Shall we dance?

I have heard of salsa being fun. I never realised how much till I actually joined a social dance class yesterday. It's a one-month programme at the end of which I can join for two more months if I like it.

Dancing has always fascinated me. Except that I never took a liking to classical dance forms. I remember my parents trying their best to initiate me into Bharatnatyam classes. Much to their disappointment their daughter never turned out to be a dancing queen.

But I am glad to say that I have finally found my calling.

Before we started, we watched a jive by the other class which has been at it for months. They were good. Our trainers were guy A and girl C. A kept assuring us that it was normal to mess up and abnormal to do the right thing. C was this stylish chick with a great body and great moves.

A and C went on to teach us the basic steps for salsa after segregating the girls and the guys into two groups. When we had picked it up, they decided to let us try it with our partners. The only problem being most of us were stag. It was A and C who teamed us up. Now I might have mentally chosen my partner -- this cute tall guy who looked just right to dance with. But it didn't necessarily mean that I ended up with him. While he was paired with a plump little girl, I ended up with J, a fat guy with oily hair (This mattered. There was this particular step where we had to keep our hands on the partner's nape. Each time I drew back my hand, I could smell the oil).

In social dance a guy leads the girl. J kept forgetting the counts, as a result of which I had to stand, and curse my luck. In the meantime he had the gall to keep insisting on me 'relaxing' my elbows. I was close to snapping but then I clung to that last thread of patience. I think I will need a whole lot of the latter for the next few classes because I am stuck with the same partner unless he leaves or I do.

But inspite of all the cribbing I have done, I must confess the class was fun and happening.

In the meantime, S and Mr S (that's her fiance) have with all noble intentions been trying their best to matchmake. So on Saturday night I was duped into meeting one of Mr S's friends from Bombay. I have never been more mortified thanks to the fact that I happened to have met him for an interview. It seems everybody is intent on getting me hitched. Only nobody is getting any successful at it:-)


It's been a long long time...

I have missed blogging terribly. That includes reading up my daily dosage of blogs. But it's just that so much has been happening in my life of late.

The first thing that comes to my mind is the night S came home with her beau and announced very coyly: 'I am getting married". "What?????" was the only word that I could manage. I was quite dramatic about it I guess. But what the hell it is S getting married after all.

A few minutes later though I was seated with the two of them on her bed and chattering excitedly about her wedding plans. I called up E who had a similar reaction. She wanted the wedding to be held in Goa as well. Anyway, now it is happening in Calcutta and Delhi in April. Also the immediate thing that struck me was that I would be flatmateless. Of course I freaked out (This announcement came sometime early in December). Since then I have been in a terrible dilemma. Should I stay back inDelhi or go back home to Calcutta? That was the only question that I could obsess about. Somehow I could not convince myself to return because everything has been fine till now. Plus it is winter and I love this time of the year in this city. So I think I am kind of staying back here even though I get those occasional guilt pangs.

In the meantime my mother has been worrying herself sick over my single status. Especially in light of the fact that "S is doing the right thing at the right time". So she has been trying to fix me up with her usual selection of eligible bachelors. The latest was a guy from California who was visiting his folks in Calcutta. He wanted to visit me here. My mother was only too happy and even told him "If you don't happen to like my daughter, don't worry. Just tell me and I will find another girl for you." Seriously the things my mother comes up with!

The guy called me up that very evening and said he would land in Delhi the next day. Next evening he called and said his flight had been cancelled thanks to the fog. And he asked me something which I will never forget. His question was: "So are you ready to relocate to California from Delhi?" This despite the fact that we had never met. In a rush I said everything I had to. And that did it. Because he never called back. My mom did. She had quite a few things to say none of which was particularly endearing.

Then came the New Year Eve's party that was absolutely the weirdest thing I have ever been to. It seemed like one of those American teen parties where nobody knows anybody. My friend Essar took me to the party. It was at her friend's cousin's place and turned out to be a terrace affair. Initially I had settled down to watching a movie at home, so at 10.30 pm when Essar called me and made her friends call me up, I had no option but to be a sport. I got ready in record time - 10mins. The one thing I remember from the party is the sight of this guy bent double over the terrace wall for the longest possible time. All that occured to me in my drunken state was that he would topple over. Finally someone pulled him back. The poor fellow was busy puking. The party ended on a sudden note with a drunken brawl. So at 3 in the morning we trudged back to our respective homes.

There's always a first time in life they say. It was mine. I have never, in my wildest imagination, thought of being at such a party but there Iwas.

Last but not the least I couldn't possibly leave out the recent degustation meal I had at a Mediterranean restaurant just a day back. For all those who do not know what a degustation menu is, it is something which you should try out next time you go out for a dinner. It is a 10-course to 20-course meal that a chef prepares. You get bite sized proportions of different dishes in each course and pay a fixed amount. I was doing a story on the same so I ended up at an invitation from the restaurant and it was a night to remember. I have never had so much fune ating out. I was asked repeatedly to take along a friend. So I asked VK to come along.

The dinner started at 8 in the evening. It was freezing outside yet we opted for an alfresco dinner (I must confess to a decided weakness forthe word 'alfresco'). There were huge coal fires near each table so it was very nice and toasty. The restaurant itself is very pretty and has a lovely Mediterranean ambience. The chef came and told us all that was to come to our table. Now unadventurous as I am when it comes to seafood, I was amazed at the fact that the chef's starters which had sole, prawns (yes I even hate prawns something which everybody finds weird considering the fact that I am a Bengali), salmon with caviar managed to impress me. With the starters came a straw coloured Chardonnay. In between the soups and the main courses were palate cleansers, tiny shots of sorbets --yummy Blue Curacao & Lime and Green Apple & Mint. The wine glasses kept changing with each course so that by the end of it, VK declared she was drunk.

The dessert was what dreams, actually my dreams, are made of. Exotic melon laced with apricot brandy and mascarpone mousse, pineapple and coconut tart with wildberry gelato, Baileys Irish cream cheese gateaux and chocolate cake topped with double chocolate mousse. I was completely floored.

I have also decided that's there nothing better than being the owner of such a restaurant. I came across the owner who was sprawled on a sofa two tables away from us chatting with his sister. It seemed so like what I would love to do. Free from the cares of life, drop in once in a week and do nothing.