I have been toying with the idea of writing a book for some time….
However, I find it so difficult to come up with an idea, let alone a story!
So, this is just a trial run…
When Gautam had come to US to do his Masters in Computer Science, he was chasing the standard immigrant American Dream – Dollars, A House, Two Cars, and Two Kids.
Well not quite!
Sure, he wanted all these things, but what he wanted most, was to live his fantasy nurtured through years of watching MTV and Channel V.
In his dreams, life in US was a never-ending hedonistic pleasure-trip of bikini-clad girls dancing on the beach and partying the night away in a psychedelically lit disco. Therefore, the day he got admission into a Graduate School in US, he thought that the Stairway to Heaven had finally opened.
However, the educational system brought him back to reality with harsh lashings of its whip. He found out soon enough that the only thing he could play around with was the Linux kernel, and Siri, which were the only promiscuous modes, that he would ever get to see.
In fact, he and a couple of his friends did try and visit a bar to pick up some chicks. However, all that happened was that, they sat there, drank alone, stared at each other, ogled at the ladies, who did not seem to be even remotely interested, through their cascading locks of gold.
They returned even more frustrated than before.
His friends still went to bars regularly; one of them even took the phone number of a girl he danced with on New Year’s eve, but that was all he could achieve.
Gautam after the few days, had even stopped frequenting the bars and pubs, as there was no way he could ever get noticed.
Sadly, he realized that when it comes to hitting on chicks in bars, it does matter if you are brown.
Gautam stayed in a loft with two other desis. The American students below would start partying from Thursday night, and he had to be contented by peering down at the girls making out with the guys on the porch, and listening to the cries of passion emanating through the thin wooden walls, while he ate his vegetable chow-mein from his small white bowl.
He did try to chat with a few girls on the Net, but he could not trust anything on chat, as it was obvious that the girls who wanted to talk hot, were not really girls at all.
And, the few girls that were there, would be immensely boring as they were trying to make a friendship of the long-term variety – something that Gautam did not have the time for.
After nights of endless coding, he reasoned that talking about his family, his hobbies, and his zodiac sign was a waste of effort when all he wanted was to get down to business.
One afternoon, he had returned from school just after a late lunch.
The code had core-dumped without any explanation, his advisor was breathing down his neck, and the Chinese TA had put a B on an assignment unfairly.
He had slept for a while and woke up with a start.
It was dark outside.
A night like any other night he thought… as he threw his head back on the torn couch, and tried to collect his thoughts.
His apartment mates, Ajay and Vikas had gone shopping just before he had dozed off, and he wondered what they were doing at this unearthly hour. Sleeping perhaps, he reckoned!
In a reflex action, he started surfing the channels on his TV. Was there anything good on?
All infomercials, the fat burning grille, the get-rich-by-selling-real-estate, the amazingly loaded laptop that will be sold out in 10 minutes.
Nothing new… but suddenly something caught his eye.
Are you tired? Asked a blonde and that too a gorgeous piece of work.
Yes, he was… Gautam thought. Most definitely!
She was then joined by another bountiful babe who pouted… Are you lonely?
Oh Yes, tell me about it.
Another brunette with a generous display, piped in… We are waiting for your call, big boy.
Then a voice-over said encouragingly… We have real girls in your area who want to meet you and have a good time. Call 1-900-HOTTIES to blow your mind.
A cut to the three girls now slithering among themselves.
What are you waiting for? Call 1-900-HOTTIES, said his sub-conscience!
The phone lay on the adjoining couch.
Gautam looked at it longingly.
Was this the real way to meet local girls?
Of course not, this is a phone sex line. He knew all about them.
He flipped the channel again.
A Discovery channel special on the mating habits of the Siberian bear. Why not give it a try?
What if the girls from his University were doing it for the money?
What if something happens? At the worst, there would be a real girl talking dirty on the other side.
Just the perfect arrangement. No aggravation of conversation, just jump to the good parts, no threat of rejection, total confidentiality and he realized that the rate on the ad was $1.48 per minute. Besides, it said that the first 3 minutes were also free. If he kept it down to 10 minutes then it could be a real steal.
He had just been paid, and thought that he owed something to himself.
He hesitated a bit and then his hand reached out to the phone.
An automated husky voice greeted him, and asked him to punch in his credit card number.
Gautam thought again… Should he go ahead?
If he did, there was no turning back. But he also remembered the quote that one who hesitates, definitely loses.
