lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Friday, July 20, 2007

One hug is enough

I've said this before, that most of my online friends are young. Many of them are male and I dub them all my toyboys. Some appoint themselves my toyboys, some aspire to toyboy status, some deny indignantly that they fall into the category, but the Non Resident Mathematician is the one I consider true toyboy material: young, bright, talented and good-looking to boot.

It's a year since I last saw him. He'd visited before going off to join the hordes of young IT professionals in the fair city of Bangalore. I'd expected the year to have changed him somewhat. I'd expected that he'd look mature, perhaps acquire suavity. But he looked the same as he did when he was a student-- young and vulnerable. He still dressed in his trademark black tee shirt too.

I remarked on that as I stepped back from hugging him.

"But you look different every time I see you," he said. That's because my hair keeps changing colour, I smiled. That is true. Every time we met, my hair was whatever colour my stylist chose for that month, and now I had highlights, too.

Meeting online buddies and friends for lunch or coffee is one thing, but this toyboy is different. He comes home and talks to my husband, rummages in my shelves, checks his mail on my computer, and generally brightens the rooms he wanders into.

He'd called a couple of weeks earlier, to make sure I'll keep a day free for him to take me to lunch. Now as he said hello to my husband and told us of his experiences as an IT professional, I looked at him.

And he is worth looking at. Tall and well built, he has a strong jaw line, lovely eyelashes and a smile that flashes once in a while and transforms his brooding face into that of a wicked little boy. Friends can tease, and outsiders snigger at the incongruity, but this is a toyboy good to be seen with, a testimony of my good taste in young men.

As we stopped at an ATM, I realised that though he still looked like an impecunious student, he is now an independent young man in a well paying job, taking his friend out for lunch. This lunch was going to be his treat.

The nice thing about him is that he doesn't talk to fill up silences. Most young people find silence unnerving but my toyboy knows that silence is the best indicator of how comfortable we are with others.

As the taxi crawled in intermittent showers and slow traffic, we talked desultorily. I told him about my son's debating, he told me of his girls; I told him about my arthritis and he told me about his pumping iron. We admired Calcutta's crop of pretty young things as we passed them and reminisced about our other dates.

He tasted my margarita and grimaced, and I laughed. All the multiplexes and malls and eating out in Bangalore haven't given him a taste for spirits, clearly. We mixed cuisine and had tikkas for starters and pasta for the main course, and shared the dessert. Through the meal we talked. I told him of my latest obsessions and he told me of his lack of any. He asked me about blogging; if I still enjoyed it. I related a few stories and retailed some gossip.

As I was betting with myself, our waiter gave the bill to me. This never fails. Whether I am lunching with toyboys or blogging friends, the bill is always given me. A deeply offended toyboy once remarked that he earned more in a month than I earned in all my life, so why did the waiter give the bill to me? Because I am the older person, I'd said then.

Back home, we sat in companionable silence as he sketched my husband. In a few swift strokes he caught the angle of the head, the details of the side table next my husband's chair, and more. I read a book in between watching him raise his head to glance at my husband and bend back to his sketch. Then he showed me the sketch. He'd sketched me too, and gave me wrinkles I didn't have. I said I'd get him for that.

As I hugged him in farewell, he pointed out that one hug is an anagram of enough. I laughed. He added with a wicked smile that once is not enough, though. Vive les toyboys!



Blogger Shirsha said...

Err.. this toyboy of yours.. err... sounds yummy, Lali, how dyu catch them? Is it the hair color?

6:40 pm  
Blogger anantha said...


7:35 pm  
Anonymous rajesh said...

So Lali had fun. So Lali had her revenge too. The sap must be cringing now. How dare he give you wrinkles you don't have, eh? Er, do you have wrinkles?

8:48 pm  
Blogger netizen said...

toyboys..arthritis..wrinkles..that did crowfeet..toyboys?

all in between toyboys!

8:58 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Shirsha- He is yummy, yes. I don't think it is the hair though, I have such a paucity of it. *grin* My hairstyle is so minimal it might as well not exist. It must be my bone structure, heh.

Anantha- Sigh. Is that all you can say? Missus Em is wounded. She suffers in silence.

Rajesh- Do you mind? I have laughter lines and crow's feet, certainly, and some grooves alongside my mouth; but that doesn't mean wrinkles, good grief. These are creases that happen if you enjoy life and find it entertaining, not wrinkles. Thank you. Let's see how you fare in the wrinkles department at my age, shall we?

Netizen- Blanker verse can't be done, bravo! Seriously, though, I'd rather have the lines than be botoxed and collagen-injected to the point of expressionlessness. Let Rekha try to beat the clock, I'd rather mark the events.

10:15 pm  
Blogger Alien said...

:-) ....

I am still to decide @toyboy status ... ;-)

Cheers.. made nice reading!

10:37 am  
Anonymous Ash said...


5:03 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Alien- ET, you hurt me, you do. :-)

Ash- Why?

10:48 pm  
Blogger dipali said...

What a lovely toyboy to have!
I'm with you on the wrinkles/lines/crow's feet- how else can one exhibit experience and character!

11:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your toyboy is willing to settle for another hug? And claim it is enough? The mind boggles. You make him seem dishy. Is he, really?
Secret admirer #2

12:26 am  
Blogger Lalita said...

Dipali- Exactly!

Anon- He is a hunk.

4:32 pm  
Blogger the mad momma said...

i think i am old enough for a toyboy. how does one go about getting one?

4:54 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

MM- Decide on one of your younger friends and declare he is it. :-)

5:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charmed life. Makes me sick. Know how many people die for lack of care? Why not write about them?


10:07 pm  

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