“Happy independence day !” moaned a woman right infront me.
What- “high-profile social gathering.”
When- August 15, early morning. Really early morning.
Where- in a land far, far away.
She is 30 something. Actually she is 30, something… wearing louder make-up than Rakhi Sawant on overdrive and with a smile as seductive as a Johnny Lever lopsided grin. Wearing a translucent saree with transparency at appropriate places, like she used Photoshop on it, she sashays forward like a tipsy giraffe on heat and plants a kiss on some random geriatric.
“Ah, Mrs. Khanki, what a pleasant surprise !” croaks the oldie as he attempts to kiss her back but fails to crane his neck for the purpose. “ Were you here when the flag-hoisting was going on? I felt something deep inside me… I really did… sometimes I just feel like giving it all up and going back. ”
But he doesn’t. He never did. The air is always pervaded by a pungent hypocrisy in such gatherings. Patriotism dripping thicker than a gorom rosogolla ( syrupy Indian sweet) from people who only go back once a year to take their regular supply of Indian masala, aanchar(pickle) and Rupa boxers. Probably not the last one as much but still.But if you ignore the general facade, things become much more interesting to observe.
Meanwhile at another corner two young boys make an appearance. One a tall, imposing Punjabi and the other, a shorter version of Govinda but skinnier, wearing pseudo-intellectual glasses and sporting a nascent goatee. “Dhamna beta, meet XX and YY”__ introductory reference line by anonymous jovial uncle.Dhamna proceeded to shake hands sporting a smile as fake as Koena Mitra’s whole anatomy.
The Punjabi, XX , as he cared to explain in great detail, studied medicine in Russia. And he did not like Americans. And he did not like Bollywood. And he did not like the fact that there was no booze at the party. I will skip listing his other dislikes due to shortage of space and selecetive amnesia.The short Govinda, YY, was relatively quiet. Because he was an arrogant asshole and the doctors had probably pleaded him to keep his mouth shut for the greater good of society__ and YY had obliged, but only after the doctors, his family and the entire neighbourhood where he lived probably sang “you’re the best/ you’re the best/ YES you are the best” a la Shahrukh Khan ( who is not a terrorist). Two inches above his nascent goatee, was visible a fully formed smug smile. A smile which complemented the sceptical look in his beady eyes as he shook Dhamna’s hand. Then he proceeded to explain that he was from Delhi and had travelled a lot around the world and was interested in advertising. “I like creativity in my life” he stated quite clearly about 12 times in his 11 & half minute monologue. “I have attended a lot of consular parties…boring man.. no chicks..” Dhamna was about to offer his POV when “hey there’s the food !” and like a schoolboy who first discovers the joys of masturbation, YY’s face shows an orgasmic delight as he rushes to get his plates.
Another time, another ‘party’ :
Our hero Dhamna treads cautiously into the room. It is an all-Bong affair and the ambience couldn’t have been more kaalcharal ( sodomized variant of the word ‘cultural’ used by Bengalis).
“Amar pishi mishti doi eneche moshai…. Heaven ekebaare bujhlen toh ! ” ( My aunt has brought sweet-curd from Kolkata…and it feels like heaven). __ this was from a man with receeding hairline and a Shaan-like smile always pasted on the face for no apparent reason. He went on to explain where exactly in Kolkata you get the best curd and how much the quality has plummeted and the price gone up. Before Dhamna could sneak into a quiet corner he was confronted by another middle-aged woman whose ‘pallu’ seemed engaged in a desperate balancing act. Oddly appalling how such entities are so frequently found in such gatherings. Anyway, Dhamna was accosted by this lady and asked what he felt about the recent political situation in Bengal. “Umm.. I guess now is not the time to ..” and right then Dhamna gets cut mid-way ( of the sentence). “You young people never think its time….and you will be a journalist too after some time…you HAVE to have an opinion.. *cowshit**cowshit**cowshit**cowshit*”
But as Dhamna could recover from this rape of the senses, came another onslaught. “Ananda Bazar Patrika has beaten Jyoti Basu to death, even after his physical demise!” observed a pensive looking gentleman with what appeared to be a glass of Scotch in his hand. “ I take printouts of this paper always…it keeps my intellectual roots in place, ” he explained further. Shit, Dhamna thought, an imminent political discussion with a Bong drinking Scotch. “aapel juice ta ki tasty” replied the same gentleman( “the apple juice is good”). But Dhamna did not take chances and slipped away with some effort.
Yet another time; yet another gathering:
“Hey meet my friend Dhamna….she is a promising model,” said Baal and Dhamna expectantly turned to face the beauty. The beauty had applied a ton of white stuff, like bird-shit over her face. Only the area around her eyes were darkened. “I apply only XXX kohl you see…it suits me.” Yes indeed. Wearing a low-waist jeans which revealed nothing of interest and a sleeveless top kinda thing which reflected her carromboard-esque assets. She squeaked, “you’re doing journalism aren’t you? You could be taking my interview next year or so you know…ha ha ha wish me luck…” She squeaked again, “Nice to meet you Dhamna…ignore Baal..he always exaggerates!” Dhamna nodded and followed her advice for the rest of the evening.
Dhamna’s encounters with such socialites shall continue later, as and when he is subjected to such atrocities. TANk You.