I was pretty sure that I would never have the kind of love story they show in movies. My life was mind numbingly normal. So at the age of 21, when I moved away from my hometown after securing an engineering degree, I reassured my mother that I will only have an arranged marriage. The possibility of finding a guy so far away from home was minimal.
And then one afternoon in the winter of 2008, although January in Chennai hardly qualifies as winter, I was standing in the bustling office cafeteria, with a huge plate of rice and rasam, looking for a vacant seat. My friend spotted two unoccupied seats in the far end corner of the hall. And as the fate may be, I sat right across a boy sitting with a bunch of other girls, celebrating someone’s birthday.
People usually don’t talk to strangers in the cafeteria, but surprisingly conversation ensued between us and for some strange reason he even went ahead and took my Rs 5 change, which I had placed on the table. I thought he was kidding, but I never got it back.
Since we all were undergoing corporate training, we had a strict time table that hardly left any time for us to venture outside. And yet he would often drop by my class, which I suspected was to meet my friend. In fact I used to tease her a lot too.
I left the training center a few weeks later to join a project in another office. I had completely forgotten about this stranger when in the last week of May I received a message in the office communicator. It took me a while to register his name. He had managed to squeeze out my phone number from the friend too.
First dates are always special. Mine definitely was as I was tricked into going on a dinner date with him.
So after we started talking on phone, he would often ask me to meet him and I kept refusing. Back then I was this lanky 37 kg girl who was painfully introverted. The thought of meeting anyone apart from friends would result in nightmares.
One fine evening, like all other days I returned back to an empty room. My roommates were late. I was exhausted and didn’t feel like preparing a proper dinner. Instead, I started boiling a packet of Top ramen. Just as the last strands of ramen immersed in water, I received a call from him.
“I am standing right next to your house, let’s go out”.
I did not know what to make of this announcement, and replied in the only intelligent answer I could manage.
“I am standing right here, and I am really hungry… please don’t make me wait”
I was lost. I didn’t want the poor soul to go hungry specially when he came all the way to my paying guest accommodation. Plus the idea of eating outside sounded much better than my sorry looking ramen. Without another thought I dumped my ramen in the bin, and agreed to meet him near the auto stand. I quickly freshened up making sure that I wasn’t stinking in the summer heat, applied loads of powder… Well I was meeting a guy and that was the extent of my make up ritual. Hoping I didn’t make him wait too long I walked into the street.
Imagine my suprise when he could not be found anywhere near the auto stand. I immediately dialed his number.
“Wait wait I am on my way”, he said excitedly.
I could only shake my head and was amused by his trickery. Well it worked and got me out of the house and later I learned that he lived only a short distance from my place.
Given my history of not remembering faces, and the fact that I have seen him only a few times before, I was actually nervous about not recognizing him and making a fool of myself in the process.
10 minutes later I saw the boy walking towards me. And the only reason why I recognized him was because he was smiling silly, flashing the broadest grin he could muster.
We took an auto to Acendas food court, had noodles, talked about things and while returning back, he said he was cold and held my hand.
And I let him. Well, why let the poor guy suffer in cold! 😅
This January we celebrated 10 years of togetherness. 😁
PS: I was tricked to go out on a second date as well.
Tell me all about your first date. ❤