Hesitantly, he punched in his MasterCard.
A reassuring voice told him that his card was being authorized, and that he would not be charged until THREE minutes into a conversation with a real girl.
Gautam liked the sound of that-nothing sleazy, but full and fair business.
In India, sleaze means getting ripped off but here in US there is honor in smut. One of the many things he liked about the country.
A real female voice came on… Hi Sir! How would you like to be addressed?
Gautam asked… Am I being charged from now?
The friendly voice replied… No Sir, not yet. I am the pleasure facilitator (what a beautiful job, Gautam thought). My job is to know a little bit about what you would like, so that we can give you a fantastic experience. Yes Sir, how would you like to be addressed?
Just the first name only Sir.
Gautam thought of providing a false identity…but then he wanted to be addressed by his own name. It was more personal and heck who would ever know?
But then again from his experiences in the bars, he thought the better of it, and replied in his best American accent (which incidentally was pretty good)… Bob !
So Bob! What kind of girl would you like… a Swedish exchange-student, a Japanese schoolgirl, or a Russian dominatrix, or a Vietnamese submissive, or an all-American cheerleader or an Ebony pleasure-queen?
Wow! Gautam thought!
What a buffet of succulent ladies. He thought for a while, and said… How about an all-American cheerleader?
Sure Bob. We aim to please at 1-900-HOTTIES.
Please wait while we redirect our call to your dream date.
Your 3 minutes begins after she picks up the phone. Again congratulation on your choice… and enjoy!
Gautam waited anxiously, with bated breath.
This sure beats the hell out of hanging endlessly in places where no women has even looked back at you.
This was instant, hassle-free gratification. In a few seconds he would be speaking to an All-American cheerleader
Click…and then an undecipherable voice…apparently an unmistakable Southern accent…
Gautam could only make out a Howdy Partner, and the rest of her words were lost in a mumble.
Gautam in his American accent kept on repeating… Could you please try and speak a bit louder?
However, he had the faintest idea what the girl was drawling.
In the corner of his brain, the clock was ticking – the free minutes would be over in a flash, and he had yet not understood, what she was trying to say.
Straining to hear what she was drawling, he could make out the background sound…
Despite the very thick Texan accent, there was something very familiar with the ambient noise, which was also contributing to her voice being drowned out.
And finally, he realized that sound!
The unmistakable drone of heavy traffic and riotous blowing of horns.
In which country are horns blown like this?
The penny dropped. The cheats had Outsourced his call to India!
Texan beauty indeed…
Gautam’s voice rose, and he queried whether his call had been outsourced to India.
The voice at the other end immediately changed. A beautiful voice spoke in clear English. I apologize Sir, but yes, your call has been outsourced to India.
To keep operating costs down, the company has had to globalize these calls.
Sir, this is just a fantasy. I hope you understand, our parent company, has no legal obligation to provide you with the all-American girl you asked for. I apologize for my accent. I normally do the Japanese and the Vietnamese girl, but the girl who does the all-American cheerleader has just quit her job, and I apologize profusely on behalf of the company.
She continued with an amazingly sexy voice…However truth be told I am from India – the land of Kamasutra where the girls are as lush as the mighty Ganga and know how to please.
I can be quite a handful. So tell me Sir, if you have ever heard of the “flying monkey” position?
If not, please allow me to enlighten you in graphic details!
Gautam’s indignation had immediately been replaced by sympathy.
Poor Indian girl must be some college kid forced to do this because of financial constraints. Which Indian girl would ever do such things on her own?
And the teary voice of the girl had aroused the man in Gautam.
Poor lady. It was not her fault that the Texas girl quit. If the caller was an American, he would have probably abused the poor Indian and hung up.
But not Gautam!
Even though he wanted to settle in US, he still loved his country. And its girls. And something about this girl’s helplessness excited him. He wondered why.
Gautam put on his best chivalrous knight tone.
Reverting to his own accent, he said. Hi, I am Gautam not Bob. I too am an Indian student, so you need not tell me about the Kamasutra. I live by it too. It was a white lie, but as she said this just a fantasy!
The girl laughed a beautiful cadence. This girl really had an amazingly sexy voice.
She said, “Hi Gautam, I am Monica, and am all excited to meet you…Now, if I may ask you, whereabouts in India do you come from?
Gautam glanced at his watch.
Goddamn it! This was costing him plenty and they had not even talked a bit. However, he liked this. Actually, this conversation was much more exciting than a few minutes of mechanized huffing and puffing that he would have hoped to get.
