Rolling Solo in Toit, Bangalore: I am introduced to the Cliques

Khiladi was supposed to meet me at Toit for another round of socializing, but he cancelled in the last minute to handle a …… Ahem ……. most delicate matter. I know, I know. Bros before Hos and all that, but sometimes it is Hos before Bros. If he’s a real Bro, he will be happy for you to make time with a Ho. And I ain’t skippin’ out on being a Bro.

But that left me in a most awkward situation. I was going into Toit alone. I have rolled Solo in Clubs several times. There are several things to be said for rolling Solo. But that was in the States. Even in Singapore, rolling Solo may not be such a great idea. And now, I’m in a new social scene. I’m new to India’s club scene and I was not sure what to do or how awkward it could get. But, Go I must. I might not hit on a single woman, but I must go even if I do nothing but just stand there the entire night. That is the essence of the Japanese Kaizen Philosophy. And those Japs do know a thing or two about getting things done. So, I was going. 

I watched a few Youtube sarge Videos to amp my state and headed out. Once in Toit, the first few minutes were awkward. I stood by the bar and felt awkward. Got some fruit juice and still felt awkward. A T20 match was going on. I stared at the screen for a bit and did not feel so awkward. Maybe this is why so many guys just stare at the screens. Not necessarily because they are following the action, but it is less awkward than staring at chicks and being unable to hit on them. After a few minutes, I knew had to move on. Can’t make myself comfortable. If necessary, I would stand there the entire night looking at my drink but I was not going to stare at the screen. I take a moment to strengthen my resolve.

I open a set with a line, “Here I am. Your knight in shining scalp”. But she did not understand. She looked at me dubiously. Her friend looked at me dubiously. I felt awkward. Deafening silence for about 5 seconds. I crack. I mumble something. They continue with a quizzical look. I give up and walk away. My stomach is tied in knots. Oh crap, that really hurt!

Then I meet a girl I had met during my previous visit to Toit. She recognizes me. I relax immediately. No wonder people prefer to hang out in their own social groups instead of venturing out. Social groups are very comfortable. Venturing out is scary. The last time I met her, I had christened her the Mistress of Verbal Combat henceforth referred to as the Mistress. “Hey, Mistress” I say, “This time you will not be able to demolish me so easy. I have been taking training for the last two weeks with a Master of Verbal combat. I am more than ready for the Barbs” She laughs, smiles and says “Bring it on”. She has friends. I introduce myself. The friends seem a little bit confused and give me a dubious look. They introduce themselves. One of them seems mildly drunk and the other seems extremely Sober. They will henceforth be referred to as Ms Drunk and Ms Sober. Anyhoo, Something does not feel right about the vibe. I talk for a minute or two before heading to the bar to order a fruit juice. I order from a spot that is close enough to the group so I can enter again. In the meantime I try to make conversation with other people.

Now I look at the TV screen watching the cricket match. Couple other guys are watching. I make a comment that beating Australia is fun. We get talking. They are cool guys. We start talking about UFC and whether it can ever get big in India and compete with cricket. Girls, fighting and sports. Guys like talking about shit like that. They seemed like nice guys so I stayed away from Girls. We talk. But what’s this? They have to go. They just came in to order Pizza for their house Party. I’m alone again. Drat!

I continue standing there. Nope, I still cannot see a way to get into that group. The Mistress also will not invite me in. Her back is to me. Is she playing coy? Or is she just ignoring me? Whatever! Four other guys come by to order Drinks. Apparently I am standing in a busy area. That is good. I can meet lots of people and get into convos rather easily. I try to talk to these guys. But these guys are not as cool as the other two. They are from Bihar. They don’t seem very social. Nope. Not that being Bihari has anything to do with it.

The staff comes up to me and say that I cannot stand where I am. I must move. I find a nice cool spot to be and now that’s taken away. Damnit! I scan the club. I open another couple girls. Extremely awkward. Fuck! I walk again. Nope, no use. I will have to go re-open the set with the Mistress of Verbal Combat. I decide to swallow the Bullet and I hope that I don’t have to “Lohey kay Channey Chabana”. (A hindi proverb literally translated to English as chewing Chickpeas made of Iron which means being in a tough situation)

I go right into the set and say,”So Mistress, how will guys hit on you if you sit in an area like this.”

“Not everyone is here to be hit on”, She says. Typical Chick Bullshit!
“Really?” I ask. Boy, if I had a coin for everytime I heard that”.
That did not really open the set. Seems like American Idioms really do not go down well here. Actually, they don’t go down at all. So I tried again
“BTW, where is my friend?, the guy with the Aerodynamic haircut.”
“I’m not his guard. Where is your friend?”
Aaah! A question! This gives me an opening. Had she just said, I am not his guard, without a counter question, I would have been sunk. Thanks girl, for asking me that.
“Well! We were supposed to hang out but he had a call at the last minute to attend to a rather urgent…… ahem!….. delicate matter.”
“you mean a booty call?”
“Well, You said it not me. And who knows, she might be the one” I said
At this, one of her friends rolled her eyes.
“And you don’t seem very convinced, Ms. Sober”
And that opened the set up. Soon we were in conversation. Girls love talking about this relationship bullshit. Now, they were all sitting, but I did not pull in a chair to sit with them. They were sitting on bar stools and I was at eye level while standing itself. Besides, I just felt better standing. Almost as if I was ready to leave.

Ms. Drunk seems interested in me. But I can’t tell for sure. She keeps telling me (almost slurring) that she is from Kerala. I keep reply, “Yes, Yes, I know you are from Kerala.”
Ms. Sober seems to be eyeing me in a very suspicious manner. As if she expects me to suddenly snatch her Handbag and bolt away from the scene at High speed.
The Mistress of course, is always up for some verbal combat.
They ask me to take a drink. I decline saying it get’s in the way of my passion.
“What is your passion?” They ask
“It’s complicated.” I say
“Oh, it’s sex” says the mistress
“Sex is excellent for health.” I say
“So are drinks” they say
“In moderation” I say
“Tell us your passion and we will tell you ours.”

