Sometime last year, I decided that I wouldn’t find what I yearned for by simply sitting and typing away at my desk. Despite all the mental orgasms my largely ignorant, pseudo intellectual brain was savouring (thanks to the likes of Pablo Neruda and the Hussain brothers), I needed something more.

I needed to meet less than perfect individuals like myself; I craved for both a body that would inspire my lust and a brain that would lure me into submission.

And so began, my search for the perfect date. I became a ‘now’ person, I stopped worrying about the perfect tomorrow and bothered myself with creating a rather enjoyable now. You see, I am a writer and the moment I meet someone a new story begins penning itself in my head. Here are four short tales that capture how perfect nothing in particular can be. The purpose here is to express how every experience is in itself a complete one and that joy exists in today rather than tomorrow.

1. The Tireless Night

When he met her, he had less than saintly intentions but, he was hopeful. He hoped it would be love. Sometimes, if you craft a lie that is good enough, even you end up believing in it. This, was one of those lies. He had sold himself the idea that this girl who was nothing close to his ideal woman was perhaps in all its irony, the one he needed to be with. The night began with a few drinks on the table and a lot of conversations above it. She became more and more interesting as mask after mask came off. It was the textbook recipe for what was meant to happen eventually. The rules of engagement were set; it was going be just this one night and all memories of it would fade with the face of the moon.

A long walk was in order and so they took it. It began with them walking less than a foot apart but, soon hands were held and fingers found themselves intertwined; two intoxicated people walked on the nearly desolate roads of what was by day a bustling city. The warm, yellow light of the street lamps above was being reflected by the dark tarmac below. They were drunk yet, there wasn’t a soul more sober than them that night.

They drowned their awkward silences in the sounds of a romantic movie; more for him than for her. He wanted to romanticise the indulgent acts that were to follow. He would somehow feel murky had they not lingered outside the bedroom at least for a short while. And then, before they knew it, their bodies met. Picture the precise moment when he held her lips between his own- there was skin and there was fire. Their movements were raw, animal like but, he felt an almost vampire like thirst being quenched. He suddenly had strength which he didn’t know of, as he lifted and carried her to the bed- gentle enough to keep harm at bay yet stern enough to savour some hurt.

The gasps and shrieks were barely contained by the walls and curtains that fluttered mildly on that breeze-less night. He thought he knew what he was doing but she... she knew her way around him like the hands of a musician on the strings of a guitar. He was no longer sailing this ship; it was riding the waves of the boundless ocean. She complimented how he kissed using words and his fingers using moans. One can never be too certain but, she had arrived before he could and then... he couldn’t.

Evening turned into night, and night into morning but he failed to come as he was tainting every word Kurt Cobain had sung in a hit Nirvana song. He was embarrassed and then she was embarrassed but, they never ceased. He paused often to admire her face, lit half by the moon and half by the yellow street lamp across the road. Somehow he felt content as she employed skills he knew not of and they both meekly rejoiced his arrival. The sun was up but the buildings outside had sheltered them from it. They tried to sleep but they couldn’t for a while. She did well despite his fumbles as did he despite of hers. It was a perfect date, that tireless night. 

2. Coffee and Conversations

They knew each other... well at least technically they did. They had never met outside a social gathering. All that while of being acquainted though was defined as having known each other. The world and its funny ways! If only knowing another person was that simple.

He would usually drive to a date you see... ensure that he was well dressed, had a well kept beard and smelt good. This wasn’t a date though; he had said “It’s a date!” casually in a passing message but, it had gone largely unacknowledged as it often does these days.

Yet there he was, parked somewhere near her place of work barely interested but, there nonetheless. She made him wait- there was already a huge cross under the punctuality section of his minds checklist. “A woman must never be late, it’s unladylike just as it is ungentlemanly.”, said an old-fashioned voice inside his head. Then again he did have a habit of reaching everywhere 15 minutes prior to the decided time; a simple way to say... ‘I care enough to be here beforehand.’

He read into things a lot and he hoped people would read into his actions more than his words as well. She did reach... barely in time! He would’ve left in another 10 minutes and would've made up some excuse as to why later. She seemed excited to see him on two-wheels instead of four; 8 points to Gryffindor it was! She had his attention with that one and as she sat herself on the motorcycle things got a little more interesting. As he joined the city’s traffic he asked her where they were headed. She told him to just keep riding and he did. He rode carefully and she sat there holding on to the grab handles both together ensuring her chest never once came to touch his back.

