The last we heard of our Intrepid (if this was Clueless I'd have said intrepid not!! but we can't have everything and this is not Clueless *sigh*) Heroine, she was gaily dancing to the tune of Lal Dupatte Wali in the arms of Baron Falstaff. Any unwary (unwary - or maybe stupid) reader could have been pardoned for thinking that that ending was in fact the beginning of a Happily Ever After. Tragically (this being a real life story and all) it was no such thing. There was no Walking into the Sunset for the two of them, no white picket fence and 2.39 kids. Nope, none of that. What happened was that as the song wound to a close, RCW thanked Baron F politely for the dance, hauled Baron JAP up by his elbows (he was a tad under the influence) and lurched down the avenue back to her casa near the plaza (listening to Volare too often, I am, apparently). And since that day, Baron F and RCW haven't spoken more than two words to each other. They've both taken to pretending not to see each other (in my opinion, pretty childish behavior but then that's how people *are* and there's nothing you can do about it). Meanwhile Baron JAP felt quietly satisfied with himself. He felt that he had achieved something that day. It's true he didn't know what exactly. He remembered being awfully embarrassed in Baron F's mansion. He remembered vaguely trying to thunder at random people and failing dismally. But the rest was a haze of distillate. He was not the most perceptive man in the world and so didn't notice the weirdness between RCW and Baron F. (Besides Baron F *was* a weird man himself and he did some strange things. You couldn't go around taking notice of all of that. Really.)
Having exhaustively brought you lot to speed, I hasten forward with the rest of the plot. One does not want to be accused of meandering (just as one does not wish to be accused of philandering unless one is blessed with Y chromosomes). RCW was rapidly becoming disconsolate with her situation in the arid desert of the Blogosphere. She wanted laughter and gaiety and pretty boys (everyone wants pretty boys, no? And what'dya get instead? Icky boys who fall all over you in bars. Pshaw and ptuii). But more than anything, she wanted to dance again. To Lal Dupatte Wali. It was that song or no other. She might or might not have decided that she had to dance to it with Baron F or noone else. (I'm not completely sure on that point. Mainly because she isn't completely sure on that point herself.) In any case, that is a mere trivial inconsequentiality. The sum and substance of her pain was the guilty need to dance, dance to *that* song. She felt burdened by this embarrassingly hideous secret wish of hers. It made her acquire mood swings, cry over the smallest things and then have bursts of uplifting and slightly eerily manic cheerfulness (oh wait, maybe she had that earlier also). She even considered taking to a life of alcohol and becoming a devdasi. But that plan was fundamentally flawed and nothing came of it (when you have a father who sucks up all alcoholic beverage within sight, it's very hard to get a sip in edgewise). She was dejected enough to think about losing her appetite. On the brink of it, though, she realized that she had to exercise some rationality. One did not give up food lightly. There were Considerations.
In the midst of all this angst and sorrow, RCW had a brainwave. (Isn't it weird how one has brainwaves in the midst of angst and sorrow in stories? I mean, I've been in the middle of tons of angsts and sorrows and *never* had a brainwave. Like ever.) She decided, in the true tradition of heroines everywhere, to pack all her belongings (including elaborate ghagras weighted down with mirrors, tons of lipstick and other essential cosmetic accessories, different pairs of shoes to match all her outfits and nothing to wear at night) into a tiny napsack the size of a folded handkerchief and climb out of her window in the middle of the night. She would head for the bright lights of the city (she didn't know which city but that there was bound to be some city somewhere with bright lights that she could head for, she knew for a fact).
Muchly cheered by this minor brainwave, she lost no time in putting the plan to action. When she kissed Baron JAP good night for the last time, I'm happy to inform her wellwishers that she did feel a twinge in the region of her heart. She wasn't sure if it was the excellent dinner she'd had or some sort of Cardiac Communication from her Soul. In morse. Suffice it to say, she felt a little heavy inside, a little sober. Her childlike mind was a tad troubled at leaving her dear father behind. But fathers are made to be left behind and so she didn't let it weigh too much on her mind (childlike minded people are so sensible, one feels, that they're almost Alarmingly Adultish). She set her alarm for the Stroke of Midnight (everyone and their uncle knows that you always climb out of windows at the stroke of midnight when engaged in making a desperate getaway into the darkness) and decided to take a little nap while she waited for the alarm to buzz.
(To Be Contd)