I have been relaxing my butt off for the past 12 hours. I got a kindle, for which I have no words. How do I express exactly how much … Too many feels, as they say. I would like to mention here that my parents seem to be unable to get the cheap version of anything, especially technology. I asked for the cheapest kindle. They got me the Kindle fire thing which I must say, I’m quite afraid of. Nevertheless, I have sent out mails to my friends with demands for e-books which they have gladly obliged me with. Except for some, who presumably are too busy having fun or something to actually help me out and send me a few more thousand books. Fucking bastards.
This also means that soon I will be shifting my entirely scandalous, utterly gratuitous and not at all small collection of erotica (or as I like to think of it – Book porn) to the Kindle, where innocent souls who just wanted to look at my e-book of Homer’s Illiad will get a load of this-
“Micco grabbed her hips and pulled her against his cock. He stepped forward, walking her backward toward the bed…”
I know, right? Who the fuck names their kid Micco?? Idiots.
Moving on. I would very much like to relate the story of The View from the Top. I like to imagine it as a tragi-comedic tale of a Victorian era girl and her first contact with scandalous behavior in a carriage bumping and grinding its way across the wild moors of England. She may or may not meet Mr. Rochester later. I have some porno of Rochester and Jane as well. Any takers? Just kidding. I’m not giving that to anyone.
Anyway, this story starts with three young women who had a harrowing experience finding their seat on a train because the ass who booked their seat cancelled it, then booked another seat. Bunch of crap. So there we were – yours truly, H and A, lugging our luggage across two bogeys in a moving train. You can imagine how popular we were. We made friends, we broke hearts, we regained our virginities. You know, the usual.
So when we finally got to our seat, we were very pleased. Not just because we got to our seat but because for once, once in our entire collective lives, there was a guy sitting there (with his mom, but that wasn’t important then) who was actually cute. He wasn’t the brightest of people or really very age appropriate as we later found out – eighteen really doesn’t do it for ladies unless they’re sixteen or forty – but he was cute and tall, with nice hair.
And maintaining discreetness with great aplomb – we didn’t even give each other pointed looks of glee – we each settled down for a nice journey of sleeping, reading, finishing our papers (that was a bummer) whilst discreetly keeping an eye on pretty face guy. Later we all knew we would corner him and make him uncomfortable with our lame flirting, and maybe, just maybe, with the stars on our side, we could give him a lil’ some’n some’ng, if you know what I mean. No, that was a joke lie. We just planned on cornering him when he went to the loo and taking turns with him.
But as these tales are wont to go, it all went awry. Which word by the way, did you know was pronounced as “Uh-rye”. Yeah, when I found out I was so glad I never actually said the word out loud in public as I had imagined it pronounced – “Aww-ree”. I digress. From the very beginning, me and H started noticing some strange stuff. We kept it to ourselves, because we could hardly talk to each other in front of them. And we also thought that as members of the cult of the unfeeling, we were perhaps wrong.
Let me put it this way. After meeting the mother and som, I wondered for half a minute if they were in fact mother and son. They sat really close together. Unnaturally so, as far as I was concerned. You don’t sit that close to your friends unless you happen to be reading the same thing. I don’t know why you would sit that close to a parent under any circumstances. And later, it got better/ worse, depending on your sense of humor and/or your scruples. There really was a rather excessive amount of affection here, believe you me. There was hair touching, knee rubbing, thigh grazing, cheek pulling. All of these behaviors would usually result in a mild amount of neck-rubbing discomfort with just a hint of awkward laugh on our parts. But that would be the case when it’s a couple sitting in front of us. This was mother and son.
But then again, me and H were brought up in nice Indian families that have quite appropriately ignored physical forms of affection as an acceptable part of social behavior. So we could have been wrong about that.
