12

Dating Tales : Boy 4 : Date 1

A lot of people have been asking me to chronicle more dates or setups that are going on in my life. I feel extremely sad to disappoint you all, and myself, that there aren’t a lot of those things going on even now. At this juncture, the past is out of the window, but it takes all the effort to not be a 3 year old who says ‘eww’ and blushes when someone mentions a boy.

I have spoken to a few people, and met 3 so far. The first was depressing, with his hypothetical question and declaration that he may move back at any point to India and he doesn’t mind living in a one bedroom apartment with his parents. I was too stunned the whole time to react and he took that as me being high. Yes, he asked me that. And I was not, I promise.

The second one went alright, but the dude got back with his girlfriend, with both of us clear after the first date itself that we were better friends than as a couple.

The third, was a bit of a basketcase when it came to communication and definitely needs a mention here.

So, I came across this guy and let’s call him Mr. Y. He was from a town close to my city back in India but he went to college in my city before moving to US for his grad school and work. He is an IT guy and he definitely was the kind who studied all his life, and aspires to work for the Silicon Valley bigwigs. He told me within a few moments of the date that he is getting interview calls already from Facebook and Google. I did not feel like telling him that they call literally every techie in California, with a lot of my friends actually succeeding the interview rounds. Anyhow, here goes the timeline of our exchanges.

Saturday was when we started texting each other and it was a short exchange of 3-4 texts where he confirmed to call on the next Tuesday at 7.30 pm. It sounded more like a corporate meeting scheduling than a getting to know each other conversation.

Tuesday, he texted at 7.30 pm to check my availability to answer the damn call. I called him back right away and we spoke for 20 min, where there were really long pauses and I could hear a very slow and sad background music that could exist in that part of my biopic if ever made. Towards the end of that call, we agreed to text on Friday to confirm a spot to meet on Saturday for a date.

Friday evening arrived, with clockwork precision, Mr. Y texted and asked if a Starbucks would be fine. I asked if he would like to go to some other coffee shop, and that I had a few nice places on my Yelp list. We decided on Portola in Costa Mesa because it is adorable with it’s industrial interiors and I have always wanted to go there.

Saturday afternoon, we met at the coffee shop, talked for around an hour, and yet I left from there feeling like I did not know him AT ALL! The only recall value was how nice my coffee was, he liked NBA, and he had a Scuba license that he told me 3 times about. My impression of him was a vanilla software techie, with a Scuba diving license. One thing irked me big time was the way he was pronouncing my city’s name. It bothered me way more than it should have! We left the cafe after telling each other that we’ll text and stay in touch and see how it goes from thereon.

10 day later, until Tuesday, I saw no message or call from him. I was sort of mad at him for not even sending a polite text like it was nice seeing you, or something sweet. So, in all my anger and ego, I texted him that since we have had no communication with each other, we may as well end it here. My outlook is, if either of us would have felt inclined to meet again, we would have texted.

On Wednesday, Mr. Y replied apologizing for a late reply. His reason was that he was unsure of what to reply because he thought the meeting was great and he was going to suggest to meet a few more times. I was so confused! Because at what point did he think that I knew about him wanting to meet more! Anyways, I decided to be nice and offered to meet again and give him a second chance. And I waited.

Until another 10 days later, on Saturday again. I swallowed my pride and I messaged him only to find out that he was in San Jose with his friends. I talked about food(because that’s my fav topic) for a few minutes and told him that I was running the St. Paddy’s 5k like every year the next day, Sunday.

Monday, he messaged asking how my run was. I said that it was very fun and I had a great time with my friends. He said ‘nice.’ That was it. Those were our last sentences to each other. It has been more than a month.

Such a lack of attention is a turnoff for this princess. I don’t understand. There were 20 messages to each other in a span of 1.5 months almost. Is he still thinking that we got along very well, and has he assumed we will be meeting more? Only God and Mr. Y know!

 

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24

When I said it…

“I am not ready,
I won’t say ‘I love you’,
You will have to wait,
I know I told you.
 
It’s been a few months,
And we are having so much fun.
I know you want it,
But I can’t say if you are the one.
 
