Sunday, January 26, 2014

When Sophie Met Sid (The Weirdly Fictitious Post).

So. Yashodara Lal Sharma, the lovely author of Just Married, Please Excuse, has come out with her second novel - Sorting out Sid. She asked me sometime back if we could get our lead characters (Sid from her novel and Sophie from my second novel, Sophie Says: Memoirs of a Breakup Coach) to meet, and I thought it would be a fun experiment. So we had a short exchange the other day, as our characters (She was Sid and I was Sophie), on Google Talk and I have to say, I'm enjoying every second of this MPD thing. It was so much fun fake-drunk flirting as a fictional woman with a fictional man written by a woman.

Schizophrenia is company. MPD is a party ;-)

         ***

Setting: A Bar in Chennai. Lights Dim. A guy and a girl find themselves sitting next to each other at the counter. Both are on their third or fourth drinks.

Sid: (Preens, trying to get her to notice his newly sprouting French Beard. He refuses to be the one to say something first even though he feels like a conversation. It would be too forward of him.)

Sophie: And this is a day I never thought I'd see in Chennai..

Sid: (Hoping she isn't one of those crazies who end up in places like this) Excuse me?

Sophie: (completely ignoring his cautious approach) Nothing, I find it charming that you think you're being subtle checking me out.

Sid: ( sputters and chokes-he was in the middle of taking another swig of his Beer. Recovers and says with as much dignity as possible). Madam. I assure you I was not. I was merely looking at MYSELF in the mirror to see how my new French Beard is coming along. I apologize if you thought I was looking at you. (He adds) I am very much a married man. Married fifteen long years, actually. (Shows her his ring to convince her of the fact.)

Sophie: (rolling eyes) Okay, relax, take a breath and all that, Gilderoy Lockhart. (a beat, speaking more to herself ) Wow, so there's hope for that sinking institution after all…

Sid: Gilderoy..who? Oh I see. I understand. I'm sometimes mistaken for a foreigner. Well, it happened once. Oh, but that's when I was in China, so I guess I was a foreigner only (Shakes head to clear it). Anyway. My name is Sid. Siddharth, actually, but everyone calls me Sid. And you are...?

Sophie: Never mind. You might be too old for a Harry Potter reference anyway (quickly realizes she's too old as well and tries to change the subject). I'm Sophie. And everyone calls me Sophie. Or The Breakup Coach.

Sid: (shocked) A ...break up coach? I didn't know there was such a thing. How unusual (Suddenly realizes she was making a barb at his age). Hey. I'm only 36. I've been TRYING to look older because I might soon become a VP at my company. And I'll have you know that my marriage is JUST FINE. No sinking institution at all. (Sinks lower in his chair, trying to keep thoughts of his last fight at home at bay)

Sophie: I was actually commenting on marriage as an institution and not your marriage specifically, but interesting response (looks at him like she's making a psycho analytic observation). Also, VP at 36, huh? Good for you. I'm 31, fashionably quit my job a few months ago because it wasn't "fulfilling" and now I have nooooo idea what I want to do… (smiles vaguely, looking straight ahead.) (a long pause). You know, at this point, it is polite to offer a sad fact about your life.

Sid: (caught off guard) Sad fact...well, I would except that my life is fine, FINE. It's Rockin'! (thinks for a bit, realizing he may be overdoing it) Well, I suppose...it could get better. Mandira and I have been ...er, having differences of opinion rather a lot. But that's normal in any relationship, right? (Changes track, embarrassed at having opened up to this strange girl, although she is kind of cute. But he's married!) So, no job eh? A free bird-types?! I'm sure joblessness has its moments. Doesn't it?

Sophie: (noticing he's embarrassed about opening up and getting a kick out of making him feel worse): Whoa, whoa, Sid…too much information.. It's not cool to discuss fights with your wife with strange women at the bar, you know? (impish smile)
Sid (feeling uncomfortable) Yes, yes...well, you're the one who started with the whole break up, sinking institution thing. Never mind. Wait, so you're not really jobless then, right? You do that...Break up Engineering thing?

Sophie: (laughing) You're so cute... (Doing a Sid impression) "you're the one who started it..nananana" (chuckling again)..sorry, sorry,  I'm 4 margaritas down. And yeah the Breakup "Engineering" thing is more of a blog I write. It's called Sophie Says. Hey, you should look it up on Facebook! Uhh, not that you need it or anything.

Sid: (Tips of his ears turning pink at having been called cute. But wait, she's just making fun of him) Yeah. I definitely, so definitely don't need your services. (Doesn't like the way that sounds) Er, what I mean is ... yeah, my marriage is fine, but still. What do you do exactly? I would look it up, but I'm not much on Facebook. I don't get the time at work, busy long days, meetings, emails, important stuff, you know. Plus (confessing a little shamefacedly) They keep using some Firewall thingy to block it at office.

