Sid and his menage-a-many!
Much time is spent speaking to them over the phone or meeting up with them, discussing all the mundane details of each others lives. I can usually tell who he's going to meet or who he's speaking to by the way he behaves or from what he's saying on the phone. An abrupt call around 10 at night, which ends with him yelling "Acha, I'll meet you in 15 minutes" means he's off to meet Jaipreet along the highway somewhere and they'll probably catch a quick beer in the car. Why 10 at night and why the highway? Quite logical really. Jaipreet is driving back from somewhere out of town and Sid hasn't seen him in a week so a quick catch-up session over a quick beer in the car is just what is needed!
A lazy discussion of "Kya chal raha hai? What are you eating?", followed by a loud chuckle and some gossip about hotels means Saurabh on the line. Like true sisters, they bum t-shirts off each other, exchange hot pink socks and discuss the "aloo-gobhi" details of their day. Fiercely protective of Saurabh, not a word or two of fun will be tolerated (unless coming from his own mouth), it's really quite touching to watch this bonding! Though they try to sound cool when anyone overhears their conversation - rapidly changing tracks to Formula 1 and snazzy Italian names.
A loud contest of who predicted the outcomes of the cricket match accurately with each proclaiming their prophetic talents better than the other, means Joy is on the phone. It is usually followed by peals of shrill girly laughter as they ridicule lesser mortals on Facebook and make each other feel good about how they could write better status updates than the person they are ridiculing.
A sudden dart to the bar to thrust his arm into the maze of bottles within and set the lighting and glasses for a romantic two-some means Amit is coming over. They maintain a joint collection of liquor that they stare at lovingly, creepily stroking the bottles and inhaling the contents, pretending that they can distinguish the peat from the toffee, or the port oak from the sherry oak. Other than this disturbing behaviour they also subject me to some heinous cocktails (obviously to drive me away) and horrible details of what really happens in the cockpit (Amit is a pilot), successfully ejecting me from their cosy couple-dom!
There are so many more. With Asit there is much reminiscing about the hot women they knew and studs they used to be and with Sarang it's about the studs they still are. If you hear the words "Hmm, aur kya chal raha hai...hmm, nothing, tum batao, aur kya chal raha hai" on a loop, it's definitely his brother Anand on the line, this conversation being a replica of the other ten conversations they've had in the day.
They aren't always necessarily his "man-friends". Frantic typing on the laptop followed by his rushing in to get my approval of the humour of the comment he has just typed, means he is immersed in a witty repartee with Rasika. After I threaten to throw him out of the room if he asks me if his rebuttal is "funny enough" he silently types, backspacing deftly to remove any traces of weak comebacks. He will later proudly show me the witty trail between the two, declaring himself the "obvious" winner! If he launches into a sexist rant on the phone about "Touching your husband's feet" or "You're lucky to have him" he's usually speaking to Asit's wife, Ruth! The list is endless.
So where does that leave me in the menage-a-many? At first it alarmed me that he knew more people than I had met in my life. But gradually I realized it really is quite ideal. If a married person denies that they don't like their alone-time they are blatant liars - it's essential and I love every minute of it. I get to observe Sid in other "married" relationships and it's a lot of fun. And he somehow manages in a 24 hour day to still make me feel that he's around for 25 hours...a veritable magician, a time-turner! And a lot of his friends will probably tell you the same. As Gautham clambers into the car, collared and trousered, he stares at Sid. "You're wearing jeansss. You told me we had to look good"! As Sid turned around to answer with a "I do look good...even in jeans", the bickering began, allowing me to escape into the background and observe their little tiff!