Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Clandestine Lurve

(This post is very context specific. You might not get it. But Lover Boy most definitely does. Guahahaha.)

Don't tell anyone. Not a soul. Nope not even your girlfriend. Parents are completely out of the question. Social networks are too strong to take lightly you know. (Orkut! Egads!) I dont trust any of you. So shush! Listen up. This is between us.

I am not sure. Well I AM 99.99% sure. But not completely. You know how it is. You are really sure but you must see it with your own eyes and spy camera before you can be sure. But anyways. Back to crux of the issue. The filling in the puff: I really really think a very close friend of mine is seeing someone. We are very close. Almost like roommates. But not quite. He lives in his office at Prabhadevi most of the time. Otherwise you can find him in the gym near his office. Or so he wants us to believe. By us I mean our friends circle.

In fact that is where this story of deception, subterfuge, perfumery, personal health advancement and clandestine lurve begins. The gym. Ah yes. Gyms. Wonderful places that suck out all your money and in return gives you torn cruciate ligaments in the right knee. But I guess I was an exception. In our friend's case (after all my friend is your friend) it all began all too suddenly sometime last November. It was another muggy evening in Mumbai and the author felt like a quick trip down to the local Cafe. Not one for solitary socializing the author reached out to Pastrami and Lover Boy. Pastrami was too busy in the office. There was a new secretary and Pastrami wanted to show her some spread sheets. (He he.) That left only Lover Boy. Ring ring click.

You want to do coffee?
No.
What? But you always do coffee...
Not today...
Why not?
Err... I need to... you know
No
Oh I didnt tell you?
Tell me what?
That I am going to the gym now. Everyday. After work.
What? Why? You are a pipsqueek. (He is. Thin. Scrawny. Completely insubstantial. A shrimp.)
I need to put on some weight man. Get those muscles working.
Hmm. Good for you. Just tell them to keep their protein-shakey fingers off your cruciate ligaments.
Will do Sid.
Tata.

At the time it seemed like a reasonable thing. He really could use a little muscle all over. He was really very very thin. Not that he didnt eat or anything. Oh no, he worked through a stack of rotis and a bucket of Palak Paneer like a lumberjack. (The ones who like Indian food.) But he doesnt gain an inch. I know him from business school and he hasnt put on a bloody nanogram. In sharp contrast I merely need to walk by a the jalebi maker who stands outside my building and my buttons start to pop. Zippers screaming and all. Lover boy must have astronomic metabolism rates, we all assumed.

That night he came back home at midnight. Worked late and then the gym, he said. I nodded. The next day I nodded again. And again. And again. After a week I began to smell something fishy. He was gymming on the weekends too. For several hours. Finally I came to know that he had come back home one Monday at three in the morning. A rough back of the envelope calculation revelaed that he must have gymmed between three and five hours that day. "What crap?!" I told myself. Next day I dropped in after dinner at his place. Lover Boy warranted some careful observation. He came back at four. And not with his shirt ruffled, eyes dropping, hair tousled and pants crumpled as most overnight MBAs return. No siree. He had a twinkle in his eye, a spring in his step and a song on his lips. (Saat Samundar from Vishwaatma. The remix version. Beats and all.) Only his hair was tousled. And was that a rather too conspiratory crumpling of the collars? My spider sense began tingling.

The weeks that followed threw up even more clues. A most casual user of deodorant till then he suddenly began using Tommy Hilfiger and such premium fragrances. And lots of it. Once, in the course of a chance meeting at Phoenix Mills, he hugged me and I passed out after having run into a block of solid Fahrenheit.

He then began to buy new clothes. Till then he was a conservative dresser with a particular penchant for downmarket t-shirts made in assorted South East Asian nations. The types that had lines like: 'Fashion Star 2003. Total Impact Garment" or "Looking Good. Emergency Style Attack." emblazoned on the back. Overnight he became a high-priority customer at Charagh Din. Everyday he was in a new shirt. In a mist of premium scent.

All the while his dedication to the gym hit Limca Book of Records levels. By my back of the enevlope calculations he should have by now at least begun to look much fitter like, say, Brock Lesnar or The Rock. But he still looked the same. Shrimp. My spider sense tingled like a dab of Itchguard after an all-day football game in the Mumbai summers.

