To wake up, rather suddenly, on the sagging side of 30+ can be quite traumatic. Even more if it happens on a morning when the maid informs you that today’s Delhi Debate in Vrindavan Park near Mother Dairy-gate of our flats saw most maids agreeing that I was so much prettier when I came here 6 years back – just married, fresh face, long sensible hair, always threaded brows, etc. Her unabashed comfort in revealing such truths didn’t stun me as much as, well, the truth. Which being, my body and hair and face and younameitdammit are undergoing constant … evolution, to use a nice word.
The conversation grew roots in my head and remained there like a teak tree with big leaves keeping all light of reason and reasonable analysis away from the freshly formed idea of a maid-rejected Self. Meaning, no sense of self, at all. I was provoked to think, look back, call my husband to ask his ‘You’re the most beautiful woman I have ever married!’, sift through my wedding albums and message my husband again for a contrariwise-to-maid’s-opinion in text as further substantive evidence. But for the maximum solace to an injured ego, I logged in to Facebook, my magic mirror on the wall, just like yours.
Professors of Secret Sociability on Social Networks tell you how the vainest put display pictures, collect likes on them and then scratch those numbers on a wall of fame in their houses called ‘Fuel for Narcissism’. I am one of them, on Facebook. (No, not the Professor. The other vain variety).
So, after sending the nth message to my husband and finally receiving a reply back (‘Honey, I'm off for a very important sarkari chai break now’) I had no other shoulder to rest my injured head on and I logged on to Facebook; the underwire that supports you on your lowest days. That’s when it happened. While I was still doing the math as to how many total likes I have got on all display pictures put together, dividing them into columns of known sources, known-but-untrustworthy-sources and unknown-thus-more-valuable-sources, I noticed something by sheer coincidence. I noticed a folder called ‘Other’ in Facebook Messenger and opened it.
That’s the exact moment I realized how wrong the maid was and how I was measuring my waistline with the wrong tape. That’s also the exact moment I
fell rose in love, all over again, and this time with multiple men. Yes, as many as would fit in a Trojan Horse before I pushed it down Mount Etna’s golden gurgling mouth. All out of love, and for giving it irreversible permanence, thus.
You want to see what keeps this old wife’s heart’s strings playing tra-linga-ling?
Isn’t it just lovely how this kind man hunted me down like a true seeker, found me and finally addressed me by my surname? Wht’s mre! He’s an aspiring wrter 2 lk myslf. Immediately, I felt connected on this side and on the other side of all sense too. He also intends to forge a most unique bond of friendship – one that motivates and one that inspects. In advance he shows such gratitude already for a communion yet to be made that my starry eyes wonder what’s in store for me after the raid is over, the inspection done and dusted, and the X-file closed.
Not all bodily references are bawdy. Certainly not those which are also your centre of gravity. He called me like he would a French nun who quit the habit to marry a Monsieur (which was a breeze of fresh air compared to the ‘hi sakkuu’ I received just before this). So novel the address concocted that I wonder how novel the just-released novel will be! I would have liked to tell him how I too was hoping to write a book with my esteemed end but how, after Kim K’s revelation, it’s sitting put on strike, asking to be let free from the purdah system permanently with a year’s supply of oil.
A love note so close to my heart that on the crappiest of days I turn to it to realize what I see as shit surrounding me is not. This man charming has with such keen observation skills painted a picture of me that my husband could borrow some leaves or rox from this mode of expression. What can it be except trew lowe in the eyes which notice how a woman mixes colours optimistically, thus leading him to (big word alert) believe in her – as a messiah to deliver mankind from the ugly, unruly life of glamor-without-a-u. U being me, here.
I wish I could meet this man, one day. He looks nothing like Robin Sharma or Shiv Khera but see how he cares if I’m happy. Just how many people ask you that? How many, tell me? Oh, and he feels too. You see, he looks beyond the externals. He simply sits blindfolded on messenger waiting for harmonic signals of charming women to reach him. That’s when he pings to tell ladies such as myself giving us hope for things beyond the first horizon of friendship. Ahem!
Many others have come and gone. Many keep coming and coming and coming till the number, of messages, is mind-blowing. There all all kinds. One just left a “gud morning happy thandi thandi morning” and froze all conversation since I saw the message too late. Others have pockets full of posies, like this one “Hii... Gd morning.have a nice wednesday.''Yeh duniya kahan hai dosti ke liye,'par kahan se waqt nikalta hai dushmani ke liye'' and then fallen into a drunken stupor where even Thursday rhymes with 'liye'.
So wanted by the opposites I feel, such divine calmness too, that if I were to die this moment I would be reborn as a Best Seller Balm 30+ – a relaxing, warming elixir to rid you of all aches and pains - right from your heav(y)ing bosoms to your revered ends.
And just as suddenly, I am left with no more complaints for today.