My wife and I were just strolling along window-shopping in the mall when suddenly she asked me, “Wow! Did you notice the stilettoes that girl was wearing!
Instinctively, I asked, “Which girl?”
It was a genuine question. (Later social media told me that this is the best and safest response to such questions.) But really, I hadn’t seen any girl at that time, leave alone her shoes! I was only looking at shop windows and the ladies’ dresses displayed in them and as far as I could tell, my wife was also doing the same, only far more intently as only women can. I had no idea a girl had passed by.
But my wife said, “What do you mean “which girl”? She just passed us by! Don’t tell me you didn’t notice her! She was wearing a light grey suit with those dark grey stilettos!”
Yaar, this is what confounds me about women. How they notice these things about other women! I hadn’t even seen my wife looking away from the shop windows but she seems to have eyes in the back of her head, the side, the top, and all over when it comes to other women! Hrithik Roshan can walk past her (before he became that name, of course) and she wouldn’t notice, but let a woman walk past, and one glance, just one glance in which neither her head nor her eyeballs move, will tell her everything she needs to know.
That glance! It’s faster than a credit card swipe and gathers far more information – age, clothes, shoes, hair, lipstick, lip gloss, makeup, purse, figure – with make, model, brand and year of manufacture of all of them! And if I am in some way relevant like say, I know the woman or vaguely admit to having seen her somewhere even a thousand years back, then the data is recalled instantaneously, the threat level is re-assessed, a few poisonous looks come my way – and I know a thorough investigation will be conducted at leisure, with me squirming in a chair under a spotlight, those same eyes going over every inch of me like a human lie detector!
“Your upper lip twitched minutely when I asked you that question! Why? Why? Are you lying? Yes, you are! Tell me the truth! Why are you sweating?!……. Ok, again, let’s take it from the top!”
And it’s just not gathering data and throwing it all away. It’s all referenced, indexed and neatly filed away somewhere in that brain of hers and always on call, like a good doctor. And months and months later, when the appropriate situation comes up, out pours all that data for instant reference!
And she’ll turn to me and innocently ask me, “You remember that girl we saw the other day? Was her nail polish this colour? Do you remember?”
All these questions are laid out like a minefield. You have to think on your feet, carefully but fast. If you answer too quickly, you are either disinterested or lying. If you take too much time, you have seen too much of the lady in question!
And you also have to remember your answer from the last time in case the question has already been asked before. Yes, yes, those types of traps have also been set up. You don’t fall for one, the next one will get ya! And realize this: all your previous answers are also stored there in that database. They are like little serpents, those damn answers, just ready to fly out and nip you in the jugular the moment you falter or alter! “But that day you said…..”
I’m not kidding, women remembering these things is real. When she espies a shoe or a skirt on another woman, a master plan is hatched at lightning speed – what will match what in her own wardrobe, what she needs, her schedule over the next year and which event she is going to in which outfit – and then she goes searching for that item with single-minded focus!
And six months down the line, when she triumphantly pulls out a pair of dark grey stilettos, you must be alert and remember that the game is still on, always on. Keep an admiring expression. Don’t ask and don’t blurt out anything that might incriminate you!
I can be very dumb that way. I asked, “Isn’t this the same shoe that lady had on in the mall that day?” I didn’t mean it the way it came out.
Ouch! That damn serpent! The sucker came out so fast, my jugular had no chance! Like a bloody missile, with a deadlier payload, “But that day you said you hadn’t seen her!”
Friends, there is no appeal process. Baki sub toh ho gaya, just awaiting sentencing, me and my poor battle-scarred jugular!
PS: Certified for posting by the Home Ministry but only in the ‘Fiction’ category.