Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Cat Smoking (Part 3/4)

The sea laps the dark boulders that line the shore, consoling them for being immovable, and commending them for being absolute. On one such boulder, sat Veronica, legs folded, held close to her bosom, arms resting on knees, tracing the waves as they rolled in from the horizon and broke stride on the rocks. She is clad in frayed denim shorts and a loose worn-out drab grey t-shirt, with her curls tied into an unkempt bun, held fast with a red hair pin.

Beside her, on a lower ledge of the same boulder, is Trina. Leaning on the boulder with her palms supporting her lithe frame as her legs dangle off the ledge, feet pointing toward the sea. Dressed in smartly cut tangerine salwar-kameez and an ivory white dupatta, she is looking towards the clouds in the sky as the breeze blows her short tresses onto her face. Pondicherry is an escape to many, but both these women are here on work.

Trina, as a consulting architect to a resort being built few miles out of town. Veronica, on the hunt for a story about fishermen being displaced by rampant urban development. They have been forced to share a room for two nights, as the hotel has had to undertake sudden repairs in a few rooms due to a burst water pipe. They have grudgingly grown to like each other. Each aware of the other's femininity as only a woman can be. Each wary of the other's femininity as only a woman can be.

“The sea doesn't care who we are. We are specks on the rocks it sees everyday. The sea will be here long after we are gone.”

“Not at the rate at which we are going. The sea may not last that long after all.”

“Nothing on the sea shore looks out of order. Nothing natural every looks unnatural. Every wonder why? Why can't we design our structures to be more natural?”

“Why must we build anything here? Doesn't it defeat the point?”

“Can you think of a better place to make love than a room with a glass wall that looks out into the sea?”

“Yes I can. The beach.”

“You will make love out in the open beach?”

“Try it. On a moonlit night, the sea lapping at your toes, the waves drowning out all other sound and a lover amazed by your shamelessness make for heavenly lovemaking. Don't forget a sheet to lie on. Sand has a habit of getting into unwanted places.”

The thought struck Trina as being rather unhygienic. Curious, maybe even erotic, but decidedly unhygienic. She stared at Veronica's nose-ring. “Silver,” she thought, “I haven't seen silver jewellery in a long time.” Sunlight skids on silver, like a ninja on water. “Ninjas? What have I been drinking! Why am I thinking of ninjas and silver! Weren't we talking about the sea and lovemaking and nature. P.”

“Do you want a cigarette?” Veronica's dusky voice seemed to wrench her out of her silvery fog.

“I am trying to give up. I want my lover to give it up actually. But he says I am hypocrite if I don't give it up myself first.”

“Mine smokes like a chimney. And hides his stash in my apartment - his is searched it seems, by what he calls 'the cigarette police!' Have you ever kissed a mouth full of smoke? Exchanged smoke like saliva? I found the thought disgusting till he made me do it.”

“No... I don't quite like the saliva bit either, much to his chagrin. I am more of a touch person, than a kiss person.”

“I am all for touch, kiss, lick and other forms of bodily interaction, to put it mildly. ”

“Hmmm... I think I am more of a mental person. As opposed to being physical I mean.”

Veronica let out a laugh and shook her head.

Meet says about the same thing for me. That I am a mental person. Meet is my lover and friend.”

“In that order?”


“I would like a friend first. Though I am not sure I would want it. I am not sure P understands the difference. He does look sad when I tell him he does not understand. I think I hate it more that he tries so hard to understand than I do his not understanding.”

“How do you design anything thinking like that?”

“I keep work and love separate. I either work at love or love my work. I don't do both together.”

“I can't seem to keep one aside to make room for the other long enough to separate them in my head. I need good lovemaking to work well and crave good work to be able to make love.”

“You have sex at work?”

“You don't want to know! You seem to be too proper to be scandalized by such revelations. I like working at Meet's apartment though. That gives me high. And that is not only because of a constant supply of cigarettes.”

“I hate working at P's place. The place smells of decadence. I cannot work in such a place. I like his place precisely because of the reason I hate it. I think I'll have that cigarette after all.”

“Thinking about Meet makes me want to smoke. I don't think that is called having a positive influence on someone. Don't you find falling for all the wrong types too stereotypical? I always pegged myself to be more of an outcast than this.”

“These days being the outcast is being stereotyped. It's like history rewriting itself.”

“Do you have other lover's too?”

“No. I don't. I am monogamous.”

“I am not though currently I am only with Meet. It is not infidelity when I do not invest in another lover. You know – only the occasional fling.”

“Between the otherwise steadier fling, you mean?”

“Kind of. Though I find I am losing my taste for lovers after being with Meet for sometime. It's how being a smoker kills off your taste-buds.”

“And still I smoke. We are not that different in some ways. I wonder how different our lovers are. I think I do not know mine well enough to answer that. I think I do not want to know mine well enough to answer that. Knowing too well dulls your taste-buds too.”

“The familiarity-contempt line of thinking. I agree. We are useful as lovers as long as we hold the secret of our charms close to our hearts. After that, maybe we are only useful as friends or companions.”

“I don't want to give up being a lover to being a companion.”

1 comment:

  1. enjoy your blog, I just started blogging and not at your level.