of happy endings

Was it Dumbledore who said it takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends? D (the ex-husband) and I clearly weren’t listening, so we not only unwittingly invited AP to come stay with us, but also allowed him to bully us into letting his friend N, whom we barely knew, move into our new apartment.

I don’t think I told you this before, but N was this tall, dusky girl with painstakingly ironed, poker-straight hair, clichéd big brown eyes and washboard abs and big boobs. She was also smart and funny, she could dance, she liked the same music I did, and we really liked her.

We spent the first few months getting to know each other. Though D and I still had zero privacy, we didn’t actually mind the company. It was like living in a hostel.

The only thing that really bothered me was that she didn’t seem to be wearing any clothes at home. I’m serious. All she ever wore was a loose spaghetti top that ended (very conveniently) just above her pierced navel and her super-short shorts that ended even before they began three inches below her waist.

But anyway…

A few months into the new apartment, N decided to get a dog. AP, our rom-com loving, highly codependent, and emotional wreck of a friend was overwhelmed. We were, too, but only because we didn’t want the responsibility of having to care for another living being, but were too chicken to say no.

N flew all the way to Bangalore to “adopt” a puppy in exchange for money. Seriously, she actually paid three thousand rupees. She spent another 7k to fly him back with her. She texted images and videos of two pups from the same litter, one male and one female, playing with each other. Someone she knew had “adopted” Tiny, the girl. She promised to name our dog only after she got back.

The day they were supposed to arrive, D and I (very reluctantly) set about puppy-proofing the apartment to the best of our collective ability. Basically, we moved all laundry detergent and cleaning supplies from the bottom shelf in the kitchen to the one above it, and cleaned under AP’s bed (we didn’t have one, we slept on a mattress). AP went and bought buying pet supplies in the meantime.

In a few days, N returned with a gold-white ball of fur with long, soft ears; large, droopy eyes; a glistening black nose; and four little paws tucked under her arm.

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Meet Ben, my first-ever pet and the reason why I forgave N for everything (including stealing money from the jar in the kitchen) because apparently that’s what she used to pay for him.

Have you ever had a pet? Ever felt your rage evaporate like this? Has anyone stolen from you for a good cause? Have you ever stolen anything?

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of bad moves

Me: What are we going to do now?

D: I don’t know. What do you think?

Me: I don’t know? What do you think? Oh wait – we already covered you.

D: Why don’t we start making plans for just the two of us and maybe he will get the hint?

Me: You think that’ll work?

D: Of course it will.

It didn’t.

We made plans to go out for walks, shop, and watch movies, but because it was never established that by we we meant just the two of us, AP tagged along everywhere anyway.

After a week, we abandoned the apartment with the colorful walls and the huge terrace and the almost-French windows because it was too small for us.

It drove me raging-bull-mad, so one day I decided to rip the band-aid off myself. I was like a ninja on the prowl – I waited all day to find an opportunity to have the tough conversation with him.

Badaboom

Anyway. We finally found an apartment that we all liked, and we decided to move. It was a 3 bedroom house on Road no. 10, Banjara Hills. We didn’t need three bedrooms, but D and I were desperate. We needed a room of our own where we could have the clean fights and the dirty sex.

The moving day finally arrived, and so did N, a colleague of AP’s. She had promised to help him move, and she reached, as promised, at 10 am. We had met her a few times before, and she seemed like a nice girl. We were done moving by lunch time, and decided to order pizza as we unpacked.

N helped me set up the kitchen, while D and AP went about setting up two of the three bedrooms.

What are you going to do with the third room, N asked just as we all sat down to eat.

I don’t know, maybe we’ll create a guest room in case any of our parents come to stay, I responded.

AP chimed in. But parents will come only once in six months. Why don’t you move in with us? 

No points for guessing what happened next.

of privacy

D (the ex-husband) and I had been married for just over a quarter. As with all newlyweds, privacy was highly desirable and in our case, something we didn’t have. We lived in a house with aging parents and only one western toilet, which was unfortunately attached to our bedroom.

We lay in our bed one Saturday, discussing in hushed tones what we could do about our situation. It was the middle of the night, so it was eerily silent; we could hear nothing except for the sound of the crickets, the wind whistling in through a partly open window, and my mother-in-law’s incessant snoring. Continue reading of privacy

of wining and whining

I’m sure Giggles will kill me for telling you this story, but I’ll tell you anyway coz it’s really funny, and because I really want to.

My old office was the kind of place that sucks the lifeblood out of you, and in return, lets you meet the most unbelievable people you’ll ever know in your life. I met the two most important people in my life there – Mister (though I had met him before, DDLJ-style) and Giggles. (Fartsypants too, but you guys don’t really know him that well yet.)

Before Giggles joined, Mister and I were part of a three-member group that was always coming up with talent engagement ideas, organizing events, and generally upping the cool crowd quotient of an office that was otherwise full of old, lethargic employees.