I don’t want to tell them my passion is Meditation. Nor can I say sex. I does not seem right to say either of those. But what to say? Ms. Sober starts racking her brain thinking of a passion. I decide to lie. There goes the fourth precept.

“I am alcoholic” I say, ” I need to stay off drink”
“That’s not a passion, You lied” They say, “We will not tell you ours”
“Oh don’t be like that. You probably have no passions.” I said
And it continues like that.

we make a bet. If I drink tonight, then I buy them all a drink. I refuse the terms. After a while, the mistress tricks me into taking a sip. There goes the 5th precept.
“Just see what it tastes like” she says temtping me. I take a sip.
“You lost, You lost” They squeal, “Now buy us drinks”
“That was just a sip” I protest
“You are a sore loser.” They say
“So competitive” says the mistress
We continue bantering. They are all psychologists
“Analyse me”, I say.
Bad question. Never ask a psychologist to analyse you. Never ask a tall girl if she plays basketball or volleyball. Just don’t do it guys.

Now that I think of it, the convo was just banter. Never settled into comfort. But I guess for a first meet, Banter is okay. Maybe next time, I will be different. If there is a next time.

I notice Ms. Drunk is really losing it. She can barely stay seated without falling off the chair
“I think you are done for the night.” I say
“Don’t tell me what to do?” She snaps
“Okay, Okay! Mama Goat. I won’t tell you what to do.” I throw up my hands
Ms Drunk gives me the evil eye. For the rest of the night, her body language towards me changes. I can feel the hate vibes penetrate my skull.

At some point, an idea enters their head that I am some sort of pickup artist which I most definitely am not. Charming guy, sure, but PUA? No way! They ask me to hit on one of them. I guess I was too over the top. Maybe I should be more restrained the next time, if there is a next time. But then how would I be larger than life?

“Show us how you would hit on her.” The mistress says
“I can’t do that” I say
“Pretend” they say
“Not a pretender” I say
They point to a set I had opened awkwardly, “Hit on them”
“Why do you want to see me hit on girls?”
“We are bored.”
“I am not a performing monkey.”
They insist again. After a bit of this, my vanity, my love for a stage, my love for theater takes over.
“Please hit on them” They continue
“Already did” I say
“What about that one?”
“That set has 3 girls and two guys.”
“Not my type”
“Were you hitting on me the other night?”
“No I was checking to see if I should hit on you later.”
“What happened?”
“You saw. My friend came to get me. We had to go. Not enough time.”
“No, seriously, why did you come talk to me?”
“I thought you were a cool person and fun to talk to.”
“Bullshit. You were hitting on me. I was watching a football match and you discturbed me”. Man! Girls make up the wierdest shit ever. And they accused me of lying! Me!
“Is that what you were doing? Seemed like you were doing meth.”
“Oh shut up.”

My vanity and love for a stage now take over.
“Okay, there are three girls out there. I will need a wing woman to accompany me.”
They volunteer Ms. Sober. We go outside and I point the set to Ms. Sober.
“Which girl do you like?” She asks
“I don’t know” I say
“What? You have to like someone”
“How can I know if I like some one unless I talk to them and see what they are like?”
“This is bullshit.”
“Sorry, Babe! I’m not that kind of guy. I need to be won over.”
“With what?”
“Why do you want to know?”
“Just curious.”
“This is not for the merely curious.”
She is not convinced with my explanation. But she probably does not think of me as a chain-snatcher anymore. Hey, who says I’m not making progress?

I go up to the set and say, “Hey, where is my drink?”
They point to my fruit juice and immediately start laughing.
“So what if i have a drink? What happened to the old days of Chivalry when the ladies would buy a gentleman a drink whether he had one or not.”
“Wasn’t it the other way round?” they ask laughing
“No it wasn’t?” I say
“It was. It was”, They shout.
“If it was, then it ought not to be. We must put the record straight immediately. I suggest we start here and now with you buying me a drink.”
“Have a sip” They say
Oh crap! The 5th precept.
“Fruit juice.” I say
“Oh come on.” They say
I am going to have the rethink the 5th precept.
I introduce Ms.Sober to the set. Ms. Sober takes the sip and does not like it. We get talking. Introductions get made. Small talk happens. Somehow, these girls seem a lot friendlier. I guess having a girl as a wing woman does wonders for opening up sets. The set has three girls. Ms Charismatic, Ms. professional and Ms. Goody Two shoes. Ms. Goody Two shoes seems really cute. We make eye gestures and laugh. Most of my convo is with Ms. Charismatic though. The topic reaches out to professions.

“Please don’t say you are a psychologist.” I say
They all start laughing. She IS a psychologist. Ms. Sober and Ms. Charismatic hit it off. Apparently they went to the same school. They squeal and exchange notes. They dominate the convo. I just make glances. Hey, what do I do? I love watching girls talk to each other. Yes, I said it, You heard me. I like listening to Girly conversation as an outside observer. So sue me! I’m pretty sure it causes a testosterone boost. After some fun talk, we eject and return to the set with the Mistress.

“I talked much more than he did.” Ms. Sober declares to the group.
Are you fucking shitting me? Women lie so casually, yo!

We decide to merge groups. We go over. Another guy is now in the group. He seems like a cool guy. He is really comfortable with them. He’s an old friend. He immediately hooks with the Mistress. He is a funny guy and makes the girls laugh. The girls are comfortable around him. I feel a twinge of envy. But I remember the Blessed One’s advice. “Good for you Bro”, I think to myself. It is so much easier to talk to women when other women have already validated you. It is so easy to make women laugh when you already know them. In this manner, I found myself justifying my inability to get a similar reaction to what this guy is getting. Envy, Envy, Envy! Little Green monster. So dangerous. I remember the Blessed One again to protect me from envy.

