Some Enchanted Evening

Day three, or was it four, dawned over the resort promising the same weather as every other day. Uncomfortably hot and humid.

By now, my virus had reached the stage where it didn’t really matter to me what the weather was doing. I was burning up and freezing by turn. It was so bad that I almost considered giving up smoking and drinking for the whole day. Needless to say, I failed to keep that particular resolution. It wasn’t like it was anything as serious as Man Flu.

Over breakfast, Mick complained about being stiff, no pun intended, from his exertions at the Young Tailors Party the night before. He was soon to discover a remedy for that condition in a most unexpected and surprising manner.

Ravi didn’t have very much to say at all. He was too busy making up for his missed meals from the day before. The waiters were kept busy as he munched his way through sufficient mountains of fat and calories to keep even a typically obese American sated for a couple of hours. I settled for a glass of milk and half a pack of Silk Cut.

After breakfast, Mick and Ravi headed off for the pool, and I headed back to my bed where I spent the rest of the day cursing the Hindu Pantheon for striking me down halfway through a holiday. Even Mick had to acknowledge that I was genuinely ill when I failed to make it for the lunchtime drinking session. That is almost as unheard of as Ravi missing a meal.

I didn’t see my friends again until late afternoon when we met for a drink at the bar to agree on the agenda for the coming evening. They were both extremely keen to visit a club in the local town that one of the bartenders had recommended to them as a lively place. Indeed, they had already arranged for a taxi to pick us up at eight.

Whilst a couple of pints had raised my morale slightly, I was still well below par and the thought of an evening drinking in a hot, loud and noisy bar crammed with sweating bodies did not feature high on my list of things I wanted to do at that moment.

It was therefore agreed that Mick and Ravi would go on their own whilst Ash and I had a quiet drink at the hotel bar. The rest of this story is, therefore, hearsay. But I have it on good authority (that is to say it is what Ravi and Mick have since told me whilst under the influence) that it is mostly true.

They arrived at the bar shortly after eight-thirty only to find that they were gate-crashing a special by invitation only night. Fortunately, a couple of the managers from our resort spotted them and managed to organise last-minute invites that gained them access.

As I had suspected it would be, the club was heaving inside. Smoky, some of which was undoubtedly of dubious origin, resonating to extremely loud music and with the alcohol flowing freely. The clientele was a mixture of ex-pats and the wealthy elite of local society. There were also plenty of women of all ages present which raised Mick’s hopes and panicked Ravi.

It wasn’t long before the two of them found themselves mingling and talking, but mainly drinking, as tends to be the standard modus operandi of the three musketeers, even when they are reduced to two as on this occasion.

Ravi quickly struck up a conversation with a Swedish Mother / Daughter combination that he judged to be safe. Mick, however, as a single virile man, had other ideas. From his elevated vantage point, at least six inches above the crowd, he spotted what he later described as just about the hottest woman he had ever seen. She could have been plucked straight out of a video game.

She was in her late thirties or possibly early forties, six foot two in her heels, slim and with a South American coffee and cream complexion. She was also wearing a very short, very tight and low-cut dress that emphasised her large firm breasts and hourglass figure. Suffice it to say that she was very, very fit. Later, Mick would learn that she was a wealthy divorcee, born to an Iranian father and an Indian mother. Hmmm! I almost wish I had been there.

However, at that moment, all that was irrelevant to Mick. The important thing was that she seemed to be looking at him across the dance floor. Naturally, his first reaction was to check behind him to see who she was really looking at before concluding that he was definitely being given the eye. Could he have finally found his ultimate fantasy woman? Was “Tonight” to be “The Night”?

Retrieving Ravi from his own now insignificant and irrelevant, in Mick’s mind anyway, Nordic beauties, he led the two of them across the floor, towards his Anime dream woman. She watched their approach with just a hint of amusement in her eyes, as she calmly lit a long slim Black Russian cigarette. It must have been like a scene from an old Greta Garbo movie.

Upon arriving at his personal El Dorado, Mick realised that he had a problem. In his testosterone-driven haste, he had forgotten to prepare any sort of chat-up line. Disaster loomed, but he needn’t have worried. This woman was well practised in the dating game. She reached out and took his hand.

“Hello, my name is Surika,” she purred in a fair approximation of how one would expect an Iranian Ertha Kitt to sound. “I am so pleased to meet you. These parties are normally just too boring to be true. I like my men tall. Would you like to dance?”

