Naina picked up her favourite red hibiscus iced tea from the counter and found a comfy window seat in her favourite Starbucks. She wanted to answer some of her pending emails before her date joined her.
Yeah, you heard it right! She had a date with Mrigank, 37 who delved into the mysteries of the Tarot while working as a Six Sigma trainer in an IT company. If she was honest, it was his “mystical” side that had her intrigued. He had admitted on the Truly Madly chat that he could read faces very accurately.
“Alright Mister you are on”, thought Naina. “Lets see what you tell me about myself.” She was quite excited to meet a soothsayer as a date. “First time for everything,” she had bemusedly told herself when things seemed to click on the chat.
As she sat waiting, she indulged in her favourite hobby of openly observing people around her and then forming opinions in her head. “Hey, this is research for my artworks,” she would always reason to herself.
The couple on her right seemed to be in the middle of the most bizarre PDA; the guy had started to kiss the fingertips of the girl’s left hand and was now working his way up her arm, totally oblivious to the spectacle he was creating. To give her credit, the girl was squirming self-consciously and trying to pull her hand away. But the gentleman was in ardent throes of passion and wouldn’t let up.
Suddenly he yelped in pain and dropped her hand. Atta girl! she had kicked him in the shins. That stopped loverboy who now pouted sulkily while his lady-love tried to cool down his anger (and ardour) with some stern words. ” You know I don’t like all this in public babu “, she cooed softly, stroking his arm. Naina rolled her eyes in her head while lover boy said sorry in the most petulant tones and all was well in their cuckoo-land. “What a pair of dodos, Naina mused, “Ah well, they match each other.”
Further on sat a diva in a stylishly cut white summer dress which showed off her polished shoulders to perfection, Her carefully coffered hair do sat precariously on her head while she tapped her Aldo clad well-heeled feet in tandem to the music in the cafe. A MK handbag kept her company on the couch while her Cartier watch glinted under the overhead light. Contrast this to her company who was the ultimate slob in a crumpled check shirt half pulled out of a denim shorts (with ragged ends) and black slip ons (chappals) on his feet; with his uncombed hair and half a day’s stubble. Either the lady was going for the overkill or the dude was totally oblivious to grooming and hygiene. “Wonder how they hooked up in the first place”, Naina pondered. “Maybe this is the first date. If so, definitely the last.”
In fact this was the trend at most tables. The girls were dressed to the nines while the guys competed to be the most slobbiest amongst them all. Naina was amused at this disparity and wondered how her date will be dressed. “Please god just let him have clean hands with no dirt under the fingernails. And clean-shaven. And please no body odour”, Naina prayed reverently to the greek gods of romance)
She ran a critical eye over her hands and sighed; no matter how much she scrubbed, the paint loved to remain lodged under her fingernails. She espied a smudge of the vermillion red under her pinky nail of the left hand. The middle finger nail of the right hand was chipped. “I hope he is not very observant”, she muttered to self.
Naina took comfort in the thought that her choice of clothes matched her personality. She was wearing one of her favourite handloom cotton sarees – a classic combination of rich chocolate and deep aubergine with sprinkles of orange and yellow in the borders and the pleats, draped tight to show off her pert figure to its advantage. She had matched it with an orange Ikkat blouse with lonf sleeves. Her mid length mind-of-their-own curly hair were arrayed loosely around her face while silver chand balis dangled from her pretty ears. Her kohl lined eyes, smudged a bit for that sleepy look, made her eyes look big and bright. The intricately worked silver nose ring sitting pretty on her sharp nose while a smile played loosely on her gloss painted cupid bow lips. Oh and don’t forget the quirky bindi she loved to paint on her forehead. Yeah she was ready!
Naina tapped onto her iPad while wondering where her date was. “Maybe I need to gaze into a crystal ball to figure out”, she thought with a chuckle.
Her phone buzzed.
Mrigank: “I am running a bit late; should be there in 10 mts.”
