The first time I used the word sexy was when I was in the fifth standard. I was in my schoolbus on the way home when it lurched to a screeching halt. The bus driver managed to avert a head-on collision with a cab coming from the opposite direction. It was raining heavily and visibility was minimal. We kids had no clue what was happening outside. We were too busy screaming the latest movie songs, our voices hoarse and our pigtails undone. When the bus resumed its arduous journey through the curtain of rain, I exclaimed, “So sexy, man!” to which there were loud hoots and more screaming. A senior girl from the tenth standard looked at me disapprovingly. She usually never spoke in the bus. So we didn’t know how her voice sounded. “What did you say?” It boomed. It drowned the white noise of the rain outside and the constant honking of the bus horn. I replied defiantly, “Sexy.”

“Do you know what it means?”

I had an answer for everything.

“Yes. It means ‘nice’. It could also mean ‘good looking’.” I stared at her incredulously. How could she not know? They say that on the TV all the time.

More than two decades later, I am still learning. Words and their meanings. Real meanings. And what they actually denote/signify/hint at. Here are a few.

Event. A gathering of like-minded and unlike-minded people usually organized by a third party. An exercise with the objective of ‘creating business and networking opportunities’. The venue becomes the fourth party in the transaction and has an ‘honorable’ mention in the ‘press’ as one of its stakes.

Guest list. The ‘who’s who’ of the city. Period. Two hundred people divided into ‘corporates’, ‘industrialists’, ‘art frat’, ’embassy guests’ (mostly Caucasian), ‘celebrities’, ‘designers’, ‘models’ and ‘press’. Be warned. The most important cog in the wheel. Guest list is and can be traded, may cause feuds resulting in social cold shoulders and fall from grace on Facebook. The ‘Probable Gatecrashers” list to be adorned in bright yellow post-it note on top.


PR. Press Relations.

Portfolio. Check Facebook.

House music. Every DJ claims to play this.

Commercial music. Every DJ actually plays this.

Famous. A picture on the party page. Preferably wearing the latest sartorial trend.

Media. Special discounts. Extra attention.

Friends. The number of likes on the profile picture.

Love. Really, now.

Disclaimer. You kidding me?


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