Friday, November 4, 2011

How would you know? - part II

I recognized the expression on his face because I had worn it at the end of the 1st date. He was the one that was bored now and not very hopeful of finding anything to anchor him to the alliance. I wouldn’t blame him because I myself had expected some kind of miracle to happen when I shook his hand for something and even that little bit of physical contact hadn’t stirred up anything in me. Disappointment? Yeah you could say that.

But both of us had been willing to extend our attempt into a third date. More resistance and more confusion. We had set a rule however. The third would be the last. If we didn’t ‘know’ anything by then, we would just part and wish each other the best.

I knew more about him than the first time I had met him. He wasn’t totally repelling. He was likeable. But wasn’t marriage all about sparks and bam and kaboom? Isn’t that how you ‘knew’? Sigh.


Third date. Maybe it was because both of us were sure this wasn’t going to work, but the mood was a bit more relaxed than it had been earlier. We were bold and ordered foods with more calories than the previous times. We ventured out to joke more and grow nervous again when it was time to move on.

There were huge puddles of water below the sidewalk in front of the coffee house and more all along the way. Recent rains. Even rain, with all the hopes and dreams of romance wasn’t helping. I looked up, sighed and shook my head. The moment was approaching. Even if you expected it, telling a person that they weren’t exactly what you wanted is hard, whichever way you looked at it. After three dates Adhi had definitely earned my respect. But that wasn’t enough to be married was it? Because I would then have to be married to Gandhiji or Nelson Mandela or my high school English teacher. No wait. That was a lady.

‘They are never going to fix these roads’ he said as he judged the size of a puddle and jumped over it with precision, landing on dry road, the puddle now forming a water filled chasm between us. I looked at it readying myself for take off. Flat footwear didn’t  help with calisthenics born out of rainy weather.

‘Wait’  he said. He offered a hand. I fixed him with a glare. A little puddle of water and you think I cant cross it, my look conveyed. ‘You never know. These things are mighty slippery’. I looked at him again not very impressed with the way he was making me out to be sloppy. I sighed and took his hand. Nope. No spark. Maybe I would slip and fall on purpose and he would catch me, I thought. Too much drama and probably honking vehicles asking us to get a room. Just a jump.

I put one foot forward and launched myself into the air briefly for a moment. The pressure of my take off reflected on his hand and he tightened his grip. I landed safe and smug having proven my point at being a master resident of the city. I looked down at my hand, still in his, held tight many seconds after I had made it.

They had all told me I would know.

It wasn’t about the eyes or the way he looked. It wasn’t about what he liked or what he ate. It wasn’t about how much he earned or how much we had in common. It was about his willingness to hold on. To be there. To make a commitment and see it through.

I knew.


He still jokes about it. That he had only held on because I was heavy and would’ve pushed him into the water over a skid. But that’s just what he tells anyone that would want to go with his joke. Because its twenty five years today since it happened and he has held my hand through every single puddle on the road and in life after that.

I recall all this because my daughter came into the room a little while ago to sit beside me and ask me the same million dollar question. ‘How will you know ma?’

I smile and tell her, ‘You just do.’



  1. @jayanthi : thank you :) welcome to my blog...

  2. i liked the story :)

  3. @the shadow : thanks nik :) welcome back to my blog :)

  4. anytime madam :) .
    from one blogger to another :) .
    btw have you taken it to the next level ? meaning tried to publicise your site ? and also psst any novel attempts ?

  5. Nice one... Says a lot about you...

    and dont say "Welcome to my Blog :)"