A couple of months ago, I was going through a rough patch. Things fells apart and eroded every day. That’s when a friend of mine, who is a sturdy example of how meaningless intellect is, told me that I should work on my butt. He said, ‘You can’t control anything else, Mukta. You may as well get your butt in shape.’
That, of course, was rude advice. I had no idea that my behind was being scrutinized. And I was even more clueless about the fact that it was seen as something that needed considerable improvement. He was right, of course. But I could have done without that gem of insight.
I bring this up now because a few weeks ago, tablemannered tagged me. I have to write about eight traits I want my partner to have. The butt story is to help me remember that line in ‘Lady Windermere’s Fan’, ‘His virtues are only on the surface; and that’s where I like them.’ (The exact quote is much pithier.)
So, in an ode to superficiality, here are my eight traits:
He must be tall. T-A-L-L. Not 5-10, 5-11 tall but 6-3 minimum kind of tall. Chandigarh tall, not Delhi tall. I love to look at tall people. I am positively mesmerized when I watch tall people drive. The way they adjust the seat to slide back, the way their long fingers shift gears (I think tall people have awesome knuckles), the way they look left, the way they look right, the way their long legs step out confidently, the way they buy you baloons…He must also have a sharp jaw line. You could run your finger along the jaw and your finger would bleed. That sharp. That tall. All that.
He should please understand that the question, ‘What’s great about Star Wars?’ is a rhetorical question. The answer is implicit: Nothing. No, I don’t know why it got so popular. There are mysteries in this world that I can’t unravel. But when I ask, ‘What’s great about Star Wars?’, I really do mean ‘There’s nothing great about Star Wars.’ I do not want to hear about how brilliantly it was conceived, how Natalie Portman prepared for this role as a foetus, how each strand of dialog captures the vast wisdom of the ages, and how ‘No trying – Do or do not’ is my man’s own personal credo.
He should share similar values as me regarding non-vegetarianism, i.e.- it is important. I cannot live without meat. I can’t. I have tried. I shrivel in the most ugly fashion. He should realize that when I am asked to eat my salad and I dig into it with my fork, it is only to see what kind of meat lies under the foliage. I don’t eat lettuce. I eat the animal that eats it.
By the same virtue, he should cook mutton very very well. I love the way tall people marinate meat. How they don’t have to struggle to reach for the jeera powder on the top shelf, how there is such fine movement as they go from cooking range to fridge to sink back to cooking range.
He should not smoke. Never. Ever. Ever. Not beedi, not cigarette, not cigar, not hookah, not chillum..nothing. And he shouldn’t even bother explaining that ‘ganja’ is ayurvedic.
He should be able to speak Haryanvi. I cannot resist tall people who speak Haryanvi; especially when they say the following: ‘Do you have change?’, ‘Need any help?’, ‘Can you help me?’, ‘Are you hungry?’ (The last bit I love in any language, by the way), and ‘Happy New Year.’
He should have a flair for drama.
Like if I’m angry with him and I’m sulking, he should take me to the terrace, hug me from behind, and show me a firework lit sky. The sparklers must read, ‘I’m sorry, Mukta’.
Or he should get a horse-drawn carriage and wait for me outside office on a Tuesday evening. I’d love to see his tall silhouette romance the cautious shadows under the evening sky.
Or grow me the perfect, rare, black orchid.
Or play the flute while I watch a drizzle at dawn.
Or kiss my hand at breakfast (but not as a ploy to eat my share of sausages.)
He should understand something very, very clearly: I watch movies in theatres. Only when there’s a storm, a riot, or a decade has slipped by since the movie released, will I watch it on DVD. Whether it’s a cinematic blunder or a breathtaking classic, if it’s on the big screen, I will watch it there. Or not at all.
And a bit about the cinema protocol:
We get in BEFORE the movie begins. I want to be inside when the national anthem is going on.
We get out AFTER the movie is over. The movie is over only when the big screen is blank. To make things clearer, when the credits are rolling, the movie is not over because the screen is not blank. So sit.
He should never say the following, even in Haryanvi and even if he’s tall: ‘Anyways’, ‘bitch’, and ‘May the force be with you.’
He should be all of that…or he should simply be Sanjay Dutt.