I have never been to blind dating events. I have always hated the mere concept of dating events. For me, falling in love is more of a happy accident, than a meticulously planned affair. In fact I live for these happy accidents - all good things to have happened to me, ever, were outcomes of these happy accidents. And like a Pavlovian dog, I start dropping at even the thought of happy accidents. But this blind date, it was a turn off even before I reached there.
I had been promised a gathering of desperate women waiting to be picked by less than ordinary men like me. And since its been some time that I have had a stable relationship, I was tempted to go. Not to mention, that dude that sits in the next cubicle, who cant talk to a woman even when she's drunk, has been to these events and even he scored. Its like a perfect place where all the social norms take a back seat and you end up a winner. Even if you are socially inept at it. How I love modern day India!
So when I got the coveted invitation, coveted because not everyone gets it, I could not decide. On one hand this was against how I thought about love. And on the other, the lure of getting home with a woman was something that I could not let go. Of course I went. There are times when heart needs to be given precedence over brain. No?
It began like any other social gathering. There were happy people all around me. Almost everyone was like fresh out of a poster from a bollywood film. Perfect teeth on perfect smiles, perfect eye glasses go along with neatly trimmed hair, sharp dresses on toned bodies. Everything looked like a conspiracy to me. I was immediately a misfit in my tattered tee shirt from People Tree (it has this amazing quote by Faiz), old denims and new shiny black leather chappals. No wonder so many heads turned and stared me down once I entered. It felt as if I am facing a firing squad and these men were trying to shoot me down with their eyes.
And amongst that bobbling sea of heads, there she was. Despite my limited interactions with the female species, I could see that she was a misfit as well. In a different way obviously. She wasn't the prettiest of them all. Or the tallest of them all. And she wasnt dressed for the occasion. But she had something about her that made every other woman wary of her. Every woman was stealing glances at her and sizing her up. Every woman clutched to their men tighter when they glanced in her direction.
Unlike other women who were dressed in expensive evening dresses she had a merely pulled up a pair of denims, which ended slightly above her ankles - the length that I wear my denims too. She was wearing a bright yellow tee shirt that had an intriguing rendition of the Barack Obama Hope poster. The tee obviously dint suit the occasion. Her countenance told me that she has been forced to attend this do. And despite this, it looked as if the entire event, the entire gathering, all the people around her were specifically planted, so that, her status as the queen bee was reinforced to us mortals. The elegant crowd gathered in the room around her, made her all the more rich and gave her all the grandeur that she deserved.
She was like that alpha species that every male ought to consummate with and to give their genes a large chance to be able to survive and multiply. She was everything that a man, primal or modern, could have asked for in a mate. Leave aside the love, the longing and the relationships. Her purpose on earth was to give the most fertile opportunity for the alpha male to advance his genes. I hate objectifying women like that but she indeed was an object. An object of desire. An object that I could have given away an arm and leg to own. To make mine. To be with.
And yet, she was alone. As alone as I was.
This is like the three hundredth blind dating event that I am going to. Each of the previous events has been exciting and yet boring. I somehow always become the centre of attraction, even though I dont realy try. And yet I come to my own house and sleep by myself. Somehow I just cant seem to get a date. Except that one time when that cricketer showed interest in me and then I backed off once he and I starting talking. He was as daft as a dodo. Disasters like this aside, these dating events are so much fun. Never before I have seen such a large gathering of desperate men and women trying to woo each other. Funnily, most of the time, I see the same set of people. And you know what? Most women that frequent these do's, they wear the same clothes over and over again. May be some superstition.
Not me. I dont think I have ever repeated my dress ever. Well, if a teeshirt thrown over a pair of denims qualifies as a dress. Oh, by the way, these tee shirts are my biggest weapon. The designs are so cool that more often than not, the teeshirt becomes the conversation starter. Like the one I was wearing on the last date. I had sketched the iconic design of Fairey for Obama. Wish design was this mainstream in India. I can bet that this design by Fairey must be responsible for a good 10% votes for Obama. Truth be told, I dont really care about Obama or America, just that design was brilliant and I had to sketch myself a teeshirt from it. Thats what I do in my free time. Paint my own teeshirts. Some are good, some bad but honestly, I do come up with a few masterpieces. And this one was definitely one of the best I've ever painted.
So I was wearing my favorite my teeshirt and I even had a feeling that I would be lucky and I would find that perfect guy that I've always wanted. I so knew who I wanted to be with, I could see him standing in front of me. He is about 5 feet 11. Not very tall and not very short. A typical Indian male with brown skin, I hate fair men. Masculine enough to be able to get spotted in a room full of men. And yet tender enough to know how to me, like a lady or like a toy, depending on the mood I am in. I've never wanted a macho man, riding a fast horse on a sea beach, chasing the setting sun. I really want the dude next door. And I want him to have all the imperfections that men have to have. Things that make him so dear. Just like my dad, when he would have been my age.
And I actually spotted someone like that in the crowd that day. I think he had lost his way because he did not look prepared at all for a date night. I mean what kind of man wears a denim and leather chappals to dating events? I dont think any sane woman would even look at her. Of course since I couldn't keep my eyes off him, you can guess the level of my sanity. And he had this amazing teeshirt on, it had some quote in Hindi that I was dying to read but since he never came in the 5 KM radius of me, I could not.
The way he looked at me, I am sure he found me intriguing, if not attractive. I do get these glances all the time. For some reason, everywhere I go, everyone keeps staring at me but this guy, it was as if he was writing a thesis on me. There is nothing else that explains his constant stare. Funny thing is that for once, someone staring at me wasnt making uncomfortable. In fact it was filling me with a warmth, a sense of elation that he was staring at me. I felt complete.I knew it was him that I was supposed to be with.
And yet, he was alone. As alone as I was.