At this point you might ask why I was so curious. Why should I be bothered? Why should I poke my mallu nose into his personal affairs? What was my problem? Did I not respect his privacy? Would I have enjoyed this scrutiny myself had I been in the same position? But then considering you have read this post till this point you have no right to ask me such questions. At all. Nosey you.

But due to the same joys that one gets when someone leaves their email open in a netcafe and saunters off, or gives you there cellphone wrongly assuming you will not read their SMSes, I kept persisting in my quest to uncover the "Mystery of the Gym" as the affair was being called by a select group of friends by then.

Then one day Lover Boy made a slip up. He asked me to join him with "some of my office friends" for an evening out in town. We left in his car and picked her up from near his office. Did his eyes just shoot her a quiet message through the rear view mirror? I may have been mistaken but I swear I saw him say: "Hey Baby! I am really sorry about the water buffalo who is with us today. I had no idea he would agree to come. I was just being polite. You look so beautiful." Hmm. Tingle. Tingle.

However the rest of the trip was uneventful. They shared no private jokes, did not stroll away into private corners and he did not seem to mind me talking to her with my natural charm and animal mallu magnetism. After a movie and dinner we were on our way back and we were back outside her house to drop her. In a moment of weakness, perhaps one of subtle indication, my friend spoke up: "Let me drop her at her place. Be right back." They walked away. TINGLE TINGLE.

So that brings us to last week. By this time several close friends have heard about the Gym Affair. The circles are rife with rumours and conspiracy. And our friend is pumping iron like never before. And then last week several things happened together. Lover Boy bought a new cellphone and I was inspecting it when I came across several well-taken portrait shots of the fair maiden. Later while out driving around he refused to play the usual CD, a combination of the best Govinda and Manna Dey hits. "Too crass this music. Lets play this Kenny G CD." I looked at him in shock, my eyes smouldering. His eyes, on the other hand, seemed to be focussing away into the distance. Dreamy. Romantic. TINGLE. Ah... Songbird...

And now, the final straw, I come to know that he has gone to a certain city in India to attend a certain friend's certain wedding. And who has accompanied him? Yup fair maiden herself. And how long is he there? Six days. But what is clincher? Drum Roll... Fair maiden is from the same city herself!!!

What are the odds? What are the chances that something romantic is afoot? Do you think Lover Boy is actually in love? Yeh sach hai ya sapna? Is it all just a misunderstanding? Are they just friends? Platonic ones? When he said "I am going to the Gym" did he actually mean "I am going to meet Jim"? Does that make the whole thing more disturbing? Who is this fair maiden? What does she see in him? Can anyone else hit on her? Will he get angry? (Remember he has now accumulated seven thousand manhours in the gym).

I am puzzled. But please dont tell him I told you. That was just between the both of us. Completely secret. Shush.

76 comments:

sanjay said...

Aahh.. hilarious. So entertaining. Thanks for the laughs.

Harsha said...

Ah... you're back Sidin. Nice to see a post here finally..

Pyaar aur jhooth chupaye nahin chupte. ;) I know a similar character, a roomie of my couz. They all act as if they know nothin. Its fun that way. And shhh.. from my side, I wont tell anybody.

rahul maniyar said...

great post sidin!!!...Bang on i say....plz keep us updated as the mystery unfolds....:)

silverine said...

Mums the word :)) Good one!!!

mathew said...

Lol!!..ur friend is gonna roast u alive for this!!!!..nice one!!!

Nikhil Narayanan said...

was wtng for something nice...tnx

Anonymous said...

hey Sidin....keep us posted as the mystery unfolds!!!

Sedwin said...

Hey I know this chap.. Is he Kalpesh..? No is he Jignesh..?? Oh yea.. he is Himesh.. Ah! Whateva.. [;)]

Deepu said...

reading Jhumpa lahiri's short stories.

your's might as well qualified as one..

throughly enjoy your blog if not for the frequent summer breaks..

PSR Chaitanya said...

Entertaining.

Grafxgurl said...

ah my gad! the things people do for love.

sigh. my husband has a better bod than i do. dunno what he sees in me!

okokok... my lips are sealed!

Rony said...

"..... or gives you there cellphone wrongly assuming you will not read their SMSes.........."

