I awoke on our first full day in Goa to find that my virus had worsened, and I was wracked with bouts of uncontrollable coughing. Left to my own devices, I would have crawled back into my pit and stayed there for
By the time I got there, Ravi had discovered the joys of drinking Margaritas in the sun and was already on his third or fourth. Likewise, Mick was grinning maniacally, having found that the pool bar also stocked his
At the other end of the pool, Ash was deep in conversation with a nice young man who we nicknamed Ravi Bender, for reasons that will become clear later in the story. The two of them were consoling each other with tales about their upcoming marriages to girls they had barely met let alone kissed. High Caste Indian society is extremely strict about such matters. It must be very frustrating for them and is perhaps the reason you see male teenagers walking along the street holding hands. I kid you not.
As the sun reached its zenith, Mick started making noises about getting something to eat. As usual, I declined, preferring to stick with my preferred diet of liquid bread by which I mean beer. However, we were both stunned when Ravi also declined, saying he wanted to stay in the pool. It’s the one and only time I have ever known Ravi turn down a chance to eat. Usually, he is something of a human dustbin, but on this occasion, he had decided to stick with his Margaritas and sod the chips.
So it was that we spent an enjoyable afternoon, alternating between drinking at the bar and cooling off in the pool. Of course, we also had to put up with the inimitable sounds emanating from Mick’s stomach and his constant whinging about how hungry he was, but we are used to that. It’s one of the reasons we always refuse to share a room with him. That and the early morning ear-splitting belching routine that he uses to relieve his wind rather than farting. I think, given a choice, I would prefer the farts. At least with them, you can open the window.
As the afternoon wore on into the evening, and the alcohol started to take its inevitable toll, Ash introduced us to his newfound friend. It turned out that Ravi Bender was there for a “Young Gentlemen Tailors of India” convention. He was a genuinely nice lad if you get my meaning, and we took to him and him to us, but mainly he and Ash took to each other.
By now, Mick’s stomach was sending out rumbling low-frequency noises that were probably sending the local elephant population into a state of high sexual arousal. And so, after a quick shower and sober up, we set off for the resort’s beach restaurant for dinner.
In the tropics, the sun goes down very quickly, within half an hour or so. During the magnificent al fresco meal on the shores of the Indian Ocean, we watched the sun sink beneath the horizon as a formation of lights far out to sea approached the coast. I suggested they were UFOs but Mick, as usual, the practical one, insisted they were fishing boats returning home from a long
Whatever the truth, by the time we had quaffed our liqueurs and left the restaurant, we were all flying with the saucers. So much so that before we got back to our villas, both Ravi and Mick managed to sign their
Everything would have been fine except for one thing. As we staggered past the garden pavilion on the complex, we happened upon Ravi Bender watering the roses himself. Ravi Bender explained that it was the Young Tailors party night and invited us inside for a drink.
Well, what is one to do, especially when one is half-cut and the Bangra music is beating out its hypnotic rhythm? “Dinka Dinka dink, Dinka Dinka dink.” A
As I said earlier, we had arrived during the annual convention for the Young Tailors of India Guild. What this meant in practice was that we found ourselves at a celebration for about one hundred sexually frustrated and possibly, almost certainly in retrospect, gay young Indian males all dancing together. Gulp! Still, the music was good, and we were already well gone, so we thought…” What the hell?
A few more beers followed and then we were in the mood to join in the dancing. This is where things started to go wrong for our own Ravi. Ravi has always rated himself as a pretty smooth performer on the dance floor and began to give it his best moves. Eat your heart out John Travolta, Ravi could teach you a thing or two, especially when it comes to Bangra.
Unfortunately for Ravi, at this party, he was of local stock and therefore common fodder. It was Mick and I that were the exotic ones and the most
Thus it was, that Mick found himself surrounded by a crowd of some thirty dusky young guys, all thrusting their hips at him in time to the music. And, even worse, making lewd suggestions as to how they would like to show him a taste of the real India.
Mick re-acted in his usual fashion. He panicked!
“Leave me alone. I like women”, he cried. Unfortunately, this just excited the crowd further, and their body language became even lewder as they fought to get a piece of him.
Ravi by now was in denial. Dave and Mick sexier on the dance floor than him? Impossible! I, on the other hand, was quietly mellow. Bum securely pressed against the wall, I hinted at possible compliance if only someone would get me another beer. I was genuinely enjoying myself, but when I saw Mick’s shirt float past, quickly followed by his belt, even I had to accept that things were getting out of hand.
So, gathering up Ravi to assist with the Hindi translations of expletives, we fought our way through the crowd and helped a traumatised Mick from the centre of a heaving mass of overly stimulated young males, pulling him to safety.
Later that night, we debriefed in Ravi’s villa. Both Ravi and I agreed that it had been a good night, but for some reason, Mick disagreed. He took little consolation in our declarations that at least he now knew what it must be like to be a rock star, albeit a George Michael or an Elton John. Maybe “Cock star” would be a better description. We had to promise to take him out to a club the next night where he would be allowed an opportunity to show his true sexuality before he finally calmed down.
If only that club night had worked out as planned.