It’s not like I don’t want you,
But baby, I have this fear.
Those words are precious,
And I want to be in the clear.
 
When you said you loved me,
I asked you to hold onto it.
But you said I could wait,
Till I am ready to say it.
 
I am sitting here thinking,
I miss your love and care.
You just left for Boston,
Your sister is over there.
 
It’s just been two days,
And I need your sweetness.
Your calls and Skype,
Not helping my loneliness.
 
I can’t wait any longer,
Finally have to tell this to you,
Babe, you are my world,
And how ‘I love you’.”

~

You have been gone since,
But I don’t regret it.
We took a harsh decision,
We had to just do it…
 
Looking back at the time,
When I said it,
I am glad I waited,
We absolutely meant it.
 
Remembering those moments,
Been many years, I think five.
Oh, these are not tears,
There’s just something in my eye.

*——————————-*

The xBF’s sister lived in Boston. He used to visit her quite often and during one such visit after a couple of months of us dating, I realized I truly was in love with him.

Parents were over at the east coast for a tour and they went to Boston and that triggered a thought process that atleast got a decent poetry post out. I would like to be a lovesick Devdas who drinks, cries and churns out poetry. But then alcohol=big tummy and crying=floating contact lens. #problems

29

The dinner dilemma

“Baby, let’s go out tonight.
What do you want for dinner?”
“Sure, that sounds cool,
I am cool with whatever.”

“Where do you wanna go?
Entrees and desert to share.
Fine dining or fast food?”
“I don’t really care.”

“How about some Italian?
And that wine tonight.”
“Umm, I don’t know.
I want something light.”

“Let’s get some Ramen.
The weather’s cool.”
“We just had it few weeks back.
Not really makin’ me drool.”

“We can do some other Asian,
You sure like Pad Thai.”
“I want something spicy.
It’s not in my top five.”

“Indian sounds good,
To stir up the flavor,”
“We eat that all the time.
Curry over and over.”

“How about Pizza or sandwich.
We shall get that fast.”
“But baby, I will be hungry again.
That definitely won’t last.”

“Just tell me what you want,
Enough of this game.”
“I knew you don’t care for me!
All your loving words are lame.”

“No babe, I am sorry!
We will do what you want.
We shall go out and eat.
Or I will cook if you shan’t.”

“Meh, I don’t wanna eat at home.
Let’s just go out.
You decide where to,
That I don’t wanna think about.”

The BAE suffers daily,
Driven nuts by a girlfriend or a wife.
I may be strong and independent,
But this is also the story of my life.

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Haah! This is me day in and day out! With the significant other or with friends, my story is the same. I hate having to decide anything, specially cuisine and place to eat. I have almost cried because I couldn’t decide and have also made a few people shed tears by saying NO to everything. My strong Libran characteristics makes it worse for me. 

I hear the same going on with Shawn and his GF. This was partly inspired by one of his stories the other day. 🙂

The xBF had come up with an interesting solution. He would start asking what I was absolutely not feeling like having and then would narrow it down. So I had no other drama to entangle him in. Smart guy, him.

Public note : Girls, please don’t get mad at me. This comes from true experiences, but there’s no generalization. All of you who can make up their minds in a snap, I bow down to thee. 😀

15

The Converted Pluviophile

I hated rains.

The thought of going to school in my school auto rickshaw with rains banging on the roof, and my school uniform and shoes being wet, would make me teary. I would have a dark cloud looming on my head when I joined high school and I had to drive my two wheeler in pouring rains. Muddy waters splashing on me, my jeans getting ruined, my feet getting soiled, ruined any idea of relating any excitement to monsoon. Driving with glasses was even worse and made me long for teeny, tiny wipers in front of my face.

Then I joined college and my fight with rains got worse. I got admitted into my Engineering college in Lonavala and started my first semester during the peak of monsoons. For the uninitiated, Lonavala is in Western Ghats(mountain range)between Mumbai and Pune and is considered a hill station thanks to its height and cooler climate zone.  It is built as a resort town and my college is built on layers of hills where the Engineering building was on top of the hill and girl’s dorms and cafeteria were on the bottom. Great.

