• Vedashree Khambete Sharma

The Old Boys Club

It’s just my luck. Or in this case, an HR glitch. For close to three months now, you see, I’ve been sitting in a cabin populated almost entirely by boys.

Now, I get the feeling that this statement is not going to be greeted by gasps of “Good Lord! Surely not boys! Whatever could they be thinking?” Because you and me both aren’t in kindergarten anymore. Or in the girl’s school where I studied.

Coming back to the Cabin full of Boys. There’s 8 of them. Run-of-the-mill guys, I’m sure, not serial rapists or manic mass murderers or your garden variety psychopaths. None of them do anything more threatening than ask me to switch on or switch off the AC above my head – they’re not even hitting on me or anything.

It’s just that there are 8 of them. And boy, do they bond.

There are dance-bar numbers played on Macs. There are impromptu dances of the band-baajaa variety. There is Vice City. There is swearing and drinking and laughing at sex jokes. There are code-names for women and code-names for men and code-names for what the men and women are doing with each other. And there are inside jokes, told in whispers with much winking and nudging, which are promptly hushed when I walk past, in case, shudder-shudder, the girl should happen to hear.

And I don’t mind for most part. Hey, I’m as game for a saucy joke as the next person. And who could say no to gossip? But being singled out as the “girl” in the group just gets a little tiresome sometimes.

I might as well have cooties.

So what, you’re thinking, people have bigger problems, you know. I do know. It’s just that this one is mine. And if you don’t appreciate it, then picture this: You’re a guy sitting every day in a roomful of women who discuss boys and shoes and clothes and shoes and make-up and shoes and shopping and shoes and chick-flicks and shoes and Cosmo and shoes and chick-lit and shoes and celeb scandals and shoes and K-serials and shoes and…

Ah. There you go.

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