I had never met S before. I got to know her through a friend. So while on a leave to visit home, she asked me if we could meet for dinner. I said: Yes.
She came running from across the street dodging the cars as they passed in front of me. A tight hug from this super-petite girl and we started walking towards a nearby Chinese restaurant.
Since we barely knew each other, our conversations while we walked rapidly towards the eatery were mostly work related. She was assisting a famous Bengali movie director in his first maiden television venture in the fiction genre. She was so excited about her job that her tiny feet formed little skips and jumps as she trotted along beside my lengthy strides. She barely reached my shoulder, spoke in a thin but melodious voice in a sing-song tone and was dark-skinned with a very pretty heart-shaped face.
On being told that the Chinese place was not serving alcohol that night, we turned and made for a Punjabi themed-restaurant across the street. Seat chosen, two large Tuborgs ordered and we were good to go.
S drank slow and in the semi-darkness of the bar-area, I could sense a smile playing at the corner of her mouth. “I was doing a research on bisexuality in association with British Council and guess what”, she raised an eyebrow at me.
“I am positive on bisexuality!”
I was immediately reminded of my school days. As it is in certain girls’ schools especially convents, we, at a certain age, tend to develop a fancy for certain girl pals of ours’. We like to sit beside them, write them love letters, unabashedly flaunt our ‘secret’ to the rest of the class. Then the rainy afternoons on the school terrace when the teachers are busy with chemistry, we would imagine exploring our geographies. Of course none of that ever happened and before long we would blush even at the memory of a stolen kiss from our ‘girl’ pal at the end of a dark corridor in our school.
I have been through that stage somehow. But that was a long time ago. It was not as though I was confused about my orientation. It was that particular stage in my growing-up years when the heart wants to be a romantic but the head guards you with a rule book. The heart invariably races ahead of the head and that feeling of rush needs an antidote. We search for that antidote in another person. And since our girl pals were closest to us (and convenient), we found that shelter in them. And the movies too were to blame of course!
I am not ashamed of that stage in my life. It was the normal-est thing to do. I didn’t even know what ‘lesbian’ and ‘bisexual’ meant at that time. I didn’t care.
S banged her fist on the table so hard that it brought me back to ‘earth’. “I am bisexual! D’you hear that!” She was slightly buzzed. I asked her if she had any experiences with women. “Oh I’ve had plenty of them! There have been many men and many women in my life Debbie. And trust me, the women fare much better.”
“Really? How?” I refrained from ordering a second beer by sitting up in my chair trying to look eager.
“One moment”, she said and she beckoned the waiter to bring two more bottles of beer. “Imagine, Debbie, the touch of soft skin, gentle hands, a beautiful angelic face…the best thing about being with a woman is that you would know that no matter what, they will always understand you. If you don’t feel like ‘doing it’, she would understand that you are having your periods! And she won’t fall asleep right after sex! You can lie in her arms, or she in yours! You can talk till dawn and ‘do it’ again if you want! All this and no BABIES! Ha ha ha!”
“Yes but if its like having sex with a mirror image, would you not rather ‘please yourself’? Where is the adventure?”
“Oh don’t talk like the stupid men! ‘Adventure’! Hah!”
She took a long swig at her beer. I was scared that I might have to carry her after all when we are done with dinner!
Back home, I couldn’t help but wonder, is having a same sex partner really the most satisfying thing? Will a woman be better understood if she were living-in with or married to another woman? Would two women be able to have the best sex ever? These questions were also accompanied by a very troubling thought: under what circumstances would a woman want to declare herself as bisexual? S’s announcing that she was a positive wasn’t about being a ‘bi’ as much as it was about being in relationships with women. Is being bisexual fashionable?
My mobile rang and it was a message from S: “If I ask you to take your clothes off, would you do it?”
Would I do it? Is that supposed to turn me on? The point is, it didn’t. I imagined a puny woman with manicured fingers all over me. I did not exactly shudder at the thought but I felt it to be ‘bland’. Like certain types of Chinese food.
To me S’s declaration of being bisexual was no more than soccer fans talking about Paul, the octopus. A fad.There are men and women around the world who feel it for real but for S, it is like saying ‘Oh I loooove Sushi without ever tasting it’.
As for me, I prefer relationships the old-fashioned way- with men! With due respect to men and women who think otherwise…
Disclaimer: The views expressed are solely the author’s own and are not meant to hurt anybody’s sentiments.