Friday, June 30, 2006

Time with SS

A day before my immaculate friend arrived, I had written to her asking her to bring good walking shoes. While ‘good’ is a relative term and ‘walking’ can have several interpretations and ‘shoes’ can mean anything from wedges to pumps, one assumes that the three words taken together would fit some sort of universal sensibility.

I was wrong.

SS came with two pairs of shoes – one with three inches heels and the other one with three and a half. When one comes with footwear suited for soft carpet walking, the cratered roads of Pune come as a rude shock. SS did her very best to not turn up her nose at the rocks that lay untarred on the sides of the road or the huge cracks on the sidewalks. But there are few things that SS can keep to herself – namely her disdain for all things less than perfect.

Anyway, we had quite a walk – all the way from Lane 5 to German Bakery. Once there, she walked in, all stylish and posh in her sky-blue tee and funky belt. She surveyed the area for a place to sit and beckoned to no-one in particular with a tapered hand. A young, jolly boy appeared from nowhere and cleared the table, all the while eyeing her long, silky hair. I’m not even sure he worked there.

Over our cups of coffee, I tried to chalk out a plan that involved going clubbing with friends, eating vegetarian food at a grill place (my enthusiasm was rather dim at this point), checking out clothes out of wooden boxes at ‘Mela’, and taking her to the Nala garden the next day. There are few things more beautiful than seeing a white lotus through wet morning mist.

It didn’t quite turn out as planned.

To begin with the club.

We went clubbing, sure, but there was much to answer for before that. Like this friend we with who we went dancing –Ak.

How did you meet Ak?

Outside Fire and Ice.

So, who is Ak?

Software engineer.

What was he doing outside Fire and Ice?

Umm, quoting Robert Frost..You know, ‘Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire.

Shut up.

Then, prodding about the venue.

Where are we going?

This place in Blue Diamond…

Where?! What kind of a place is ‘Blue Diamond?’ Who goes dancing in ‘Blue Diamond’?!

Taj Blue Diamond

Oh. So what’s it called?

I forgot.

What?!

No, I mean it’s Solaris or Polaris or something…

It can’t be Polaris. Polaris is the name of a software company.

So?

Why would a club want to name itself after a software company?

Maybe a software company wanted to name itself after a club.

Shut up. It must be Solaris.



The club is Polaris.

We went and sat in a darkened alcove, nursing our drinks. I am fond of places that give me a fly-on-the-wall feeling – simultaneously sequestered, yet in the picture. It is black and tony with fawn-hued sofas and glass tables. The tiny dance floor was swathed in a laser-beam blitzkrieg that filmmakers reserve to introduce space ships or aliens. While that may contribute to the mood when people are actually dancing, they do nothing for an empty floor that people are merely staring at.

The first hour was spent discussing this and that. SS and Ak were talking about Shiney Ahuja or laptops or whatever it is they considered to be a worthwhile discovery. I admired the top SS was wearing. The admiration was profound for several reasons. It was very attractive. I had tried it on and it made me look nice. It was from Bandra. It was only 150 bucks.

Also, contributing to the admiration molasses was how I could never be able to find such a deal. Such happenstances occur only to people who get high-heels as walking shoes. Fact of life.

As the evening wore on, it got more interesting. We danced with gusto, ate nothing, and reached home pleasantly pooped and ravenous. We chatted a little later into the night and then slept.

So, there was no early morning walk the next day.

But with the skies overcast, it matters not whether you perambulate in day or noon. We flitted in and out of cubicle-like shops, got tempted by pretty, candy-colored knit tops, bought Osho chappals, and finally suffused with economic consumerism, decided to eat something.

I absolutely lovely breakfasts; especially hearty ones that follow bouts of solid physical activity. I enjoy them more than lunches or dinners, really. There is something very charming about having an unrushed, tasty start to the day.

So, I took SS to Hot Breads. We chose our food (she always has a veg puff wherever she goes, and I gravitate towards anything that has a juicy-looking grilled sausage in it), got our frothy coffees and sat at a table near the entrance. From the glass windows, we could see the slight Sunday shopping buzz that hovers around Koregaon.

We discussed my marriage plans and SS pointed out very astutely that a marriage cannot possibly happen without having a good tailor around. (From whatever I hear of marriage preparations, it seems that finding the groom is the simplest task of all. A practical ‘no-brainer’, as my cousin put it. ‘What did you really have to do?’ A good tailor on the other hand – that takes prayers.)

A group of Chinese kids trooped in, practically loaded their breakfast trays with every piece of baked carbohydrate, and tucked in.

I wonder if it is a universal thing – this warm, fuzzy fondness that comes over you when you watch someone eat with relish. The girl in the group was hurriedly smearing the jam on her bread, she was in such a hurry to start feasting. The boys licked the dribble of honey from their finger-tips. Bit by bit, their plates were getting empty. Finally, after they had actually cleaned off every crumb on the plate, they looked at each other and laughed.

SS was smiling.

I came back to Mumbai with her on Sunday evening.

Some things just hit home.

12 comments:

Hyde said...

Perhaps you should tell your friend that Solaris is an operating system (Windows is an operating system) made by a company called Sun Microsystems. Been around for quite some time, Solaris has.

Mukta said...

hey hyde,

i remember it as the movie with george clooney. he he!

Varsha said...

Nice...very nice...read many of your blogs and liked each one of them!!

Blue Athena said...

Nice to have you on my blog! And, gurl, keep those dancing shoes on! :)

Btw, I could help you with prepositions. Coincidentally, been conducting training on prepositions, prefixes, and the likes. Let me know!

Blythe Spyryt said...

Nice one! How'd the test go?

Aditi said...

have you left pune then???

Anonymous said...

not that cool, as your earlier posts....

Mukta said...

Hi Varsha,

Thank you!

Hello blue,

He he! Training and all...too much! Hey! send across some material na? It would be nice to take a look.

Hi Blythe,

Skipped it. :-D Got lazy.

Hi Aditi,

I left Pune to come to Mumbai but back in pune now.

hello anon,

oh well...(shrugs shoulders) :-D

Dadoji said...

You returned to Pune? Then which Mukta is it that I just cuddled and bathed? *wonders*
;-)

jaygee said...

how is good ol SS..? I should be writing to her.. well. laziness is very becoming sometimes.

Mukta said...

Hi Dadoji,

? I didn't get that. :-)

Hi Jaygee!

She is fine! She was telling me that you weren't writing to her because you didn't like her anymore. I just told her, 'Sure! That's why!' You know how I love causing rifts. hee hee!

Dadoji said...

mukta: I have posted a photo on my blog. That will make everything very clear. :-))