These days when I walk into the canteen there are no empty chairs available. Every single one of them occupied by "pairs" or that's what they are called. Most of these things are so mean enough to be wasting time in public with an insignificant other but the highlight is the attitude they throw when you occupy a lonely chair opposite them wanting to enjoy your coffee in peace!
The look suggests that you are a missionary from anti-cupid hell sent to generate waves of disturbance aided by a cup of caffeine. The guy usually tries to be the man and gives you a nasty glare that supposedly has powers to shoo you off and protect his moment of privacy with his abashed temporary consort. This at times is hilarious because the guy himself would weigh nothing more than all the beans in my curry put together at meal time and even with only curd rice for regular lunch, I could take him at the snap of a finger.
The women come in all shades. From this annoying overconfident chatterbox I would've given a gold mine to shut up to the scared clueless ones. But most times they are the wily ones that lure an unassuming spoilt brat for a wasted break time conversation.
I wonder how many of these so called 'in a relationship' categories last. How many of them really know to understand the difference between a 'wow-ranbir-drops-towel-eeeeee' and a 'this could be my man'?. How many of them learn from mistakes and realize they are knee deep in one right now?
But its an interesting line up. There are ones that just sit and talk. Ones that just sit and smile at each other. Ones that just sit. A pair where the girl was showing off her new haircut and the guy was running his hands through it trying to make it stay put (Thats what they call Animal grooming on Discovery). Ones that study together ( Thats probably what Pierre and Madam Curie did) and ones that even fight over the canteen bill!
The funniest thing is that these "pairs" are so judgmental that they are blind to their own situation but jump at the first chance to turn a scornful eye at another around or predetermine the course of a relationship between two individuals that walk in as friends. Such is the plight that it has become increasingly hard to have a normal conversation with a member of the opposite sex without being perceived as a pair and triggering a whole string of jealous reaction from total strangers that supposedly wanted a shot.
There also remain I guess the genuine ones amongst the lot that are hard to spot. They keep a low profile and stay sincere. Nobody objects to a good pair if they live up to their commitments. As for me, I want to and I have the right to enjoy my good coffee in peace. So the next time one of these Casanovas throws me a dirty glance I get to choose from a drop down list:
* Reciprocate with extended viguour accumulated from years of consuming thachi mamm
* Respond with a 'Hey how is that girl you were with at the other canteen last week'? (most of them have a number of backups so this one would most definitely work)
or the good 'ol
* "What? Oh c'mon...get a room" (roll eyes...turn back to coffee...and act like nothing happened)