Tuesday, February 20, 2018

No sex, just tea please!

After two surgeries and nearly one and a half months of being bed-bound, I was anxious to get back to normal life. So when I found myself at the gynaecologist’s office for a routine post-operative check-up, the first question I asked was whether I could resume my domestic duties. In other words, make myself a cup of tea.

Getting up at the crack of dawn and brewing myself a pot of Darjeeling tea is the single most important thing in my life. That half hour of solitude before the household wakes and all hell breaks loose. Not being able to do that in the recent past has made my life quite miserable. Tea made by others is never the same. The colour, the flavour – sadly lacking.

“So doctor,” I asked cheerfully. “If everything is okay, can I head into the kitchen and make myself a cup of tea?”

She looked at me over the top of her glasses. “Yes, yes,” she said. “You can have sex!”

I was puzzled. Had the woman not heard right? I was talking about tea.

“No no,” I said, my ears growing warm. “I wanted to know whether I can do kitchen stuff. Make tea?”

“Yes,” she said blandly. “You can have coitus.”

Now the last time I checked, tea was not a code word for sex in any lingo. Which brings me to the burning question.

Is it my imagination or is the northern part of India obsessed with tea? Erm. Sorry, I meant SEX.

Yes, I know I come from a city where lovers (or lubhaars if you will) canoodle in every nook and cranny of a historical monument called the Victoria Memorial (doing stuff under umbrellas and blankets that would put Queen Victoria to shame had she been alive). But in Kolkata, there’s a time and a place. You either get a cabin in a sleazy restaurant with grimy green curtains or go to Victoria Memorial if you are so inclined.

Didi doesn’t bat an eyelid.

But here, it’s out in the open. In broad daylight. All people ever think about. Or talk about.

When I moved to Gurgaon, nearly twenty years ago, colleagues at my workplace would discuss contraception methods over bhindi and roti at lunch. From copper T’s to what nots, stuff that was enough to make one want to go off food for days. Made me forget my alphabets, it did. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

That should have given me a hint of things to come.

Sadly, it only got worse.

Colleagues, neighbours and random people I met would tell me that I needed to reproduce and fast. Time was running out. My biological clock was ticking and everyone and his Aunt was keeping time. Best days, methods. I didn’t need a book. I didn’t even need to ask. It was the favourite conversation-starter. Everywhere I looked, people were making babies faster than rabbits.


Twenty years later, I must say things haven’t improved one bit.

Oh well, at least I can drown my sorrows in a cup of tea! The beverage, what did you think I was talking about?


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Why the Grinch Stole Valentine's Day!

Woman in a pink, frothy gown was on her way to meet her beau for lunch yesterday. I stopped, stared and gasped for breath as she walked into the lift, cloud of perfume around her. As soon as the lift doors closed, she pressed all the buttons on the panel and then, as the lift proceeded to stop on each floor, she popped out her coiffured head to determine whether the floor in question was the right one or not. 

At which point my teeth had started its familiar grinding action and I could hear my ears pop. High blood pressure alert! I decided to ask where she was headed so that we could all get there fast and, preferably alive.

So I asked but all I got in response was a cold stare. After a few seconds of staring, she rolled her eyes in disdain. “I'm going nowhere,” she hissed.

“Nowhere?” My eyeballs had all but popped out of their sockets.

"Yes," she repeated looking at me as though I was a Jurassic Age dinosaur that had survived extinction and landed up in the lift with her. "Yes, I told you, I'm going nowhere."

"Arrey Aunty, we are going to Nowhere Pub. Do you know where that is?" I heard another voice in the lift. Shrill and insistent. I looked and saw another girl, a tiny creature, hidden by the folds of pink chiffon. I hadn’t noticed her before.

I might have told her. But Aunty? I sniffed disapprovingly and said I didn’t know where Nowhere was.

They exchanged a snide look between them and when the lift stopped on the next floor, they let themselves out with a whoop of joy. Nowhere had been sighted.

I could hear the clickety clack of their heels as the lift door shut and I fumed in silence.

Now I know what the Grinch felt like. 

I’m going to steal Valentine’s Day and that’s final.