She hated it. She so didn’t want to do it. It’s so stupid! I haven’t even spoken to him! They had only text coordinated with each other about getting there. And well, she hadn’t much liked the way his messages sounded. They reeked of arrogance, according to her. But mom won’t agree, would she? She thinks it’s just an excuse to avoid getting married! Well, the latter part is true, but this isn’t any excuse!
Uurrrgghh…! Meethi had refused to meet at least 70 boys so far. She was 27, and a successful Associate Creative Director at a well known Media Firm. She earned well enough for herself and just didn’t want to get emotionally involved with anyone yet. The break up was still ripe in her mind.
The auto rickshaw halted with a jolt outside The Seaside Cafe. She liked the place. The only reason being, it was by the sea side. It didn’t really have good food though. She paid the auto driver and went in. To her disappointment, all the tables by the shore were occupied. The only empty table was at the corner beside the entrance. The evening didn’t seem to be going well. "It’s all your fault!" she said to Ganpati Bappa in her mind. "I had asked you for a distraction, not for a walking pile of arrogance!" Grunting in her mind, she kept looking at a quite wannabe looking girl sitting at the corner right opposite her, by the shore. She looked really irritated herself.
Well, the evening seemed to be in her favour in one case. At least she wasn’t late. He hadn’t arrived yet. She dropped him a text, Reached. *Where are you?* It took him one whole minute to revert, *Stuck in traffic, almost there. Order a chicken sandwich for me in the meanwhile, and whatever you like.* She couldn’t believe this guy. Whatever happened to "Please?" I am not going to order for anything. She looked for a waiter, but no one was around. And her phone buzzed again. *I am at Hill Road. Come down to Elco yaar. I’ve barely moved an inch in 5 mins.* He’s gotta be kidding! She replied instantly, *I placed my order 10 mins back. As soon as I reached actually. You’ll have to come here only. I’m sitting at the table to the right of the entrance.* And she kept her phone aside. It buzzed again, but she didn’t care. He would come if he wanted to.
While she was too busy fuming over her prospective date’s arrogance, a waiter approached her. She was about to place her order when, “Ma’am, actually, I have a request for you.”
“Ummm… Tell me…” She urged.
“The lady over there wishes to exchange her seat,” he said, trying to hide his urge to laugh.
Meethi looked at the girl he was pointing at. She was the same irritated girl she was staring at some time back. “Ok. Well, did she tell you why?” she asked.
He was trying hard not to laugh. “Uhh, actually, the wind is ruining her hair.”
This time, it was Meethi who couldn’t control her laughter. As she realized that the girl turned to look at her, she somehow managed to compose herself, and asked the waiter to tell her she agrees to exchange tables. “Also bring me a Chicken Grilled Sandwich with a Lemonade over there please!” He took her order and requested her to follow him.
All of a sudden the evening didn’t seem so bad. The weather was perfect. The breeze at the shore was even more so. Meethi took her seat and got lost in the beauty of the sunset. He hadn’t arrived yet. But she didn’t care.
15 minutes later, the waiter brought her the sandwich and the lemonade. She ate, sipped and stared endlessly at the horizon. Nothing could beat the beauty of that view – the hem of the sun kissing the horizon. She was so engrossed that she got a jolt when he finally arrived at the table.
“I am so sorry. This crazy traffic at the turn took me almost half an hour for a distance worth of 5 minutes!” saying so he sat down.
She looked at him carefully. He doesn’t look so rude. *Whistle* *Whistle* He’s cute!
“That’s ok. I’m sorry I didn’t order anything for you, and ate before you reached!” She tried to sound modest after his sweet apology.
“Oh don’t worry. I hoped you would, since I didn’t expect myself to reach for another 15 minutes” and he laughed. Man he looks cute! Why did I just assume that I wouldn’t like him?
She was staring at him. She didn’t realize, but he did. He waved his hand in front of her. “Hello! Are you alright?”
“Oh yes!” She snapped back from her trance at once, “Sorry, I was just… Doesn’t matter! Would you like to order something for yourself?”
“Well, to tell you honestly, I was thinking. If you don’t mind of course! Can we take off to my place? I don’t eat out much! I usually make food for myself. And, I am a rather good cook…” He laughed as if trying to impress her by what he just said.
“But your family? Wouldn’t it be odd?” It would have been, she thought, that they just go home without even discussing whether they want to get married of not.
“Oh that won’t be a problem. My parents are in Mauritius on a holiday. So there’s no one home.” He said it very casually, but then realized, it didn’t sound really modest to invite her to an empty house. “Ummm… If you don't mind of course. Don’t worry, you’ll be safe. I’m not a predator.” He laughed himself silly over it.
It didn’t really matter to her. For some reason, she could trust him. She knew he didn’t mean any harm. “Ok. If that’s what you are comfortable with!”
“Great!” He was elated. He called for the check and offered to pay it. As they were walking out, Meethi took one look at the girl she had exchanged places with. She was sitting with a curly haired guy with a rather arrogant look on his face. His appearance reeked of arrogance. She didn’t want to waste any time on that kind of negativity, so she walked away.
They came out of the restaurant and he directed her towards the parking. His Audi S8 was a sparkling beauty! He’s that rich? Really?
“Please, after you!” and he opened the door for her. It was perfect. It was a Matte Black car with brown leather seats. Just the way she loved it. In a minute, they were on their way to Juhu. He played songs. She realized, he was feeling awkward too. Why on Earth were his messages so rude then?
“You didn’t sound so modest in your messages!” She couldn’t help but mention.
“I’m sorry. I am usually in meetings. I have to be quick when I reply, or I don’t reply at all. I apologize if you were offended.” Now he sounded absolutely unrealistically modest.
“You don’t have to apologize. I never said I was offended either. Anyway, tell me. You look so cool, you drive a cool car, why such an outdated name? I know, your parents named you, but still! It never crossed your mind?” She wasn’t sure whether she did the right thing. She was just trying to lighten the mood in her own way.
“Hehehehe… I get that a lot!” Thank God! “I did feel all my life that I could have had a cooler name. But then, you kind of start getting used to it with time. And well, Arjun is not that outdated!” he laughed away.
“Yeah ri… Wait! What?” Who the hell is Arjun? Whatever happened to Satyamay? Arjun?”
“Hold on a second! You’re not Saina?” He was equally puzzled?
“No! I’m Meethi… Meethi Pant… How…” And it all dawned upon her. She never informed Satyamay that she had exchanged her table with someone. The guy sitting with the snobbish girl was him. And she got accidentally picked by the guy that girl was supposed to meet!
“Oh God! I am so sorry!” He thought it was his fault. “I should have introduced myself properly when we met! I am so sorry!” He looked as if he was worried she would blast.
“Oh please don’t!” She asked him to calm down and she told him what exactly happened.
“Wow! That girl in the green dress sitting by the entrance was Saina?” He looked relieved. “Really?”
“I don’t know her name. But it certainly isn’t me!” She tried to sound sorry, but she was more sorry for herself. In those few moments, she had really started liking this guy. Unfortunately, it was for all the richies and good looks!
He remained silent for a good two minutes before he spoke, “You know what…”
She stared at him. The suspense was unbearable!
“I’m glad this confusion happened!” He looked even cuter when his eyes twinkled like that! “I never really liked Saina! She sounded so snobbish and animated all the time! I hate people who fake!” And unexpectedly, they went on talking merrily, while the whole world around them was frustrated with the traffic.