I decide to change position. I move to a better place in the group where I am in between two girls.
“Much better place”, I declare. They laugh
At some point the conversation goes into everybody’s USP (unique selling point) Mistress’ asset is verbal, Ms. Goody two shoes’ USP is that she is angelic and they all go through theirs except mine. Hmmm! Are they trying to tell me something? Well, I guess I should be shameless. I’m still trying to understand the scene. Nothing to be gained by getting insulted and leaving. Once I understand the cues in this scene, then I will know better. I decide to continue

“So Ms. Goody Two shoes, what was your USP again?”
“Im an angel.”
“So you have no deep dark secrets?”
“I might.”
“It’s okay if you don’t. It’s never too late to start.”
She smiles
“I can probably help you with that.” I say
She laughs. I would like to think there is a connection, but I can’t be sure. Women are mysterious. Chances are probably not. Let’s be honest here. But let us also keep trying. Let us put forth Effort.

I shift my attention to Ms. Charismatic. Apparently we have lots in common with respect to our background. She seems fascinated. We have been to many of the same places in our childhood and studies in many of the same schools. We talk quite a bit about that. It’s now 10:50 pm and the bar will close in half an hour. Welcome to India where the bar closes at 11:15 pm and the drinking age is 25. In this country you have subcultures who think like scandinavians and then you have sub cultures that think like Medieval Arabs. And those who think like Victorian Brits are in charge. Oh well! I can’t change the way things are. All I can do is put forth my best effort.

There is a commotion happening in the next table. Some idiot is proposing to Ms. Drunk.
“Is he really proposing?” I ask
“Yeah! He does this to everyone.” Ms Charismatic says.
“I hope she accepts. It will serve the Bastard right.” I declare
Ms. Charismatic laughs. What is it about her laugh that makes me feel so good?
Ladies and Gentlemen! To the extent that there is such a thing as girl game, Ms. Charismatic has it.
It seems that this club, Toit is a regular hangout for both Ms. Charismatic’s group as well as the Mistress’ group. So no need to take phone numbers. I don’t ask and they don’t offer. We will keep meeting as long as we both keep visiting. But I also better behave and not keep hitting on sets like I did in the states and Singapore. I guess even in nightclubs in India, game is essentially social. If you get the rep that you keep hitting on chicks, you are screwed. So this is a useful tip to modify my behavior.

I take my leave of Ms. Charismatic. Somehow the convo with her was less banter and more meaningful shit. I enjoy both the banter and the deep shit. Hope to see her again. And also Ms. Goody two shoes. And also the Mistress. I wonder what they feel about me. Can’t say. Could never say. And will probably never be able to say. I did not, do not, and probably will never understand women. But what I can do it put forth effort. The Masculine kind of effort.

I decide to go to the next table where Ms Drunk is clearly enjoying the attention of several guys or whatever the hell was going on there. I wade through the guys to reach her
“So when’s the marriage date?” I ask
“Why? Do you also want to marry me?” Asks Ms Drunk. There is a hint of churlishness in her voice. It is clear that she dislikes me. I remember the Blessed One. I cannot afford to dislike her back. Part of the game is not reacting to the shit that is thrown at you. I decide to banter some more
“No, I just wanted to make sure I get invited to the wedding. I heard there will be cake. Chocolate Cake.”
“Why don’t you just go continue flirting with those other girls?” She says with Venom dripping from her tongue. Where the hell did that come from? What did I do to piss her off so much? Women!

Before I have a chance to come up with a rejoinder, she declares
“Both these guys here want to marry me.”
I look at the guys. They both look kinda drunk. I decide to give both of them Props. Why? Because that’s what Guys do. That’s what any Blessed One’s disciple who gets into the game does.

“You are one lucky girl to have two handsome guys to choose from.” I declare putting my hands around their shoulders as buddies do. I continue, “This guy to my left left looks like he played a game of Russian Roulette with a fully loaded Gun and Won.”

“I wish”, says the guy on the left. He understands that I gave him a huge compliment. He’s happy. But he should not be modest like that. No worries, I’m sure he will learn. He is a cool guy. Best of luck to you Bro.

“And this guy”, I say turning to the one on the right, “He looks like they allow him to touch the art in the Museums.”

“Man, are you playing?” Asks the guy on the right. Beep! Insecure guy alert.
“Relax man.” I say, “I just think you two guys are cool.”

Mr insecure takes me to one side and then proceeds to ask me if I’m interested in Ms. Drunk.
“Hell No!” I declare
“Well, I am” he says. Say What? I stare at him. I’m not sure if he is joking or serious or just flat out drunk. With Indian guys you can never tell for sure. In India all three outcomes are equally likely.
“Well I think you can do better”, I say. I mean he a is a decent looking guy and seems like he hits the Gym on a fairly regular fashion. That’s the other thing about India. Good looking guys getting sentimental over not so good looking girls. What to do? Female Beauty comes at a premium in India.

I take leave of Ms. Drunk and Mr. Insecure. I decide to talk to the Mistress once before leaving. The Mistress wants me to be her first client for psychotherapy. Does she expect payment? I ain’t payin baby. She gives me her email address. I’ll take the email address though.
“Why don’t we just exchange phone numbers?” I ask
“I don’t just give out my phone number.” She says. You have got to be kidding me.
“Email is so high school.”
“Deal with it.”
I’m too tired to banter anymore. I keep it cool. No more jokes. A few minutes of small talk. I’m not sure if Ms. Sober is staring at me or I’m just imagining shit. Does she think I want to steal her pants this time? Time for bed.

I text her email address to myself. I guess I’ll email her the day after. Let’s see what happens.

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Evaluating a Girl

Since I am evaluating a Girl as a long term partner, this clearly requires some thinking on my part. I have no experience with this.

I remember a Sri Lankan Monk’s article where he lambasted this tendency in Sri Lankans to look at astrological signs before marriage. Apparently the Buddha’s view was that a Wife and husband must be of similar mind. So Logically following, I can think of a few quick qualities she must have

1. Ethical: Not indulge in deception. A no brainer in today’s environment where the state and society have poisoned relationships between men and women causing much mistrust.

