An Unexpected Encounter

I remember writing this. It was the last post on my old blog, about 2 years before I finally took it down. It was 2011, and I was in a weird place mentally. Lots of problems plagued my family, and the blog just didn’t make the critical list.

Now, things have changed, and I’ve created a new blog (this one!). I am resurrecting some of my old posts because the serious ones are supremely hilarious, whereas the funny ones are awfully lame. (I’m sure other people also cringe at their early work too.)

So without further ado, let me repost an unexpected encounter with an almost-boyfriend.

That inexplicable feeling of utter weightlessness and suspension of all faculties when an unexpected encounter happens. Never mind that there is no relationship or even friendship to speak of.

That feeling that breathing has suddenly become a conscious activity, and the flutters that erupt in the chest. Never mind that we haven’t spoken in months.

The split second of utter certainty that someone is meant for you, no matter what their/your relationship status happens to be – before the brain kicks in and tells you to stop being a fool.

The power of someone to unsettle you so much that three days later, he is still all you can think about. Never mind that logic is one of your strongest points.

This is not love. It is not infatuation. It is not attraction. It is not chemistry. Whenever I try and get this boy out of my system, he comes flooding into my life in the most unexpected ways. I haven’t spoken to him as a friend in over a year. We admitted to having feelings for each other, and decided that they couldn’t be acted upon. I imagine we are both doing the right thing by backing away.

Only thing is, I wonder if the expression on my face mirrors his when we see each other unexpectedly – the shock, the widened eyes, the sudden tenseness of all limbs. The conscious effort not to look like a gaping fool and attempt to utter a few words in English that are not drawn completely from random.

Who knew saying ‘hi’ could be so difficult?

Some (related and unrelated) background: This incident was during one of my visits to Caramel, Taj Vivanta, Panjim, with my then editorial team. There were 3 of us – all girls – and we spent every lunch together. We often went to Caramel because it was surprisingly cheap, the sofas were comfortable, and the bathrooms were ritzy. Our office bathrooms would have put a service station to shame.

Caramel had its own entrance, but one day the hotel was conducting some maintenance near the door. So we had to loop around to the hotel’s lobby to get in. As we entered through the automatic glass doors, I came face to face with A.

He was standing in the middle of the lobby, probably having just finished lunch in the restaurant. He was shaking some bloke’s hand, and he turned just as I walked in. We both froze, eyes locked on each other. I started moving a split second later, wanting to avoid the questions that were sure to follow any odd behaviour. Moving broke the spell and, as I scurried off, I could feel his eyes boring into my back.

At that point, we hadn’t spoken for months. There was immense amounts of awkwardness, following an unfortunate incident. I had made my decision then, and it had been the right one. This encounter was born from pure hormones and fantasies of romance.

I didn’t see A again till a few years later, which is quite a feat considering how small Goa is. He was married by then, and I had my French student. We’ve never spoken again. Thank goodness for that.


How to Deal With a Potential Car Bomber

It was 4:15 am. I was obviously fast asleep, when I was shaken awake by my parents—both with worried expressions. I sprang out of bed.

Me: “OMG. What happened? What’s wrong?
Mom: “That car horn. It has been going on for a while. Is it our car?”

[We’ve been somewhat spooked with the car, because it had once floated down the street during a flood, and was also once broken in to for the music system.]

Me: “I don’t think that’s our car. But oh God, someone might have broken into it again! I’m going downstairs to check.”

And so I do. I reach the entrance, then run towards the gate. As I step out onto the pavement, I realise that the strident tones are coming from the opposite direction from our car. (We couldn’t have known this from the flat.)

I briefly consider turning back and going upstairs (and bed) without further investigation. Because, let’s face it, it’s 4 am. But I see the car, a taxi, with all its windows and doors flung open.

Wokay. Was it a car bomb? We live really close to GSB Ganpati. Very rich pandal. Terror threat. And in spite of these dire thoughts, I STILL WENT TO INVESTIGATE.

Only to find, the taxi driver fast asleep (with that horn blaring *slow clap*) in the car. As his seat was fully reclined, his knee was pressed into the steering wheel.

Me:Bhaiyya! Aapka horn bhaj raha hai!” (Pinnacle of conversation, this.)

He wakes up, removes his knee, blinks a bit at me, turns on his side, and falls asleep again.

Critical thinking: 0; Imagination + sleep: 1.