Talking to Mr. innocent has put me in a much better mood and I do another round of the bar to look for prospective sets. Every girl there is either with her Boyfriend/Husband or in a big mixed group consisting of both guys and girls. There is only one set of a couple girls. This is the set I will have to open. But I could not do it immediately.
The girls were seated outside. Toit has a nice balcony. There is also a bench you can sit on which is actually a recommended option if you are rolling solo like I am. That is exactly what I do. And the Good or bad part is that by sitting on the bench, I am exactly facing the two girls who I intend or hope to approach before the night is out. i am clearly violating the 3-second rule, let alone the three minute rule. But it can’t be helped. Approaching straight away would be suicide because I am just not feeling confident enough at the moment. I sit and observe the scene around me. There is a couple sitting and talking right next to me. There are four tables filled with only guys. Some of the guys are looking at me dubiously. The others are looking at the girls. The girls themselves seem to be very good friends. Plenty of laughing and joking and speaking loudly.
I ponder the wisdom of opening this set. In the U.S., we are advised that the best set to approach is the one where the girls are looking bored. We are advised to approach the set where the girls are looking around. We are advised to approach the sets where girls are hardly talking to each other or talking half-heartedly. The girls in this set were doing nothing that indicated that this was a good set to open. They were not looking around, they were looking like they were having a great time, they were constantly talking and laughing. Doubts assailed me. How would such a set react to my approach? Would I kill their good time? Would they shoo me away? Would they close up and stiffen at my approach? I was paralyzed by doubt. I continued to nurse my bloody Mary.
Finally, I was down to the last few drops my drink. It was time to approach. I was done with my drink. If the approach went badly, I could just head home. Just as I was about to get up, a bunch of guys came from nowhere and stood between me and the girls and started talking very loudly and boisterously while smoking and drinking. This completely killed my vibe. I stayed put resolving to wait till they left. For 15 minutes the guys stood right ahead of where I sat and I heard an infinite number of B****c**d and M****c**d while they made a great show of friendship slapping each others back. They shot the shit for about 15 minutes before leaving. Why guys have to make such a display of friendship in front of women who they anyhow do not intend to approach is beyond me. Do you understand this phenomenon? I mean I’ve seen guys talking to each other when there are no women around and they always seem to be louder and more boisterous when the women are around. What gives guys? Any theories?
Anyway, the guys were now gone and it was now or never. Here comes nothing. I got up and started heading in their direction. My stomach knotted up, my heart started pounding, fear swept through my throat, chest and abdomen. My knees felt wobbly. My legs started shaking. I thought I’d fall midway before I got to their table. How I made it to their table without collapsing or fainting, I do not know. If someone has a theory, please feel free to postulate it in the comments section.
I sat down at one of the two available chairs in the table. As I sat, they suddenly stopped talking and stared at me.
“Hi” I squeaked, trying to smile
I’m pretty sure every body in that godamn balcony was staring at me. But I was determined not to look at anyone but these two girls. If anyone was going to psyche me out, it would be me, or it would be these two girls. Not some third party. I made a last ditch attempt to salvage this set,
“You see I was just getting done with my drink (pointing to my almost finished drink) and was heading home, but my resolution for the day was that I would not leave this place till I met at least three interesting people.”
“Three interesting people? There are only two of us.” Said one girl
“Why are we interesting? Because we are chicks?” Asked the other almost immediately
Aaaah! A response. Yessss! I’m in business. Let the party begin. We are off to the races.
1. Knot in my stomach dissolved: Check
2. Heart stopped pounding: Check
3. Legs stopped shaking. Check
I once again felt like the Masculineffort of the old days before my experiments with Celibacy.
At this point, I think it is best if we named these two girls right away for ease of referencing. The first girl works at a media outlet which I will not name. She is an old Bangalore hand having lived here for a long while. She is quite the Social butterfly and even knew an old classmate of mine who now works at Time Out Bangalore. It really is a small world, isn’t it? We will call her Ms. Socialite from now on. The other is a girl who has just returned to India after living and working in Australia for the last 5 years. Very conveniently, we will call her Ms. Australia.
“Girls, Girls, Girls!” I exclaimed throwing up my hands. “I can only answer one question at a time. I am a guy after all.”
At this they both looked at each other and started laughing.
“I asked first. So answer me.” Said Ms. Socialite
“Well I already met one interesting person. You should have met him.”
“We don’t believe you.” said Ms. Australia unable to conceal her grin
“Why not?” I asked
“Because we think you are here only because we are girls.” she said boldly
“Well! that is certainly part of the reason.” I conceded
This seemed to disarm them and they both started laughing.
“Why do you want to meet interesting people?” challenged Ms. Australia
“Mainly for my loyal readership.” See Dear Reader? You are never too far from my mind.
“Your what? Are you a writer?” asked Ms Socialite
“In a sense, yes?”
“Which magazine do you write for?”
“I write a blog.”
“What do you write about?” Asked Ms. Australia
“What aspects of Life?”
“Anything that catches my fancy?”
“What’s the name of the blog?”
“Sorry, It’s an underground Blog. Part of a shadowy counterculture network”
“Let me give you some advice Girls. Write a Blog. It is so therapeutic.”
“Well, you can write about all sorts of things that you would never tell to anyone else. You can let it all out. You can organize your thoughts. You can say what’s on your mind.”
“Mmmmmmmm”, said Ms. Australia warming to the possibility of having her own underground blog. But she was not done trying to put me on the spot.