2. She must strive to stay attractive. For instance, I have always had a great deal of respect for women who try to maintain their looks and shape well into marriage. That shows that they respect their husband’s sex drive. We men too must strive to remain attractive to our women. If one is going to have sex with another, then we have to make some concessions to these human preferences. Otherwise, stay Celibate by God. Needless to say I feel women who let themselves go after marriage are being disrespectful to their husbands. Not good wives.

3. No hang ups regarding Sexuality: A no-brainer

4. A list from the Suttas
a) not harbor evil thoughts against her husband;
b) not be cruel, harsh or domineering;
c) not be spendthrift but should be economical and live within her means;
d) guard and save her husband’s hard-earned earnings and property;
e) always be attentive and chaste in mind and action;
f) be faithful and harbor no thought of any adulterous acts;
g) be refined in speech and polite in action;
h) be kind, industrious and hardworking;
i) be thoughtful and compassionate towards her husband, and her attitude should equate that of a mother’s love and concern for the protection of her only son;
j) be modest and respectful;
k) be cool, calm and understanding — serving not only as a wife but also as a friend and advisor when the need arises.

Needless so say, The qualities required of a man are Similar.

I think, with some help, I should be able to evaluate these qualities after knowing the girl for some time. Should be an interesting journey

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Rules for the Blessed One’s disciples regarding finding a girl

Now that a decision has been made to go out and find a suitable girl, here are some ground rules in the context of the Blessed One’s teachings

1. Absolutely No intoxicants period: I haven’t had intoxicants in several months and I’m not about to start now. Yes, the nights are going to be tough. But not too much tougher than the decision to give up Pick up and go for monogamy. This was probably part of what killed me in Club Toit, but what to do? I have accepted the Blessed One as my teacher. Now I must honor my Master.

2. No lying:
     a. No deceptive lies regarding your age, your past, your work, your intentions. Don’t answer the question or change the topic, but no lying.

b. No petty lies. This usually includes those routines I use as a crutch such as “My friend in NYC/Mumbai who is has a GF but is still friends with his ex”. No made up stories that make me seem more interesting than I actually am. No made up anecdotes regarding my interesting friends. No made up anecdotes about places I visited or people I met or adventures I had.
c. God, what am I going to talk about during time when I am not feeling it? I don’t need routines when I’m feeling great. But what about times when I am feeling flat?

3. No trying to seduce women in whom you would not be interested in a long term relationship: can I make friends with them to get at their friends who might be a prospect? 

4. No serial monogamy. If a girl is awesome, it is lifelong.

5. No impossibly high standards for achieving “awesome”

How the hell am I going to do this? Up to this point, the only thing I evaluated a woman for was whether I could lay her eventually or not. How the hell am I going to evaluate her worthiness as a long term prospect? What criteria should I use? 

Have I taken up too big a challenge?

6. At the end of a sarging session, you shall give Metta  (generate goodwill towards) everybody you interacted with that day at the end of your Vipassana sitting.
a. The girls and guys who were nice and polite and friendly to you are easy to give metta to. You shall wish them well in all their endeavors.

b. But you shall also give metta to the girls who were rude to you, who ignored you or who laughed at you. At the very least you will not generate any ill-will towards them.

c. You shall also give metta to the guys who cock-blocked you. At the very least you will not generate any ill will towards them.

d. It is possible that you might end up upsetting some people during the course of my pick up. You will mentally ask for their forgiveness and generate goodwill towards them.

e. You shall not be contemptuous of any body you consider to be having no game. Remember, Game is a conditioned response like any other and is subject to the same laws of impermanence or impersonality as any other phenomena. You may have it now, but you will lose it one day and there is no power in the Universe that can stop that.

There goes my much vaunted Killer instinct. There goes my Bad Boy allure. Is it possible I can attract any girl with an attitude like this? Should I just try to work harder at celibacy? Or should I go for an arranged marriage? But then what is the guarantee that the arranged marriage will last? These days in India arranged marriages are more fragile than the ones by mutual consent. No, It’s better I try to find my on girl. At least that way there are no surprises for her. And at the very least, I am going to learn a lot more about women and what they find attractive. A new adventure begins. Let’s see what happens.

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Pick Up and the Blessed One’s disciple

In the Old days my idea of heaven was sleeping with bus loads of women. In some ways, it still is. It is just that in the Old days I actually attempted it. I would just open set after set after set. I was what they call an approach machine. A horn-dog. A pussy hound. Bars, clubs, libraries, book stores, grocery stores, the street, wherever. Except for the meditation center which I used to frequent regularly, no place was sacred. I’d hit on women everywhere. Only the meditation center was out of bounds. The women meditators were out of bounds. Surprisingly, the other guys who came to meditate had no such qualms. They would regularly hit on the women meditators. One of them actually had to drop out of the group as he had slept with too many of the women meditators. But they would be passive like sheep at all the other venues. What gives, guys?

I’d be working on several women at once. Of course, I never got to the point where I was sleeping with several women simultaneously, but I was getting laid regularly and with a steady stream of new women. It was a lot of work, but it was better than the alternate of Celibacy which I had endured for the first 25 years of my existence. And it certainly beat the hell out of monogamy which terrified me.

But there was always this under-current of unease. I could never put a finger on it. But it was there and it kept growing. Of course, I was also simultaneously attempting practicing the Blessed One’s teachings. Married chicks, underage chicks, chicks in serious relationships, dhamma sisters were out of bounds. So there was no sexual misconduct so to speak. I wasn’t killing anyone. At nights, I used to drink just one glass of wine (healthiest of the alcoholic libations) to get a little bit buzzed to relax me. As for day game, there was no drinking at all. So a minimal violation of the no-intoxicants rule. I was not killing, I was not stealing. I was not telling any deceptive lies either. But the problem was petty lies. I know that the PUAs say “It’s not lying, it’s flirting.” But I always felt a little uneasy with that.  And this unease just kept growing. Somehow, the way I was doing pick-up was not in keeping with right speech. As I was slowly beginning to understand the Blessed One’s teaching’s more and more deeply, as I started going deeper and deeper into meditation, this started becoming a problem. I started becoming unhappy. Why was I unhappy? Wasn’t I living the life? I wasn’t doing anything majorly wrong was I?