They continued in no particular direction till he suggested that they ought to stop somewhere. A slew of directions came towards him till they stopped at a small cafe. As they sat there she seemed more fidgety than he; she toppled a bottle of ketchup, forks jumped dangerously out of plates but the conversation, the conversation went on. She spoke and he listened intently, sometimes distracted by her lips, sometimes by her skin but, mostly listening. There were no awkward pauses, no staring at the ceiling or unlocking and locking of mobile screens. Once they were done they got back onto the bike, this time she held onto him one hand around on his shoulder, the other carelessly around his waist.

He liked that, being held like that. He read into it... he heard the words 'I feel safe with you' and 'I trust you to bring me no harm.' Naive little fellow! Whether it was because of her or because it reminded him of how someone once used to hold him, remains to this day... a mystery. It was a perfect date, shared over coffee and conversations.

3. For Old Times’ Sake

He hated meeting her as much as he loved it, if not more. Even today his eyes refused to see her as someone he used to be with. Everything had changed since the last time they had met and that had always been the case with these once a year meetings.

The trouble was, she was his comfort zone; she had always been his comfort zone. He had been with her and then he had met her when she was dating another and then yet again once she had gotten married. How he felt in her presence though, had never changed. If love were a cycle that changed faces and forms, he had loved her in each form. He had loved her as a stranger, as an acquaintance, as a friend and then as a spouse, as an enemy, as a child, as a guardian and then some more in manners words couldn't possibly capture. To be honest... in some vague, platonic, desire less manner he would always love her. Such directionless affection gets tiring to a point that, one can no longer tolerate it.

She was the hurt that joy brings and the joys that hurt takes. When he saw her, it was more familiar than the back of his hand or the front of his eyes. Ever shared a nod with someone that was warmer than a hug? Such were the nods he waived her way. They began to walk side by side in a manner so rehearsed that it would put the best marching regiments to shame. There were newly-wed couples with kids in the mall that knew each other lesser than they did.

They exchanged syllables and spoke in comfortable silences as they walked to a place they used to visit. They were both met with a surprise as the restaurant had now been replaced with a new one. It felt metaphorical... almost morose. They walked into this new one and took a familiarly placed table. It was some day in February because the huge hearts from Valentines Day hadn’t been taken down. They had never once been welcomed by such romantic ambiance in the years they had spent together. They made nothing of it though, since there was nothing to be made of it.

Good food was called to the table though it paled in comparison to their smiles and words. The masks had been dropped years ago, there was no false pretence, there were no secrets, no lies, no deceit, all that remained was the mirth that sonnets are made of. He saw her home and at the door a declaration was made; this was to be the last time they would meet. They shared silent smiles for one last time; it was a perfect date.

4. The Elusive One

“I can’t see you... where are you?” That’s how it started. His demeanour was calm and composed but his eyes were restless; they ran from one face to another in the crowd seeking hers. There she was! Her face shined with the lustre of what Hosseini would’ve called a thousand splendid suns. It was to be just a meal and then she would leave for another city. This evening was all he could have and it was all that he needed.

The moment his eyes met hers he became a performer. He didn’t want to stage any of it but, in her presence; his hands would fling doors open, they would pull chairs and the back of his neck was perpetually gauging the temperature- just in case it was cold enough for him to offer her his jacket. It was theatrical.  To say it in lesser syllables; he was smitten and it was no fault of his.

She wasn’t pretty, oh no! That would be a gross understatement. She wasn’t perfect either; for that would be over stating it and of great disservice to the women on this world. For the purpose of making this a tale you’d like, let’s just say that... she looked like art.

He drove but, it was she... who was driving him. She took him to a silent place and he loved silent places; it meant he could break the silences when he wanted to and he could have them back just as easily. She spoke very little and sounded almost like a secret in this world full of noises. The thing with him and secrets was... that he always wanted to know them and then would keep them. He collected secrets, he kept them for others.

The usual banter ensued... they spoke of books and politics and she looked into his eyes when she spoke. He spoke more; it was as if he wanted to tell her everything about himself in as little time as possible. Her attention waivered, he could almost tell when she wasn’t listening but, even in those moments- she was doing a brilliant job of pretending to. 

Maybe she heard him, maybe she didn’t; it didn’t matter much because he felt nice with her. They had met at 7 and they spoke till the clock struck 10: though once again it must be made clear that he did most of the speaking.

He knew why this was happening. He knew why this elusive stranger seemed so mysterious to him. She seemed his type- women who would fit his type were a few and far between (mostly because they’d never fit any moulds.). He was overjoyed by the sheer joy of finding someone who seemed his type. It had been years since he had come across a person of this sort and he had met several people that year.

He saw her home and as she walked away into the distance, it made him smile. She brought this strange hope with her, this elusive woman, perhaps that’s what made it, a perfect date.

Also read:

How Do Men Fall In Love?


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