I love to catch up on my book readings on weekends .I wake up at around 8:00 -8:30 grab a cup of tea , depending on mood and weather I take a shower , stuff two books in my "cool dude bag" and rush to some cafe in Sec 18 Noida . Like a Bloke I love spending next few hours reading and sipping tea . I prefer to go early because you can beat the rush and all the noise which follows after lunch . Cafes becomes too crowded ,Music turns too loud and people come, drink, pay and go like zombies .I drop in early in order to escape all that .
But things were little different yesterday . in fact it was like that for whole of last week. It seems that this year Valentine day seems to have arrived a couple of week before its due date and As it happen in all cases of premature birth .while rest of the family ( family as in Vasudhav kutumbkam , "whole world is our family" ) rejoice the early arrival of metaphorical "bundle of Joy " its a little painful for some . for example sometime in last week I received an SMS offering me 20% "Valentine " discount on Mattress. I was in awe of marketeers ability to understand "futuristic " needs of customer and design a offer "ahead of time " ;). But unfortunately he choose the wrong man to pitch .Looking at the current state of my romantic life that offer was like selling Hajmola to someone starving in Ethiopia . An unintended but cruel joke.
This Saturday on my way to cafe I noticed that A gift shop in Great India Palace shopping mall had an offer on some Heart shaped soft toys " This Valentine Buy 3 Get 2 Free". That made me wonder about who in these times of recession can afford 5 Girlfriends . Curious to see such people I walked in to the shop and started browsing through the cards . Man those cards were BIG and not to mention expensive . after a minute or so of browsing cards I proceed to check the soft toys section. There I saw a very pretty girl checking out those stupid "Winne the pooh" and "Hug Me " teddy . I was intrigued. What is she doing here ? Is She "Buying "gift? that's anomalous .
God's grand cosmic design has placed girls at the receiving end of gift food chain. who is this creature challenging the cosmic code ? since its not everyday you "spot" girls buying gift and finding a pretty girl in gift shop around valentine day is next to impossible . so I thought of exploring a little more . Curious (ya I am very curious by nature ) I walked to her casually and started thinking about how to start the conversation
[Me ] Nice Stuff here . isn't it ?(she looked at me and scanned me from Head to toe like an MRI Machine . apparently she didn't find anything wrong so she choose to respond).[Girl] Ya and this time they are not so expensive .( This time ?? do she had to buy gift every valentine .How unfortunate ? what a shame for masculine of human species ).[Me ] (tactically not looking at her) This time ?? So you gift yourself this stuff on every valentine day ?[Girl] (suppressing a smile and raising eye brow ) Excuse Me ! What made you think I am gonna gift it to my self ?( its such pleasure when a pretty girl have a sense of humor to understand my joke . whenever it happens my first reaction is "She must be a firang NRI " . Outside of one exceptional indecent this assumption has always proven right )[me] Oh I don't mean you don't get gift . I am sure you do .[Girl] (chuckling and thinking of herself like Kareena Kapoor ) You bet I do .[me] ( damage control mode ,switch to plan B) I agree.I just thought You are gifting it to your self because....umm lets say you are holding on for Mr Right . Right ?? (This always works )[Girl] ( No effort to hide the smile ,this time ) Very Smart . humm .you use this trick often ?[me] Well not often . Only during Valentine season.[Girl ] (Laughing out loud ).(apparently her wind chime like laughter drew totally unwarranted attention from store attendant and he walked to me and said " Can i help you sir? )"[Me] Ya I m looking for something .[Attendant] What ?[Me] (thinking hard ) Well I am looking for a teddy bear with "Marry Me" written on it[Attendant] Sir woh tou mushkil hai ..abhi tou season ka maal he stock mein hai[Girl] [Me] (laughing loud again.)(attendant walks away feeling embraced)[Girl] (controlling her laughter ) Oh My God that was funny .[Me] (gigling) and honest too . BTW I am Prashant[Girl ] Hi I am <I am not gonna tell you her name >[Me] Nice meeting you .[Girl] same here . wait my fiance would love to meet you . he is in next shop.[Girl] (understanding fully and enjoying it ) What happened ? disappointed to hear that ?[Me] No . Come on . Of Course not . (smooth under pressure..That's me )[Girl] sure ?[Me] YA sure ..and .Why would I ? . You just saved me cost of two coffees .[Girl] ha ha ha . you have a great sense of humor .[Me] ya I heard that beforeFew min later her Fiance enters the scene with three shopping bag . He was a dusky ,south Indian guy of medium built with glasses but Handsome nevertheless . Together they make a nice couple .[Girl] Ravi , this is Prasahnt , Prashant This is Ravi , My fiance . The Mr. RightWe shook hands .[Ravi] and you guys ....??[Girl] We just meet. He was flirting with me.[Ravi] (smiling ) Bad Luck Dude . you are six month too late .[Me] (smiling ) Ya but looking at your shopping bags .I guess it happened for the best .[Ravi] (Laughing out loud )... Thanks for understanding Man .But atleast I am paying in Rs now . it was worse while we were in UK.(See the NRI Theory was right )[Girl] Excuse me. I don't do much shopping . its only that stuff which I need . You guys are so mean .[me][ravi] (looking at the BAGS) right ...(laughter)[Girl] so I see you two ganged up .. good.
That followed up by a casual "get to know " conversation .Ravi insisted for Coffee but I refused . I wished them luck for married life and bid adieu . they promised me to invite on their wedding . I took their permission to publish it here and they said OK as long as their identity is not revealed (Ravi is not full name).
After a long time I meet some people who are not closed shell and had good sense of humor . It was refreshing to see that there are couples who don't let the whole relationship stuff get in to their head . I wish them Happy valentine and a happy married life . At the risk of sounding rude I would say that going forward their biggest challenge of living in India will to remain as open minded like they are now . I wish them good luck for that too. :)
Anyways So back to whole Sec-18 Market and my weekend book reading rituals. so after this funny encounter I walked my way to Kaffia , a Cafe in Sec-18. I was hoping to finish reading latest books in my collection. But fate has other plans because another interesting indecent was waiting for me there . It was no at all like the previous one and I was only a silent spectator to it . I will tell you about it in next post .
photo credit :jamminjj