Now, and not Mr. Right, you might not be concerned if he's taking other partners. But how can you not be possessive if you love that someone? Polyamory is not a new fangled idea. Ancient cultures have practiced it.In contemporary times, polyfidelity can best be seen in cross-over relations, where a guy or girl is thinking of switching partners and is dating multiple partners simultaneously. But then again, it is when you are not sure of what you want. When a relation stabilizes, there isn't much scope for thinking 'what if..' or you are spelling disasters.

Advocates of open marriage/ relations often point out that human beings are capable and desirous of multiple loves ( think cave-men) and one individual might not be able to satisfy all the requirements equally. I understand that it is individual perception. And that is why I brought in the concept of 'trade off'. You have to know your priorities. At one phase of life- wanting to make love 24/7 might seem to be the greatest proof of love, another time you might feel that the person who stands by you during your toughest times is the true love of your life- while at others the person who criticizes you honestly and tries to bring out the best in you might seem to be 'the one'. With time, you also realize - probably the surest test of your compatibility is the length and content of your conversation. One of my major criterion is someone I can talk to for hours. An interesting conversationalist with a good sense of humor.

I am not weighing polyfidelity against mono.. whatever,like most things - these are just two contrasting philosophies, and ways of living life. It is individual choice. People can be happy in both cases. You have to decide what your happiness consists of. I'd rather be with someone who's fiercely possessive about me, and at the same time - trusts me enough to let me out of sight. The perfect balance is difficult to attain. And if you have achieved it, you shouldn't let anything ruin it. In business, we are taught to have strategic alternatives. In love, it is a little different I believe. 'There's no plan B. This is it.' Sometimes we can't find what we are looking for because we haven't looked at what we have found :) Talking of divesting emotions? That's another story altogether.

Aparna Kar said...

@ Munmun
Thanks :) We have to stop looking somewhere :)

Aditya Mukhopadhyay said...

Great story and a great blog! Many a dull afternoon have been livened up by your colorful prose. Always full of life :). Never a boring post either (well... almost :P).

dolby said...

Will reply once i am back. I think you misunderstood!

Aparna Kar said...

@dolby
Will be glad to be proven wrong but that essay above was my take on open relations and why I don't understand them :)

Aparna Kar said...

@Aditya
You have an interesting space urself. Your roomie ( or ex-roomie?) introduced it to me.

deee said...

arranged marriage is a gamble ...and m scared of it ... :(((((((((

Aditya Mukhopadhyay said...

Roomie still there. The blog has become something of an ex though :))

dhwani said...

hey aparna,
i must say a lovely story but then wasent it too good to be true??? he being an indian,,,, n stuff. do we really get guys like this even now???
have been reading ur blog for almost 2 years n must say its never dull, be it the story of thief n the princess or ur write up about u copying acts of ur dad... u r a wonderfull writer n i love ur work....
keep it up n all the best.

Friendly Stranger said...

Wow!
Last part is pretty true....
Nice story and blog too......
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Aparna Kar said...

@dhwani
It didn't matter what his ethnicity was, the theme was 'arranged vs love marriage'. However, it was improbable that her conservative mother would have arranged for a Non-Indian guy to meet her the following evening. It is an age old love story, wrapped in contemporary settings. I have the greatest regards for couples who have different ethnic backgrounds but embrace each other's culture as their own. It takes great love to transform, and it takes greater love to not let the other change. But back to your comment: 'Seek and thou shall find.' And more often, we find when we're not looking.:D In this case, JQ was hoping to get lucky- but she decided to go back to Neal. Love works in strange ways !

Btw, thank you for your kind words, you have no idea how much it means to me. A patron for almost two years now- you definitely have seen me change :)

Aparna Kar said...

@Friendly Stranger
Aye aye Sir !