There is so much going on in NYC that I am surprised I find any time to write at all.
It is not uncommon to run into people one knows from Bombay when in London but there is less likelihood of that happening in New York City owing to its size and population. You can imagine how surprised I was when I heard someone call my name as I was walking down the 5th Avenue with the girls yesterday. Turns out, it was an old friend from India who moved to NYC several years ago and who lost touch with me and our other common friends after he got married to his Aussie wife, as it invariably happens. He suggested we meet for coffee one of these days and I politely agreed. Mere courtesies when we both know that neither of us was inclined to meet.
Then again, today as we were walking down the 5th Avenue (I am always walking down the 5th Avenue apparently), we ran into a couple from Bombay who is in an illicit relationship. Their faces became flushed when they saw us but the lady put together a smile somehow as we greeted each other.
Have an affair by all means with anyone you like, but common sense demands that if you do not wish to be seen together, go take romantic walks in the discreet neighbourhoods of New York and not on the 5th Avenue.
Speaking of affairs, our young New Yorker friend K informs us about an app called Ashley Madison that is all the rage in America. It is an app designed to help you have an extra-marital affair. I could not believe my ears when I heard this and downloaded the app out of sheer curiosity. Yes go ahead, judge me but let me continue with my story. The home page says, ‘Life is short, have an affair’. It also mentions phrases like ‘Affair guaranteed’ and ‘Over 26,98,000 discreet members’.
This can happen only in America! An application that promotes and assists adultery and deceit and boasts about its membership. K is too young and unmarried to use this app and what he uses instead is Tinder. The husband informs me that Tinder is popular in India too but because I am eighty, I have never heard of it.
Tinder has photographs and states the likes, dislikes of single people from the area who are registered on it and helps you to “hook up” with them. K too put Tinder to good use and landed a few dates before his brother in law played the awe-inspiring prank of going into his account and ‘liking’ pictures of obese women twice his age. They all liked him back right away and started asking him out. This has led the poor chap to close his Tinder account.
We met another friend from Bombay who was passing through at one of the most opulent restaurants that I have been to in a while by the name of NoMad. Walking down the shabby and littered streets of Broadway and the 28th, you would never imagine that there was such a lavish gem tucked away inside one of the nondescript buildings of the hood, but then that is what Manhattan is all about.
The husband and I also ran into a couple we know from Bombay in the elevator of our hotel. We had similarly run into them on the Tabletop Mountain in South Africa a few years ago. This time we have decided to meet each other for dinner at Tao at the Meatpacking district in a few days. This is not going to be like the coffee my old friend and I did not intend to have with each other.