“We were having a girls night out and you came and interrupted us. That is a big no-no. You have not spent a lot of time with women.” She said
“Probably not.” I agreed easily
Ms Australia’s reaction indicated that this was not the reaction she was hoping for. She was probably hoping for a denial followed by a long list of my sexual peccadilloes.
“But at least you are not like the other guys.” She ventured
“What other guys?”
“I mean they come try to talk to us and are pretty creepy.”
“You mean these guys have not spent a lot of time with women.” I said with a mocking smile.
Ms. Socialite burst out laughing at this and even Ms. Australia could not suppress a smile.
“Did you put him up to this?” Ms Socialite Shouted to her friend at the other table
I turned around to look at her friend. Both she and her husband were laughing.
“That was very brave of you.” Said the girl in the other table
“Oh! It is brave only if your intentions are unwholesome. My intentions are extremely wholesome. I’m just a friendly guy.” I said
“Whatever!” Challenged Ms. Australia, “I’m sure you did not talk to any guy while here.”
“Wow! Ms Australia.” I replied back coolly. “You have no idea what I was up to the last hour. Don’t you think your categorical statement is a bit ………arrogant?”
“So who was this other guy?” She challenged. She was smiling. She is trying to put me in a spot and she is enjoying this.
“Well, he comes from a Fishing village in North Karnataka. He was telling his stories in the Big City including his ………”
“I’m going to go get myself a drink” said Ms. Socialite cutting me off and excused herself.
While Ms. Socialite was gone Ms. Australia and I made some small talk. I tried to guess where she was from and I was completely off the mark. She is from Kerala. She seemed quite upset that I guessed she was from U.P.? Why do I keep running into girls from Kerala. And why do they all Enjoy challenging me? Hell, my first Girlfriend was from Kerala. And why does U.P. have a bad rep? Some of India’s most polite, urbane and cultured people come from U.P. Hell, I witnessed a verbal fight between UPites in Lucknow and it seemed more like they were making polite suggestions to each other instead of abusing each other.
“My dear Friend, may I suggest you go drown yourself in order to increase the average IQ of this town?”
“On the contrary, Dear Sir, Your presence ensures that my demise will only ensure that the average IQ of this town actually goes down.”
Seriously this is how some of those throwbacks from the days of Nawabs abuse each other in extremely polite tones
“I feel like I am in the twilight Zone.” Said Ms. Socialite as she returned from the bar.
At this, they started talking about some other dude who had hit on them in a very awkward manner 5 years back. 5 years back? and they remember that incident? And it was awkward? That means no one has hit on these two girls in a night club environment in the last 5 years? Wow!
Apparently, He approached them on the excuse that they were both fans of the Same IPL team. Apparently they were trying to get rid of him but he would not take the hint.
“Well, if IPL is not going to help a guy meet women, what use is it?” I asked, “I mean it’s not like it is an actual sport.” I never miss a chance to bash the IPL.
“What? We support CSK.”
“Aaaah! you must be in love with N. Srinivasan. Sorry girls, he’s taken. He has a wife.”
“What? No! Ashwin was in the same school as I. He was a batsman then.”
“What was he like those days?”
“The same as now. A shy nice guy.”
“I guess the IPL parties are completely wasted on him then. I guess that leaves Virat Kohli to pick up the slack and have fun for two people. Himself and Ashwin.”
We talked a bit more about some General shit. In between, they offered me their meatballs which they were unable to finish. I thank them and offer to buy them drinks. They say they have already had too many for the day. So I get free food as well as good company. This is win-win I think to myself.
“So where are your friends?” Asked Ms. Australia
“I’m new to Bangalore. I have no friends here.”
“so is this a way to make friends?”
“I guess so.”
“You don’t mind going out alone?”
“I like going out alone.”
“It opens up a world of possibilities.”
“Like meeting hot chicks?”
“Or interesting guys.”
“But don’t you want to hang out with friends?”
“When I hang with friends, he either comes to my place or I go to his, and we drink a bit, exercise together, discuss ideas, stare at the stars, howl at the moon, shit like that. When I go out I want to meet people who are different from me and who think very different from me and see the world differently from how I do”
“Like Hot chicks.”
“Among other people, yes!”
Ms. Australia’s facial expression conveyed that she was extremely fascinated by this.
I asked some questions about the nightlife in town. Ms. Australia got talking about her life situation. Apparently she will not be in town very long. She is not too fond of India and is looking to go abroad for work again. She is not going back to Australia. She also seems a bit Jaded with some of the degrees and professions out there. She is not sure what she will do next except that it will not be her former profession. I ask her to relax a bit, trek in the Himalayas, stay with parents, stay with all friends for a week or two. Take your time to decide what to do. We got talking about what I did during my break. While I was talking Ms. Australia seemed to be looking at me with a look that said, “who is this Guy?” I started getting the feeling that Ms. Australia likes me. I like her too. She looks a bit like Preity Zinta and is irrepressible. But I’m not sure I should get her phone number now. She will not be in town very long. Besides I am not sure she will give it to me while Ms. Socialite is there. I do not want both their numbers either.
“I guess we’ll keep running into each other in this place.” I said casually
“Hopefully” said Ms. Socialite.
“Thanks for Finishing the food.” Said Ms Australia
“Next time, I buy you guys drinks.” I said
A little bit more small talk later, I excused myself. It was time for bed. I needed to go home and go to bed early for another busy day. All in all, Not a Bad night. I still retain some conversational skills. Just need to stay in touch.