Kamasutra in times of Covid
Rescue Call Please - read Ankur’s chat window on my Whatsapp.
So the next thing I am supposed to do when I get such a message is to give him a call and simply say “चल शुरू हो जा (ok start). "
Now depending on who Ankur is with he starts a monologue pausing and talking and acting as if he is having a conversation. Sometimes in these calls I become a customer or his wife or his father and then he either leaves or asks the person, whom he wants to get rid of, to leave giving whatever innovative reason he could come up with.
But today I was passing by his office when I received his message. Instead of giving him a call I messaged him back - Where are you?
Office. Don’t ask unnecessary questions. Call fast - he texted back.
However I parked outside his office, went inside and saw the bane of Ankur’s life. A middle aged man with a receding hairline, having a constipated expression and sitting as if he had grown out of the chair - clearly conveying that he was in no rush to go anywhere. He can't be blamed though. With Lockdown in place nobody has anything to do. He looked familiar but I couldn't place him. From the look on his face he seemed a very serious person. As I walked in they both stopped to look at me. Ankur didn’t even introduce the two of us. The visitor simply nodded and smiled at me and continued “Reduce it to half and then drink it for 3 days. Trust me Naturopathy is a wonderful and underrated science. Our Government is doing a lot through the Ayush Mantralay.”
Ankur was visibly irritated both at the visitor and at me and I was enjoying his discomfort. With boredom dripping from his face it looked as if Ankur would any time ask that man " खुद के साथ कैसे रह लेते हो ? (How do you live with yourself?).” But the man was in his elements and oblivious to the pain he was causing.
I suddenly remembered that the man was a Naturopathy practitioner. Ankur's friend's friend he was. He had once come to our Business meeting to promote his venture. I am sure they were discussing Covid - as is the default and only topic of discussion these days when two people meet. And judging from the coffee cups on the table I realised that this guy was here for a considerable time. Ankur only nodded in agreement but said nothing and seeing an entry I jumped into the conversation.
"Kamasutra in times of Covid. I think I will write my first book on this topic" I said suddenly with a twinkle in my eyes and to throw the visitor off balance.
There was silence. I had caught the man off guard for he was stealing eye contact with me and with my mask on he really could not gauge my reaction. He then looked at Ankur who was sitting across the table. Raising his eyebrow Ankur looked at me. And after a brief pause of a second or two he burst out laughing. The man too smiled feebly, unsure how to react.
"Mama, what a vaulting ambition!!! Sex and that too directly Kamasutra. Are you qualified enough to write this?"
The question coming from Ankur and that too in front of an audience took me by surprise. Not because I really am qualified to write on the subject but because there is nothing under the sun that we (Ankur and I) don't know or can't argue about and we never doubt ourselves over anything - that is the rule. We two are the self-proclaimed Aristotle and Plato of Nandanvan and we philosophy anything and everything, right from constitution to prostitution. We personify the argumentative Indians. In ancient times, when social distancing was unheard of, we both used to sit at chai tapris and over hot cups of tea and burning cigarettes used to discuss and argue with the fervor of Parliamentarians. Time used to fly and anybody who could be listening to us would think that we are some important people in the scheme of this World. Give us an audience and we are on a roll. Under attention we carry the air of aplomb with ease, quoting from authors and books with the year of publication and page numbers because we know -Nobody checks on the facts. All you need is to speak your own version of fact with confidence and follow the two rules.
Rule number one - Don't doubt yourself.
Rule number two - there is no other rule except rule number one.
This is enough to impress the naive listeners who would leave feeling that they have heard the most thought provoking discussion of their life. And then they would talk highly about us to others. We have since a long time mastered the art of manipulating humans but before we could patent the process the Honourable Pradhan Sevak started delivering it and brought it to masses. Anyway we are not going to sue him though. But I am digressing. So where was I? Yeah I remember.
So I was a bit perplexed on his question - I thought why is he doubting me? and that too in front of a stranger. But this is 2020 and strange things are happening this year. And we both are rusty as well, haven't really done serious pondering about any topic in the last two months- longest ever since we have known each other. So I gave some allowance for his doubting too. But even before I could answer his question Ankur said "Hana yaar. If people who didn't even study for their Commerce Degree sincerely and who barely managed to scrape through in the exam can give commentaries on biology of a virus and post volumes about ways and ways of preventing and curing the Pandemic; you can surely write a new version of Kamasutra."
Saying so Ankur looked at the visitor who shifted uncomfortably in his chair. I presume he was a commerce graduate too. and I got what they were discussing when I walked in. I quite literally masked my scornful smile.