Finally, a point came where I had an existential crisis. My chest squeezed tight. I felt a nameless dread. That’s it I thought. I can’t do this anymore. I quit my job, quit pick up, went trekking in the Himalayas, travelled a bit,  meditated a bit more seriously, a bit more intensively. Stayed with my parents for a while, visited my friends, stayed with my brother for a while, stayed with my grandmother for a while. There was a Satipatthana course where GoenkaJi says that “A Blessed One’s disciple must either live in a committed relationship or he must be Celibate. Otherwise, the agitation in his mind will just keep growing causing deep deep misery.” That was probably it. But then why don’t other guys in Pick-up experience this? Actually some of them do. But most don’t. So why me? According to one of my advanced Brother disciples (A dhamma brother), when one practices the TathaGatha’s teachings, one becomes more sensitive to what is happening within oneself. Thus one becomes more aware of the actions that cause one to become agitated. Was this it? Was I becoming more perceptive? I would like to think so. But I do not know.

At any rate, that finished Pick-up for me. And since I have a phobia for committed relationships, it ended sexual activity for me as well. I decided to practice Celibacy and was stupid enough to tell my friends. They laughed at me and took bets as to how long it would take me to come back into the game, Blessed One or no Blessed One.

Anyway, what followed were some of the most peaceful months of my life. My practice grew. I became happier. My tension complexes started dissolving away. I became less irritable. I decided to move back to India to be closer to my parents. As per the Blessed One, parents get a place higher than the deities. I came back into the workforce. I was finally happy. My parents would enjoy visiting me. Their visits were a joy for me. Occassional visits to my grandmther were wonderful. Work and meditation for the rest of my life. Perhaps a stage would come where I would not even need to work to occupy my mind. Maybe I could become a monk. Wow! And practice the Blessed One’s teaching exclusively. Wonderful! I was set for happily ever after ….. NOT

Once again over the last few months, my sex drive came back. With a bang. Stronger and more persistent than ever before. Observing the sensations related to the sex-drive was not working. They were too strong. I could not observe in a detached fashion. I would roll in them for hours. Sexual perversions began to take root in my mind. I started fantasizing about strange things. I started watching pornography. Something I had not done in a long long while. I started masturbating. Something I had not done in a long long while. I started struggling with my meditation. I struggled with meditating even one hour a day. I started wasting time. Huge chunks of time. I started becoming lazy. Some days would pass in a sexual stupor. Work was beginning to suffer. Neither was I getting laid, nor was I making progress in meditation. I realized, Celibacy was not for me. I needed to get laid. But what to do? I can’t go back to the world of Pick-Up that I had left. That would be a step back. That would be back to the path of misery. I was not going back.

I struggled with the concept of monogamy. Lifelong monogamy. A woman with power over me for the rest of my life. Yes, I would love to keep fucking several women for the rest of my life. But I adore the Blessed One even more than I adore women. I adore his teachings even more than I adore getting laid. Life really is a struggle isn’t it? Isn’t this similar to the much misunderstood Muslim concept of Jehad. Endless struggle and striving to perfection. So this is a no-brainer. If I am to have sex, it will have to be in context of the Blessed One’s teachings. There really is no question here. Finally, I accepted the fact that I may have to try out monogamy. But first I would have to find a girl. An arranged marriage is too much of a step for me. Let me just try to find a girl on my terms. Call it ego if you will, but there it is. It would be too humilating for me to ask my parents to find me a girl. Just can’t do it folks. My skill set is probably shot to bits after months of inactivity. I will have to re-build the skill set. I would have to start hitting the Gym again. Shopping for better clothes. Yes, I would have to get back into the game, but with a different aim. And that, dear Reader is what led me to my tryst at Club Toit in Bangalore the other night.


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Game in India, Part2: Field Report: Night at Toit, bangalore with Khiladi

Khiladi Briefed me a bit. A few nuggets of his wisdom

1. Don’t read the newspapers. Don’t watch the news. They will fill your head with rape reports and paralyze you and leave you apologizing for being a man. Not attractive to women.

2. Hot chicks don’t read the newspaper or watch the news either. So approach without hesitation

3. All girl sets are not as common in India as in the U.S: You will have to approach sets with guys in them

4. Several sets in India have one girl and 5-6 guys. Paradoxically these sets are the easiest. Open them.

5. In the U.S., the cock-blocks are usually other women in the same set. In India the cock-block is almost always a guy in the same set. Don’t worry, they don’t get violent. I can kick their ass. Look at my Biceps. Approach with no fear.  

:Set # 1: As a warm up, he suggested I start with an un-attractive woman and just say hi to her. This was just for me to get over my apprehension of opening strangers. I went up to her and said Hi. She gave me a dubious look and turned away. I ended talking to her guy friends who seemed friendlier but had a slightly dubious expression on their face as well. Oh, well! atleast I did not get arrested or punched or slapped. We are off to a good start

Khiladi decides to change tack. “You are too good looking for her. She probably thinks it is a dare.” he says non-chalantly. “From now on, only attractive chicks”, he declares imperiously.

I see a 3-set. Two decent looking girls and one dude. One of the girls is wearing a short skirt. This is another revelation for me. In the 21 years, I had lived in India prior to my departure to the States, I had seen a Grand-total of two chicks wearing medium sized skirts in a public venue. I had never seen a girl wearing mini-skirts in public venue and never seen one in hot-pants. The only chicks I had ever seen wearing miniskirts in my time in India was a house party in Bombay. In this bar, half the girls were wearing either miniskirts, or short shorts and even one wearing hot pants. Not bad at all. Certainly, they were dressed as well as  in any medium-end bar in the States. Not bad! Not bad at all. Only one small negative. As I mentioned, India has no sports or Gym culture. While the girls were thin, you could not say any of them looked Fit or toned. None of them had any calf muscle to talk of. Oh, well! let’s count our blessings. What I saw that night would have been unthinkable even 12 years ago. 

