Based on A4’s sterling recommendation, R. & I decide to take a loafing chakkar to this “pink rupee friendly” shop called Azaad Bazaar in Macapau central (Bandra), the only gay shop in the village.
If you happen to live with your folks in Bombay and if you plan on engaging in non-PG rated activities, you have to go somewhere where granny, auntie, uncle and third cousin brother won’t see you. The somewhere is the problem. Everywhere has people and people are annoying.
So R. drives, this is a pretty good solution, barring the traffic. You are enclosed in a portable room with music and air-conditioning. We painstakingly drive through garage gully, which has a wedding party moving at snail’s pace across the road.
The bride looks oldish. She is fat and is wearing jade greens and bright reds while walking under the usual bridal umbrella. She faintly resembled a bejeweled, decorated toad under a creamy mushroom.
I point out the toad-bride gleefully and R. viciously suggests all weddings in Bombay ought to be and should be banned. Additionally all people who cause traffic jams, even for a minute, shall be thrashed.
Bombay traffic is like the wild wild west. There are no rules but the rules made by the brave. If your car can survive a car crash, you win. I once knew a guy who carried a big stick in his car, just to beat up people who cut him. This guy was, clearly, a psychopath, but nonetheless a psychopath with a driver’s license.
I can’t drive, so it all seems quite stressful. You know yelling, gesturing at taxi drivers, mader chods and fuck you’s all the time. My danda is bigger than your danda.
R. says I need stones. Big stones.
But I only have small, small pebbles. So maybe I’ll never drive.
Speaking of pebbles and stones, we drive past the ‘Rambo Circus’, the event du jour in Bombay (aprox. Rs. 500 per ticket). R. suggests we visit and chuck rocks at them. There is an elephant in captivity and they make it perform humiliating tricks. I’m with R. on this, in sentiment, but I have no stones to be running about throwing stones. That’s her boyfriends job.
So instead I offer R. a Christmas present of a bag of large rocks. I tell her I’ll monogram them, I’ll paint them in rainbow colours. She can chuck them at taxis, rickshaws, wedding processions, cheap circuses, anything she likes. Her victims will look down and see this rainbow rock with a mobile number and name, maybe a slogan
“Apake pat’thara hai kaphi bada?”
It’ll be a great calling card. R. will be infamous. Notorious. I think this is an excellent idea. For some reason R. rejects my kind offer. She only will throw anonymous stones.
Later I see a rick which has “RIDDHI” written on the back of it. I’m very happy. It’s a sign. A sign that she should throw a rock at it. Again she refuses. She loves to say no to me.
We finally get to Azbaz, which is a cute, tiny shop full of rainbow coloured items and T-shirts with slogan. There’s a little curtained corner outside where you can help yourself to tea/coffee and sit and chill.
A4 spoke of fields and fields of baby dykes hanging out there. Baby dykes with cropped hair and leather wrist cuffs, low slung jeans and quiffs, full of love-lorn angst and bravado drinking coffee and eyeing each other up.
A4 also mentioned that 5pm-6pm was the best time to visit since most college students were done by then. We were unfortunately (stupid traffic) unpunctual and missed our time slot. There wasn’t even a single, teeny-tiny baby dyke in sight. Not the one.
We were going to sit there but R. wanted to ‘send it’ and I’m too paranoid to be doing that in an open public space. Right at that moment a bunch of gays turned up so we bounced. (check out my Bombay lingo. Aren’t I ‘hip’?)
Maybe I should use the Azbaz notice board “Wanted: Posse of lesbians. L word style. Baby dykes optional”