Ever met that one person who stood out in a crowd because they seemed to sparkle with an inner light? Or maybe had enough confidence to flaunt their black sheep-ness? I am sure you have. But have you come across anyone who instantly acquired stardom and later destroyed it all because of their foolishness? I think most of you have not because usually these people have a hell lot of diplomacy up their sleeves or are so adorable that you simply cannot take offense at their tactlessness.
So the ones who are yet unacquainted with the fakesters of this world, and of course the old souls who have already seen it all, let me tell you a story so full of irony that it will either make you shake your head at the balderdash or will instantly stimulate a memory from your own past. So let’s drive down my memory lane and laugh at some prize idiocy:-
Rumi was a charming girl when I met her. In fact she was bubbly and hilarious in a non-snarky way. I liked her for the confidence in her stride, which was very much like my own swagger but more muted.
We had some refreshing conversations, which I usually don’t come across when talking to girls unless I initiate the topic myself. And frankly it was exhilarating to not have to divert attention from lipgloss and other scary contraptions the fairer sex usually carry around with them in their handbags (or should I say Fort Knox since getting even a tiny square of tissue paper from within the murky depths usually involves evading the cruel pinches of the quick eyelash curler and dodging the snips of the minute hairpins).
Rumi was fascinating. And I think I might have mistaken her to be a friend (yeah, I am ashamed to admit that I am shallow enough that all it takes is to flatter me to win me over to your side) if she hadn’t taken offense at a small passing comment of mine that wasn’t meant rudely at all. Anyway, that episode probably saved me from being a wronged-one in the incident that was to take place but alas it didn’t spare the change in my pockets.
So life went on and Rumi drifted off. And little self-obsessed me didn’t even notice it more than a passing observation to a much closer friend. She finally gave up giving me the cold shoulder once she realized that it wasn’t affecting me in the least. And we went back to being conversation buddies.
Not long after that I came to know that her birthday was in a few days’ time. And guess how I had come to know this little tidbit? It wasn’t from some friend who had asked Rumi her birthday and was spreading the detail around. Nope, the dear lady had started going on rounds where she would loudly speculate where she should throw her birthday party. And though her “plans” were rather grand I knew that they were simply loud words that she wasn’t going to see through.
So I just floated with the general excitement after I got an informal invite straight from the horse’s mouth. Well, she did “forget” to tell me where the party was and at what time I was supposed to turn up but then who the hell cares about such pesky details? (Incase, I have some sarcasm-deprived, serious folk reading this let me tell you that the last line had a heavy dose of that fabled talent).
Anyway, the much awaited day finally came around and I realized that fact only when a few other friends of mine, Aloe and Ricci, came to me on that very day proposing that I contribute for the gift they were buying Rumi. Instantly I remembered that lame-ass invite, the one which had never seen the light of the day in my head and instead had trickled fast into the land of forgotten stuff in my brain.
And so I pulled out my wallet and counted out the requested money. My friends beamed at me for relieving some of their burden and quickly scurried off to get the present. Since they were closer to Rumi (almost like underwear buddies) I let them do that cumbersome task on their own.
Finally, once the sun had set and it appeared that Rumi had turned her tail on her “party”, and I was just shaking my head at having predicted the outcome from the beginning, a weird text message beeped in my cell phone. It read:-
Come to Jangyo for ice-cream treat.
For a second I went, “Huh?!?” And then I wondered if I had read the message wrong. When rechecking the SMS didn’t reveal the secrets of the universe, I shrugged and threw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt (and it wasn’t any ratty thing I happened to having lying around the room) and made for the location that was TEXTED to me. Gosh, is it just me or does the setting sound like the beginning of a spy movie?
On the way I gathered Aloe and Ricci (shepherd, that’s me!) and finally arrived at the cafeteria. Rumi waved at us as we marched in and beckoned us to come over. For a second I was confused yet again when I saw just Rumi and her friend, Jade occupying a table in a far corner. Where the hell were the other people? And then it dawned on me that she had invited just the few of us to her “treat”. Gosh, what a pennypincher!
Anyway, I set aside that mental comment and wished her when we reached their spot. She hugged everyone except for me of course since I don’t let people hug me usually (I don’t like formal displays of affection that don’t come from the heart). We talked for a while after that and then headed over to the ice-cream counter (I repeat: pennypincher).
I ordered the simplest cone available lest I burn a hole through darling Rumi’s pockets (*sigh*) and politely declined her offers to get me a triple scoop sundae. Do you think it is mean of me if I say that I should have taken her up on her “generosity” when I had the opportunity?
Well, we all enjoyed our single scoops as much as we could (I wasn’t the only one who was feeling an utter lack of enthusiasm at the treat). And all the while I watched Rumi as she politely refused to eat anything saying that she had a dinner afterwards with her best-friend. It didn’t appear odd to me but what did was that Jade declined to have some too. And I for one knew that she wasn’t a part of the post-ice-cream-treat dinner since she was as new a friend to Rumi as we were.
Anyway, I shrugged it off and returned to our hostel with my friends. But before we left we invited Rumi to come over to Aloe’s room once she returned. We planned to give her the present at that time.
The wait wasn’t long since we whiled away the time gossiping about this and that (I like to stay updated on the latest stuff lest I don’t get the inside jokes later). Finally, Rumi came over and we gave her the present. She beamed at us and squealed over her gift. And then the fun began:-
Rumi decided that since we were going to chat, she could as well get her laptop and facebook while she gossiped away with us. When she returned from her room carrying her precious, we started off with the conversation.
Suddenly Ricci peered into Rumi’s laptop and exclaimed, “Hey, were these photos taken at Crumbz?”
“Yes. Actually I was invited to a birthday party. I had to go.”
“But they were taken today! They are your birthday party photos, aren’t they?” Aloe asked as she looked at the same photos uploaded in Rumi’s profile on her own facebook page since she had taken out her laptop too.
Rumi tried to smile without success and said, “Oh, that! Actually, these people dragged me to Crumbz and forced me to throw a party for them. I had no choice. I would have invited you all too but then it was a last-minute affair and I thought maybe you people would be busy.”
“NOOOOOOOOOOO, I don’t wanna go…”
Yeah, right! What a liar! I thought as I stared at the pastries and snacks covering the joined tables around which sat more than ten people. They all were all from the country’s capital and didn’t even give that much attention to Rumi. Gosh, what a suck-up!
I actually felt sorry for Aloe and Ricci that day. They were better friends with Rumi than the whole crowd at Crumbz and they were still overlooked. I didn’t mind her not calling me since it was a petty thing and I wasn’t that great a friend of hers anyway but this was unacceptable. I seriously hate people who can go to any extent to be in the in-crowd.
And that was how my positive relationship with Rumi ended. Although I would have loved it if she had indeed been a genuine person I did learn an important life lesson that day: Never lie unless you are sure you have enough brains to pull it off!