“I was walking along a path with two friends—the sun was setting—suddenly the sky turned blood red—I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence—there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city—my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety—and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.” – Edvard Munch

So, at some point during the medium-long ‘commitment’ conversation (see post below) with my friend, the old bean started to woolgather. Since I wasn’t getting a word in edgewise, and since the weather was lovely and breezy, with a killer view of a blood-red sunset from the terrace at Café Turtle in Khan Mkt. (hence the reference to Der Schrei der Natur above), slight pangs of existential angst began to hit and the mind tuned out from Radio Louwe to other things.

Usually, when I tune out in the middle of a diatribe, I try to focus on something that’s connected (vaguely or otherwise) to whatever the rant is about. This serves as a good face-saver and conversation topic shifter, when the other person realizes that you checked out of Hotel California a while ago (but since you’re still sitting there, you obviously haven’t left, ha ha).

What I was thinking about was this – What have I learnt from the women I’ve dated or tried to date?

I often notice (on other blogs and in random conversation) that people either say nasty things about their former better halves, or pine about them. Very few of us will publicly admit that the men / women we were in flings / relationships with actually contributed to our lives. More power to those of you who’ve been with the same person for, like, ever. But since all of us aren’t that lucky (which, I suppose, is good…stagnation isn’t a good place to be stuck in…or Stag-nation, for that matter), the least we can do is be honest to ourselves and say, “Yeah. So it ended. Too bad about that. But at least I walked away from it a little bit more sensible / educated / informed / experienced”.

And what has this once polite-yet-ignorant north-Indian boy learnt from the tails he’s chased (a few successfully; mostly, not)? Not quantum physics, no, but:

- LuciferSam taught me to like the Velvet Underground, Michael Moorcock and home-made, rum-laced wine; the art of cracking bad jokes; and that short women are possibly more passionate than tall ones;

- Florence Nightingale got me hooked onto doodling, Bertrand Russell, Jerome K. Jerome and Michel Foucault and taught me more about being ‘responsible’ for someone else….more than anyone else ever has;

- Bottled Genie taught me, well, that there’s always time for one more beer…the nuances of Mumbai tapori slang, and, of course, the fine art of choosing baby names (!!)

And then, of course, there was Red-Herring Lamb, who I never quite got around to ‘dating’, but who did successfully remind me that a wholly vegetarian meal (broccoli included) was not such a bad thing after all….and who can forget Ka-Bar, who introduced me to quality alternative rock and Charles Bukowski…

All in all, I may not have been romantically successful with any of these women (and chances of me getting back/getting together with them are highly unlikely…non-existent even), but all of them, in their own small ways, have made me a better person….and I’ll always be grateful to them for that.

Ladies, live long and prosper wherever you may roam. Amen to that!

2 Scallywags have walked the Plank |:

siropdevanille said...

Awww...! I know that's not response you expected but but its quite an Awwww-worthy post! :) I like..

Anansi said...

True. They contribute to who you are, you change and maybe decide to part ways or stay together.
Am inspired to take this as a tag and do a post.