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On making some music
Gentleman July 1998


Ever since I began writing this column, I have no more time to say my bedside prayers. My soul mate being a perfectly impressionable man has seriously begun to take the advise I have been dishing out in these past three months. Hence every night he starves me with tid-bits of food; gives me a foot massage; paints my toe nails and sets about achieving togetherness by talking till even the hind leg of the bed and the mosquitoes in the room are ready to fall off. I'm not complaining nor is God.

For my prayers seldom rise above - Thank you God for helping A. Graham Bell invent the telephone. Thanks to the telephone, I resisted yet another lunch where I would have chalked up calories and bills at the same time. And thanks to the very same device, I haven't missed out on even one interesting scrap of gossip.

I don't know what it is about the telephone that invites confidences. So when I'm not clinging to my sanity, it is quite possible that you will find me clinging to the telephone receiver playing Mother Confessor and Agony Aunt at the same time: Just say three Hail Marys and chuck the *%$# out the next time he comes knocking at your door.

And then yesterday came this call.

"I finally let him do it," she said.

"What?" I blurted out forgetting to be my blasé best. This lady was someone who had been resisting a certain gentleman's advances with great aplomb. She was holding out for marriage, time share holidays, add-on credit cards, the works. "But what happened?" I asked .

"Well, he invited me to his place for a quiet evening. Take away pizza and music on his new stereo."

"And then he spiked your drink and seduced you when you were unconscious. The Rat," I said.

"Don't be idiotic. That sounds like the stuff you write. He just played

Tonight, I celebrate my love for you… and I couldn't resist him anymore," she said making him sound like a truffle chocolate she'd been hoarding in the fridge for a while.
She then proceeded to tell me all the steamy bits which if I had been Jackie Collins or Erica Jong, I could have used to tremendous effect and created yet another best seller. I took a deep breath and put the phone down when she had finished.

God knows what it is about mush music but women succumb to it like men get taken in by sex-prowess pills. Like men who secretly pop their Ayurvedic Viagra equivalents, her fondness for mush is never disclosed. She might let you go on thinking that she abhors mush. But in every woman's life there are days when she needs the comfort of her tape/CD of love songs.

Then there is the average office party scenario with booze flowing like water and makeshift strobe lights in a cleared out bedroom. Women who in these days of emancipation don't need men to dance with will go about doing their own thing with great gusto to Ya…ya..Coco Jumbo…Everybody now, rock your body…It's my life…Macarena and Dardi Rub Rub in succession till some one decides to play Unchained Melody… [Remember that sequence from the movie The Ghost with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore making some pottery together]. Unfortunately that's exactly the image even tough cookie girls see when that song comes on. And how on earth can any woman dance to that all by herself without looking like Yoko Ono performing on stage with John Lennon. So she lets her churning emotions and romantic fantasies swing her and she eyes the man she fancies the most or settles for the one who's been eyeing her the most all evening. As they say 'and one thing led to the other….'

Now if she has been putting you off with a firm 'no', try this for effect: Swallow your normal music tastes { Miles Davies, B.B. King, Jethro Tull, Pavarotti or Bhimsen Joshi }and play her some Peabo Bryson, Jon Secada or Richard Marx. If she considers them too pedestrian, there is always Michael Crawford with The Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera. Now what woman can resist that song, I would like to know.

Light some candles and incense sticks to heighten the ambience and then stand there with love and longing in your eyes while the boys with the golden voices do the wooing for you. It's quite aboveboard and more so if your singing voice is guaranteed to send her up in hives. In management terms, it is referred to as 'Delegation'. If Keanu Reeves could do it in A Walk in the Clouds, why not you?

Manuals on sex say that the biggest turn on for a normal man [ sadists, masochists, fetishists, please excuse] is the sight of an aroused woman. And what better way to trigger it than with music. In fact , go ahead and call her right away. Play her some mush over the phone. [Who said only seventeen years olds can do things like that?] Chances are she will be at your doorstep this evening with broken resolutions and a tooth brush.

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