My introduction to the college was on a day where rains were raging a particularly bad fight against me and it remained the same for June to September, every year. Trudging along the road with the torrential rain on your face and back, in a parka(hey, raincoats were for kids and so not trendy!) was not something I looked forward to every day. An umbrella in that wind was like using a pencil to ward off a lion attack. The worst was sitting for class in dripping wet jeans that would form a puddle under the seat. There would be fights about keeping the ceiling fan on or off because half the class would be warm, and the rest, including me, would be cold.

The dorm rooms would be the worst. Every year when the semester would start in July, during the monsoon, we would be back to damp rooms that felt bone chillingly cold and smelled of mold. The lack of laundry facilities meant that we would have to arrange makeshift clotheslines in the rooms and hang our battle equipment aka clothes and parkas on them to attempt any sort of wetness reduction. I would join college and, thanks to the dampness and mold, I would fall really sick and would end up missing a week or two due to flu. Every single year. Again, stepping out for dinner meant braving those rains and a new set of clothes getting wet. Rinse, repeat.

And then it changed. How did it change, I am not entirely sure. Now, when I think of my days in Lonavala, I don’t see me fighting back. I don’t see the raging wet war and I don’t see the tears in my eyes when I hated the cold and dampness.

Every time when I even hear the name of the town ‘Lonavala’, I get this sense of wet fragrance. I feel I can smell the freshly showered plants and earth. I can see the drops falling on my face and covering my eyelashes. I can feel the moist breeze against my skin and I can almost feel my nose turning red from the cold. All my eyes can see is the vast expanse of lush green mountains with the pond that would fill up to the brim and have swaying tiny yellow flowers dotting the water’s edge. This view was right in front of the dorm. I see us, almost 13-15 young adults, hiking along a narrow stream trying to reach a hidden gem of a waterfall. I almost can feel Hazra giving me a hand to climb on the rocks, Shete pulling the hood of my bright red parka to annoy me, or Ani making fun of my black giant raincoat with side zips looking like a superhero cape, that I got over getting embarrassed off and embraced it whole-heartedly, when I would be the only dry person in class. 🙂 I remember jumping into the puddles with my friend SP and splashing around like a pair of toddlers.

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View from the dorms in Lonavala…

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I still get this image of me sitting next to the date-like-person at that time, on the benches overlooking the cliffs, and feeling the drops on our brows. I remember the kisses I shared, surrounded by dripping trees, or overflowing dams and lakes or bright green cliff-sides. Heck, I am guilty of using the rains, as my wingman, to put it in the nicest possible way. 😉

After I moved to the USA, my first December here was spent in splashing around in the puddles with my friends, getting drenched on the beach and wearing 3 wet sweaters afterwards and having hot soup. The next favorite rainy memory in US is the evening of Angel’s landing hike during my Utah camping trip in 2015. It was wet, cold, annoying, yet amazing.

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Post spring 2010, California entered a state of perpetual drought where rains have eluded us since the last 5 years. Even the promise of a very stormy El Nino with dangers of floods has so far been empty.  The little rain we have had has been so sporadic that the longing I feel is almost like….. siggghhhh

I wanted to spend a rainy day with the xBF picnicking on a Torrey Pines hike or walking around in the drizzle at Point Loma, before he left. What do I even say now about that.

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For a person who hated rains, I have turned into someone who can’t tear away the romantic mystique from clouds and showers. Even if it’s cuddling in the bed under my giant comforter staring out of the glass panes covered in droplets, or it is driving around with wipers turned on at full speed, I have a smile on my face. Mind you, I absolutely love the sun and the warmth that it radiates on my skin. I love the brightness and the freedom that a sunny day brings to have an amazing time at the beach and in minimal clothing. Yet, I can’t wait for a wet season again in California and I will continue waiting with baited breath. I may or may not have someone to share the mysticism with. I may or may not have my bunch of friends who will do crazy things when it’s pouring. But I know that I will have me to soak it all up.

The foe has finally become the friend.

