Anticipating the abrupt monsoons in Kolkata while the weather kept swinging between extreme humidity to cold rains like an irate child, we decided to meet then for the first time.
After long conversations on the phone all night and texting every day, the butterflies in my stomach grew to a kaleidoscope. The whole week I planned on what to wear, maintain a better skin care routine to hide myself from the embarrassment of him witnessing my dark circles, and basically revisiting the scenario of how it would be when we see each other.
Unable to contain my excitement, I headed out early to have a drink while I waited for him. I found myself entering a fearfully loud bar with a dance floor which threw me off at first, but looking at the menu, I found my favorite G&T and added a Tiramisu to flavor my taste buds. An hour flew by and he texted that he was around. I headed out to the balcony where the music was a tad bit softer, to have a smoke and looked up the sky to see a black coat of mass with shimmers of silver thunder. Predicting the weather in this city is still a puzzle for me. I rushed out waiting for the elevator which felt like forever. To my surprise when I reached out of the building, it was raining cats and dogs.
Just as I was standing there devising a plan to not get wet and look proper, he calls. Quite confused himself, he asked me to come around at the entrance. With my poor ninja skills, I tried to dodge the rain but ended up getting a little drenched. We were still on the phone as I asked him what color car he had – ‘it is a white Chevrolet’, he said. ‘Can you see me?’ I stand up on my toes barely adding half an inch to my visibility and there his car was. Why was I so nervous? I guess it had been a long time, a man came to pick me up and this felt like a proper date. I tried to pat dry myself in those few minutes as he approached me. I got into the car and both of us made no eye contact.
The interiors smelled like musk and fire and his car was clean as a whistle. He had my favorite music on, the AC was chill, and now we were stuck in the traffic of the parking lot. He turned around with a smile on his face. ‘Finally, we meet eh?’ I blushed so hard unintentionally and took the phone from his hand adding more music to the queue and replied, ‘much awaited indeed.’ We instantly got so comfortable around the space we had and eventually cleared out of our way into the streets. He confessed he would bribe his school driver and learnt the ways around the wheel at the wee age of twelve.
The most charismatic feature of Kolkata late at night is that the city seems to finally halt, and the surroundings become so quiet with the ability to hear your own heartbeat. The rains got heavier, and it felt like I was in a movie. Right then he stopped at a local stall and ordered for two teas. How did he know? I could have tea anytime of the day. He quirked up a smile and pulled out what looked like the best hash I’d ever seen. ‘That’s why I was late. This bad boy will make our night even more eventful don’t you think?’ This was turning out to already be the best night of my so many years of staying in this city. Like a pro, he rolled it up and we set on the road again barely able to see what’s in front of us exchanging drags. I was kind of apprehensive about him driving in this state, but it felt like he knew what he was doing. All my inhibitions about meeting a stranger in the middle of the night disappeared as he seemed to be more careful than I was. The combination of the chilly weather outside and the temperature inside the car made me feel like running to the washroom in a dire emergency. Feeling a little awkward about asking him to stop, he looked at me and said, ‘I know a nice place. You can go and I’ll wait out.’ I rushed inside leaving my purse in his car and even my phone! I realized this late and hurried out to check if he was still there. And yes, he was.
He turned the car around and took me on a long drive. We sang songs, talked about our lives, and sometimes flirted with a hint of sassiness. It was surreal what I was feeling, and I could sense the same excitement in him. Since he had to meet his friends after, he asked me to book an Uber and waited till the cab came. We got out of his car and I finally saw him in full stance. He was 5’11, wore white jeans, with a round neck black tee. He had a stud on one ear, and his hair was all gelled up. He had the most infectious smile. When reality seemed to seep in through this magical hour, my ride arrived. He signaled the driver to wait a few more minutes. He reached out to my lower back pocket and pulled out my phone. We posed for a blurry selfie and he put his arms around me. The embrace turned into a long hug and I did not want to leave. He sniffled through my hair taking it all in and held me tighter. Finally, we bid good-bye. I just kept thinking to myself, this is the best night ever.
Living in the moment is what I often forget to do. The whole night felt thought-out but not in an overly calculated sort of way. A date in the rains, it’s a winner in my book already. If you have such a wonderful story to think on about, who needs a fancy first date when the world is your oyster right?