Now, Mick is not the world’s most accomplished dancer, especially to slow music, but even he couldn’t go wrong. Swaying to the music with a snake-hipped, caramel-skinned succubus keeping him in step, whilst all the time she was staring intently into his eyes. She even managed to stop him spouting on about history, albeit only by attempting to perform a tonsillectomy with only her tongue as a sweet scalpel.

When they eventually left the floor, his erstwhile and reluctant wingman, Ravi, helpfully attempted to make conversation.

“So Surika”, he began. “What are your hobbies?”

“Sex,” she replied, before fixing Mick yet again with that Kaa like hypnotic stare. “Shall we go for a nightcap?”

Thus, it was that I was awoken next morning at 6:00 am by a distraught and contrite Ravi on the phone. “Morning Dave, sorry to wake you so early mate but I have some bad news. I’ve lost Mick.”

“What do you mean you’ve lost Mick,” I mumbled, striving to surface from my fever ravaged dream of being chased across Horsell Common by giant fire-breathing tripods?

When Ravi explained that the last he had seen of Mick, was in the back seat of a tuk-tuk taxi that had been engaged to follow a woman and her motorbike, back to her apartment, my patience snapped.

“Oh, for God’s sake Rav! What the hell do you expect me to do about it? And why the hell do you think that Mick would thank me if I did?” With that, I slammed the receiver down and went back to sleep.

However, by mid-morning and with still no sign of Mick, I was starting to appreciate Ravi’s anxiety.  Was my buddy perhaps lying in a ditch somewhere, his wallet, liver and kidneys removed by some local body parts snatching gang? We had been reading of such scare stories in the press ever since we arrived in India. I couldn’t imagine my liver being of interest, but perhaps my well trained and regularly exercised kidneys would be.

The next couple of hours were quite worrying, but by late morning a very tired and sheepish looking Mick turned up back at the hotel. At first, he declined to reveal how his evening had gone, but eventually, with the help of copious amounts of whisky, we got the full story out of him.

Surika had invited him back to her apartment and, after determining that she was not a hooker, he had agreed to go. When they got outside the club, however, it turned out that she was on her motorbike and she couldn’t take a pillion passenger. Especially such a long-legged and poorly co-ordinated one as Mick. That was why he had spent the last of his cash to hire the three-wheeled Tuk-Tuk that Ravi had spotted him departing on.

On arriving at Surika’s luxury apartment, they had spent half an hour chatting, drinking, and doing whatever else love-struck randy strangers do in those situations. Seemingly unimpressed by, and uninterested in Mick’s vast knowledge of Iranian and Indian history, Surika had bluntly informed him that all she was interested in was a shag. Oh, and by the way, she expected him to be on top and do all the work. With that, she departed for the bedroom to “Change into something more comfortable daaahling and get myself warmed up for you.”

Ever the man of the world, not to say wannabee stud, Mick had calmly finished his scotch before stripping down to his white Y-Fronts in the living room, an image I decline to imagine.

Aroused and expectant of an exciting once in a lifetime night of passion, he had reached for his wallet to retrieve his every-readies and a confidence-inducing pill. Alas, he had forgotten to bring either!

At that moment, his passion, and everything else for that matter, had evaporated like the early morning mist blown away on the breeze. Picture collapsing skyscrapers and the tide going out and you will get the idea.

So it was that he had found himself standing stark naked, apart from his socks, no doubt, at 1:00 am in a stranger’s house, far from home, with neither the will nor the tools to complete the deed.

The sound of strange electrical humming noises and heavy breathing from the direction of the bedroom probably didn’t help much either.

In a state of deep embarrassment, Mick had retrieved his clothes and quietly crept out the front door, pulling it firmly shut behind him. It was only then that he realised that he didn’t have any money to hire a taxi back to the resort and even worse he had no idea where he or it was.

After walking for hours, he had found a sympathetic one-armed beggar who had been able to give him directions back to the hotel. Maybe Mick had exchanged his Y-Fronts and socks in return? We shall never know, and to be honest, I don’t want to.

For some unknown reason and despite Ravi and myself being quite keen, Mick didn’t seem to want to return to the club that evening. So instead we spent our last night in Goa in the hotel bar contemplating the pleasures of Mumbai and the final stage of our Indian adventure.