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Bhakti, this was going to be a comment on your post Ephemeral, to tell you about my love-hate relationship with rain. I almost finished typing it out before I decided to post it as a response instead of hijacking your comment section. And guess what? It’s raining outside. 🙂

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6

Take That Chance…

Take that chance,
Play in the rain,
Jump in the puddle,
Open your mouth,
Sip in the water.
 
Take that chance,
She wants to hear it,
Break your code,
Take her hand,
Hold her close.
 
Take that chance,
Run that extra mile,
Don’t check your timing,
Breathe in, breathe out,
Start running again.
 
Take that chance,
Give it a go,
May or may not happen,
Call ’em up,
Just steal a kiss.
 
Take that chance,
Get a Mocha instead of Latte,
Bite into that muffin,
Spoon a bit of Meringue,
Let the conversation flow.
 
Take that chance.
Book that ticket,
Rent a car,
Let the moonlight guide you.
Say hello to the stars.

  

27

Dating Tales : Boy 3 : Date 1

I think sometime in October, I got very frustrated with something (or someone, we can say) and I hopped back on Coffee meets Bagel, a dating app for a brief 5-6 days. I wanted to get back on it, but I had a nagging belief that if I focus on one person, maybe it will work. But I realized it was not meant to be. I realized I need a man, and not a boy. And I want a story, not just a chapter anymore. Such a nice dialogue! I should be a writer. Or a columnist. I digress.

So, to cut a short story shorter, I started talking to a guy from the app. I liked him basically because he is a Phd and has 2 big dogs. Yes, that’s my criteria, no judging. I have been talking to him on and off since then. We have exchanged pictures of Moony and his two dogs that are huge and absolutely adorable. He asked me to meet several times when he was taking his dogs to the beach or to dog parks, but I usually had something or the other. Finally, I texted him if he was free on Wednesday and met him yesterday.

This was an interesting date. For one, there was no food involved, and I was honestly glad about it. I met him at a park near my gym after my work out and I wasn’t even dressed up and all that. I was in my workout gear and two sweaters(it was cold!). I did take pains to dab my face clean in the gym locker room and put on some kajal and mascara and some perfume. But that was about it. I reached the park and he got there after 5 minutes and then I met his dogs! And, err, him.

So, to protect any detection, I am going to call the dogs Miss and Mister. Miss was a 50 lb dog that was found on the street as a stray(suspiciously left by owners), starving at 20 lbs. She has the most pleadingly adorable eyes ever and comes to you every so often to look and stare and ask for re-assurance. Mister is a gentle giant and way bigger than her, like a horse, with the saddest droopiest eyes that fool everyone. He loves the outdoors but gets tired easily. He was turned to the shelter after some neighbors spotted him in a foreclosed home. Mister has not seen starvation and streets but Miss has and he said that is the reason that Mister will walk out of open door and car windows but Miss will not. It broke my heart to hear that. 😦

We spoke a lot while walking around. He was not boring. He made some jokes about me and him and the dogs and told me funny stories from Indiana and here. I told him some of my goofy stories and he laughed at appropriate places. It was a nice long walk, and I had worked on my legs at the gym, but I did not complain. I was walking Miss while he had Mister and I did not get bored at any point. He is a Telugu guy from Mumbai, and seems to have quite a cosmopolitan approach. The best part is, he LOVES dogs and even volunteers at the Orange County shelter and I have told him that I want to sign up as well. He is also a vegetarian. One attractive thing about him is that he is very well educated. I always like that in a man and that is somewhat of a turn on. Ooh, he is also moving to the apartment complex just across the street where I have recently moved.

About feelings, I don’t know if I am attracted to him. I have definitely struck a chord with him, but regarding turning it into a romance, we don’t know. Only time can tell. If you are wondering how and why, when I already have Anuroop(the wedding portal) looming closer and closer, let me tell you, that I will not give up trying to find someone on my own. The medium could be a website or an app, or through friends. Not in a bar, definitely not, I am just not that person. And through friends also seems questionable, because I have shamelessly asked Abhi if he has any single friends, and he suggested ONE person VJ who is poles apart and very brother like and funny. Hehe. Nobody has suggested anyone else. Or they all think I am too messed up to ruin someone’s life, I don’t know. 😦 Then there are boys who can’t or won’t hit on their friend’s friend or friend’s sisters. I think I am just ranting now, so I will stop before it turns into a full blown angry monologue. Again.

