I have a friend who is looking for a girl to marry. Encounters should begin with a date and culminate in a marriage. He makes no allowances for any other possibility. First Date, then marriage (the casing of the two events represent the tone in which he talks of both) - natural, inevitable progression. If it does not work out that way, then it only means that the boy and girl were not right for each other. As he puts it, in his inebriated Goan accent (a achievement of some sort because he isn't Goan and never inebriated), 'the people must be correct.'
Did I mention he was a friend? This is despite the fact that he is extremely picky and generally a pain in the tooth (I have not known greater pain than that.) He will send back coffee if the whipped cream touches the rim of the cup. The cream must must be delicately balanced in the centre of the coffee like an extravagant bouffant. Or else, it's not worth having. (We
don't go to Barista or CCDs much, you can imagine.)
Okay, by virtue of the fact that he is particular and also by virtue of the fact that I'm a girl, he has asked me to hook him up with someone. (Because single girls always know of other single girls who are looking to get married.) She must be 'hot' OR she must be 'sexy.' There is, he explained to me, a considerable difference between the two attributes. Here's what he had
to tell me. 'Say, a girl walks into a room and you want her to stay...she's hot. But let's say this girl walks in and you want her to leave so that you can follow her...she's sexy.' I can't say that I understood completely; in fact, it would be safe to say that I didn't understand at all. But I decided to give it a try.
So, as we were having our second cup of hazelnut latte, I looked out the cafe's dirty picture window and saw a girl getting out of a car. She was slim, tall without clunky heels and had silky hair that was highlighted with tasteful streaks of aubergine. No crass body piercings, no shimmer on her perfectly tanned skin...she was chic and classy and definitely hot! I mean, sexy...i mean...well...one of the two.
As she walked in the door, I pointed her out to my friend who was considering the gustatory ramifications of rim-touching whipped cream. He turned around, looked her over, and shrugged his shoulders. 'So, is she hot? Or is she sexy?', I asked.
'Neither', he replied, but later conceded, 'But she's cool..'
The girl took her coffee cloaked in quiet elegance.
A few minutes later, the chic gamine creature rushed in again. She had forgotten her book at the counter (a book! I was impressed. Usually one expects this breed to leave behind a packet of cigarettes or a mobile.) Her face was flushed a little bit - a soft hue of dusty rose, her dark eyes searching the counter, and on finding her book, she smiled an elfin, open smile.
At that moment, my friend happened to be turn back. He saw her, turned to me, and said, 'Check her out! She's hot!'
This time, I shrugged.
Not 'hot', not 'sexy', my friend.....just good old fashioned 'beautiful'. That's what she was.