The third person in the group was a newlywed girl. Let’s call her Peptalk coz that’s what she was always giving other people (and eventually came to need most in her own life).

Peptalk and I were good friends, and she was about to be married to a man she loved, but wasn’t really sure about her decision so she and I used to talk a lot before that – and mostly my advice was about how she should not marry the guy.

But there she was, getting married in a month, when Giggles joined her team. All of us instantly connected – Giggles and I bonded because of our wordplay jokes and fascination with Friends, Peptalk and Giggles bonded because they were the same age and had a lot of similar experiences to share. Mister liked that Giggles was full of energy, and she liked him because he was honest.

Life was perfect.

Until Peptalk went away to get married and then came back one day to find that Giggles had become indispensable for the office and for me. She became increasingly quiet, and started being weird. She’d snap unnecessarily and then storm off and refuse to talk to us.

One day in the winter of 2010, Mister was away on a study leave. Giggles, Peptalk, and I were on a post-lunch conversation break. Peptalk said something, I disagreed vehemently, and we argued for a few seconds when we asked Giggles for her opinion. Giggles agreed with me, and then all hell broke loose. Peptalk told us she had been feeling alienated ever since she had returned. She said Giggles and I were constantly ganging up on her – which was obviously not true. She pretty much screamed at us and stormed out of the room.

I was shell-shocked. Although I had known ever since Peptalk had returned, that she was feeling insecure about her job because Giggles had taken over a lot of responsibility. I saw, in that moment, that Peptalk also felt like she was losing me, her friend, too.

Giggles ran inside after her, trying to talk sense into her.

I decided, instead, to talk to Mister. Let me also remind you at this stage that (a) Mister and I were both married at this stage, (b) none of us had ever thought romantically about each other yet, (c) we weren’t going to, for at least two more years, and (d) I didn’t really care how Peptalk was feeling and only really wanted to gossip, and Mister is a great listener if you feel like gossiping about office folk.

So I called him and called him, and he kept disconnecting. He asked me to text him, which I kept putting off because it was such a tedious thing to do. Later, I gave up and told him to just call me back whenever he could, and I ensured he would be appropriately placing the words “gossip” and “Peptalk” in my text.

Later at night, I went out drinking with some friends. Mister chose that opportunity to call me, which was kinda a waste because I could hear nothing over the music that was playing.

So he texted: What were you saying earlier about Peptalk?

I got this message only about fifteen minutes after he sent it, coz I was drinking and setting the club on fire by dancing salsa style to Pop music. So all I could be bothered to respond with was: Yaar, too much to type. can’t I just tell you later? 

May I remind you that I did not have a smartphone at this stage – I only had a Nokia E71, my favorite phone till date. But it is so fucking painful to type using those small QWERTY keys! Also, I had had two drinks by this time and was kinda busy dancing.

Mister sent another message: Come on, use SMSese. I’ll be out this whole week and we won’t be able to talk until I get back. Tell me now or forever hold your peace!

I saw the message instantly, but didn’t want to seem too eager or too gossipy, so I took my time to get another drink, take a few sips, and then responded with this: Peptalk and I had a bad fight. She things Giggles and I are ganging up on her. But the truth is that she is just insecure…

By this time I had had three drinks – which explains why I was starting to send incomplete messages and use ellipses. I heard my phone beep once or twice, but I ignored it.

Two more drinks later, I realized I was being a tease, and I would not appreciate it if someone were to keep me hanging like that. So I typed a full length message that I believe contained the words “Peptalk” and “self-centered” and “not my fucking problem” and “insecure” and “whiny” and “our friendship is over” in more or less the same order. I realized I was pretty drunk, and I’m a bit of a grammar nazi when it comes to other people, so I made sure there were no typos. When I was convinced, I hit Send, flushed, pulled up my pants, and went back to the dance floor, convinced that I had said everything I wanted to.

As soon as I hit the dance floor, I felt my phone vibrate. It was a message from Peptalk: What a bitch!

Apparently, in my drunken stupor, I had texted Peptalk. In an effort to somehow remedy the situation, I simply responded saying: Who? You or me?

Needless to say, it made things worse.

Do you feel the need to be vocal about your feelings when you’ve been drinking? Whom do you text when you’re drunk? How would you remedy a situation like this?

of a handful of wasted seamen

Ok, I’ll give you a minute to stop laughing.

It was Mister’s birthday on Sunday, and you can blame my recent inactivity on the blog on that.

So here’s what I was up to all of last week.

Monday, T minus 5

I spent the day at work completely and utterly distracted because I had a party to plan. I spent the day googling ‘adult party themes’ and ’10 best surprise parties’. Discovered a kickass party planning website. Then realized that they had an adult costumes section. Then I walked into a meeting room, took the laptop off the company wifi and hooked up my own 3G network (the one on the phone) and browsed to my heart’s content. Just kidding. Or maybe not. You’ll never know. Continue reading of a handful of wasted seamen