Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sid and his menage-a-many!

I walked into the house to find Sid frowning and speaking loudly into his mobile phone. Not at all unusual. His phone is generally embedded into his ear at any point of the day and he still can't quite comprehend that technology has advanced from the time of Alexander Graham Bell to allow the other person to hear quite clearly. He was sounding annoyed. "What are you wearing tomorrow"? No don't wear your black t-shirt...no, not the white either...can't you wear a collared shirt...where are your trousers? You need to look good"! I strolled away to kick off my shoes and settle in to watch some television.  One would generally think that this sort of conversation from a person who is my husband, my partner, my loved one, the butter-to-my-bread; the moth to my flame, etc, etc would perturb me slightly. But no, this is just a typical day and the one-sided conversation I had overheard was just one of many such conversations. This intimacy between whoever was being subjected to Sid's fashion sense over the phone and Sid is not at all unusual.  I've been with Sid for several years now. Our relationship's got all the good stuff, lots of the frustrating stuff and plenty of the ridiculous! We're as regular as apple pie, as extraordinary as a duck at the opera and we laugh at each other enough to keep us both grounded.  What also keeps our relationship interesting is Sid's partners/boyfriends ('luh-vahs' as I like to refer to them as!). Having umpteen others to focus his attention on as well, there's always plenty of breathing space for us.  His large circle of friends and knack for keeping in touch has resulted in several close friends over the years, who still play a significant role in his life. I call them partners for lack of a better word and also because I enjoy sensationalizing most things!

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 who's the lucky person who gets to be lectured on the phone on dressing suitably to impress? Why it's Sid's partner of course - in much the literal sense of the word! Gautham who works with Sid on their photography business is a recent entrant into Sid's menage-a-many. He's not actually a new entrant, but since he's now living in Delhi and working with Sid, their relationship has achieved new heights. I find their chemistry fascinating - it also gives me a break from having to argue about the most inane things with Sid - now Gautham does about 80 percent of that for me.  Spending most of their waking moments together, sharing their passion for photography and building their initiative is definitely a large part of what they do, but their relationship has got so many nuances and shades, it's really complex. They drop and pick me up from work and I have the pleasure of listening to what one may think will be extensive discourses on the art of photography - of lighting and colour, of textures and shades, of angles and themes, of ISO's and shutter speed and most importantly of transcending all this material nonsense and discussing the realm that only art can take you into - a lofty and beautiful place that mere mortals won't understand. However, their conversations focus very little on photography really. They bicker about lane driving, Gautham's lack of direction (literally as even his GPS can't save him!), what to wear, what to eat and who knows ACDC better.  The last debate was so out of control and I attempted to mediate with an impromptu quiz of ACDC questions, which led to more confusion as the debate then shifted to who's answer to "What is the costume that Angus Young is well known for" was more accurate. With Sid yelling "school boy uniform" and Gautham bellowing "School boy uniform with shortssss" it ended in both of them declaring themselves the winners and ridiculing the other.  And photography - well perhaps that's why they're good at what they do. They don't take themselves seriously, the humour and ridicule keeps them grounded and helps them enjoy their work better!

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!

11 comments:

Karen said...

:D Very well written! Started my day with a big grin on my face.

Reem said...

Thank you m'love! You know every word is true...oh I should have written about how he comes on gtalk with you and pretends to be me "I am sooo lucky to have Siddharth"! And how he will always say "Make me food...pancakes...cakes...anything"!

Manish Bhatt said...

:D You do realise how difficult it is to meet Sid with a straight face after reading your blog.

Reem said...

Well at least I've put him on the map...people who've never met him want to meet him. When they do meet him they claim to know all about him...any publicity is good publicity right?! Don't worry he's used to people bursting out laughing when they see him...don't control yourself, let it out!

Gautham said...

Well I did the right thing by him, I made him tag along when I went shopping and proceeded to buy another set of T Shirts (collarless of course), sticking only to the blacks, whites and greys, (of which I already own a notable collection). The lad almost wept on the salesman's shoulder...

Karen said...

Haha...yes!

Amit said...

LOL.. n loudly it is!
i do feel on meagrely atomized level at times, that an iota of me too is married to him!
and i do fervently believe every word of ur blog is true.
i must say u put in so much emotion in it dat it sanctified our relationship, and for dat i will be ever grateful!
great work, n keep d ink burrrnig!

Reem said...

GOod going Gautham...he hates it when people don't listen to him!

Amit, I'm glad you feel such a close affinity with Siddharth...though you're far from married to him, fortunately or unfortunately for you :) The bonding over whisky is something you both will have for a long time...or at least until you're married and we've discussed your to-be-wife potentially sulking if you leave her home to go drinking with your other love!

Anand said...

I seem to be the only lucky one who is in the blog but not married to him Ye for me.........................................................

Reem said...

You may not be married to him, but you've known him the longest...as good as married only!

Prerana said...

Haha, As soon as I begun reading the blog, i knew Gautham was being referred to!! Met Siddharth this evening and asked him if they conform their attire to the wedding requirements and the answer with a look of utmost professionalism, trying to give it that oh so dignified appeal was 'Yes, we don't need to, but we make it a point to be dressed well.' Of course it followed with another story of how it impresses other wannabe photographers at the wedding, but then conversations with Siddharth don't have a full stop do they!! :-)