LIFE IN A METRO
Hailing from a metro has its cons! You are expected to be a city slicker who’s sophisticated, socially presentable & with a gift of the gab. Then you meet the other kind – ME!! Of the last 23 years of my stay in the city I’m pretty much an oddball & a social misfit there. I hate the fake accents, the oh-so-glamorous lifestyles & the hustle bustle of the city. Then again, there’s the constant – “Ohh!!...staying in Mumbai and still single?” They just cant comprehend the fact that I’m single. Yes I am, at 23. Is it a crime? Go ahead then, send me to the gallows.
I’ve grown up on a staple diet of movies like – When Harry met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, Gone with the wind & Casablanca(before you brand me the mushy-kind, just for the records, I even watched the usual violence filled sci-fi movies). Believe me, the ‘damsel in distress’ species has ceased to exist and so has the ‘knight in shining armour’. The damsels have been replaced by the mascara covered, eyeliner lined females who bitch, gossip & shop. The knight’s armour has been replaced by the wallet & credit cards. So there are the ‘damsels in mascara’ & ‘Knights with fat wallets’. There’s no place for the third kind.
So, when you end up surrounded by Roadies-loving, alcohol binging 20 something’s(whom you refer to as friends), I feel like a 60 year old grandpa who’s just lost his way from the old age home. And then there’s the flurry of fake accents & flying kisses exchanged to add to my already bag full of worries. Its almost become a habit for me to turn up at a party in a formal shirt & neatly creased trousers(not to mention the inexplicably shiny leather shoes). Then I look around and I’m greeted by the ‘barely hanging of the waist’ jeans, the technicolour shirts & T shirts and a mix & match of what seems like leftover frills from last years Brazil carnival.
Then comes the hair part. I always loved the crew cut ‘coz it left me with less time with the comb. Now I have guy friends who take longer than an hour to get the hair straight – or at odd angles, should I say. I cease to understand the connectivity between a persons hair & his attitude. Does looking like a cross between a human and a porcupine cool? Then, there are the females who are just not content with the hair colour nature endowed them with. I had heard of blondes and brunettes, but streaks of blue, yellow and purple rising from your temples are not something I would be comfortable with.
Another startling revelation hit me hard a couple of months back. A half drunk friend blurted out that his girlfriend thinks I’m gay. Comically I quizzed him for the same. His reply – since I’m still single I ought to be gay! I was stumped! Is it taboo to be single in Mumbai? There is a desperate rush to pick and choose a gf/bf even if that meant ‘Crash & Burn’ a couple of months then on(in some cases a couple of weeks).And God forbid if you are single and a virgin. You risk being labeled gay or impotent. Virginity is no longer the flower that girls & guys alike, preserve for their ‘special someone’. Promiscuity is the ‘in’ thing & losing virginity at the earliest, the craze. Well, I have been sentenced on two charges so far – single and a virgin, and have been found guilty on both accounts. Is this something I should be proud of? Well, my friends think otherwise.
Well I may be running the risk of being labeled a moralistic tightass after this post, but who cares. The phenomena of true love might just exist. After all, hope is what keeps us all alive, isn’t it?