Vantage point

Monday, September 23, 2002

It was dark at night in Bandra as I alighted from the local train. Walked to a ticket window on the west. She had said she would wait by the "new" ticket window. This does not look very new.

Maybe there is one on the east side. Walked over the bridge, balancing the two bags. A dude tells me there is no ticket window on the east side. Walked back to the old ticket window. Put my bags down and waited. A few doubts came buzzing by like pesky bees. What if she fell ill and can't make it? What if she decided she didn't want to meet at all? What if....

When suddenly, a dimunitive 'angel' (that's what the t-shirt said) flitted into view. The historic moment had arrived. The great Sukanya-Gaurav summit meet. We exchanged the customary pleasantaries, spoke a bit about this and that.

Then we did a little bit of the "vultures from Jungle Book" routine.

'So where do you wanna go?'

' I dunno, where do you wanna go?'

' I dunno...'

Finally we decided that we'd go to Dosa Diner since we both weren't too hungry (speaks volumes about the volume of the portions in Dosa Diner). The rickshaw-wallah had no idea where DD was, and Suku was not sure. So we got down at some arbit place and went to a place called 'Open Sesame'. It was a new establishment so it took us a while to get noticed by the waiter. The place was jam packed with 3 more tables occupied (!!). Suited us, we kept yakking about this or that. After we had managed to place our orders ( Patata Salad, Open sesame Chicken Salad, French Fries and Fresh Lime Soda, in case you really want all the details), we indulged in a bit of yule-tide spirit, exchanging gifts. Suku gave me "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and I gave her a Buddha's head. The food came, the food went, we yapped and yapped and yapped. The owner of the place came to ask if we liked the food. He told us it was a new establishment. I did my best to feign surprise.

Then we bought a flower for Suku (she'll tell you the exact botanical name for it), and headed back.

We travelled to Goregaon in a local train and took a rick back to suku's place. She showed me her school which is right next to a fish market. Convenient for the teachers to make those cliched comparisons eh? When we reached her home, it was discovered that we could not open the gate, since the bolt was jammed. I was thinking about what we could do when suddenly, up jumps Suku over the gate, like a superhero chasing a supervillain. She had the gate open, but also got a "boo boo" on her thumb in the process. No blood, but a small reddish bruise.

As we walked up the stairs, she realised she had left the flower outside, and I was treated to her expostulaing "budthameez" as she so often does online. The flower was retrieved, and we reached her home.

Spoke to her very very sweet Mom about how Bombay and Pune are so much better than Lucknow, and also spoke a bit about marriages. Is marriage a zaroorat(necessity) or a majboori(compulsion)? Met her cool bro Suparn too.

Then I got into a Cinderella like mode as midnight approached. My clothes would turn to tatters!! Besides I had to catch a bus back to Pune too. Took a rick, and went back, savouring the great 4 hours that i had had.

So how is Sukanya in real life? She is witty, charming, bubbly, cute, ..... to sum it up best, she is just the way she is online.

The book Suku gave me, "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, is a special book for us Tolkien fans, as most of you would know. What makes it even more special is the first page on which she has written - "May the fellowship never break".

Amen to that!