"What are you saying? You dont know about Taming of the Shrew? And you tell me that you read? You should be ashamed of yourself!" said she, when I told her that I did not know who the Shrew was. Little did she realized that I was not interested in any Shrew or its taming or mating or watever. I was merely interested in striking a conversation with her, hoping to get her to agree to come out with me for a drive, dinner, coffee or movie. In that order. Drive is my thing. I am at my best, when I am driving. If I could, I would have became a driver.
"I dont! There is so much literature out there and its tough to read all of that, especially if you started reading at 25." I replied. "So why dont you tell me about it?" I threw in a bait.
"There's nothing to tell you dude. Its a simple enough story, told well. If I were you, I would have read it before I spoke to me." She snapped back. And although this was on sms, I could feel the irritation in her tone. I am good at this. Putting a tonality and emotion on a mere text message.
"And why is that?" I was trying my luck by asking a useless and a prodding question, to a woman who was anyways pissed off with me! I told myself if I got a reply, I would be a notch closer to that drive. I was mentally preparing a step ahead and thinking of possible places to take her. She lived in Noida and that meant just a handful of places where you could go.
"You are persistent. Arent you?", she finally replied after an eternity. I checked the time and it was mere eight minutes since I had asked her. For someone like her and I, sms was as synchronous and immediate as a face to face conversation is. I had lost all hopes and was about to send another text when I got the reply.
"And you always dodge questions. Dont you?" Now I knew I was in the game. I tried pushing my luck further and sent a neg her way.
"Lol. What did I dodge? To invite this acquisition?" she replied. I had to be quick on my feet. And I have had enough of BS. This time, something snapped in my head and told me to be straightforward.
"The one about the shrew to start with. And then there were more that you dodged." It does help when you can type fast on a phone. It must have taken me all of 4 nanoseconds to read her reply, process it in my head, type that answer and hit send. Love the way technology is making lives simpler (and hate the way its making relationships more effervescent).
"Ah that one. You should read taming ... because I tend to believe that I am the modern day avatar of the shrew. And it would be mightily tough for a man to even tolerate me." Wow! I could not believe that she was opening up. Was she throwing a bait at me? I decided to make her wait. Why did I do that? I dont know. It just looked natural to me.
"You've given up already? Have you?", she asked. I was asleep when I got that text. I have a very light sleep and any messages, calls wake me up. Not that I dint plan to reply to her message, I just dozed off. And now that she was inviting me, I had to do something about it.
"Lol no. I just started reading the Taming ... and to be honest its a really boring piece of text. I wonder how could he write so heavy language. Please yaar, summary batao. It would help speed up things ;)". I said. I was told that you need to make conversation and always end a line with a question mark. Human instincts, they come in play more often that we realize. You end something with a question and more often than not, people would respond. And it is surprising that even simple obvious things stated as questions tend to get things done faster than any other mode of motivation.
"Dude, its a very long story!" Pat came the reply. Of course she had to reply. I had asked her a question. I had no clue how to read this one. At least she did not say no. However, I knew that its either now or never.
"Since you say that its a long story, lets go for a drive. You will have all the time in the world to narrate the story and give me all the gyaan about shrews.", I suggested. This was natural progression at play. I made the drive sound like an obvious thing to do. And I primed it so that the going-on-the-dive bit sounded like HER idea, rather than mine.
And then I dozed off again. And before I could get into the NREM-REM cycle, I heard my phone beep.
Inspired by a series of SMS conversations that I had once upon a time with a woman I thought I was going to live the rest of my life with. As you may have guessed, she is happily married with someone else and I have lost all contact with her. I have tried reading the Taming ... numerous times since then and every time I loose the plot in just the first few lines. Truth be told, I still miss her. If not the lifepartner, she would have made an excellent friend. Someone I could count on.
And yes, I did go for that drive. And many more after that.
Started writing this on 21st Aug. Finished on 28th August. Part of Project 0811. Other posts are here.