At some point of time we went to visit our Mallu friend in the first class compartments and on the way, gave vent to our feelings on the matter. A whole lot of laughter was had and “This is not appropriate railgaadi behavior” comments were made. We also acknowledged that if it weren’t for this whole Mommy dearest situation, we would both be willing to eat food off him. Ok no. We would just have been willing to fantasize about eating food off of him. But alas, Mommy dearest was there, and doing things to the boy that in Karnataka, his girlfriend would have gotten arrested for. She was also pet-naming him to death – “Shona”, “Baby, “Bacha”, all in the baby voice I reserve solely for dogs and a few cats, and H reserves for sarcastically putting down people.
We came back and found the Oedipal couple sitting next to each other still. He was fiddling with his iPhone (which by the way, is a real turn off when you do nothing else through an entire train journey) and she had earphones attached to said iPhone. Note how the narrative hear makes them sound like a couple? Yeah, I’m not doing that on purpose. So once we got back, we all settled down with the mom, her ‘Shona’ and an old guy with a very contagious-sounding cough.
And then she kissed his shoulder, with a loud kissy noise that kids make when they’re teasing other kids about kissing. I didn’t look at H. She didn’t look at me. We didn’t look at A, and she didn’t look at us. There was some real palpable as shit silence there. She did it a second and a third time, at which point I couldn’t control myself and I snorted my mirth out. Thankfully I had a book in front of my face, and John Irving had given me enough laughs earlier in the journey to make it seem like I was laughing at something in the book. We went to sleep at ten at the urging of the contagious old man. I personally didn’t protest because sleeping meant everybody would be in their own seats and not touching each other.
Now I admit, all of this at some level sounds like a mean spirited and emotionally skeptical rant about what could very well be the manifestation of a mother’s infinite love for her child. I kept the barf in for that sentence, congratulations to me. And in some ways, it could indeed be evidence of modern galt gurls (us) with our galt soch. Still others may point out that we make fun of these expressions of parental affection because we have very little of it. While I may not agree with the premise of these arguments – that because we don’t like to express affection to the extent that this particular family did, we are emotionally stunted or devoid of nice thoughts – I will agree that there may be some truth to the assertion that we judge the appropriateness of affection according to the way we are brought up; and which one of us hasn’t ever wanted to have been brought up differently?
Coming back from the philosophic, the next morning, I woke up at 6 because my mom called, very likely out of jet lag. And I stayed up till we got to Delhi. H I learnt, had gotten up at 4 randomly and had not been able to go back to sleep properly since then. The reason? She was sleeping on the top berth. The cute guy was sleeping on the berth beside her. And you may think, knowing H, that this was why she couldn’t go to sleep. But no. His mom was sleeping on the bottom berth opposite to H’s side of the cubicle.
And when H accidentally woke up at 4, what kept her up was the fact that the guy was not sleeping in his berth beside her. He was sleeping on his mom’s berth. With his mom. They were lying there together, spooning. Spooning. She was the big spoon, he was the little spoon and she was holding onto him for dear life, hopefully just to prevent him from falling down from the very narrow sleeping space. Now that, dear reader(s) is not really a subjective sort of weirdness. Nope.
Thankfully, the happy couple had gotten off at Agra and H could safely open her eyes in the morning and not have to see their faces. She told us about it and as you can imagine, we realized we were never going to run into a cute guy who was not going to have gargantuan mommy issues if we travelled by train. I may just take a flight next time.
All of this brings us to several socio-cultural questions. Does this qualify as hilarious, disturbing, or a fascinating study of changing roles in the family unit? Or is it simply creepyfying? Or were they actually a couple pretending to be mother and son because of the unconventional age difference, but once the lights went off and the rocking of the train got too rhythmic, they could not stop themselves from at least lying with each other, even if they couldn’t actually ‘lie’ with each other in all the ways they wanted to? Are we dirty minded? What is the meaning of spooning, and when is it appropriate? If I don’t care that you have an incestuous relationship, does that mean you can spoon while I can see you?
So many questions.
me: I agree. Little bit. But better than running out of secrets to tell.
ME: We’ll see.