After spending many weekends either watching movies or playing cards or nerdy games with friends or just plain-old-reading, Sejal and I decided that we should act like a young couple and enjoy a night out clubbing. So we decided to go to Santana Row, the only club-able area in the south bay. We dressed up in our finest party clothes, sprayed an entire bottle of perfume (we are Gujarati) got in our ride, cranked up the latest hip dandiya number and drove towards the partaay. The first requirement of a good night life scene is that you should have a ton of trouble parking. Not here baby, parking was a breeze. That pretty much told you how exciting the club scene would be. We started walking alongside various clubs and saw wine glasses and giant round plates on the tables with just a drop of what is considered food in the centre - aaila gourmet style. Aunties and uncles everywhere, talking softly, mostly quiet. We quickly moved away from those dead zones and towards where the music was blaring. The second indicator of a good night club is people crowding outside to get in. Not here; all clubs were empty with bouncers swatting flies outside. We spotted a club that had a few people inside apparently enjoying the music (as evidenced by the rythmic slow bobbing of the head in sync with one leg) and drinking. They seemed to be talking but I didn't see how you could carry a conversation in such a noise. It seemed so uncomfortable and pointless. Yes for single guys and girls it was a nice way to check each other out, exchange sexual vibes and make it worth the 10 dollar cover charge and 4 dollar beer. But for the Desi married couple it made no sense, especially because the resulting divorce could be very expensive. And of course I did enjoy clubbing in Austin during grad school. A bunch of desi enginerds, low on money, high on testosterone, sweat and body hair, dancing rowdily with a large handkerchief in hand, forcing everyone to do bhangra, all of 5 feet 7 but drunk and stupid enough to pick a fight with the biggest of the bouncers. The idea was that the more loud, obvious and vulgar you get the better the females would notice you. We are desi, we have to be obvious and explicit. It never worked that way and you ended the night with the same nerds you began it with in the same tasteless apartments.
The club also had no dance floor; atleast that could be fun. Since it didn't make any sense there we decided to check out other places where you could atleast hear each other talk. We found a nice outdoor club with lounge type chairs and low decibel music and filled with good looking women. That seemed ideal. I asked Sejal to put on her burkha as there were some good looking guys around too. Upon entering we were told that we would have to share the table with another couple. The concept of sharing isn't alien to me - you often shared a table at a cheap restaurant in India where the other guy just kept eating and ignored you as if your hungry self waiting for the food didn't exist - sure we've done that. So we agreed. I was secretly hoping that some gorgeous women were sharing our table because clubbing is all about seeing and being seen, isn't it? Thats why I gave Sejal a small window in her burkha so she could see but not be seen. What we saw instead was an old couple looking straight in our direction.
At last we settled in our chairs and stared at each other. Then we wondered what to talk about. Is there a special club talk that you need to engage in with your spouse? Should we stare at each other with promiscuous eye and lip movements. I mean, what do you do in a club with your spouse that you cannot already do in your house?! All around we saw large groups of people engaged in laughter and fun. We also saw couples like us sitting and staring at other people. So we decided that the next time we go clubbing we will get a group , even if we have to pay them god damn it! And we ended up talking about how bhangaar this club scene is and how much more fun Austin was and the extreme importance of partying in a group. A drink later we packed up, headed back to our car, put back the dandiya music and went home.
chaar aane ki murgi, baar aane ka masala, huh.
p.s. Things related to burkha and dandiya music were fictional and added just for creating some excitement in this thakela post.