Set # 2: Back to that three set. I am not sure what I opened with, but we got talking. The girls had a pleasantly surprised look on their face. It does not seem they get opened all that much. The guy also seemed friendly at first, but in a few minutes he started getting a worried expression on his face. I too was feeling quite rusty and was unable to engage him. Finally, he cock-blocked me by coming over to my side and dominating the conversation. Soon I found myself talking exclusively with him and the girls were talking to each other. Very skillfully done, mate. Very skillfully done. I can appreciate an opponent, I can.

I look at the bright side. At least he did not start a fight with me. Khiladi is philosophical about the whole thing. “Your job is to approach”, he says, “his job is to cock-block. Besides you were not all that engaging. If you were and the girls really loved you, he would not have dared to cock-block you the way he did.”

Set #3: For the next, set Khiladi points me to a set with one girl and 5 guys. “Force your way in and say Hi”, he says. “No worries, the two of us can take that bunch of skinny fuckers if they get frisky.” I simply cannot open this set with a simple Hi. I’m too chicken. I take the cowards way out. I decide to go with the mistaken Identity bit.

“Hi Sunita” I say in a chirpy tone as I lean over their table to face her directly. They all look shocked.

“How have you been doing? Long time no see.” I continue doggedly, hopelessly. The guys are still speechless. The girl gives me a very puzzled look. I give her a dubious look as if secrhing her face. I pretend that I suddenly realized that she is not Sunita.

“Oh! I’m sorry, I thought you were someone else” I blurt out.

At this all the guys start laughing.

“Good one” One of them shouts

“I’m gonna use this one” shouts another

“What’s your name asks another?”

I end up shaking hands or high fiving the whole group. What an unexpected twist. In my old days, I would have taken the cue and joined the group. Alas, I am too rusty right now and also a bit relieved at the defusion of an awkward situation. Also a bit relieved not to be in a fight.

“Aw Shucks! I say, I really thought she was someone else” I say, “Besides this never works anyways. Did it work this time?” I preach.

What the hell is wrong with me? Why am i trying to mollify anyone? And why? They love me? So why am I trying to mollify anyone? Yes, people! You don’t use it, you lose it. Come back after a long lay-over and the only thing you can do is approach. After a bit of laughter and talk, i go back to Khiladi.

“You know you could have fucked her, right?” Khiladi asks. “She was so bored feeling hemmed in by all those guys and your approach was almost her get away from Jail card. And the guys loved you. You were practically their hero. They too were getting bored with this un-responding girl. And she was giving you that Who is this guy look. You should have joined them and in 20 minutes, you could have left with her.”

Set #4: Khiladi points me to a rare 3 set of older women sitting and eating by themselves. I go in telling them that I thought they looked interesting and wanted to see if my intuition was correct. They seemed very pleasantly surprised. They were friendly. We talked a bit. I was becoming increasingly aware of the deterioration in my social skills. I actually thanked them for not reporting me to the police for approaching them. Where the hell did THAT come from? That killed the set. Never apologize for being a man.

Note to self: Cancel my newspaper subscription. Burn the old Newspapers. Cancel Cable. Don’t read the news on the internet.

Set #5: Khiladi points me to a girl in a mixed set. She seems surprised at my approach and is uncomfortable from the start. I too am not exactly killing it with my conversation skills. I bail. Later I see that one of the guys in the group is her Boyfriend. Well, at least no altercation 

Set #6: The next set, I am about to open, when her Boyfriend opens me from the back. I apologize saying something about not knowing she had a Boyfriend. She looks up startled but chuckles when she figures out what happened

Set #7: At this point, two hot chicks walk in. One wearing tight leggings and the other wearing a short ripped jeans shorts. Ripped jeans shorts in India? What the hell is going on? Is this really India? Khiladi instructs me to open them without delay. By the time I snap myself out of my geographical conundrum, they are gone. “Go look for them and open them” he instructs. I decide  that the whole Hi thing etc is not working out too good. Maybe I should go for something edgy. Take a bit more risk. After a couple minutes of reconnaisance, I see them sitting at a table.

I put my hands on their table, lean over to the one closest to me and ask her with a slightly mocking smile on my face,” Will you marry me?”

She is shocked and speechless as is her friend. I continue to hold the mocking smile and resist the temptation to say something.

“Um, ah, I, er…..” she blurts out.

“Aaah! you’re no fun” I say turning over to her friend, I ask again, “Will you marry me?” with the same mocking smile.

At this point they both burst out laughing. Turns out they both have boyfriends in the same bar somewhere. One of them comes over and the conversation just dies. I bail.

Set #8: As a last set, he points me to an Asian looking girl standing all by herself. I open her and it seems she is actually Indian from the Northeast. I try to guess where she is from and I get it right in the 7th guess (Hint: There are 7 states in India’s north east). Her friend soon turns up. He seems to be a cool guy. This was the best set of the evening. She kept shit testing me. Kept putting her hand on my shoulder to see my reaction but I did not react. I was really having fun taking the piss out of each other. After about 10 minutes of this, Khiladi comes over and signals to me to leave. He looks impatient. “Congratulations, you are now her new Gay BFF.” Man, some guys are all about the lay.

We leave. Khiladi says he is now in the middle of a Body building regimen and can’t come out frequently or stay out late, but he will put me in touch with another guy who picks up women something fierce. Apparently he is some sort of natural with no idea that there is such a thing as learning to pick up chicks. I’m over stimulated from the first evening interacting with women after a lay over of several months. I can’t sleep for 4 hours after getting home. I sleep fitfully. 

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Game and Pick Up Artists are now in India, Part1: Meeting with Khiladi

I was one of those people who always thought that Pick up and India should not be used in the same sentence. I am not alone in this belief. The hairy folks at Rooshv have the following to say about Pick up in India.

