Queering Bombay : The Space Time Manipulation Complex

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So recently I received a phone call from a friend inviting me for a Saturday night out with a bunch of her girlfriend’s friends who she had not met before. She said that she would like some familiar company. Ever the nice one, I obliged. Further phone calls informed me that one of the friends is a young woman, who had recently come out, does not know any other queer folks, wants to meet some gay people etc. Ever so nice, this time I obliged by bringing in some of my other queer friends. And of course, there was no table reserved. Ever so nice, I reached quite early in order to get us a table. Such goodness of character surely deserves a pat on the back?

I received more than just a pat, for what followed was a celebration of all that I am – hot, funny, ambitious, intellectual, hot, intelligent, charming, creative, hot, adorable, refined, classy, hot, super hot, exceptionally hot, stunningly hot, spectacularly hot, extremely hot, (you get the gist right?), exceedingly hot, outstandingly hot, mind-blowingly hot, Chilliesque hot, immensely hot, sultrily hot – at some point I was confused whether they were talking about me or the Bombay weather or may be this was an exercise in creating adverbs – hotaliciously hot, heart-throbbingly hot, super-heroically hot, Emily-Bluntly hot – which all sounds fishy (no pun intended regarding their sexual orientation or otherwise).

So being allergic to all kinds of fishy-ness (except of course when I go do – never mind -TMI), I tried to dig deeper. And much to my surprise, I was informed that I was being set up with the friend of my girl friend’s friend. Digging deeper, and much to my extreme surprise, she was actually my friend’s girl friend’s close friend’s friend. Digging further and deeper and much to my annoying surprise she was my friend’s girl friend’s just friend’s close friend. And just when I thought there was nothing more to dig, more than much to my exceedingly angered surprise, she was my friend’s girl friend’s just friend’s school friend from ages ago. Just when I stopped digging much to my shock they didn’t know her, neither her name, nor profession nor her likes, dislikes etc. They googled what they thought might have been her name, found her hot and were hoping that the woman they had called was the same one but couldn’t be too sure!!! It felt like a communal blind date and I felt like a pig about to be slaughtered or a lamb or a goat or a – well, that’s irrelevant. More importantly, I was about to be slaughtered or executed or deeply embarrassed – er, same thing.

This should have been the point when I should have found the nearest exit, but my ever so nice-ness paralysed all my exit strategy. That, and also the fact that I was pretty drunk on my hotness. So I sat around while my fan club worshipped me hoping that somehow the nightmare would end. It did not. You see, what happened next was something that re-established my belief that we were in 1865. A woman came – no, not the school friend of the just friend of the girl friend of my friend, but the just friend of the girl friend of my friend. What followed next was a series of questions and answers by the just friend to check if I was really as good as my fan club suggests before calling the woman in question, as is customary in arrange marriage systems of 1865 (even my conservative Merwari parents don’t do that anymore). I could only hope the answer was no but alas my hotness betrayed me, and the woman was called. Then, I could only hope that there was no priest lurking around or rings to seal the deal and thank god that gay marriage is not yet legal in India.

QB2So the woman arrived and by that point I could only hope for a deus-ex-machina-esqe escape. And my prayers were heard – you can always count on your drunk friends to intervene and save the day. For in their drunkenness (caused by alcohol, not my hotness) they couldn’t really figure out the bill – out of Rs. 25,000, we were short of about 20k. Ever so nice I jumped in, took over the situation, roped in my CA and solved the problem in flat 45mins (the bar sent us a free round of shots for our efficiency and punctuality or they just wanted to kick us out). And that’s how the nightmare ended.

Not quite – I was forced to take a ‘lift’ by the woman in question. Considering that she was the only one not drunk, it felt a bit safe to ride in that one (and by one I mean the car, not the woman – no pun intended). Needless to say, I reached home safe with my honour intact irrespective of the 3 am phone call from my friend insisting that I should be spending the night with her girl friend’s just friend’s friend from school. Lucky for me she did not know where I stayed or I was certain she would have dragged me out of my home and taken me to the woman in question.

Lesson learnt – when a gay Indian woman invites you to anything; it is a set up or, at the very least, has something to do with your gay hotness. And till I buy the Indian Lesbian’s handbook, if someone invites me for an event, I will demand an entire guest list with their name, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, relationship status, and photocopies of their passports. Until then.

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Abha Talesara is a writer, director and producer with experience in three countries – UK, US and India. After producing her first feature in New York, she recently moved back to Bombay where she set up her own company – Breakthrough Productions. When she is not working, she spends her time in search of fine whiskey and good beer and of course, failing at making sense of the contemporary Indian culture.
Abha Talesara

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