Ankur continued "And this is a trend too - to talk about changing scenarios because of Corona. There are at least a dozen webinars on the subject each day. Why should you deny yourself an opportunity to join the bandwagon and talk about 'the new normal'. And I must agree that the topic is interesting too, nothing sells better than sex."
"And Shahrukh" I interjected quoting Mallika Sherawat.
Now that I was to write about the sultry human side I thought it was wise to quote people who have been there and done that.
"Arey what irrelevant people are you quoting?" Ankur said bringing in all the contempt he could for a lesser human.
"Then should I quote Sunny Leone or Radhika Apte? Miss Apte will be better. She looks intelligent as well and she is mainstream and relevant too - thanks to the uncensored and belagaam web series that swarm the internet these days." I said trying to sound sagacious and analytical.
"Bhai don't talk of Swarm. That word reminds me of the Locust attack" this off topic remark from Ankur was a way to impress upon our listener that we were updated about current topics and smart to discuss them.
"And you really don't keep pace with the trend. Apte madam is old too. There are umpteen new bees, much bolder and sexier. Also I disagree with Mallika Sherawat. These days sanitizers are selling way more than Shahrukh." Ankur added mockingly
"Well it's not just sanitizers" I pondered with a pretentious seriousness. "Everything associated with Corona is selling these days. It is the fear that is selling. And fear has always sold better. Let me share an annocode to exemplify how to sell fear effectively " and thus I began.
So the story goes like this .
A man arrived in a village carrying a mysterious bugle decorated with red and yellow rags,glass beads and animal bones.
'This bugle can drive away tigers,' said the man. 'From this day forth, for a modest daily fee, I will play the bugle every morning and you will never be eaten by those terrible animals.'
Terrified by the threat of attack by a wild animal, the inhabitants of the village agreed to pay what the newcomer asked.
Many years passed, the owner of the bugle grew rich and built himself a magnificent castle.
One morning, a boy who was passing through the village, asked who the owner of the castle was. When he heard the story, he decided to go and talk to the man.
'I was told that you have a bugle that can drive away tigers,' said the boy. 'But there are no tigers in this country.'
The man immediately called together all the villagers and asked the boy to repeat what he
'Did you hear that?' cried the man as soon as the boy had finished speaking. 'There you
have irrefutable proof of the power of my bugle!'
The man was visibly impressed and he said "Nice story."
I said "Sir, that story keeps repeating itself. In 2014 we all were sold a fear that if not this guy then we will have a Pappu Prime Minister. And they sold it again in 2019. And everybody brought it too - again. And now is the fear of Corona. Replace the Bugle with a medicine and tiger with the Corona Virus and the story lands itself in 2020.”
This time the man didn't look so impressed at my comment.
However I continued my jibe "I too am going to borrow a leaf from the wisdom of Pradhan Sevak. My write up on Kamasutra in times of Covid will have absolutely the same content as Vastayan's Kamasutra. Word to word till the last line. And then I would add one last passage which will read thus - "
As you have seen throughout this book that in humans sex is not just an act of procreation but also an act of recreation. However with the advent of Corona that recreational activity is now going to see metamorphosis. New studies have found Corona Viruses even in sperm of the Covid patients and scientists agree that Corona is here to stay. Even though such studies are a dime a dozen but still we can't turn a blind eye towards them. All in all social distancing is set to become the new normal. So dear readers - आत्मनिर्भर बनो. Become self sufficient and self reliant. Use Jio to watch AltBalaji or porn for free and once you are excited use your own hand. But don't forget to wash your hands before and after for 20 seconds.
And with that, Ankur and I, we both started laughing. And in between the sobs of laughter Ankur added.
"भाई तेरी बुक तो निर्मला आंटी के रिलीफ पैकेज की तरह है (Brother your book is like the relief package of Nirmala Aunty). Only the title has all the thunder. "
"Not just the title. I will make the cover page risque too. भाई आखिर ऑप्टिक्स का सवाल है ( Afterall it's the question of optics)."
And with that the guy decided to leave making a polite excuse but cursing us under his breath on his way out. And when he left we laughed even louder. We have realized with our experience that people who rigidly believe in an ideology and are too serious in life are the easiest to offend. So if you are the one who is too serious then yaara take a chill pill and avoid us like a plague.
Anyway this is how the Rescue Operation finally got completed and we live another day to tell the tales.
That's enough for now. See you soon. Over and out.
Image Illustration by Brittany England