It was a Saturday night, the hubby and I had been invited to dinner with a bunch of his friends. It was a cold evening and once inside we were seated in the front of fireplace in a lovely living room. These were my husband friends so my plan was to sound charming, polite, well informed, and funny but use only very subtle, politically correct jokes ( Do I know how to do that?!!!). Well the plan was at least to do my best impression of the above.
The evening started with a glass of wine/ poison of your choice. Since the "plan" did not include rant, raves, funnies followed by my "evil laugh", or graceless dancing, ( one particular night hopping to Koi Kahe from Dil chahtha hai when parents were out of town leaps to mind) I refused all further refills. The party however continued without me.
Dinner was served and the guys approached us with a drink in hand. They were clearly having a great time and with a certain amount of purpose in their step they sat down facing us. The conversation started pleasantly enough, music, food, restaurants, vacations, obama(what conversation does not include him) and then things took a turn. We were talking about south indians - north indians, women's rights, working women. All inflammatory topics that would have had a more unprepared me foaming in the mouth, cursing and shaking my fist in the air. But though I did venture to add my two cents worth to all the topics I stayed on course with my eye on the end of the evening when I would take my leave with my head held high.
The drift towards these more hazardous waters was not gradual (the party had most definitely gone on without me) and I realized that I was being Baited!! The purpose in their step and the glint in their eyes should have clued in me but it was a Saturday evening and the hot food, fireplace, little pretty appetizers ( I am a sucker for presentation) had mellowed me. Now that I was onto their plan for this evening's "entertainment" I gave myself a little pep talk and faced them with with renewed resolve. My pleasant face strained my facial muscles, my mouth hurt with all the teeth gritting and my neck throbbed courtesy thoughtful head bobbing. I am an adult, I couldn't be baited as a party sport, I am a calm, collected, together person .
And then it happened. One of them with a smile that betrayed his knowledge that he knew this was jackpot turned to me and said " I hate Delhi. People are so rude, it is crowded and polluted". All my resolutions went flying out the window, my knuckles unclenched, my smile melted and it was SO ON.... After all that what followed of course was the argument that they had been thirsting for all night.
We ended the night with me a little ashamed and the rest with a poorly disguised self congratulatory grin. The evening did make me realize how much Delhi meant to me. I have lived in Delhi only for the first 17 years of my life and have never found my way back but I my heart belongs to Delhi.