For a long while I believed the same about India. All that changed, Yesterday. No I did not get laid, but I did not get arrested or slapped for cold approaching women either and that is definitely worth saying something. Remember, this is a country where the newspaper editors are obbsessed with rape. Every day you pick up the paper and there is a rape happening somewhere or the other. If I were a hot chick, I would freak out if a guy cold approached me.

This was my first night out in India. Essentially a saturday evening with nothing to do. So this would be a good day to meet a few people who were on my meet list. I called up a guy who prefers not to have any details about him known. Let’s just call him Khiladi (Hindi for Player). We decided to meet for drinks.

As we got started talking I suddenly realized that this guy was a pussy hound with experience laying the ladies in India. It’s true, people. Game is now in India. And at the Vanguard of this movement are people who have returned to India after spending time abroad and learning the ropes there. Khiladi’s own take is that after operating in the competitive American Pick-Up environment, the scene in India can be likened to having a machine gun with fish in a barrel.

A word to note. The pick up environment in the U.S. is a tough one for an Indian guy. Indian guys have several strikes against them

1. Skinny Physique: Check
2. A Geeky look: Check
3. A hilarious accent: Check
4. Twenty year old virgins a.k.a. clueless with the ladies: Check
5. An uncool media image: Check
6. No sense of style, sartorially speaking: Check

An American guy is taller, bigger, stronger, better looking, cooler (more laid back), more experienced, better dressed, more extroverted and has bigger equipment than his Indian counterpart. To compete against these guys is not exactly a picnic. This is what I had been doing for 6 years in the States. And this is what Khiladi had been doing in the States. I find that I have to put in about 4 times as much work (approach to lay ratio) to get the same results as the American guys in my group.

Now let’s come to India. Suddenly the guys are the same size, have the same physique, have the same uncool accent and Zero Game. It becomes a fish in the Barrel situation. Khiladi claims to have laid more chicks in 3 years in India than 6 years in the States. That night in Toit, I was the only guy approaching women. Ofcourse this situation will change. I predict that in 10 years, game will go mainstream in India and guys will running all around hitting on women. Indian guys are aggressive, people. They are not going to just stand by and watch other guys lay their women the way Japanese and Asian guys do. Japanese and Asian guys might be formidable fighters on the Battle Field, but they seem to be remarkably passive in the face of loser white guys sleeping with hordes of their women. There is no way this can happen in India. At the very least, said loser white guy will get beaten up in a dark alley at some point or the other.

Finally, India has zero gym or sports culture. The guys are amazingly out of shape. The guys are either skinny or Pot-Bellied. You hit the Gym regularly for 3 months and suddenly you are among the top 10% of the male physiques in the bar. In stark contrast, my Gym rat friend after hitting the Gym religiously for 15 years has an average physique in an American Bar. If he were in Toit that night, he would have the best physique.

My next post will be about what actually happened at Toit.

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A rebuttal to empty0grace on youtube regarding his views on Acharya Goenka’s teachings

A reader, Paul, has brought to my notice a video in which the speaker offers his critique of what Acharya GoenkaJi teaches. In this, I will attempt a rebuttal to the best of my ability. The video is here

Here begins my review

1. He says between 2:30 and 5:30, certain symptoms come up while meditating and he disagrees that these symptoms are somehow purifying. He goes on to say that they have no intrinsic significance and that all that needs to be actually perceived is impermanence.

My comment:  I agree with the speaker. The symptoms themselves are not purifying. It is observing them with detachment, without reaction, without craving or aversion that is actually purifying. Acharya Goenka keeps repeating himself when he says that the sensations/symptoms have no significance in themselves. The significant thing is to observe them without reacting. So I am not sure where the conflict is here. This is not a criticism. He is saying exactly the same thing Acharya Goenka keeps saying. The speaker’s criticism seems to be regarding the way that the teachings “can” be misinterpreted. And he is right. The teaching is easy to misunderstand because it is so subtle while our minds are so gross. Yes, students misinterpret the teachings exactly as the speaker mentions it. I did so as well. This is because while GoenkaJi’s teachings are excellent, they are not perfect. Yes, GoenkaJi’s teachings are not perfect. GoenkaJi will be the first to admit it. Hell, even an Arahant’s teachings are not perfect. Webu Sayadaw (an arahant) admits as much in his discourses. Only a Buddha’s teachings can be perfect. Because the teachings of a non-Buddha cannot be perfect, they will always be misunderstood. That is the nature of things and not a valid criticism.


2. The next criticism starts at 11:40. He claims that the teachings could be more precise.

That is true. I agree. But please remember, English is not GoenkaJi’s first language. In fact he could not speak English till he was 45 or so. He still does a remarkable job, though. As a matter of fact, his discourses in Hindi are indeed more precise. Hindi is his first language. Thus, there is a lot less scope for misinterpretation there. Still he does a very Good job in English. The assistant teacher is there to actually clear any such misconceptions that might arise. As I said earlier, Perfection is possible only for the Blessed One.

3. At around 12:00 another criticism is that the class size is too big and that the instruction is a one size fits all and that there is no concept of personalized instruction. The speaker wishes that there was more individualized instruction

My comment: First, it is not fair to call it one size fits all. A more fair comment is that the one size that fits the most. The author later admits to the trade-off between personalized instruction and bringing the teaching to as many people as possible. The author thus answers his own question. But I still say the class size is not too big. If one reads the Pali Canon, one sees that the Buddha also gives short, simple, basic instructions to his students and they go off to the Forest to practice. They were then expected to understand the details and intricacies of the method by themselves. There was no spoon-feeding along every step. There was no constant running back to the Buddha to clear doubts. They were expected to apply their logical faculties to understand if they were violating any of the instructions of the Buddha. GoenkaJi teaches similarly. There are basic instructions regarding observation of breath, then sensation, then sweeping and very importantly not reacting, or craving or disliking or favoring one sensation over the other. Similarly we are expected to be able to fill in the blanks. And at any rate, one can keep running to the assistant teacher for help if one so desires. I have never heard of an assistant teacher admonishing any student for coming running to him all the time. But this is left to the student’s own initiative as to how often he wants to keep running to the teacher. You can’t force someone to learn so subtle a path. In this tradition a lot of importance is given to the meditator making his own mistakes and learning from them. But even if you keep running to the teacher for every small problem, no body will stop you or discourage you. So this is not a valid criticism as well. In the Pali Canon, one sees that the students usually meet the Buddha only twice. The first time to receive the instructions and a second time to announce that he is liberated. There were some who met him in between to express their frustration over their lack of progress or some who wanted to go back to the Lay life. But the Gist is that two meetings with the Buddha were all it took.