Uncomfortably truthful, but the faux pas stands out "there". Unacceptable from someone who is such a brilliant writer otherwise.

Thanu said...

I want lover boy to read this and u shud update this with his reaction.

Anonymous said...

Sidin, seriously, are you married? Please let me know.. I'd feel bad fantasizing about a married man.. please please!!

stan_da_man said...

lol...no i was laughing lookin at d comment above mine...almost beats this post! :p wonderful dude - i wish ur friend all zee best in his gym-lessons!! hey, didn't the mallu magnetism work?? daaaamn....

Jeremy Ryan said...

dayummm... That be entertaining. :)

If ever there is a just cause for blogging, 'anonymous' two comments above me has ground it into my head. *crackles fingertips* :)

Dreamer said...

So, back with a bang huh? was missing you here..

:)

A Hard Day's Night... said...

hey brilliant one.. has ur friend started writin poetry.. is his hand writing gotten any better.. and btw does he smile when he looks at the moon, sky.. lol !!!

Vaibhav said...

This is hilarious :)
and slightly disconcerting since I relate to your friend in this case...

did I say this is hilarious ?

Abhishek said...

Ha ha ha... believe me I can totally relate this wid one of my friends ... :))... LOL still

btw, hey Sidin... first time leaving a comment in here... ;)

PizzaDude said...

:)) Hilarious!!
My first comment here, although I am a regular visitor to your blog.
Keep us updated as to how the mystery unfolds.. :D

Sunita said...

Oh God You just know how to screw someone's happiness :-) .... I guess the detective game is more fun that being annouced to ... pls do post his reaction to this as well ... looking forward to regular posts

visakh said...

first time visitor. of a certain southern conservative lineage. and evolved nose poking sensibilities. but once on the other side of the spider spectrum. my empathies to our now mutual friend.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, hilarious, keep it up dude!

Salil said...

Hilarious stuff, Sidin. I await a second chapter.

ashwin sundar said...

WOW hilarious one..I wish ur Muscle man did read this..wen will u unfold rest of the events to us?

Abhijit Nath said...

I just told Lover Boy. His response was unprintable, of course. Sidin and I have been threatened not to enter the house tonight.

Radha said...

hehe
damn funny
and informative of course
you still alive though????

Peppered Soul on Ice said...

Ladies n gentlemen, he's back!

Great one Sidin, take a bow.

inkognito said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
inkognito said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tejusdas@yahoo.com said...

sidin my man....
u sealed the deal with this one...
an eternal fan now...

"Nosey you."...

"Can anyone else hit on her?"....

lovely...

keep it goin...

Tejus
(another source of the famed animal mallu magnetism)

Anonymous said...

had heard of some such vague stories through equally vague channels .. so it is true then ? the bhai has gymd.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha ha ha....This is hilarious:):):)
-Ananya

Pearl said...

awesome post sidin! had a great laugh:))

അരവിന്ദ് :: aravind said...

What a comeback, Sidin! :-))
this post is damn funny! hilarious!

Please post regularly..:-)

AJITH said...

Great post..u ppl have the potential to open a private detective agency :)

Anonymous said...

hey sidin..i will definitely like to repeat what another anonymous has written earlier...
"Sidin, seriously, are you married? Please let me know.. I'd feel bad fantasizing about a married man.. please please!! "
LOL..
hilarious post...and its so true...

z said...

Just tell your friend to fix you up on a date with her. That should settle the whole thing once in for all :D

Aqua said...

"..... or gives you there cellphone wrongly assuming you will not read their SMSes.........."

LOL :) i do that a LOT! hahahaha

Akshay Raut said...

You the man Sid!! Awesome post that be, young padawan.. ;)

EspritNoir said...

i aint telling anybody:) nice to see you back, and that too in such style:)

Anonymous said...

To anonymous # 2 who copy-pasted my question about Sidin's marital status.
HANDS OFF! He's MINE!

Well, ok, unless he's married already. Why doesn't he reply to comments? Does he not read them!! Arhg argh arghhhh

Sidin- I'm a mallu, too. Does that tip the scale in my favor?

Venky said...

wonder why someone would remain anonymous to proclaim their feelings ... never understood such women ... or men!

