Love: eye to eye

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I was looking into her eyes, trying to decipher what she was thinking. She was looking back and was probably thinking the same (or that’s at least what I think). This went on probably for a few seconds, but if you have been in such a situation, you will probably know that it feels much longer than that. The metacognition phase was kicking in my head and I was not thinking about what she was thinking but rather I was thinking now that why did I think that she was thinking about what I was thinking and is there a possibility that she was thinking on the same level as mine and knew that I was not thinking about what she was thinking but rather I was thinking now about why did I think that she was thinking about what I was thinking.

As you can see, things were getting a bit too meta and I was falling into this recursive train of thought until a song starts playing out in the background of my head that rescued me. Probably, you may have heard this song before, if you haven’t, I would warn you before you click and listen to it, as it is very likely that next time you look into the eyes of your loved one, you would start hearing this song in background and you would start laughing, and then you would need to explain how you once read this post and were introduced to this song that starts to play in back of your head whenever you look into someone’s eyes for a bit too long. So, coming back to my story, listening to that song playing in my head, I ended up smiling from ear to ear. And such a smile doesn’t go unnoticed even though she was looking at my eyes. And then came the question which snapped me out of that song.

She: Why are you smiling?

Me (caught off guard but thinking it would be weird to explain the real reason): I am smiling because of you.

She (without a delay): Why?

Me (thinking fast on my feet now): You ask me why.. (using the tactic to repeat the question to get time to think of a response, probably heard it in a tech talk)… why because I like spending time with you.

She (smiles but persists like a relentless interrogator): Why?

Me (thinking hard about all romantic catchy phrases from SRK movies): Because I feel very happy when I am with you and there’s nothing else I would prefer than being with you.

She (silent awww… or at least that’s what I think, followed by a softer but same response): Why?

Me (running out of ideas): Why? Because I love you.

She: Why?

At that moment, I was at my wits’ end because I didn’t know how to respond to her last why, because my expectations were based on the movies I have watched. I don’t remember ever (ever like never ever) watching a movie where someone had said “I love you” and got back a response “why”. In the Bollywood movies, more than often it’s followed by a duet song or in the Hollywood movies, by a passionate kiss or love-making. But life ain’t a movie, That’s why man, I say don’t trust the movies. At that moment, I was thinking how that moment would be a perfect addition to the meme set of expectation vs reality and that thought made me smiling from ear to ear again. And then she repeated her question again.

She: Why are you smiling?

It seemed like a moment of deja vu. I felt a strong urge to repeat the same response I had to this question earlier and see if the entire conversation would play out itself again. However, I managed to curb that urge and uttered my response probably influenced by the song which was playing earlier in my head.

Me: I love you because you have got spectacular eyes, sensual sensational eyes, when I see your eyes and my eyes in your eyes, I feel the love flowing my eyes to your eyes. Aye, I love you, eye to eye.

I am not sure if she was convinced by my eyeful response but the moral of the story is don’t trust the movies, man and always be ready to answer why to why when you make contact eye to eye.

Hey, What’s up?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In life, we have always encountered questions and always will. Some are absurd and some make us feel absurd. Some we can’t find an answer to and some we don’t want to find an answer to. Some we like to ask and some we like to answer. Some we learn how to answer and  some we learn how not to answer. Some question our doubts and some question our beliefs. Whether we like them or not, we can’t deny their importance in our lives. Our educational credentials are based on how we handle them.

There would always be a set of questions that bothers you. Over a period of time, that set gets replaced with another set. Some carry over (like ‘What I am doing with my life?’) but most of them don’t.

About three years ago, one of the questions which bothered me was ‘Why do you want to do an MBA?’.  I was asked this question a few times in interviews and I asked this to myself almost every day while I prepared for management entrance exams. Although, a web search returns back many hits on how to answer it or rather how others have answered it and in the interviews, that’s how I answered it then. It convinced the person who asked it but not me. So, I chose not to do an MBA.

Now-a-days, I get stumped by a question which I am asked about ten times in a day and I never know what would be the appropriate response to it. The question I am referring to is ‘Hey, what’s up?’. Sometimes, I think whether I should choose a ‘response of the day’ for it and use it through the entire day. Unfortunately, it doesn’t works out well as I am supposed to answer this question differently based on my surrounding environment, my level of acquaintance with the other person and my activities in recent past or my current activity.

In office-like surroundings, when I am asked this question, I consider for a moment replying like ‘Ceiling’ or ‘A Pixar animation movie‘ but then I don’t as this joke has become so stale that even I don’t find it funny now. Then, I wonder if I can consider this as a rhetorical question and ignore with a smile. At this moment, most of the time, the other person understands that I mean serious business only and they proceed towards asking more ‘business-related’ questions. But sometimes, I get back a smile. Then, I consider two options. First, asking back the same question ‘What’s up?’ to throw back the ball in other’s court. Second, give the small-talk-ending ‘nothing much’ response. Either of these options work well most of the times to cut down the small talk. If I take first option, the other person takes second option often. However, when the other person replies back more elaborately with details of something exciting he has done recently and when he ends up with ‘what have you been up to?’, I feel a peer-pressure to reply back with almost similar level of detail of something exciting I did recently (or let my imagination run to make something sound exciting).

