Sunday, November 06, 2005

A lot can happen over coffee

A lot can happen over coffee, is the punch line of one of the coffee chains in India. Very true indeed.

Relaxing over a cup of cappuchino, my preferred hot coffee these days at the café, I look around & get to see a nice blend of different people, their behavior, their talks, their clothes & so on.

Observing people has been an unconscious habit of mine. Its only recently I realized I have such a habit. While my college friends joke over old events & continue to rag each other I quietly sip my cappuchino & look around. Every now & then I fill myself in on what is happening at my table, who is getting ragged or what is the joke all about.

The crowd at such café’s is fairly young. If not young in the real sense you will surely find people young at heart. On one occasion, a fairly middle aged couple sat on one of the very comfortable sofas. The man was wearing figure hugging shirt & trousers & the lady wore a long skirt with a long slit & a top. They sat side by side & the man had his arm around his lady & was constantly stroking her hand. Their faces were so close to each other that all through whatever conversation they were having I’am sure they could get a pretty good look at each other’s features on their faces.

What was the need to sit so close? What kind of a conversation were they having after all? And in the midst of their conversation they would laugh, may be they were cracking some jokes. May be dirty jokes. But they were having a good time. The loud music & all the noise of so many people chatting all around only resulted in the couple having their privacy even amidst such an environment.

Fashion is a very subjective word. I feel I should be comfortable with what I am wearing & confident to carry it off & if I have even the slightest of doubts with respect to these two parameters I avoid buying & wearing such clothes. But that is my view and not all of them have to think the same way.

On yet another of those meetings with my friends at the café, I was involved in observing & overhearing a conversation by a few school kids sitting across my table. Very enthusiastic bunch they were. Their school uniform indicated that they were from one of the most prestigious schools in Bangalore. Considering the time, which was late in the evening I assumed they were sitting at the Café after attending a school fest or something. Some of them had changed into civvies. One of them who wore civvies I noticed had a decent amount of make up on her face & wore a top with a low neckline thus revealing a hint of cleavage. She sat on the armrest part of the sofa & thus was seated well above the rest of them who sat in the actual seating area of the sofa. I noticed how carefree this girl was with herself, her clothes & how she sat & how she sipped her cold coffee. Way to go I thought for a school going girl. I remembered my school days, yeah there were no such café’s around then so that is why may be I didn’t go to such expensive places.
I also wondered what is happening to the children of today. I don’t know why I started to think that way, because I knew it was not correct to think that way & jump to conclusions, for I have always believed appearances could be deceptive. So may be what I saw was just posturing by the girl, who probably wanted to look cool or whatever in front of her friends or may be she is just plain modern in her dressing sense & partying sense which is not bad or wrong after all.

I also looked at the only girl at my table, my friend’s wife, looking at the cleavage-revealing schoolgirl. The look on my friend’s wife’s face was of shock & disbelief. I’am not a very good face reader so may be I’am wrong there. But it looked like that to me. In the midst of all this one of the guy in the group across our table stood up & looked down at the stairs & shouted loudly at someone & used the F word quite liberally in the process. All the girls sitting around him, I think there were 4 of them, ignored him & what he said & were engrossed in eating their chocolate ice cream.

I don’t use the F word too often, only when I am really upset or irritated that I use it & most times in a very hushed tone so that others don’t hear it. This guy was loud & the girls didn’t bother about it. Nice approach I thought.

My friends were deliberating whether to order something to eat or not. I wanted to eat something too. After some more discussion we freezed on a pizza.

I’am not a very talkative person, so I continued to look at some of my friends rag one of the fat friends in the group at our table. I find it very difficult to understand how they can manage to laugh at the same jokes pulled on the same guy again & again. The fat friend ofcourse seemed not to mind & seemed to enjoy the attention he was getting.

Two couples walked in & after looking around which table to occupy decided to take up the table to the right of ours. After they decided which table to sit at they took some more time to decide who should take which chair.

Its actually fun to look at how some people go through such mundane things with so much interest & thought.

After having made up their mind, they decided to sit down. One of the girls in the group took a chair that was right next to me. As she was sitting down I noticed her jeans around her waist slide down at the back & within no time I was looking at the crack of her butt, as she finally settled down on the chair. Then she pulled down her top & covered it up, I’am sure unaware of what had happened & me looking at something that she herself doesn’t get to see much.

Crack of the butt, or otherwise called butt cleavage is in vogue these days. I feel one of the reasons for that is the growing popularity of low waist jeans. The other important reason I feel is a neat paunch that just about everybody seems to have these days including girls. I feel the paunch in the front contributes & helps for the already low waist jeans to be worn further lower resulting in revealing the backside to others.
To be fair to all such people who show off their backsides I feel it’s not their fault. My way of looking at it is the regular cleavage (the front side one) is something that is most times intended. The girl knows she is showing off her cleavage. But the backside one is most times accidental, like what I witnessed.

Intended or accidental I feel it’s taking the term fashion to disgustingly low levels.

We decided to pay up & get out of the café. Outside at the parking lot as I walked towards my bike, I saw a guy sitting on a bike & a girl very close to him standing in front of him with the guys face in her small hands. She had bent down on his face & there was probably just enough distance between their eyes for them to keep it open & look at each other. As I walked away from them I noticed another group consisting of only guys discussing something in hushed tones & giving occasional glances at the ‘very close’ couple. Something told me that they were not ogling at the couple but were eager to know what happened & what is happening. I passed the group & came ahead & stationed myself near my bike & waited for my other friends also to assemble there.

The ‘very close’ couple hugged each other & the girl planted a kiss on the guy’s fore head. Then she held his hand & walked him to the group of guys sitting next to them. They spoke something & then she hugged each of the guys. When the ritual was done, the ‘very close’ couple held their hands again & very closely walked away from their friends & us.

The hugs are in fashion these days as well. I hesitate to hug even my guy friends because I feel a hug is a very strong show of emotion. I feel one doesn’t go around hugging everybody & anybody whenever one sees them irrespective of if they met each other the previous day or that morning. Then again that is my view.

When all my friends gathered around we said our byes. We say our byes differently. When we have decided it is time to leave, we shake hands with all, then when we are about to leave somebody will ask, “Ok when are we meeting next?” someone will speak up & offer a date & time, some others wait for someone to offer the date & time. Then when the date & time is offered, someone will say, “No I have exams at that time” or “I have to go to my aunts house”. Thus nullifying the initial date & time suggested by someone. Then we conclude & arrive at an alternate date & time, if no one raises any objections to the new timings we shake hands with all of them again & say our byes again.

That way we shake hands as many times as possible. It’s free after all isn’t it? Yes some of them in my group are also into hugging & yes sometimes we hug more than once.

I just stand there & wait for the hugging to get over.

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