At the best of times, the woman is labelled strong, independent, talented. At the worst, she is a drama queen, a street fighter or a wannabe poet, often finding source material in the meta data of her existential angst. The woman lives by herself but she refuses to choose the tag of being ‘alone’. Her hobbies are mediocre, for she has no interest in deep sea-diving or freezing her voluptuous ass at any base camp. The woman is mediocre; she was kicked out of patriarchy by a man. She thanks him profusely for that. Make no mistake, she is not trying to be the bigger person at all. She values the life that has followed after the ouster from the strange trap. The man was on a sex overdrive and found the woman not very hot. For a long time, the woman dwelled in the abyss of an inferiority complex. Then, in a rather insignificant moment, promised herself to always come with a bang.
There was no grand game plan, she just flowed along. The woman befriended strangers for momentary respite. Their names, their details were irrelevant. The rules were: no small talk, just stick to the self-curated golden format: Wham-bam-thank you-man, and ride back home. By herself, but not alone. The woman never considered these random hook ups as acts of liberation for she was deeply loyal in love. But the search landed her in dormitories, in the back seat of cars or in a minimal bedroom, much to her liking. These heated moments were a by-product of boredom or when the hormones did the talking. It was either molecular rage or the sheer desire to be touched by another skin.
These quick-fix solutions made her realise the body played a game and the mind chose to honour the world’s oldest indoor sport. The apps came in handy and the woman believes technology is the only saviour. All hail the apps! Long live Tinder! Listen to your body, it never lies, said the woman’s therapist, during a three-hour long past-life regression ride. The woman, still very old-school, is borderline jaded with life. For this, she blames the stories she reads or writes. Her ambition and hunger pangs have tapered, though she is really hoping for them to resurface again from time to time. What a time to be alive and believing in orgasmic smothers! There is no need to lead a sexually deprived life, the woman tells her friends. Love may come and knock on your door but lust tends to linger within. The woman knows many women who continue to hide this desire, this want. The woman is not here to tell anyone how they should honour their hunger. She has no prescriptions for them. Each one has to find their own path, their own journey. But the woman knows the politics of feelings is a complex web of rights and wrongs. The clamour around do’s and don’ts, the deafening echo chambers of social norms. She respects them all but she goes ahead and does what her body demands. And her mind desires.
(This appeared in the print edition as "The Touch Of Skin")