The women in Mumbai’s costly apartment inhabited by the cream gossiped about politics, expertly flipping the cards and flinging credit cards on the table, promising to make bank transfer. Cash will strictly not infect the party. Some guffawed about the affair Chandni’s husband is having with Mrs hot shot Maggi in the society and the one playing damsel in distressing is not left behind. Nobody spills the grain on who Mrs Hot Shot Maggi is sleeping with and the code words about the unidentified lover sneaking inside the house for a round of rumpy-pumpy.
Some prodding and faking it with a loud moan! No! The lovers’ names cannot be revealed and too dangerous to spill the beans in today’s times. How are they having sex and smooching with masks on?, Bimla the naughty aunty and wearing nau lakh ka haar asks. She is ignored. Everyone is wearing a mask and sneaking on the balcony one by one for a smoke as trays of whiskey, Vodka, and wine glasses flow on the table.
The women who know no confinement and living to the adage neighbors are family. Women hating each other and gossiping about each other sex life outside the wedlock, toyboys sneaking in whose private room, snigger at the too middle-class saree, jewellery and car of the nouveau riche and new tenant in the brand new Rs100 crore apartment. Peace is made. Boredom kills. Today, Mehta Memsaab is the host and entertaining frenemies.
Inside a spacious room and a glass sliding door jutting on a sprawling balcony, condoms sprawled on the floor and mattresses. Boys and girls in half-naked postures were making inside and the loud TV anchor shouting to scare the shit out of folks turned prisoners choking the ooh and aah, intense moaning and rumpy-pumpy sex. The noise pollution every sane Indian has learned to abhor on India television came as the savior. A distance celebrating two apartments, one occupied by the kitty party wallah, fidgeting with playing cards, credit cards, naughty jokes and tales and the other occupied by kids translating their naughty gossip into action.
The kitty women eyeing the body language of their opponents turned friends, in Baba Ramdev avatar before flicking cards on the table. Eyes hovered and roving into the cards held by each other was often met by cursory glances, swear words, “Whatta fuck?” where squabbles were avoided in time by the peacemaker before a volley of accusations could hit home on the unsavory private lives hidden beneath the white sheet.
Pesky lady put the finger right in front of her lip and stares menacingly, “Listen! I can hear something!” Everybody stopped in their track and sat still, all ears towards the wall. No signal! Poor thing was berated. “We don’t want suspense. Chuck out your wild mind. Arre! Have a drink and play, na. It’s just that Arnab shouting and some naughty shaughty condom ad on TV.” Play and gossip resumed, smoke billowing and tinkling of glasses.
The Mumbai road was empty. Everyone sat safe in their homes and to be far from the virus scare zooming like an invisible snake biting. Lathi charging the unruly crowd plodding on the road to brave the deadly and the sorry state of migrant laborers losing lives, struggling with breathing and running away to their homes broke the heart. The rich busily put credit cards and wealth at stake over pack of cards. The hungry will die and the virus will kill.
A rummy game flouting rules and paper cards fidgeted expertly on the table, amidst riotous laughter. The opposite apartment turned into an orgy with teenage couples splaying naked and immature voices whispering, “Curfew times for us means getting locked inside.” The moaning, smoke billowing and alcohol drops halted.
Guffawing hit a dead end. A knock on the wooden door. A moment of silence brushed aside with concatenating laughter. Fistful bangs on the door and it finally slides open. Mrs Mehta’s mouth was wide open at the sight of dozen cops, men and women sidling inside. The women protested, “We are not doing anything illegal and confined inside. Who gave you permission to barge inside?” The dusky lady cop calmly told the protesting ladies, “Easy women! Ah! I see it’s a kitty party with smoking and alcohol. We may inquire on the illegal alcohol when the city is closed. So, shut the fuck and each one of you stand in a line with names and society’s address.”
The women were startled and sheepishly told their names. The cops told them, “We got news for you. Young boys and girls carrying the same surnames like you women have been caught red-handed for indulging in sexual orgy and in naked positions. Coincidence?”