Sophie: (laughs) Well, as a Breakup Coach, I get to slap some sense into Breakees. Uh, Breakees is a word I coined for people who get dumped. You know Relationship Junkies who think they're entitled to whine all over town, throw tantrums and boil your bunny because you dumped them? Yeah, I like to fix those losers. Kind of like a contribution to society and all. Also, this whole thing is built around the philosophy that it is the Breakers who suffer more at the end of a relationship and NOT the Breakees who have friends, countless tubs of Baskin Robbins and good old fashioned self-pity to fall back on…(Looks at Sid thoughtfully).Also, you keep saying that your marriage is fine A LOT. Just an observation. Feel free to ignore it. But you know, you strike me as the king of denial.

Sid: (defensive) That's because it is Fine. A LOT. That's just how it is. I am so totally NOT the king of Denial. That's just ( Realizing he's denying it too hard) ...And I have no idea what this Breaker and Breakee business is. Isn't it possible for two people to just mutually decide that it's not working, at some point? ( He takes another large swig to fortify himself. This conversation is taking a toll on him. Looks at her, with almost a plea in his eyes this time) Doesn't that EVER happen?

Sophie: Like I said, just an observation. But I feel like you're very all-caps-y every time you talk about your marriage, you know?  (she sighs, there's a pause) And I wait for that day as much as you…the day when the breaker and the breakee deal with their own problems…(examines her glass. it's empty.) So tell me, mysterious stranger with too many unresolved issues, should I order another one or are you afraid you might fall in love with me? (drunk laughs).

Sid: ( trying to suppress the strange attraction he feels towards her. Come on, you're the master of suppressing things, he tells himself) I'll take that chance. (turns away from her)  Bhaiiya! I mean Waiter! We'll have another refill, this lovely young lady and I.( Searches his head for a safe topic) So...are you from Chennai?

Sophie: (thinking to herself: Oh, crap. What did I do. I already have a Ryan and a Yatan to deal with and after all the grief I gave Bonnie about the married guy… oh, please God..I've learnt my lesson! I shall never judge again!) (Smiles). Yup. Been here all my wife. Er, life. You?

Sid: I'm from Delhi. Er, well, I'm actually from Lucknow but now I live in Delhi. Used to be in Bombay, but my wife got a great job opportunity in Delhi so we moved there. Good for me, though! Doing very well at work. The VP thing you know. ( Realizes he sounds like a bit of an ass but it's too late to backtrack)

Sophie:  I was just at that point in my margarita buzz when I had gotten past my existential pain. But now that you've reminded me again about what an unaccomplished mess I am what with that VP thing you keep bringing up and all.. (pouts at the mirror, trying to see if she can appear girly for a change) Anyway… this has been peculiar, Sid. I never thought I'd see the day in Chennai.. when a cute guy would check me out at a bar and then tell me that he was only checking out his new french beard. (smiles)

Sid: (Humorless laugh) Okay! Fine! You want to hear it? I will TELL YOU (getting very loud)...I'm a VP at my company, all right...BUT YOU HAVEN'T ASKED WHAT WE MAKE!
WE MAKE TOILET CLEANERS. YOU KNOW...STAIN REMOVAL FOR WESTERN AND INDIAN STYLE BOTH. NEW PERFUMED VARIANT. I WENT FOR THE PRODUCT RESEARCHES MYSELF. IT WAS ENLIGHTENING! HAHAHAHAHAHA

Sophie: Ohh-kay. My girl erection just went down.

Sid: So You're not the one with existential problems! I'm the LOSER! Ha ha! I WIN! (suddenly realizes what she just said, and looks hopeful) You mean I could have...we could have...can we rewind and maybe ...

Sophie: (laughs) I think this is the point in that drunk cocky boy meets drunk damaged girl scenario, where they should both get up and leave. (Leans in to whisper to him mock-seductively) You know? Since your marriage is FINE and all? (picks up her bag to leave, flashes him a smile.) This has been sweet, Sid. But let's NOT keep in touch on Facebook. (winks).

Sid: (calls after her) I wasn't interested anyway! You're not  my type after all! And I'm too loyal! My MARRIAGE IS FINE! ( Sees he is now alone except for the waiter staring at him with arms crossed. Looks at him haughtily) One more, Bhaiiya! (Slumps over the bar)


*** 
You can pick up your copy of Sorting Out Sid here and Sophie Says here

3 comments:

  1. Given that I haven't read either Sorting out Sid or Sophie says here and I read this post with a completely open mind, I thoroughly enjoyed the post and more importantly both these characters with their inherent quirks. I have added both these books to my To Read list and they ll surely find their way to my hands sometime in 2014 for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  2. THANK YOU FROM BOTTOM OF MY HURT

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am the great Indian righter and am pleased to inform you that I am another entrant contributing to the plethora of useful and profound fiction that is being churned by so many talented Indian writers who have taken the bowels out of the vowels and are interested in expressing themselves by any means possible.


    Now that the big publishers have also pandered to this molestation of the language, I take delight in telling you that my book based on my true life incident titled, "I HAD TOO MANY LOVE STORIES. NOW I AM DECLARED MENTAL IN 2 STATES" is already a self-proclaimed internationally national best seller.


    Please be kind as to review the same.


    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Great-Indian-Righter/272554206241197


    Blog: http://thegreatindianrighter.blogspot.in/


    I am in anticipation, for ever and ever,


    THE GREAT INDIAN RIGHTER

    ReplyDelete

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