There I was, mere days from departure, losing my mind because my house was chaos after the flatmate moved out, my first half catsitters backed out, I didn’t have room to pack or even find all the stuff I was taking to the US for my nieces, and of course six things went wrong at work. In the middle of all this I got an email from one of the most Bengali names ever. Really, that was my very first thought. Wow, that’s a Bengali name. So racist no? Heh. So this guy introduced himself and told me he’d ended up on Delhiwalla‘s site and found me and dived in. His email made me smile.
If you are restarting your project, it could be nice to meet up sometime and share stories. Since you mention Latin America as a passion, my only connection seems to be the fact that I support Brazil as a football team and know a bit about the Incas; so that’s out.
(Also notice the correctly used semi-colon. Be still my vibrating editor’s pencil.)
I wrote back and asked me many questions, to which he replied with great frankness and questions of his own (yay!) and we proceeded to email vigorously for a while. I told him he’d have to wait till January when I was back if we were going to go on a date, and I hoped it wouldn’t fizzle out by then. (Or, as seems to be the case with me, he wouldn’t go and meet some hummaze girl and want to date her. Not that I don’t wish that for people; it’s just happening with annoying regularity.) Our emails became shorter and shorter and he asked to switch to gtalk–this was actually the day I was leaving. We chatted through my crazy last day at work that I had originally planned to take off entirely, and when I left, 3 hours behind schedule, I gave him my number so we could whatsapp through my cab ride home.
Traffic turned out to be horrendous (some satsang. Gah.), so we were chatting away. At some point he asked me what time my flight was, and I told him. ‘Why’d you ask?’ ‘No reason,’ he said. ‘Oh I thought you’d be all let me drive you to the airport,’ I tossed at him cheekily. (This seems to have become what I say to everyone these days: ‘Please drive me to/pick me up from the airport.’ Clearly I’m tired of being strong independent woman.)
If u want
My chin was on the floor of my taxi at this point, because I was just being sassy and never expected to be taken seriously. I told him it was sweet but too much, and he then said no, I’m a nice person, and you’re a lady going to the airport at 2am, I cannot let you take a taxi. I will come. But I don’t drive, so it’ll be errr a taxi.
I was very touched, and so I told him to come have dinner with me at home with my cousin and friend who were there to see me off and take over house and JP. This was a most unusual date anyway after all–I could break some rules. I got home and finished packing and whatnot, and my friend turned up, only to threaten to leave because I had date coming over. So I texted the date and asked him what he thought.
Does your friend drink whiskey?
Then it’s fine.
I expect him to turn up at ten (airport departure is at 1230), but he tells me he is leaving at about 730, and there he is at my door, bottle of whiskey in hand, at 830. He’s most youthful looking, has a bit of a tummy (signs he enjoys the good life) and is very nicely dressed. Shirt and loafers and all. Okay maybe they’re not loafers, but I mean not-floaters-or-sneakers. After introductions are over we pull out glasses and set to.
He’s expansive and interesting–and interested, but it’s a threeway conversation, and he makes sure to engage with my friend too. We talk about his friend’s dog that he loves and I call utterly spoilt, while JP refuses to even sniff his shoes (which is unusual, since there are few things JP loves more than leather shoes). It turns out he has also worked on the project my friend is working on, so they talk shop. We swap stories of people and places; I ask about dinner and he says he ate lunch very late so he’s ok. He’s been watching a friend in hospital for a couple of days, so I ask after the friend, who is better and bouncing about, much to the horror of his caregivers.
My cousin shows up, with another friend, who joins us while the cousin goes off to prepare for class the next day. We sit around; they are drinking the whiskey rapidly and I’m being good and taking it ridiculously slow because hello plane. Time saunters past us in a haze of chill, smoke and laughter. It’s my cousin’s birthday, so at midnight we pounce on her and there is some tuneless singing and standing around sheepishly. And then it is time to go. I change and gather my stuff; they say their gooodbyes; my friend helps us schlepp my suitcases downstairs and he calls his driver.
And there we are, at the alone part of this most unusual date. I am literally falling asleep because it is three hours past my bedtime, and I’ve been up since 530am. So I put my head on his shoulder, he puts his arm around me and holds my hand, and we talk nonsense for the forty minutes it takes to get there. (Yes forty, because Mahipalpur has a jam. Of course it does. Eyeroll. But this tim I’m glad.) I tell him how sweet he is to do this and he brushes me off with an ‘I’m a good person; I keep telling you!’
And then we’re there, and I’m running off to get a trolley and he’s unloading the suitcases and piling them up for me, and I hug him goodbye and kiss his cheek and tell him I’ll see him again when I’m back. ‘Of course you will,’ he says. ‘Text me when you’re through security.’