Heard the one about Kumar?
I had to do away with him. He was getting unmanageable.
'Yes, Kumar likes the movie too'
'Kumar? Who Kumar?', they cried in unison as if it were a chorus in a song.
'My boyfriend...', I mumbled looking down at the ground.
'YOUR boyfriend? Your BOYFRIEND?', screamed my best friend Bubbs stressing different parts of the sentence for effect.
'How long has this been going on? Why didn't you tell us?', quizzed Nimmy, her best friend.
I shrugged in response.
They wanted to know all about him. So I told them as fast as I could make up the details. He was 21, an Engineering graduate. I wanted him to have a sensitive side, so I made him work with an NGO for orphaned kids. He was 6 ft 2, slim-built and wore glasses. He coached poor kids football and organised morchas to protest the demolition of slums in his spare time ('awwww', they cooed).
They wanted to meet him. So I sent him away to Brussels to attend an international conference on child development organised by UNICEF. From time to time, I would slink away in full view of my friends to talk to 'Kumar' on the phone. I'd come back giggling and tell my friends how naughty Kumar was. They'd blush and I'd act all coy.
Couldn't they at least see his photo? No, I said, Kumar was camera-shy and hated having his photo taken. What about talking to him? Couldn't Bubbs and Nimmy say hello to him over the phone? Oh no, Kumar was very busy fundraising. As a matter of fact, he was meeting the Ambani brothers to discuss corporate funding that very day. He wouldn't like to be disturbed.
That shut them up for a while before they started again. So I gave him chicken pox, broke his leg, killed his grandmother, drowned him in work and once, I even drained his mobile phone batteries. They were persistent, those bitches! They wanted to meet him at any cost. Unless I could manufacture a boyfriend at a short notice, I was quickly running out of excuses. Which is when mother nature gave me a hand. A train in Andhra was washed away by flash floods and guess who was on the ill-fated train? Kumar was on his way home after organising donations for victims of a cyclone in Rayalseema when the tragedy happened.
I went into mourning for a few days. But secretly, I was preening. I had officially had a boyfriend and lost him. Score: me - 1, the bitches - 0. Ha!