Writers’ Retreat 4 – ‘Commitment’

‘Writers Retreat’ is a new exercise I’m doing with Nive Gajiwala and Shachi Nelli, two aspiring writers who happen to be friends of mine.

Every day, one of us will suggest a brief to the group. The challenge is to produce 500-750 words, on that day, on the assigned topic.

Day 4’s topic is ‘Commitment’, assigned by me!

*                *                 *

A: “I mean he’s great, and all. He’s amazing.”

Z: “Is he, though?”

A: “He is, he is. He really is.”

Z: “So then?”

A: “I don’t know.”

Z: “Do you even know how hot you are?”

A: “Shut up. He’s been so good to me. He’s… he’s been there for me. He’s been. He’s been everything.”

Z: “Did you see the way that Spanish guy was looking at you last night? Did you see? He was so tall. He was beautiful. Can you even imagine the things you guys could do together?”

A: “Z, not everything’s about foreign men.”

Z: “Why not? Why the fuck not? You’re 24 now. I’m 25. We’ll never be this young or this beautiful again. Indian men are disgusting anyway. And short.”

A: “It’s not about that. He knows me. He was there. It was… you know. When my dad… He was there. He picked me up from college and drove me to the hospital and held my hand and hugged me. He was so gentle and caring and strong and considerate.”

Z: “You don’t think about anyone else, ever?”

A: “He’s more than a boyfriend. He’s family. He’s done things for me, for my mom, for my grandmother. He’s so responsible, and mature, and considerate. Yesterday, he went grocery shopping for us. My maid was sick, I was at work. He bought vegetables at Pali Market. For my mom. In his free time. Who does that?”

Z: “But don’t you think about anyone else? Haven’t you thought about it? What it would be like?”

A: “Of course I do. Everyone does. We all do.”

Z: “Don’t you owe it to yourself to explore those feelings? Aren’t you curious?”

A: “I… uhm. I am. I am. But… how can I. I can’t just give up, because I’m curious. We worked to get here. Everyone looks at us and says — that’s a couple. And they ask us for advice, and they tell us how beautiful we are together, and I feel like I’d be letting everyone down, myself down, my mom down, and him down, if I..”

Z: “I always liked the guy. I do. I like him. He’s a good guy. He cares about you. He’s good to me, and Y, and all of your friends.”

A: “If I take the job, we’ll be done. He’s made that clear. Long distance doesn’t interest him. He’s done it before, and it sucked, and it made him crazy.”

Z: “What kind of guy would make you choose between your career and your relationship? Who does that? Doesn’t that say everything about him?”

A: “There are other jobs. I’m doing well. I could find something else here. He knows that I’ll be fine.”

Z: “But think about it. The adventure. Barcelona. The work. The men.”

A: “You’re disgusting.”

Z: “At least I’m honest with myself.”

A: “Fuck you.”

Z: “I know you’re trying to be this good person. And you are a good person. But you don’t owe anyone anything. You’re bigger than this guy, this relationship, Bombay. I don’t know what you’re so afraid of.”

A: “I’m scared. Of being alone. Of abandoning him, and you, and everyone.”

Z: “You’re not abandoning us. You’re not running away. You’re moving on. And you owe it to all of us to move on. You think want to see you, living here, in five years, nursing chubby Punjabi babies in a tiny Juhu flat? The thought makes me want to kill myself. Think about me, for a second.”

A: “Classic. Making everything about you.”

Z: “Listen. I’m never having kids. I’m never getting married. Never. It’s just no for me. I don’t want the responsibility. But don’t I deserve beautiful biracial babies to play with whenever I’m on holiday in Europe? Think about me. Think about what those babies would look like. Olive skin and Indian eyes.”

A: “I barely speak Hindi anyway.”

Z: “Whatever. This conversation is killing my high.”





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