Flip a page, pick a chick!

A few weeks ago, when Namz & Samz were in Chennai for a few days, we decided to meet at breakfast the day they were to leave for Singapore. But what had started out as breakfast, went on to be a fun day out with fun people doing fun things.

One of our fun escapades took us to the Landmark store at Spencers Plaza. This was after having scouted around the mall looking for a particular silver jewellery shop that was unfortunately closed that Sunday afternoon. It was 2pm, and we thought we’d quickly step in and out of Landmark for Namz to pick up some reading material for the flight, before we headed out for lunch.

As soon as we walked into Landmark, Samz headed out to look up the choicest of Archie comics to take back home to his collection, before which he would mull over the fate of Jughead’s love life while flipping through its pages on the flight back home.

Namz and I turned to the Indian Writers section and busied ourselves looking for a good read apart from keeping an eye out for Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City.

That was when I saw him as he walked past us. The ‘Dude’.

It was not like I ‘saw’ saw him. As he walked by, he was just another one of those non-existent entities that make up the hushed hustle and bustle of a bookstore. Someone you saw, but conveniently noted as the background to a bookstore setting.

We shall refer to the ‘dude’ as Blacky for ease of description, as he was dressed in a plain black, skintight t-shirt (complete with bulging muscles) and a pair of black pants, with a hint of a bootleg cut (While this ‘fashionable’ attire did not exactly stand out in contrast to his skin complexion, I shall refrain from adding that to the reason behind his nickname, lest I be termed racist). In short, he was somebody my brother would have eloquently termed a Gym-Baady.

“Excuse me”, said Blacky, interrupting the little chat Namz and I were having, “would you mind suggesting a book for me to read from here?”

In that moment, the non-existent entity turned himself from an element of the background into an undesirable irritant in our foreground. But what irritated me more than his presence was the question he was asking me. How do you suggest a random book to a random person randomly?

I sized him up in a glance, and pointed at Vikas Swarup’s Q&A, which I’d spotted on one of the shelves a few minutes back. With the entire Slumdog Millionaire buzz in the air, surely he’d want to read that one?

Completely ignoring my helpful gesture, he continued, “I mean, which one of these would you recommend to me, if I’m looking for a fast read?”

I glanced up at the shelf in front of me. Names like Khushwant Singh, Anita Desai, Shashi Tharoor, Vikram Seth and the like stared back at me in apprehension. Please don’t suggest us to ball-brained Blacky, they seemed to plead. In a last ditch effort, I tried suggesting Q&A to him again.

“You could try that one, it should be fast”, I said, and proceeded to trace my finger along the section of books in front of me- as if to signal my absolute disinterest in the rest of the potential conversation.

“Slumdog Millionaire? Isn’t that like the movie?”

Well, you’re intelligent, I wanted to tell him. But I politely smiled and said something about a missing love angle in the book. Or so, I believed. I haven’t gotten to reading the book myself.


Oh no. Clearly, the direction this boy was taking meant that he simply WAS NOT getting the message. I was so sure that Namz was thinking on the same lines as I was, as she quietly sifted through books while I hoped this little pest would simply walk away.

“… are you guys with any book club?”

Maybe clipped answers will work here, I though. “No, no”, I said, nodding my head at the book I randomly pulled out to flip through, desperately trying all measures of displaying disinterest. But, much to my disappointment, I found myself answering some of his dumb questions, in the same clipped answer fashion.

“Are you from here?”

“What do you do?”

“Oh, you’re an architect? So am I. That’s funny. I haven’t met someone who’s an architect this way.”

Alright, Blacky- this is the frikkin’ last straw, I thought. Not only am I pissed with myself for divulging so much information, I know you’re probably lying through your nose (don’t ask me how)! I gave Blacky a long look and then decided to call his bluff.

“Really, what college are you from?”

“R.V. College, Bangalore”.

At this point, I thought I’d throw some names of people I know from that college (yeah, don’t mess with us architecture students. We have a pretty good networking system in place), but decided against it. I tried the other trick question.

“So where are you working then? When did you pass out?”

“I, er, passed out in 2007.” He was fumbling, and I was liking this. Apparently, as he went on to fumble some more, he told me he wasn’t doing much since then. Strange. I wondered if it really was the truth, that must be some magically maintained body (or a rich father behind it all, but I rule that option out for it being such a killjoy alternative).

With that, he quickly walked away, while Namz and I gave each other the ‘what was that?’ look and went back to our book browsing.