  

16

Rumor has it

She seems to be
Thinking a lot lately,
Smiling alone,
Veiling her laugh thinly.

Rumor has it,
Her evenings are merry.
And it has nothing to do
With her vodka and cherry.

Twisting her hair strands,
Around her finger,
She plays with the pen,
Letting the thoughts linger.

Rumor has it,
Her blush has a new shade.
The eyes have a twinkle,
That refuses to fade.

She says she’s free,
Yet feels some fear.
She feels so strange,
Yet it is all so familiar.

Rumor has it,
Her heart is beating.
Not felt for long,
How now she’s feeling.

There’s a spring in her step,
The extra curls in hair.
Her perfume seems new,
Not her usual fare.

Rumor has it,
She feels new energy in her core.
Her eyes are elsewhere,
You may not be the one for her anymore.

  


What fun it was to write this piece! You can give the last line a nice ‘moving on’ touch or make it scandalous. If you chose the latter, you are mad cool! I am not telling which one I chose, as of now. 😉

18

As my heart speaks (Guest post by the Father)

My dad wrote this and sent it to me over the weekend. I have no words to explain how I feel when I read it. It is the most beautiful, heartfelt tribute I have ever seen.
*——————————–*

As my heart speaks.

20th July 2015. The fateful day on which our dearest Moony left us. He left behind an empty life for us. Didn’t you realize that dear Moony? On that day I lost part of my life, an important part of my body. He was integral part of my life. How could he leave me?

15 years. That was the time he was with me all the time showering selfless love. That sometimes made me feel ashamed as we all do the things with some return in mind. But not he. For him it was only giving. Giving affection, love and pleasure. He drove away my stress, my worries. He gave me pleasure as a yogi gets in trance. He was pure love and joy personified.

15 years. That was the time I watched him grow. That was the time I also watched my daughter grow. I could never separate them. I watched his early playful days. I watched him getting matured and I watched him getting quieter. As I watched him, he also watched me and took my care. How could you leave me now?

15 years. During this time we took care of each other. Who took more care? Me or he? I can’t tell. Our friends and relatives say we took good care of his for all his life. Is it? In fact he took care of me. Yes, I used to rush to the doctor at the slightest discomfort he seemed to face. I tended him when he was not well. Administered medicines religiously. That was all. But whenever I was not well he was around all the time speaking through his eyes and asking me to get well and play with him. He never left me alone when he realized I was having some trouble. The way he received me when I was brought back from hospital after my operation last year cannot be described. He did not move from my bed. Why did he move away now?

15 years. He was always around. I always felt his warmth and his touch. Touching his coat was heavenly pleasure. I could never get sleep unless he pushed me with his paws. The touch of his body and softness of his luxurious fur was the gift from God. How will I run my fingers through his coat now?

15 years. That was the time. Long or short. These are relative terms. This is a short time for us. I did not like his leaving us so soon. I am getting angry with him for leaving us so soon and when we needed him more. How could he do that?

15 years. We celebrated his each birthday with joy. It also used to make him happy. He was in a critical state of health and great pain on his 15th birthday. He knew we had decided to celebrate. We called relatives. In spite of his problems he did not disappoint us. He celebrated with us enduring extreme weakness obliging with photographs. Then he decided to say goodbye. Next day! He cared for our feelings till last.

I am a great believer in rebirth. There is no doubt, dear Moony, we will again live together in the next birth with more love and affection. More than this birth. The God will have to grant this wish.

Can’t see anything, can’t write now. My eyes are moist. I know he never liked that. I will hold back my tears. 

Daddy and his boy… Such handsome men!

  

45

The illusion called ‘Tomorrow’

Tomorrow never comes. What we have is today. I have lost a lot thanks to procrastination, fears, anxiety and my dependency on tomorrow. I always felt that tomorrow will bring a better answer than if I ask the question today. Tomorrow was my hope. Tomorrow was my everything. My fear is of rejection, of failure, of bad news, of disappointing news. My fears have ruled my heart and have prevented me from seeing the life, that I see with closed, sleepy eyes every night. And many afternoons. My dreams have the hope that my real life has given up on. You know that old candle that has a lot of wax but the wick has burnt out to its end? I sympathize with that poor candle.

