There he is, standing unobstrusively in one corner of the hall, sipping his glass of champagne and lending a patient ear to my garrulous, old man. He is exactly the same person that I first met 7 years back... except maybe for his choice of ties which has just become more...what do I say..outrageous. Today it is a canary yellow one with dancing elephants. I smile silently. Maybe he has aged a little too and there is a slight hint of a paunch developing but then he looks just as dashing and handsome as he was a few years back..7 to be precise. How I love him. Why is it that I feel so strongly but can never get down to telling him how much he means to me. Maybe I will - someday.
I still remember our first date.
We had just met a week back at a common friend's Birthday party and I'd found him quite charming, especially that laid back style and subtle humor. Things had moved very slowly from them on and we went out for our first movie together a month later. It was March 1st. I still can't forget that day. According to my best friend Mahesh, he did everything that would constitute as 'Totally Unacceptable Social Behavior On A First Date' - we went dutch on the movie, the popcorn and even the autofare. However I hung on for there was something about him that I'd never experienced with the hordes of men I'd dated before. I'm glad I chose wisely for things became progressively better. On our second date at a fashionable Chinese restaurant downtown, he even pulled chairs for me and tipped the waiter handsomely. Strange as it might seem, as we got to know each other better we started meeting up almost every alternate day and he would always insist on picking me up from my room and religiously drop me back at the hostel. After a couple of months, his natural but misplaced chivalry was getting maddeningly frustrating for he would simply refuse to let me pay whenever we were together. No wonder Mahesh always used to joke that he was doing everything in reverse - after all it made more sense to adopt this cavalier approach during those initial attempts to impress a girl and then settle down in to that comfort zone where you can be 'your natural self'. We went steady for a good 6 months before we had our first serious talk about where our relationship was going. We were both aware that there were hurdles to be overcome and it definitely did not help that we came from different social backgrounds. But being old-fashioned and honorable, I knew there was no way he would take this thing forward without my parents' consent. And then fate intervened.
I feel someone tugging at my sari and I see that its my 6 year old darling of a princess. She has a small note which she quickly thrusts into Mommy's hand and scampers away to some more mischief. I open the note, slowly absorb the contents and scan the crowd but I can't see him. I smile.
"Stop ogling at your husband. He is getting very embarassed - Mahesh"