(Oh what a crazy week.)
#4 was one of the early writers. He wrote to me I think a couple of days after the profile was up, and he seemed nice. I got no instant evaluation from my gut, but that’s good too because instant can also be instant no! We started chatting, and I decided I’d go out with him, but then my dad came to visit and I was busy and life kicked in, so it took us a long time to get to the date.
But finally, one rainy Saturday afternoon, we had settled on a time and a place. He chose Hauz Khas Village; I chose Imperfecto, because it is the perfect date place, especially in the daytime. We were to meet at 3, but, thanks to said rain, the traffic was more than a little insane, and all my morning errands got pushed later and later, so I called to ask if we could postpone a bit. But he’d left, so I abandoned my errands undone, and left too. Only, traffic was on crack, so I was practically in first gear from Vasant Kunj to HKV, and about ready to break something, but the universe made up for it by letting me find parking in the actual parking lot.
I then began the long hike to Imperfecto–it’s a true indication of how much I love the place that I ever go there! Fourth floor!!! In this weather! I was on the summit finally, and I called #4, only to discover that he was a good half an hour away, still stuck in some ginormous jam. ‘Never mind,’ I told him, ‘I have a book. But I will need to order some food, or I’ll end up chewing my own arm off.’ So I found a table, directly in an a/c vent and whipped out a book. Forty-five minutes and some food later, there was no word from him.
‘You are still coming, yes?’ I texted. ‘Hahaha, just parking,’ he replied. And finally, he came up the stairs. I missed it though because I was reading. Heh.
He was skinny, skinnier than his picture made him look, and looked like a nice, non-Punjabi north Indian boy. We shook hands and he sat down across from me. We didn’t leap into conversation instantly, but slowly and normally we began to chat. I told him to order some food, and he told me he didn’t eat much. He later told me that he drinks his drinks strong because there’s only so much room he has for liquids, and he has to make it count. Which I thought was a very interesting way of looking at it.
He works in a bank and lives with his parents. It’s a very shuddh family he tells me–no one drinks, eats meat or smokes anything. ‘Main hi hoon ghar ka bigda hua baccha,’ he says. Which of course made me giggle. I noticed that he was more comfortable in Hindi–not to say anything about his English, but there’s that language into which you lapse when having relaxed conversations, the one filled with slang that gets all your intonation right. It was Hindi for him, like it’s English for me. Though all my time here in the north has meant I’m not so bad with the Hindi either–or at least with faking it!
We talk about why we’re on OKC, and how we like to think about love and sex and lust. He certainly seems to talk my talk, the one of no games and no nonsense. ‘What’s the point,’ he says, ‘of pretending to not be interested? If a girl says she’s not interested, I just back off.’ I nod fervently. We go stand outside, with the spectacular view of Deer Park, and lean on the parapet-bar. He starts to move a little closer–I don’t know if it’s a move or unintentional–so at one point I need to crane my neck a bit to talk, and I ask him to take a step back.
We drift in and out of the terrace area, and our conversation drifts around life theories, this experiment and my previous dates, what places we like to go out in Delhi, what our friends are like, what kinds of trips we take. We discuss guys who say ‘Can I kiss you?’ which is such a silly thing to do if you ask me. I tell #4 that if I want a guy to kiss me, he’ll know. And vice versa. There are lots of ways to indicate this stuff. And if I don’t feel it then I won’t indicate it, so where’s the need to ask?
He says that sometimes you need to kiss someone, how do you know if there’s chemistry till you have? And that’s when it hits me: I do know.This gut of mine doesn’t just tell me about people who are good for me, or people I’ll get along with. It also tells me about attraction. If I don’t feel it right off, or say within two or three meetings, it’s highly unlikely to develop. Of course as soon as I’ve said this, he asks me what my gut is saying about him. My gut is silent though, and I tell him so. Honesty, after all, is something I claim to hold important!
It 630 now, and I have another friend coming to see me, so I mumble about departure, and he nods. As we exit the last flight of stairs, there’s a group of posh ladies in their forties who ask us what the place is like. Apparently they’ve been given a list of recommendations, and they want to know which one to go to, and the four flights of stairs are a little daunting for recce missions. I raved about it, he nodded along, the ladies thanked us and then he walked me to my car. And then he stood by my car until I finished fiddling with mirrors and iPod and seatbelts and change, and waved bye as I drove off. I don’t know why, but these tiny and highly unnecessary gestures always make me fuzzy.