Thursday, 17 February 2011

My Valentine

  I stared at myself in the mirror. My hair was a mess and I had not shaved in a week. I sprayed some foam, picked up the razor and watched all the hair growth disappear as the razor swiftly ran down my cheeks. Next, I splashed some water on my hair and whipped it into shape. I put on a dark blue shirt, a faded blue jeans and a pair of sneakers. When everything felt apt, I walked down the stairs and onto the street.
  The street was empty apart from the little tea stall around the corner, bustling with a few cab drivers. I walked up to one and asked him, "Dadar chaloge?". "Haanji, jaldi baitho!" he replied in a rather coarse voice. I sat inside. The cab was not much. The seat covers were torn, door handles rusted and a terrible sounding music player hung on the dashboard. He drove at a reasonable speed and I arrived at Dadar in about twenty minutes. "Kitna hua boss?" I asked."Phipty Phorr.", he said displaying his fluency in the English language. I paid him the money and got off.

  Dadar was a completely different scene. There were people everywhere. Groups of ladies gathered around vegetable sellers trying to get the best possible bargain. Men walked about carrying heavy load, presumably boarding a train. Children clustered around an ice-cream seller, overwhelming him with each one's choice of flavour. I managed to isolate myself from the crowd and walked towards Shivaji Park. On arriving at the south west entrance, I called Patricia.

"Hello... Where are you?" I said. "Yah I'm getting ready.. will be there in like ten minutes... wait at the frankie stall." she replied. "Oh! I forgot to get her something!" I said to myself as my mind scanned the area for a prospective gift. The scent of the classic red rose never fails to enthrall me and on picking up that scent, nothing seemed so brilliant. I purchased the rose from a nearby florist and waited next to the stall thinking of different ways of offering her the flower.

After a few minutes of patience, Patricia arrived. She wore an elegant raven midi which beautifully complemented her flawless complexion, her ebony eyes look vivid and sparkly, her hair a magnificent shade of black. The sight was mesmerizing. I greeted her with a gentle hug while making sure the rose was out of view. After many unsuccessful attempts of hailing a cab, we finally found one. "Bandra west." I asked him sounding rather desperate. He gave a slight nod and signaled us to sit inside. I held open the door and helped her inside then myself, got in. "So where are we going?" she asked inquisitively. "You like chocolate?" I retorted. "Yah... obviously!" she said as I observed a twinkle in her eyes. "Well then we are going to the right place." I said, my face gleaming with pride, for selecting a congruous place.

Meanwhile I had made up my mind on how I must offer her the rose. (So much thought for a simple rose you might say, but it was my first date and I wanted everything to be picture perfect) I nimbly moved my hand around her, "Hey look... there's something stuck in your hair... " I said, as I gracefully brought the rose into view. "Oh how sweet!" she said and gave an enchanting smile that lit up the otherwise dull atmosphere in the cab.

We arrived in about half an hour. 'A Chocolate Affair' read the banner of the place that we entered. The enticing smell of baked confectionery greeted us as we walked in. We took seats in a cosy corner illuminated only with a single candlelight placed on the table. I ordered an offbeat chicken dish(Lemon grass chicken) for starters. We spoke about a lot of things as we waited for the order; our lives, our crushes, our school days. She loved to talk and I loved to listen. We were a match made in heaven. I stared at her, spellbound by her radiance.  The order came in about half an hour. The two of us sank into the dish with the strong, steel cutlery we were provided. Within moments, there was not a morsel of chicken remaining on the plate.

Next we ordered the signature dish of the place, Belgian Chocolate Waffles. A voluptuous piece of waffle covered with the finest quality of Belgian dark chocolate complemented by a large scoop of vanilla ice-cream and strawberries. It was a dish to die for. We dug in. The warm molten chocolate with tender pieces of strawberry stimulated my taste buds. Our talks went on long after every bit of the waffle was off the plate. We talked about various movies, complained about friends not wanting to watch scary flicks, discussed about our careers and also let each other in on a few secrets. She glowed as bright as ever throughout the night, not losing that radiance even by a single notch.

After hours of talk, sadly, it was time to leave. I paid the bill, and we left the place. "I hope you enjoyed the evening.." I said. "Ofcourse... it was fun!" came the reply that I cherished. I hailed a cab and the two of us got in. "Dadar chalke phir Kalanagar jana hai." I said as the cab driver gave a slight nod accelerated. The cab stopped in front of her building and I walked her to the gate. With one last hug, we bade eachother farewell. I got back into the cab and within seconds her building was out of sight. All the way home her images flashed in my mind. Her incomparable beauty and limitless radiance reverberated the farthest reaches on my mind.

"The time I spent with you was more than just fine,
 Your company felt so divine,
 Your radiance so pristine,
 I say with utmost certainty,
You were by far my very best Valentine."