Shortly afterwards, Samz told us he spotted Blacky hitting on a poor, clueless looking chick  at another section. From the description of his conversation, it seemed to me he’d succeeded in going past the recommend-please-what-do-you-do-thread to something that sounded like let-me-take-you-out-sometime thread.

Why would someone want to pick up chicks in a bookstore? I understand intelligence is a turn-on for some men, but Blacky… he takes the cake!


20 responses to “Flip a page, pick a chick!

  1. Machans, the nomenclature sounds very much like that of a dog in the the typical Indian context.
    The characteristics resemble like that of a pest.

    The blacky seems to be a very interesting entity!
    The description of the outlook makes him appear like monkey.
    I wonder what to call our Blacky!

  2. Wow, That is hillarious!!! Trying to pick up chicks in a book store….. Thats innovative…. if he did succeed with any1 he would be of few who got lucky of the Mills & Boons trash… 🙂

    BTW on a different note… You talking abt Landmark in Spencers??, there is one right??
    Chennai Landmark was the first time I visited Landmark and since then I am in awe of the place specially their collection and their awesome categorization and their carry bags with funny lines too (though it has a very little place to sit and brief read a book) have some really nice memories of Chennai Landmark flipping through some amazing books.

  3. Ohh… There you go! Now I gotta score off Landmark from my “Places” list… *sigh*… 😉

    • oh shame! but y is that? is it because ur afraid of being ‘picked’ or getting caught while ‘picking’ …?? 😉 LOL. just kidding… no offense, eh.

      thank for dropping by!

  4. Pathetic is the only way one can think of the approach, pick up line Urrrgh! You shd have hit him with Shantaram or similar:) would have changed his entire architecture….Cheers

    • LOL. i like tht —> “You shd have hit him with Shantaram or similar:) would have changed his entire architecture”. i agree, i should have!! but heh, i cudn’t find shantaram anywhere nearby 😉

  5. ha ha ha ha…. Men do that? Damn Stoopid but yeah surely funny. I can just imagine what his life must be like trying to pick women from BookShops. Did not know such people even existed. Whattay Loser!!!!

  6. haha im first surprised a guy did that in chennai. Din xpect ne guy to have the balls to do so in chennai.

    Anyway, the method was yuwackkkk book store? displaying his ignorance ?


    • i didn’t expect it either. which is why i probably subconsciously allowed him to continue talking. but yeah, book store?? goes to show the dude was despo for some action!! blech!

      BTW, what is yuwackkkk?

  7. Seriously this guy needs an ultra-sensitive paranoid feminist to hit on. Hilariously cheap bastard.

  8. You should have directed him to the self-help section! He would have probably died of mis-print!

  9. Random visitor here.. I’m not sure what all the hatred is about. If a woman walks up to a guy in a bookstore and starts chatting him up is she just a desperate skank?

    I don’t even get the “hit on a paranoid feminist” angle, like feminism is big on denying men and women the opportunity to talk to each other, or feminists hate going out with men, or something.

    And really, meeting your significant other in a book store is not all that unheard of. Google “met my * at a bookstore”.

    • there is no ‘hatred’. there is no ‘feminism’ either, i’ve had my fair share of meeting and socialising with random guys uptil now to figure out who’s looking for commitment and who’s looking for a free romp in the hay. and ‘desperate skank’? i don’t remember calling this dude a gigolo or a male slut anywhere in this post. to each, his own. clearly, that is where our particularly enterprising fellow and i differ. that’s all.

      • I understand. Yeah you don’t owe anyone your time or attention (regardless of what they’re looking for) but the way you and your commentors were talking about him was puzzling me back then. Reading over it today I understand that you were just having fun telling the story.

  10. he he he…was just imagining the way u would have reacted there…. LOL …
    and was wondering why did he try to woo you 😉 after all he was tryin to chick a pick …cha …pick a chick 😉

  11. Another passerby here. I too am not sure what is so hilarious here. Either I am missing something or I am in the midst of some misandrist group. Honestly, the guy impressed me. He may not be quick to your cues, but he certainly doesn’t lack enterprise, and that black skin (which you are racist enough anyway to think should dominate his moniker) is quite admirably thick too.

    Plus I smell some snobbery here. And please drop those cliches from your writing style. They look a little gaudy…………..only my humble opinion.

    • the focus of this post was never meant to have been his rather original choice of place to pick up chicks, rather it was the fact that he thought he could get away with a convenient lie. i agree the post does not deliver that sort of an impression, it was meant as some sort of excuse to make a comeback to blogging. also, if you think it appears racist, there is nothing much i can do about that, as some attempt to put up a disclaimer was made by me.

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