Partner (part|ner) NOUN:
One that is united or associated with another or others in an activity or a sphere of common interest, especially:
- A member of a business partnership.
Oh there have been many. Just that the businesses never took off.
- A spouse
One that I don’t have. Wonder if I’m ever gonna have one!
- A domestic partner
Live-in? My dad will disown me if I do that.
- A lover
Oh I had a couple of them. Some I ditched. Some ditched me. Now I’m just in love with life. Life partner (pun intended)
- Either of two persons dancing together.
The only person I have danced with is a guy, a friend of mine. We were drunk!
- One of a pair or team in a sport or game, such as tennis or bridge.
Same friend, most times.
On a serious note, the word ‘partner’ can mean different people to different people in different contexts. When we talk about partners, two obvious meanings are derived – one that means a life partner, can be a spouse, a live-in partner, a lover and the other that’s in the context of businesses.
And then, we have partner-in-crime. That’s the partner less talked about.
My first partner-in-crime was my cousin G. As kids separated by 10 months at birth, we played together on the streets, did nasty things. We caught tiny baby frogs in the monsoon rains, we caught them and filled our hands with them and then we dropped them inside people’s houses through narrow slits made by wooden planks that would form a door. We caught tadpoles in plastic covers and showed them off saying we had caught fishes. And then, we left them to dry and die I’m the summer sun. We took tomatoes, squashed and squished them with our tiny hands, added sugar and water and kept the mix in the freezer hoping it would magically turn into ice-cream. Oh, we did lot of nasty things! And then we grew up and apart.
My next partner-in-crime was Jackie. As teenagers, we wrote the assignments of others for a tiny sum of 3-5 rupees so that we could afford to buy a plate of Samosa Masala Puri – a spicy evening snack. We walked for kilometres from school to Jalahalli cross so that we could save the money our parents gave us for the bus. We bought rasagullas and makeshift pizzas from that money. We stood next to railway tracks to measure the travelling speeds of the train that passed by. We had learnt the relationship between speed, time and distance in school and put our knowledge to the best use. We fought, we played, we sang. And then, we parted our ways because we had finished school. We still call up once or twice a year.
And then there’s Mr. Lion. He’s not Lion because he’s brave, his surname translates to Lion. A guy I befriended in college under circumstances that were born out of common enemies in the world of college club politics. A partner I’m still proud of. Oh we’ve done some crazy nasty stuff. We’ve got drunk and ended up in Goa, with hardly any money in our pockets. We’ve got drunk, and then got more drunk and travelled by a bus overnight to a place 300kms away, only to take the same bus back to Bengaluru. Why? We wanted a place to sleep. Oh, we’ve taken a train to Mysore too. We’ve roamed just about every rural road around Bengaluru, clulessly, pointlessly. We’ve travelled together. We’ve even burnt the belongings of my ex-lover in a ritual, after getting drunk. Yeah, I know we’ve got drunk a lot. We catch up every week for lunch during the weekdays. On weekends, we play badminton and talk politics. We hardly agree on anything. But, we’ve sailed along. A partnership that has lasted about 9 years now.
It’s strange and funny that most of my friends were girls, throughout, yet, 3 guys became my partners-in-crime. And no girl I’ve known ended up as the other partner the world calls so.