Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Neither here nor there

A hand caressed the side of my head and I looked up from my phone. One angry bird went careening wildly off target and the undead pig snorted in glee. My eyes rested on the chocolate, smooth skin she was baring, her blouse back a mere strip and the front as low cut as would help defy gravity. The chiffon of her cheap saree slid dangerously off her shoulder and I realised none of the women around me could take their eyes off the eunuch either.

She swayed over to the next cluster of passengers on our train - the 5.57 slow from Churchgate to Borivili. She flirtatiously cooed at the passengers, blessing them and invoking the gods in a falsetto. Then she began singing, really well ."Man kyun behka re behka, aadhi raat ko..." and the aunty she was eyeing said "Sun, tera blouse to bara sexy hai." She simpered and said, still in a coy, feminine voice, "Arre Aunty, aisa sochne ke din gaye tere, ab to tu puja-paath pe dhyan de!" The entire compartment tittered as she walked off, covering her face in mock-shame as her saree got caught on a screw. Better than any Hindi film actress covering herself from the roving eyes of the hero, she cast her eyes down and adjusted her pallu.

The entertainment continued. The women continued to laugh - nudging each other at each joke. Until a bangle-seller got on with a trayful of green-and-gold bangles - the traditional symbol of a married woman in Maharashtra. And the women got busy choosing new patterns of announcing their status as wives.

The eunuch's laughter faded away and out of our consciousness, and she left the train at the next train station.