33

The finale: When this Coffee met her Bagel.

This has been in-the-works for a while now(close to a year), but I took my own sweet time to put it down in words and this has been an exceptionally hard post to write. Meeting this boy was surreal and serendipitous and would not have happened without some strong intervention from fate, or intuition, if you will. Maybe the universe really does work in mysterious ways, and you catch feelings when you least expect it. Like stomach flu, but in a good way. No?

So, ladies and gentlemen, here’s Mr. PB!

It started from a state of being absolutely and totally over any kind of dating, including online matrimonial portals. I had met another boy(#7) that I haven’t written about who was eerily similar to Boy 6 and deserves minimal mentions. Yet, I gave him a few chances and the last dinner date at his place and a walk on the beach confirmed that I never wanted to see him again. Well, the cringe that I felt inside when he touched me, should have sealed the deal, but I was still giving him a chance of redemption. Anyways, I was done and I let him know that.

But me being me, I opened the Coffee Meets Bagel app for ‘one final time’ and came across this one profile. I cant say much about his pictures because to be honest, I wasn’t sure for a few dates which one was I dating! The dude had most of his pictures in sunglasses, OR with his similar looking brother! Sheesh. But something about his profile caught my eye and I decided to try and connect with him. Alas, that lasted for a day because once we exchanged hey’s, he asked me about my non-profit work, and I was blown off with a ‘That’s a nice story but I worked way too hard and I gotta crash’ text after my reply which was more or less like a 250 words essay. I was convinced that it was a lie, because, err, I may or may not have used that in the past. A few days later, after no communication between the two of us, CMB reminded him that it was the last day before the line was closed off. I had assumed this interaction to be the end of it, just like many other missed chances. But the notification seemed to have prompted him to leave his number to get in touch later. I saved his number, with no intention of texting back. Because, hey! Ego! Y’all know me well enough already.

A week or two later, my grad school buddies were in SD for the weekend, and I had S+A’s wedding to attend that Sunday in OC. Hilarious drinking ensued on all 3 nights with some heart to heart talks with my favorite girlfriends(and the boys too) across the table as well as continents, who somehow convinced me to give dating another shot. Some incidents on Saturday night, and the wedding itself, pushed me further towards his profile’s direction. The boy’s profile was looked at and judged by the girls ‘during’ tequila shots and I was hit in the head for not texting back. So I did. 🙂

As soon as we started texting, he asked me out for a drink and I suggested one of my favorite places for a Brewery event that I already had planned on attending that Saturday. Because God forbid, I have to change my plans for anything or anyone. Now that I think of it, I set the date up to be a failure, unknowingly. There was all that beer(he is a whiskey kind of a guy), the brewery is stuffed at that time(he prefers places we can talk in peace, or dance at!), my friends could have been there(dumbest idea ever, duh) and the event had only vegan food(only PB was a happy bunny here). I had already reached and was waiting for him to show up, and then he did…

I don’t really know how to express it all in words, but the fact that we spent almost 6 hours together, should tell you enough how the date really went. We left the brewery within the hour and walked over to a cocktail bar next door, and that place stands as witness to the most beautiful turn our lives were taking together. We spent the next many hours sitting on barstools there, where we had assumed we would be spending just the next hour perhaps. We drank cool charcoal cocktails, ate some yummy food, talked about all things sundry, while my heart did backflips everytime he laughed and clapped his hands together! His eyes caught his smile and it was making me flutter. He drove me back home and dropped me just outside my apartment. We said bye, I went in and I panicked. I had caught feelings…

We met, and we couldn’t stop meeting. I missed him when I couldn’t see him, and when I saw him, I couldn’t have enough of him. And, he really was busy at work and not bluffing, as I initially thought. Dude’s a workaholic! I haven’t told him this yet, but I was falling so hard for him, that I was losing sleep! We attributed it to stress at that time, but I knew what was up with me. I was losing my appetite(that’s the most obnoxious sign), I was failing to understand jokes and I could not stop thinking about him. I really hoped that he was feeling the same way about me, like my soul depended on it. Post some amazing cocktails, an adoption event by my dog rescue, a movie where I tried hard not to cry, a beautiful evening at Mt. Soledad, a Cinco de Mayo with homemade tacos, some Ramen and Pho, a dash of dancing, some weekend trips to snow clad mountains, a first international trip together, here we are.

We have had an amazing year together, and I still have the giddy school girl feeling inside me when I think about him, see him and snuggle into him. He loves reading, traveling and sports, and plays cricket for the local league. He has a curious and intelligent mind, with a will to leave more positive impacts on the world. He has never lived with dogs before, but his compassion towards them, and towards people, makes me happy. One of the best things about him is his emotional availability that makes him very expressive with words and they have so much sincerity in them. He is an absolutely wonderful friend and family boy. He loves to laugh freely, sing loudly and is not afraid of showing emotions. He is very expressive about showering me with love, irrespective of us being alone, or with another hundred people. When he squeezes my hand, or me, I feel that all is right in the world. And, oh so handsome! This gorgeous and wonderful boy is mine, and I am his.

I feel like he gets me. He gets my silences, and my laughter. I have opened up like never before, and although this vulnerability freaks the bejesus out of me, I don’t mind it. I do have my moments though, of course. My famously thin skin, the ability to take each and every word to heart and then stewing over it and my bucket loads of insecurities are making this all pretty fun too. Ask him! He calls himself an overcommunicator, and I tend to shut down, so he is making me come out of my shell. I am learning to express myself in ways that I never have. The calm that he brings over me, remains unmatched. He is the stillness to my turbulence, the words to my silences, and a perfectly suitable ear to my rants. We couldn’t be more opposite to each other, yet we somehow ‘meet in the middle’, and will hopefully continue to. So, this was what the heavens had planned for me, and I truly am grateful for this wait. We are in love with each other, completely and hopelessly.