Great post Sid - would love to hear part 2 - Shrimpy's re-action.
-Venky

p.s. And is it just me or does your blog make one spell really long words to post comments! workds like "tigqyncy" ...that too in bad handwriting!!!

അരവിന്ദ് :: aravind said...

Sidin, I always wanted to ask you..
That photo in your profile(no..it doesnt look like a mugshot)

Whose is that hand which is punching on your chin?


:-))

great post sid, keep it rolling pls.

Anonymous said...

hey sidin anonymous #2 here..u know what..i am very loving and caring..i cant see somebody geting hurt bcoz of me..so i am giving u to anonymous #1..( thats ofcourse if ur not married..)
@anonymous # 1
dont worry dear...he is all yours now!!!

dawood said...

that was a good one da,after a long long time.

dawooood

dawood said...

that was a very good one .

shivangi said...

ok..now this one was really funny !!
love reading your posts...

Anonymous said...

hey anonymous#2, thanks. Sacrifice accepted ;)

Venky - First I want to find out if he's single or not, then come up with my identity. I dont' want his wife come kill me. Besides, I know you, too. Don't want you to look at me next time as the girl who proposed to a guy by just seeing his blog.

How come everyone replies to me but Sidin!!!
Augh!!

Anonymous said...

anonymous 1, make room please, even though i have every intention of ignoring Sidin as he does the rest of us..I say people stop commenting and see if he comes up with some sort of response!
Sidin, doesn't tambram brought up in Mallu land , briefly educated in Delhi spent some summers in Bombay sound like a splendid rounding off of personality:-)

Anonymous said...

hey!! Tambram of the mallu-land, delhi-educated, summered-in-bombay-fame!! Quit, no shoving, please! I was here first, stand in line :)

Anonymous said...

Man One awsome post as always... U r the reason i am addicted to blogs.. Ur the best though.

I remember reading one of your posts not here but in cool avenues about life in IIM A.. Think u have that???

my id is thomas.deepak@gmail.com

Thanks a lot man..

Anonymous said...

Hmm... I liked the story... till u hinted at the city the fair maiden is from...... Oh NOOOOOOO :) Is the fair maiden your other flatmate?

M.

Differently Challenged said...

Dude! That was a wonderful one!
hopefully u will be writing his reaction to this post..

GhostOfTomJoad said...

A good story well told...and bloody funny too :-) Thoroughly enjoyed it!! Does an update follow?

My second visit here...after that cricket post. Great stuff!

Anonymous said...

Hey sidin...your blog never cease to make me laugh...and also think a bit...Keep blogging, man.

Riggy said...

Good to see you back.Your post was top-notch as usual. I hope, for your sake, you are not married. I would pay to watch Anony1 and Anony2 go at it, all in the name of Clandestine Lurve!

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Ask everyone to register using this URL (its free for a Gold
membership). More the merrier.

Enjoi!!

Elysia said...

Has Suddu's presence in Mumbai sparked this post? : ) I almost thought its him. The shrimp description fit him...But another city....Another fair maiden...

Gulam Hasan said...

LMAO..Hilarious post dude..
Poor friend of yours....after readin this m sure he started singin "Pyaar karke pachtaya"
Pls keep postin more frequently

Elizabeth Bennett said...

//The types that had lines like: 'Fashion Star 2003. Total Impact Garment" or "Looking Good. Emergency Style Attack."//

Was laughing like hell reading this!

Anonymous said...

where is the update ? am dying of curiosity

Anusha Parthasarathy said...

Mums the word...Trust me...I wont tell anyone...

Anonymous said...

Biryani [Rs 27 for full plate, 15 for half plate] at Arif Bhai's [Old Jama masjid, Gurgaon Bus-Adda, Gurgaon]

It is a gentle biryani, delicate in taste, the masala is on the malai side, cream and caju gravy, crushed badam, a touch of saffron. The chicken pieces, boneless, since it is a tikka, are marinated in beef juices and buff blood, then grilled in beef fat, then cooked in the biryani [ Dum Style, so that no heat escapes and the chicken gets cooked in its god-forsaken [lethal & carnivorus blood and evil juices]. The aluminium utensil is tightly screwed with more than 80 year old brass hinges[passed onto Arif from his father in law's brother, who was a cook with the royal nawab's of Rohtak, so that no heat escapes. The pivotal point in Mohameddan cooking is DUM [ Cooked in its own heat, fat and juices]. There have been instabnces in Mumbai, where the brass hinges have been repalced by ehavy Buffalo and Cow skulls, to keep the lid intact.

