I never thought I would end up falling for the charms of a much, much younger man.
It had been a sweltering hot day in May as I waited on the platform at Katni station for my train that would take me back home to Delhi. The 9 hottest days of the year, called “Nautaapa” in local lingo was in full force and this small town in Madhya Pradesh suffers the worst of it. I had just spent 3 very rewarding days meeting my favorite tigers in Bandhavgarh: a wildlife reserve in central India. Had become something of a weekly sojourn for me since I shifted to Delhi in 2013.
The train arrived a full hour late. Unusual for a Sampark Kranti. I boarded the First Class coach only to find the TT advising me to move to a coupe instead of my allotted berth. There is one 2-berth coupe in every 1AC coach on the Indian Railways – usually allotted to couples or women travelling alone. I couldn’t believe my luck!
I entered the coupe, only to find another occupant inside. “A” – an attractive man on the cusp of manhood sat inside. He was Punjabi, and his muscled body made him look much older than his 18 years! “A” was studying in an engineering college in Delhi and traveled every weekend to see his folks back in Raipur. His dad, a senior officer with the Railway Ministry had made sure his son got a dedicated coupe on his weekly trip home from College. We hit it off almost instantly – age difference not withstanding. By the time the train crossed Sagar, we were on our 3rd peg talking about career options, cars, bikes & road trips! At first I held back a little considering the age difference. But the alcohol helped drive the inhibitions away and I soon found myself flirting a little. Nothing too dramatic, just harmless flirting.
I used to teach in colleges in my free time. C, 8086 programming and that sort of thing. Imagine my shock when I found “A” in my classroom 2 months later. This was the kid I had flirted with 2 months earlier! Months passed and he soon became an ex-student. We still kept in touch and I was the special invitee when their class went on a overnight roadtrip to Solan.
A year later, I got a call from “A” to join the gang for a party – my ex-students were celebrating their Campus recruitment day since a bunch of them had got call-letters from reputed companies. I met up with them at “A”‘s house in Gurgaon and we smoked up and partied till late. He requested me to stay back for the night. He had saved up some “good stuff” from a trip to Kasol earlier which he wanted to share only with me. So I did!
2 joints later, “A” went to the washroom after telling me to pour a peg. I was just pouring the drinks, when I saw the lights being dimmed. I turned around to see “A” stark naked and raring to go! We both got very little sleep that night! 😉
I learnt something that night! You know how we have our jokes about Indian men being 2 minute noodles? Well, its different with younger men. 1.5 hours is what he lasted. And that was just the first round.
There was something else, even more important. I learnt that night that something dies within men as they get older. Simple intimacy and that willingness to be in the moment. “A” was certainly a man. I could feel his strength inside me – even now if i close my eyes and return to that moment, i can still feel it. But there was also a willingness to surrender – to me, to the moment. And a young mans moment can sure last a while. And intimacy – we spooned up “after” – a moment that I cherish to this day. Simple gesture of intimacy that means so much.
Wonder where all this goes when men grow older? This willingness to surrender to the moment? To love. To desire?