Finishing up this story that I have held to my heart for almost a year now, I feel a beautiful energy surrounding me. Being newly engaged, and so deeply in love, I somehow cannot think of having it any other way. He is the most spectacularly amazing thing that is happening to me, and I cannot wait to see how we shape up together. Our story has just begun and hopefully we live a beautiful life together. Me and mi amor…

30

Hello, 15 year old me

Dear 15 year old PB,

Hullo there! How are you doing? I hope this letter finds you in the pink of health. Just like how you open the letter in every letter-writing assignment/exam. Yup, I remember. I remember how horrible your Marathi was when you just started school in Pune. Thanks to mum, you learnt so much! Good job! Don’t be embarrassed when people wonder why your Marathi is so bad even if it is your mother tongue. They should be equally embarrassed about their Hindi, living in India. So gah to them.

PB, I know you are going through really hard times. Your 10th is on. People are piling on great stress on your small skinny shoulders. But don’t worry. You will pull through. Eventually you will learn how grades are not the biggest deal in the world. But you will also learn that in competitive exams, grades will pull you ahead and make things easier for you. It is true that nobody will ask your marks later on. But it is also true that during landmarks, those very marks will take away a lot of stress from your head. So buck up, and pay attention to mum when she is teaching you Trigonometry. You are going to love it, I promise, and she is going to do a great job building up your math capabilities. I wish you keep listening to her and studying with her, cuz, ah well, you will eventually realize how important she was to your studies and building the basics and how you should have stuck with her rather than being stubborn. Thank your mom. And your dad(even if he starts yawning at the mere mention of taking English lessons). It is courtesy them, that you have a career with such hi-fi  technical terms in the name.

PB, I also know why your fragile mind is so nervous. There are things inside. Things that only you know how you are going through. I want you to talk to mum and dad about it sooner rather than a nervous breakdown happening. Talk to them about how you are facing extreme bullying. Tell them that you are being insulted in every step of the way. Speak and discuss about how you can face this with strength of character and come out unscathed. Also, direct your anger positively. It is coming out on the wrong people. Your meekness in the outside world doesn’t have to make you yell at your loved ones.

 PB, the people you are with, they are not going to shape your life. Heck, they won’t even exist a few years down the line. You don’t have to put up with this struggle to please people just so that you can sit with someone to have your lunch. It will not matter eventually. All your childhood, you have gone through this struggle to make people accept you. You have been like that monkey who does tricks on orders. Don’t be. You get laughed at because you say weird things, look weird, behave weirdly. It’s OK. There will be people who accept this very weirdness of yours eventually. It is worth waiting for them rather than being what you are not.

 Don’t be ashamed of your soda glasses. At least you have a smile that reaches your eyes. You know your eyes cannot hide the truth. Likes or dislikes are a major giveaway with your eyes. Be happy that you can’t fake it. Unlike those people you call friends who look at you coldly with a smile on their lips. This inability to fake what you feel, will help you weed out people who can’t stand how you are. You will not understand it now, but give it some time.

 Having a boyfriend is NOT a big deal in school. You don’t need to have one to be cool. You will have enough boy trouble down the line. You will have tons of dates, boyfriends, crushes, guy friends falling for your quirks, ruined friendships thanks to them. Don’t feel embarrassed when classmates link each other up. Enjoy it to the hilt. Even if the other guys feel insulted on being linked to you, learn to ignore. Trust me, there is a ton of drama in store for you. They can make a movie out of you later on. Start thinking who you want to play you.(Pssst… Deepika Padukone, that cutie from the close-up ad is going to be really hot eventually). Enjoy your crushes. God knows you have way too many. Your future BFF will count 14 at a given time in 3rd year of BE. 😀 But please for God’s sake, stay away from that loser you will meet when you will be 18. RUN far away!

 On that point, that guy who is supposedly your friend? He said something like when you see PB from behind, she’s so HOT, But when you see her face, she’s a nightmare. Please ignore it! You are quite alright, girl! Keep wearing your skirts for those legs you love to flaunt. What your mausi(aunt) had called ‘Barbie legs’. 🙂

Some fashion advice. Don’t wear those purple pants with the side slits till mid calves. Please. 

 Your family is going to compare you and your perfect 4.0 cousin a lot. Please do not take it to heart. Your life is perfectly alright with a 3.0 but a gift of gab that you have. Keep dancing, keep singing, keep painting, and keep up your love of books and trivia. It is okay if you are a jack of all trades and master of none. Let others have that pleasure. You will learn to love your average-ness. Someone will post a lovely video on your blog about it  and it will make you even happier!

Your Moony is going to be the love of your life. He is 2 now, right? He is going to chew up your shoes for the 8th time if you don’t watch out! Enjoy the time with him. In a couple of years, you will leave home for hostel and eventually abroad, and you will miss your baby boy constantly. That bundle of energy is going to turn into a lump of sleep later on. So continue bugging him. 😉 Take care of his legs. They are genetically fragile. Stop feeding him nonsense. But I guess its fine. He is a happy creature and he loves you too much. Even if he keeps biting you and gets mad at you with jealousy for going out with the alpha-dog(that is your father. Ahem.) You will doubt his memory and love, but you will be amazed when he remembers you after a loooooong gap and comes jumping at you even if his legs can’t support him. Just hug him. Keep hugging him. Always.

 Now don’t listen to me too much. I barely still know anything.

 Take care, you.

 Love,

 27 year ‘OLD’ PB.