FIVE MEETINGS WITH HIM
‘WHAT DO YOU MEAN DAADI?’
‘I mean exactly what I said Vani.’
‘Where is he now? Do you guys still talk? Did anyone of you say it? I want to hear about it. All those five meetings.’
Millennial granddaughters, they can be handful. And catty. But delightful. And Vani was obviously the apple of my eye. I know she wasn’t going to settle without getting the answers she was looking for.
‘We were teachers in the same school. We did not know each other too well. So the first time I got to actually know him was at a teacher’s conclave.’
‘So? Was he this dashing dude who caught your eye or something?’
‘No you fool. He was just a very regular guy. Back in our times when men weren’t really into gym fitness, he looked fit and athletic and well his belly was not falling out of his belt like the rest. Also he was quieter and more intelligent than the rest. So we became HI HELLO friends. That was our first meeting.’
‘Oouuu…you sapiosexual old woman!’
‘Hell yeah!’ I managed to pull some millennial lingo from my 65 year old brain.
‘Tell me more…’
‘I think the second time we met was over dinner. He cooked. But most importantly, we talked. We talked and it felt good. I felt something out of my routine set of feelings. Something which I had not felt in a long time. It was scary.’
‘An intelligent man, who cooked for you! Please tell me that this man does not turn out to be my grandfather in the end, because then it’ll not be exciting anymore.’
I don’t blame her. When we are young, we want adventures, we want rebellions, we want adrenaline, we want anything which makes us feel alive.
And of course I was no different. And this was definitely not the story of Vani’s deceased grandfather.
‘The third time we met was over drinks and dinner. He cooked. We talked. We talked some more. It felt good. I was playing with fire. Me at my age at that time, I was supposed to be getting married and having children and not drinking with strangers. So I decided that the fourth time when we meet, I will not have this drink-and-dine routine with him. That was far too risky. Rather, a walk would be just as fine (and safe). It was a great walk. It was nice to just walk and talk about tonnes of things.’
He was Yin and I was Yang. He was addicted to just all the things that came with a warning. And I was unhinged and unprepared. So of course it was chemistry!
‘He was just a regular guy who wanted to stay high all his life, with or without anybody. People who don’t feel things too much, not because they can’t but because they choose not to, that was him. And I knew that was not what I wanted. So I decided to never tell him how I felt. Our fifth and last meeting, I told him I was going. And there was a long silence after that. We had dinner and he even walked me back home in that silence and I think that was the best for everyone.’
‘WHATTT THE FU…….’
‘Language lady! I am still your grandmother.’
‘I am sorry but I don’t get it…did you guys stay in touch after that?’
‘You won’t get it. You are far too young to understand. He was not even a believer yaar!’
‘Oh! Then you did the right thing daadi…’ And both Vani and me burst into a loud and mindless laughter.
Not all the feelings need to be acknowledged. Not all the special moments need to be stamped.
I never talked to him but I got invited to each of the three times he got wed, each time he had a child, each time he had a grandchild.
Needless to say I was in attendance each time.