I have done a lot of un-doable things. I have been on many adventures. I have been good, and I have been naughty. And I have been happy , I have been moody, I have been angry. But, I have been very afraid. I don’t go to doctors. I am convinced about bad news. I would rather not hear it. I lack courage. People think I am very confident and have gumption. I don’t deny it. But behind that personality, is a very scared girl who feels she has been thrown in the eye of a storm. One wrong move and she will land up God-knows-where.

 

The xBF at MIT, Boston, from one of our trips. With the hypothetical/real floating question mark.

 
But what I don’t want anymore are ‘what-if’s. For me or for my loved ones. I don’t want that shroud of regret on our actions in the future. I don’t want that giant question mark looming on our heads day in and day out, taking over our lives. I am a giant worrier and over-thinker. It is bad enough being confused but I don’t want to make it worse. Ironically, today the usually inactive him posted the following on FB. These are the smartest words spoke on Breaking Bad.

  
It has been a rough day today. I am hormonal and my back is killing me. My last night dream was about seeing the xBF’s family and stalking them and eventually getting engaged to him. For the umpteenth time. Mid-morning, my co-worker who is also my friend, caught me on my desk with tears streaming down my face, while chatting with Moo online. Moo’s predicament and the hurt she is feeling, translated literally to me when I burnt my hand with hot boiling water. 

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

24

Dating tales : Boy 2 : Date 3

I forced myself to text BS during the week. Partly because I wanted to ask him if he wanted to watch Avengers next week with me and some friends of mine. He mentioned then that he was leaving for India for 3 weeks on that Friday. And then he mentioned that he was in San Francisco for a couple of days for an interview with ‘an Electronics giant whose primary symbol is a bitten fruit.’ I was quite impressed, because landing an interview with them is pretty hard.

After some back and forth, we decided to go for a movie on Friday. I told him Byonkesh Bakshi was still running near my place, but it was a late show. He was all for it. He wanted to meet at around 9.15 pm after dinner because he was at a work dinner thing. I said sure, because I wanted to finish my Zumba class in the evening and eat something healthy anyways. So, I did my dancing, went home, made squash soup(don’t wrinkle your pretty noses, it tastes brilliant!) and then got ready to leave at 9 pm. As I was on my way, he called that he will be late. I just turned away and went to a store called Target to kill time. I was in half a mind to just go back home and cancel on him. But I controlled my anger, and in his defense, I am the mad one about timing and he was at a work soiree which isn’t easy to get off. And then, I left Target only after he called me that he was almost there.

There were like 4 couples in the entire theater. :-/ I chose the most visible seats. It was actually pretty good. The thriller part is quite well executed and I like the whole vintage feel to it. My favorite character HAS to be Puntiram! He is like the ‘Ek Minute’ guy from Kahaani.

For the whole time, I kept the bag of popcorn planted firmly between us on the seat. I was leaning away from him for the 3 hours of the movie so much, that my neck got a nice pull. Do you know that there is a kiss in the movie? What’s the big deal you say? Me too. I was so supremely nonchalant and munching popcorn for the whole while that the heroine was on the screen, or staring at her dead straight with full concentration. Infinitely awkward. Must. Grow. Up.

I made a lot of random jokes before, during and after the movie. I still have no jokes to report from him, or any incident that made me laugh. He may never know how funny, or cute, or loud, my laugh is. Sigh.

While leaving, he gave me a hug. And a peck on my cheek during the said hug.

I still feel absolutely nothing. There is a feeling in my tummy when I think about it, but its not that happy feeling.

I think he likes me, because earlier while texting, he had said that the weekend would be busy because he has to shop and pack for India. But after the movie, he texted if we could meet again. But I had to tell him that I had a house party 40 min away and I was gonna spend the night with friends.

I have to figure out what to do. And soon.

Sigh……. #boyproblems