They were full of life, light pink with some of the vertical lines of the upper lip meeting the ones from the lower. As tight as the fresh pieces of orange.
Had this not been a coffee shop, it would have been a long passionate kiss.
Sunday arrived and with it arrived that sunny winter afternoon when the Sun goes soft on you. The intensity of rays outside were mild and that made it a dim day. The day was like a painting. It was a big day for me, I gathered my wits and headed to bathroom for my weekly shower. From mouth wash to face wash to shampoo to soap… whatever chemicals were around were applied to my body.
Dressed up elegantly, a rare sight, I looked into the mirror and talked to myself. Here I was now, waiting near the light pole for the ‘bulb’ to shine. I started waiting. Einstein’s theory of relativity was put in practice here, it was eternity followed by eternity but she won’t show up.
I started cursing myself for my not asking for her number. I somehow, uncharacteristically, waited and was convincing myself with the hindi proverb ‘सब्र का फल मीठा होता है।’ (fruit of waiting is sweeter). But here सब्र का फल सड़ता हुआ दिख रहा था (that fruit was appearing to rot every moment!).
But indeed the fruit was sweeter, at least in appearance. A bright purple sun dress (girls are at times weather proof), big glasses, no make-up, slim dark blue jeans paired with ballerina… Jaw dropping physique… There was no doubt in my expression for her. She was indeed the definition of beauty. You can’t, you won’t, add or take away anything. She was what she should be. Beauty in flesh and blood…
“Hello, someone seems awestruck…” she quipped.
Sure, I was! “Just evaluating my earlier description of you. You are…”
“Outrageously beautiful?” she completed my sentence by a question mark.
“That phrase of yours is running in circles around me. What do you do”, she enquired, adding, “apart from looking around and admiring girls…?”
“I… What do I do?” I got blank and started thinking what I actually do. I do a lot of copy-paste in the name of journalism and editing at a big newspaper brand. “I am a rocket scientist at a secret place. I do a lot of serious stuff… It’s quite interesting but I cant share anymore.” I smartly lied adding, “It’s in national interest. I hope you understand!”
I thought if she is dumb, with due respect to beautiful girls, she will take it. And if she is smart, she will admire the wit and satire there.
She asked, “Really? I hope it’s not like SNASA of Barney Stinson!”
“Not at all. Why would I lie to you? I am into very serious work…” I said with a face that appeared amused.
There was my wine red Pulsar 200 which I got washed and polished to look shiny. I asked her if she would prefer my bike or should we go for something else.
“Bike looks fine. But I will drive…” she announced.
I was happier than being just happy. That was one my dreams to be driven by a girl on bike. But, there was another issue of giving your life in the hands of someone whose driving skills you are unsure of. These are the moments when you feel such a great gusto of trust inside you that you say yes to almost everything. I felt that inside me and thought if I had to go this way, it will be better to die with the most amazingly beautiful woman by your side.
I handed her my helmet and she refused. She proclaimed that it would ruin her hair. The very idea of wearing a helmet when a girl is driving without one appeared weird. I said to myself 200 bucks is all that I need to make others jealous. I slipped the keys on her palm and even touched it consciously. It felt good and sent some of my hormones chasing each other.
And all she did was to make her face subtly smile back to me. She got me.
We got on to the bike with me at the back. The silencer roared and we were off… for a cup of coffee. And she was a good driver. But only a few hundred meters and we had our relatives from Delhi Police waiting for us, waiving their hands. As we approached and they realised we were a couple, we were let off.
This generally happens inDelhi. If you have a girl at the back (here in front), Delhi Police won’t stop you. No, no, it’s not legal, it’s their way to say that they had done that when they were young and so chose not to disturb.
She looked at me and said, “That cop was in my awe.”
“And so am I…”, I said slowly in her ears.
“Focus”, she said implying that I should not disturb while she was driving.
“Is something very important around?” she annoyingly questioned as we approached another police barrier.
These were the cops in white, the traffic guys. Without any introduction they started scribbling on their chalaan book and asked for licence, RC etc. There was no time to even tell them the ‘Sir, we are students. We were just roaming around. We live just 200 meters away’ story.
“That will be 200.” traffic guy said and I gave them two crisp notes.
“We have the licence to travel the whole day without helmets.” she said emphatically.
“Oh yes. But safety-wise that’s not a good idea…” I warned.
We were on now. She drove us to an elegant Barista coffee house. The place was intricately designed and was creating a good mood. There were quite a few people in there but still there was a solitary table for two in a corner with transparent walls.
We guided ourselves towards that table which had two leather sofas facing each other with its round glass top in the middle. This was the time when her eyes were all over me. Looking at me from the hair to nails, she was not taking her eyes off.
“Lady, you are embarrassing me now. Take your big eyes off me… please…” I said in a low hustled up tone.
“I am not taking it off mister.” she said with a naughty face.
To my rescue, here was the waiter asking for our orders. I redirected him to her. She ordered an ice cream and a coffee (some weird name from the card, which we middle class people, generally, are unable to get!). “What about you?” she asked me. I said I would take the same that she ordered or she can order for me as well.
Ice cream remained the same but she ordered a different coffee for me. (I didn’t get the name of this one either.) At times like these, one starts wondering about the amount of the ‘other’ in ourselves. Our upbringing and the social set up around us in the early times was significantly different from the present.
The neo-imperialism or the cultural imperialism has slowly and unconsciously made its way into our thinking process where we start admiring anything that was beyond us or is foreign. It doesn’t mean that whatever foreign culture exists is utter trash but at the same time it will take some good time getting used to all this.
“Where are you? Roaming is chargeable…” she joked.
“No! No, I was just thinking about the various kinds of coffees. It might sound weird but I don’t get the names apart from expresso and cappuccino. In fact, cappuccino is a mix of expresso and hot milk in equal parts. That’s my world of coffee…” I honestly expressed myself.
“Even I don’t get them. But just remembering the taste and names I am able to order. I don’t experiment… as far as coffee is concerned…” she giggled as she completed the last sentence. And I got her.
With a smile I said, “I am very much experimenting as far as things other than coffee are concerned.” And she got me.
“Like…” she naughtily enquired.
“Save that for some other meeting in a more appropriate place.” I replied.
The ice cream arrived and we started enjoying that. I offered her a cut from mine in the long spoon directed towards her gorgeous lips. My focus was compact and all I could see was her lips in extreme close-up. They were full of life, light pink with some of the vertical lines of the upper lip meeting the ones from the lower. As tight as the fresh pieces of orange.
Had this not been a coffee shop, it would have been a long passionate kiss. God, she was Beautiful!
I was lost in the thoughts before she would hold my wrist and force my hand towards her mouth to take the cut of the ice cream. That followed by a cut from her ice cream for me. Long fingers, delicate enough to be disturbed by the stare itself. Perfectly manicured nails without any colour. It was flawless and continuous.
The taste of that ice cream will remain with me forever.
To be continued…