Baroda, he replied.
Wow Baroda, that’s cool!
I too am from Baroda, and her voice rose a level.
They had found a common ground, a connection source. You must be one of those geniuses who go to US after their Engineering. Gautam smiled self-contentedly.
Gautam then launched into a rant about how lonely he was. At least that would serve as a justification for dialing a sex chat line.
The girl was more than understanding about Gautam’s loneliness.
So don’t you have a girlfriend there?
Some hot blonde in US who can look after your needs?
Well, actually no! I prefer brown skin, as fair skin turns me off.
The musical voice cooed. So Gautam, do you have any girlfriend in India?
Gautam was feeling exceedingly honest.
Somewhere subconsciously he was falling in lust with this goddess of love. And he needed to start this relationship by making a clean breast of things.
No Monica, I do not. There was a girl in my locality I used to love and lust.
Monica giggled…. Come on, tell me about her.
Gautam was breathing noticeably heavier now. God, this lady, she knew how and when to press the right buttons.
He then launched into a lurid description of a girl who lived in the same housing society, and whom he had spent countless nights thinking about, and was soon lost in explicit details of her anatomical attributes.
Gautam thought of how delectably perverted this conversation had become but what amazed him was how accepting and understanding this Indian girl was.
It was another matter that he was doing all the hot talking, and the girl was merely encouraging him to go on…. and in the end he would have to foot the bill, which Gautam realized must be quite high now.
However, he was no longer thinking with his head.
Wow Gautam! Your dream girl seems to be right out of the Khajuraho temple.
Is she the only one?
Gautam was talking in a passionate whisper by now. She even had a hotter elder sister, and I have often fantasized about both of them together.
The girl giggled again…
So what were their names?
And tell me about the fantasies involving both of them?
Shweta and Anila!
Well there was this one time when…
The girl’s tone changed a bit… Shweta and Anila Gupta?
Was this one of them?
Gautam’s head was now turning cartwheels.
Could it be that one of the two goddesses was actually a phone sex operator?
And that he had been talking dirty to one of those unattainable fairies for so long?
Gautam excitedly replied… Yes, yes, do you know them?
Suddenly the line became silent.
Had he been disconnected, or had the girl been so ashamed of being found out that she had disconnected?
Oh no! Please no!
As he yelled…Hello! Hello! Are you there?
The voice had now undergone a metamorphosis.
Bastard…she shouted…I know you!
You are that potbellied idiot who used to stay in No 24, and would try to peek into our house…
Go tell your dirty ideas to your own sister, you bastard…
One more thought about the two of them, I shall gouge out your hungry eyes and feed them to the crows and twist your little thingy out, and leave it among the green chillies to dry…
You got that! Scumbag!
Your parents sent you to US to study and this is how you spend your time there… Shameless Monkey!
A click of the telephone disconnecting and another automated voice…
Thank you for using 1-900-HOTTIES. Your credit card has been charged $98.88 including call time, tax, and state surcharges. Thank you once again, and we hope to do business with you in the future.
Ninety-Nine Dollars! That was almost the amount that he spent on a month’s grocery.
However, cash was the last thing on Gautam’s mind, as he sat on the couch, with his head in his hands.
He had recognized the voice that had berated him in the end.
It was Kokila Aunty, the mother of Shweta and Anila, roly-poly and the local gossip server who offered Pujas three times a day.
Now, how on earth could she be a sex-phone operator?
Well evidently, she was, and Gautam had just spent $98.88, unloading his fantasies onto a lady pushing the wrong side of 50. And, if that was not bad enough, his reputation in the housing colony was toast.
He knew very well that if ladies like Kokila Aunty wanted to take down a reputation, she could do that effectively without getting herself scorched.
He remembered the case of an uncle, an old bachelor, whom although he found to be nice enough, but was instead believed to be a gay pedophile.
Now the rumor mill had a new goat on the block… Gautam the local pervert.
How was he ever going to return? With his hands shaking, he reached for his laptop. So much code still needed to be written.
At least no one here in the US knew of this, and that was the only saving grace.
Dude! Gautam looked up, and his apartment mates were standing in the corridor.
Ajay was doubled up on the ground laughing, and Vikas was staring at Gautam his mouth agape.
And then it suddenly came to him.
They had been to Wal-Mart’s that evening and bought an extension handset.
Suddenly everything went blank !!