Naina: “No worries. Where are you stuck?”
Mrigank: “Dhaula Kuan”.
Naina: “What??? Its going to take you at least an hour to get from there to cybercity!”
Mrigank: “No. I will be there in ten.”
Naina: ” This is peak hour, there is no ways you will make it in ten minutes.”
Mrigank: “Well I am coming from Noida; some delay is to be expected. I am well worth the wait, I promise. ;-)”
Naina: “Noida???? Why didn’t you message me earlier, like an hour back? I would have also left a little late.”
Mrigank: ” Well I left at 6 pm and thought I will be in Gurgaon by 7 pm.”
Naina: ” Well, I think we need to reschedule this as I don’t want to hang around here anymore.”
Mrigank: “What?? You are cancelling? Just because I am ten mts late!”
“What is with this guy and ten mts”, Naina fumed. ” First date and he can’t be on time!! Damn!!”
She gathered her things and walked out, irked at the sheer waste of time. Her phone buzzed again.
Mrigank: “I am driving as fast as I am. Please don’t leave, give me ten mts at least!”
Naina: “I am sorry but I can’t wait for an HOUR. I really wish you had messaged me earlier and we could have avoided this mess. We will try to meet sometime next week. Suggest you head back home and not tire yourself out any further. Have a good night.”
Dumping her stuff in the passenger seat, Naina got into her car, still irritated.
All her way home, the phone kept buzzing. She got home, freshened up and opened her messages.
Mrigank: “I can’t believe you are so heartless and rigid. I had thought you were someone who would be sensitive and open-minded, seeing it that you are an artist.” (Heartless??? I am an artist and not a pushover)
Mrigank: “Do you know how much traffic is there? I have worked a straight shift and am coming all the way from Noida to Gurgaon, just to meet you baby, and you can’t be bothered to wait for me for ten mts.” (Baby!!?? Dude are you doing me a favour? And seriously what time zone are you on?)
Mrigank: “Please don’t do this. I am really looking forward to meeting you ever since we started chatting. Do you know how much of an effort I am making here? Darling why don’t you head to a salon or something to while away the time? It’s on me!” ( Darling!!!!!!!!????????? On you – Really!!!????)
Mrigank: “You can’t even reply. How unreasonable are you? Now you wont even talk to me Sweety?” ( What the hell is with all these endearments???!!!!!)
Mrigank: ” Fine. Have it your way. But please lets not end communication here. Lets talk about our next date please darling.” (This guy is sounding too desperate!!)
Mrigank: ” I guess you have decided to ignore me totally. I cant believe you wont give a guy some leeway, seeing that he made an effort to drive for 3 hours to meet you baby.” ( Three hours!!! What happened to your ten mts?)
Naina: ” Hey Mrigank, I was driving back and now saw your messages. I am sorry to have put a dent in your efforts but don’t you think asking a girl to wait for an hour a girl who has never met you; a girl you are on your first date with – is a bit unreasonable? I mean they say first impressions are the last! What is a girl supposed to think? I was also looking forward to meeting you and did make the effort to be there on time.”
Mrigank: ” Ok Ok sweetheart I understand lets meet tomorrow!”
Naina: ” I have some meetings tomorrow, lets plan it for another time please.”
Mrigank: ” You are avoiding me now, aren’t you? Is it such a crime to be late baby?”
Naina: ” You are the six sigma trainer, you tell me how important its to be on time?”
Mrigank: ” So if I am late tomorrow, you wont wait for me for ten minutes also jaan?”
When I was composing this post, I was stuck between two ideas for it. A blogger friend suggested I post both as two different realities in an alternate dimension.This is the second ending alternative – wonder what my readers think of this plot? I would so love to hear from you on this.
Posting my day 14 post for #Dailychatter Here as I take my blog to the next level with #Blogchatter and #UBC – the ultimate blog challenge in October 2016 through fictional series which will become a regular feature on my blog under #FridayFiction