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.”
“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.”
“Why do you want to know?”
“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?”
“It’s okay if you don’t. It’s never too late to start.”
“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.