Finally, a black duck's egg is scrambled in obviously lethal beef fat and put on top of the rice, evened out, and hot beef marrow mixed with 2 big fistful's of garlic sprinkled on it.

This makes the best Biryani in Gurgaon. Best enjoyed with a cup of Punjabi Lassi [Rs 11] form Gupta Jee's Pan Shop, nearby.

Anonymous said...

"animal mallu magnetism"!! This is way too much..as if all mallus are duds..

Anonymous said...

sooooooper... jest super eh!! ;-))

Anonymous said...

67 comments, and the author doesn't bother to reply to even one!
Humph!!

Anonymous said...

hi sidin
nice post.
could see that ur blog is very popular. i want to suggest a blog for u and ur friends to check on - this is a very sensitive and touching blog about the lebanon crisis - http://mazenkerblog.blogspot.com.
just wanted us indians to be aware of this blog more.
bye
geetha

Anonymous said...

Sidin,

You writing just seems to get worse with you each passing posting.
I think, the Fish-Rice-Puttu-Jalebi eating Niger looking shameless Mallu that you are, you better get yourself a job [as in "jaaab"].

Your writings suck !

See how well i write: [Beat this !]

Title: Hungry Kiya ?

Biryani [Rs 27 for full plate, Rs 15 for half plate] at Arif Bhai's [Old Jama masjid, Near Bus-Adda, Lucknow]

Once you reach the lucknow bus-adda, ask anybody for Arif's Biryani and you shall be guided. the aroma strats to enter your nasal passage as reach nearer. An artificial goat stands at the entrance, with a placard around her neck , which reads " come eat me !"

There is a long waiting period and once you manage to find a seat.the waiter emerges with the menu. Please order the biryani.
It is a gentle biryani, delicate in taste, the masala is on the malai side, cream and cashewnut gravy, crushed almonds, a touch of saffron. The beef pieces, boneless, since it is a tikka, are marinated in beef juices and buff blood, then grilled in beef fat, then cooked in the biryani [ Dum Style, so that no heat escapes and the beef gets cooked in its god-forsaken [lethal & carnivorus blood and evil juices]. The aluminium utensil is tightly screwed with a more than 80 year old pair of brass hinges[passed onto Arif from his father in law's brother, who was a cook in the royal kithchen with the royal nawab's of Rohtak, so that no heat escapes. The hinges are then strapped together with a buffalo's tail ! [Yes]The pivotal point in mughal cooking is DUM [ Cooked in its own heat, fat and juices and marrow]. After every fifteen minutes, the lid is slid open and a concoction made of goat blood, marrow and bones is added. This gives biryani its rich aroma.There have been instances in Delhi's numerous unhygenic Jama Masjid eateries, where the brass hinges have been replaced by a heavy 10 pounder buffalo skull, to keep the lid intact and resist the steam from escaping.

Finally, a black hen's egg is scrambled in obviously lethal beef fat and put on top of the rice, evened out, and hot beef marrow mixed with 2 big fistful's of garlic sprinkled on it.

This makes the best Biryani in Lucknow. Best enjoyed with a cup of Punjabi Lassi [Rs 11] from Gupta Jee's Pan Shop, nearby.

iksha said...

I agree with the 70 other commentors when they say this was freakin hilarious! :) Been a silent reader all this while! Do write more often! :)

Tanushree said...

How come I don't ever get to meet such men?:(

Sameera said...

lol sidin

awesome post this
looks like lover boy has all of us glued...

the line i liked best "But then considering you have read this post till this point you have no right to ask me such questions. At all. Nosey you."
lol

and animal mallu instincts
lol ur the best!

Duhita said...

New here, thanks to blog hopping. Extremely interesting post, couldn't stop laughing reading through it. Do tell us when you're 100.00% sure!:)

Ritu said...

good one Sidin!!

NOsy u!! Nosy me!!!

hehehhee:))

keep ud posted with "what happened next!!"

The Graduate said...

Govinda had hits?