At this moment, I feel that this post is incomplete as I am supposed to elaborate what thoughts I go through when I meet people in not office-like surroundings but I will skip that as this is not an essay where I have to cover all points to maximize my marks.

Spilling Dreams

Reading Time: 4 minutes

[A special occasion calls for special ways of celebrations. But isn’t the new year already 5 days ‘old’? So, you might be wondering what the special occasion today is. Today, this post marks the 100th post on ‘At the Crossroads’ – A milestone that has taken over 4 years for completion. It has been a very slow but steady progress (courtesy my creator who often made up excuses like writer’s block or pretended to be too busy in studies or work).  So, I decided to contact an awesome person (revealed at the end of this post) to do the honors for helping me reach this milestone. Don’t scroll down, sit back and enjoy reading this wonderful post.]

As soon as I stepped out of the car I knew these were going to be the best moments of my life. It was already night and after a ten-hour journey I was still bursting with excitement. I didn’t feel like going to my hotel to rest for the night, I was already picturing myself out on the beaches splashing water here and there all filmy style.

I wanted to run, to spread my arms wide and scream on the top of my lungs.

I felt filled with happiness to the brim and one more spoon of it would make me blast.

I just couldn’t stop smiling.

Consoling myself how I had a week to explore and carry on with my eagerly awaited expeditions, I went to my hotel room a bit disappointed. Once inside my room I kept the luggage on the floor and sprawled on the bed. A happy sigh escaped my lips.

“Finally” “Oh great. Now I am talking to myself”  I said. I indeed was. I sat straight up and did my own yay-dance. I was that happy. A childhood dream. GOA. I was finally here. I felt on top of the world. Like this was all I needed in life.

Among all the talking-to-self sessions I heard loud music blaring in my room through the windows. I hopped towards the window to look out for the source.

And as the brochures had promised I saw a full-fledged view of the beach. A beach with an awesome party going on.

The reasons I could tell it was awesome were : 1. It was a costume party and I had never been to a costume party before. Had only watched them on the television and day dreamed of going to one. 2. I just witnessed a cute guy going into the party.

Reasons enough to stop fussing over being tired and rush downstairs. I almost half ran to open my luggage. Going over all the clothes in view I finally found the dress I had been looking for.

“Perfect” I said to myself. I knew this wasn’t a chance I may get again and I had to take full advantage of it. Lay in my hands was the shortest white dress you could find.  I hastily dressed into it, searched for my hair curler, did the almost perfect job on my hair, put on every piece of makeup I could get my hands on and wore a cute little white cap with a red plus sign on it. With the perfect line of cleavage, blood-red piercing heels and a lush red lipstick to match, ‘The sexy nurse’ was ready.

Taking a last look into the mirror I rushed downstairs.

                                              ***

After what felt like a whole day of dancing, drinking, eating and dancing with random strangers I needed a break. I started walking towards the bar when suddenly I spotted ‘the cute guy’. I looked at him but finding him staring back at me, I blushed and continued walking. I sat at the first vacant spot I could find when ‘the cute guy’ came and stood next to me ordering the bartender to put up drinks for the both of us. ‘So, here to spend your new year?’ he asked. With that cutest smile that went all the way to his dimples it seemed almost impossible to pay attention to what he was saying. “Uhhmm” I said which seemed like the universal answer for whatever he might have asked and looking like a dumbass totally speechless by his presence I decided to look away. He suddenly grabbed my arm. My heart just skipped a beat. He lowered his head towards mine and my heart raced. My eyes dodged in every direction. His face was getting closer. I concentrated on slowing down my pounding heart as I was pretty sure he could hear it. And suddenly his warm lips touched mine.

                                               ***

“What are you doing?” shouted my mother. “Why is the pillow on your face?”

Pushing away the pillow off my face and realizing how pathetically I was kissing a pillow suddenly embarrassed me.

“Wow Tisha that was fast. Even for a dream. Pehli baar mile nahi ki kiss? Stop watching English movies so much” I cursed myself. Needless to say I was talking to myself again. But this conversation was just in my head. I smiled to myself.

And then reality hit me. Goa? Yeah right. 

Asking parents this is what you get:

If your Dad agrees we ll all go.

You can go with your cousins if you take your brother along.

You can travel with your friends if there is another girl in the group.

If you want to travel afar, marry. Go with your husband wherever you want to.

Every reply contains an if that directly means a NO for solo traveling. 

                                              ***

India has never been about solo traveling for girls. And the foreign women who come here to travel alone are purely upon personal risk.

In India if you manage to travel solo people will be more surprised at you surviving it and coming back home in one piece than anything else.

Maybe this will change someday, but I don’t see it anytime soon.

[The honors were done by Nia Charms, who has a multifaceted personality which shall be revealed to you when you go through her blog.  Sometimes, she makes you laugh so hard that you forget the sadness in your life, sometimes she makes you ponder how come such a young writer could write so maturely and at times, she just makes you relate to her life as your own.  Do stalk her blog, her Facebook page and her twitter account for your daily dose of craziness.]