‘In the name of science’ the subject line said, which, of course, made me giggle. The email itself contained packed into its three paragraphs a vast quantity of skilfully administered flattery. I was truly impressed. So I wrote back, and we shot a few emails back and forth. He asked for Saturday breakfast, I wanted Friday dinner, because I had errands on Saturday morning. I beseeched him to pick the place and shamelessly asked for a ride home because I was sick. He gallantly agreed to give me one.
We had almost instant conversational chemistry, much like #2, with questions and answers and flirting bubbling up spontaneously. Only this time it was on whatsapp. Finally, frustrated by how whatsapp severely debilitated my speed of expression I insisted the poor guy come on gmail chat and then we proceeded to talk all day. We discovered we’d not only overlapped in college, but we actually had quite a few friends in common. We talked about cooking and sangria recipes and how much we love Terry Pratchett, sparked by me welcoming him to the Century of the Fruitbat when he finally managed to log into gmail chat.
He is one of those annoying people who was an overachiever in his twenties and is now busy being an overachiever at abandoning the rat race and doing his own thing and fulfilling himself in his thirties. Sometimes I want to smack these people… However, reedemingly, he did admit to me that we tend to take the your job must fulfil you mantra too far in this day and age, and sometimes a job is just a job.
Finally Friday rolled around. We’ve decided on Monkay Bar, because they are apparently rooting for me, and by this point I had high hopes from him. ‘Thanks for the vote of confidence (no thanks for added pressure)’ he wrote back. I hop into bus at 7, since there are no autos, and I’m off. He texts to tell me he’s left too, and I yell at him to stop texting and driving! ‘I don’t drive’ he shoots back, leading me to ask how he was going to give me a ride home in that case? ‘Oh I was planning to ferry you home in an Uber,’ he said. Aw. ‘I’m incredibly hungry,’ he says. ‘Please don’t mind if I eat like a boa constrictor.’ ‘Good it’ll get you drunk faster,’ I tell him. ‘I suspect you have designs on me. Hmm. In which case I will eat less.’
I finally get there and walk in to bump into Kunal who manages Mobar in Delhi. He’s talking to a gaggle of girls so I wave and tell him to come say hi later. I go upstairs and look around for a guy sitting solo–since I have no idea what this one looks like. He on the other hand knows what I look like thanks to whatsapp profile picture. A slim guy in glasses and a black and white checked shirt stands up and waves. I traipse over to the table and say hi. We decide we are going to order a vast amount of food and also a pitcher of sangria. I’m struggling with the menu (whatever I’ve eaten at Mobar is amazing, but I realised they don’t have a lot of main courses I like, since I don’t like east Asian food or spicy food) when Kunal comes by.
We then sit and chat with him for the next half hour or so. It is fascinating, because he has so many stories to tell us about the kind of people who show up here (south Delhi people going out at night, dressed up, wanting to party; couples on dates), how they’re different from the people who show up at CP (all sorts of post work people, lowe key, mixed groups; friends and colleagues), how I should go to the CP location sometime, what the restaurant biz is like, how he got into it and so on. I tell him how I’ve always wanted to do it but never had the balls. ‘Will you let me come and work here once a week?’ I ask with my best puppy expression. ‘What’s the use of once a week?’ he throws at me. ‘You might as well not do it at all.’
Kunal leaves to get back to his job and #14 and I descend upon the vast amounts of food we’ve ordered with gusto. It really is good food. However, we don’t realise it, but we’ve made one fatal mistake. This is a weeknight date; we’re drinking wine; we ate a lot of food. This means only one thing: FOOD COMA. We sit there, fighting sleep and taking turns apologising for yawning. We have a rambling discussion of something (See? No blood in brain; I don’t even remember why it came to this point!) and I tell him how I seem to have boy body language. ‘Non-traditional female body language,’ he says, which thrills me to bits. I then spend five minutes figuring out where the hyphens go. ‘Do you mean female body language that’s non traditional, or do you mean the body language of non traditional females?’ He is most amused, especially when I say ‘Oh that is the perfect title for your post!’ ‘Stop thinking about the blog for five minutes.’ he chides me. ‘But I can’t!’ I wail before yawning some more.
It’s 930. We sigh and look at each other. There’s no point fighting it anymore. We get the bill and head out to find an auto–I tell him the Uber is not needed when it’s this early! When we get to my house he stops the auto and insists on crossing the road and walking me to the stairs (aw), where we warmly hug good night and promise to see each other again soon.