4. At around 15:00, it emerges that the speaker is familiar with the Maha-Satipatthana Sutta where the Buddha de-lineates four different objects of contemplation, viz. Anapana-Sati (Breath), Kayagati-Sati/kayanupassana(Body), Vedanupassana(Sensations), Cittanupassana (Mind), Dhammanupassana (mental contents). Of these Acharya Goenka focuses only on Anapana and Vedananupassana thus eliminating half of the Buddha’s teachings. The Author maintains that one must practice all 4 satipatthanas in order to get closer to reality. He alleges that just focusing on sensations does not do justice to the Buddha’s teachinsg, that it does not show us the whole reality. Thus he claims that GoenkaJi is not honoring the Buddha’s teachings.

My Comment: This brings a smile to my lips as what I used to believe was similar. First, The Buddha’s teachings regarding objects of contemplation are not limited to the Satipatthana Sutta. By some accounts there are over forty different ways to practice anapana alone. This fact is alluded to in The Ven. Websu Sayadaw’s (The Venerable Monk who admonished U Ba Khin to teach others) discourses. Ledi Sayadaw (the teacher of GoenkaJi’s teacher’s teacher) mentions some of these different ways to practice Anapana in his manual on Anapana-Sati called Anapana-Dipani. Of these forty different ways, GoenkaJi teaches only one. Why? By some accounts, the Buddha gave his disciples over 108 different objects of contemplation. Of these GoenkaJi teaches only 3 (One way to do anapana, vedananupassana and metta-bhavana). Why only three? Why not some more?

The best way to answer this question is by another question. The technical college I went to teaches over 15 different disciplines in Engineering alone. Why did I choose just one field, electrical Enineering. Why not also include Mechanical Engg., Aeronautical Engg., Chemical Engg, Computer Science, etc? After all the more the merrier, right? After all the extra disciplines will show me more of the reality of this world of Engineering right? No friends, more is not always merrier. Had I tried to master 10 other disciplines, I would still be in college and would never have gotten started in earning a living and supporting my family. I would still be living off my parents. Please remember, my object in college was to earn a living. Similarly my object in learning meditation is to come out of misery. One method will suffice. If I try to do several more, I will just keep rolling in misery, not making progress in any. Choose one path, maybe experiment a bit, but at some point you have to make a choice, a commitment and stick with it. Similarly, this tradition of Ledi Sayadaw teaches this method. If there is some other school that teaches another and it suits your temperament, GoenkaJi says Go for it. After all, it is not fair to ask Albert Einstein, “Why do you only teach Physics? Why not Chemistry as well?” It is the same as asking Acharya Goenka why do you not teach Cittanupassana as well.

Besides as any practicing Engineer worth his salt will tell you, Electrical Engineering is not all that different from Mechanical Engg. The basic principles are all the same. Infact, after having practiced pure Electrical Engineering for the last 8 years. I am now getting into Mechanical Engineering and to my pleasant surprise the two fields are not all that different. The Similarities are far more than the differences. Far more. Similarly, Cittanupassana, Vedananupassana, Kayanupassana, Dhammanupassana are not all the different. Just like Sila, Samadhi and Panna are not all that different. Panna is actually just Sila for the mind. They are just taught differently to make it easy to grasp.

Also please understand that while the Buddha might have taught 108 different objects of contemplation and over 40 different ways to practice Anapana, he did not teach them all to the same student. Sariputta was just given Dhammanupassana. The Buddha gave instructions according to the mental ability and situation and condition of the student. But Acharya Goenka will be the first to admit that he is no Buddha. He will be the first to admit that his capabilities are infinitesimal in comparison the Buddha’s. He can only teach one method. Just like Albert Einstein or Richard Feynman can only teach Physics. My dear Friends, the Buddha is the Peerless, un-excelled teacher of Men and the Gods. What he can do, nobody else can do. No Man, demon, Deva, Brahma, Gods, Angels can do what the Buddha can do. So to compare my Beloved teacher with the Buddha is most unfair, I say.

5. Around 18:00, The author claims that one must observe the conditionality. One must observe one’s intentions. This he says is not contemplated in GoenkaJi’s teachings.

My comment: This is an unfair accusation. Observing intentions and reactions among many others is a part of Dhammanupassana. Thus my previous comment applies. Finally, as I move my mind through my body, I am completely aware of my intentions. It is just that I do not make an effort to observe them or push them away. I note them and am aware. I talked to the Assistant teacher about this and he is in agreement with what I am doing. As earlier mentioned, observing the sensations brings us closer to awareness of the mind and the various associated Dhammas.

6. The author believes there is a better approach than the sweeping the body via the mind. A claim is made that Ruth Denison teaches a better method than forcing the mind to feel sensations.

I would not say there exists a better method. I would say there are other approaches. GoenkaJi gives very good reasons as to why he promotes sweeping in his discourses. Those reasons are beyond the scope of this post. But let it be known that there are advanced students of GoenkaJi who do not sweep all the time. Sweeping is only an aid. It is helpful but not necessary all the time. The important thing is the perception of impermanence.

Finally, nowhere in this method is the mind forced to feel sensations. You cannot force your mind to feel sensations. This is a misinterpretation of what GoenkaJi teaches.

I cannot comment on Ruth Denison’s method. She is GoenkaJi’s Dhamma Sister. She is far advanced than I am. So I will not comment on her teaching’s. If herr teaching’s works for you, go for it. As for me, I have found my teacher. The speaker’s criticisms seem reasonable on the surface, But a little reflection convinces me that they are not valid criticisms.

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