Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Memorable night.

It was last Wednesday. At first i had decided not to record it for my own future recollection for fear that the girl with whom i spent the night would read it and be upset about it. But i think the better of her now, and i am sure she'll just dimiss it with gentle laughter. Hence i wish to record for posterity, almost one week down the line, what was certainly the most memorable evening i've spent since my arrival at ASU.

It was purely by chance that i happened to meet this girl, probably a few days prior to the day in concern, as she was lying on the couch, snug under a blanket, when i entered that apartment to see her room mate, a friend of mine. My initial response was one of slight disapproval. She was happily ensconced and staring at some program on television, and as i generally look with contempt at most of what is shown on TV, i took little notice of her, and went on with what i was doing on my laptop. She left for a movie with her friend, and a discussion had ensued between me and my friend, on various things, one of which was tackling the population problem in our country. At this time, the girl returned from the movie, and she sat down and listened to us. I paid no attention to her prescence having formed a bad impression of her intially. But when she was asked to comment by my friend, i found she spoke with remarkable insight, and complete objectivity. Taking some interest in her now, i probed further and found she shared much of the views i had, and this naturally delighted me. The conversation then flowed for the better part of two hours before we all retired for the day at around 3 a.m. A couple of days after that, i had another occassion to talk to her and we spent a few hours meandering through various subjects, happily chattering away like idle old persons without a worry in the world, and under the assumption that our thoughts were of utmost significance to the world! It was on this day that i noticed how expressive her eyes were, and how she had a way of capturing ones attention with the subtle nuances in facial expression.

My semester ended on wednesday, and she invited me over for dinner that day. By now i had begun to take some interest in her, because i was impressed by her intellectual capabilities(she likes to call herself a pseudo-intellectual, and going by her defintion, i fit into just that category too.), and i wished to observe her more. As she cooked dinner i watched her, working away with the ease and precision that comes from familiarity, where she could judge the quantity of raw material necessary and the quality of the finished products by the eye alone. I had some fun making jokes, both in general and at her expense, and was pleased to find she had a good sense of humour and took things in the right spirit. (It has always been a particular complaint of mine that there are too many serious people in this world!) During dinner, we idled away time watching some silly tv program, which, to be honest didn't impress me much. However, i endured because i wished to keep her company. As luck would have it, she wanted to go for a walk at about 10 in the night, and walking being one of my favourite hobbies, i asked her if i could accompany her, and she responded in the affirmative. She is really a rather straight-forward girl and speaks her mind almost always, so i never have to worry about what is actually meant by the words spoken(It is usually the case with women, i find, that they always intend something other than what they say, and somehow consider it the responsibility of the man to decipher what they have in mind!). The walk was filled mostly with ordinary conversation about some common friends we shared and their good and bad, but it was nice to see how, at every instance, she proved capable of objectively critical evaluation of things and people. It is also an admirable trait that she does not spare herself even. (I have no very great opinion of myself either, but i somehow don't like to declare it to other people. I would rather they earned that knowledge. ) It is when we returned at around 10:30pm that an almost surreal experience began. We spent hours talking about things like frustrated PhDs, the economic situation in India, the education system, divorce, hypocrisy, corporations, to name some of them, and by now about 2 and a half hours had raced by! Then we moved on to more taxing topics like religion, God, and Infinity(which was a topic which really drained my thinking capacities and made me feel quite small), and relationships(!). At all times, i quoted from news articles i remembered, or facts from books, and she drew illustrations from personal experience, more often than books. However, the fun part was that neither was determined to convince the other of anything, and we merely exchanged views, similar or different, and gained a better understanding of the things we discussed. At any rate, this certainly was the case with me. Also,it was nice to see how she gave thought to everything that i said and was in no hurry to defend her stance(and i should like to think the same was the case with me). Moreover, it was nice to have some serious and thoughtful discussion again, like during my years at IIT. There were times, particularly in the last semester, when i learnt a few things. And here again, after a long time, i found myself thinking hard, and taxing my brain to form structured arguments and building walls of defense. What's more, i found the walls being broken down each time, and it was great fun to play the game. The day ended perfectly. We were tired of serious discussion and of assuming an exaggerated importance of our ideas so i played her one or two of my favourite carnatic songs(she is a trained carnatic singer, and by my standards, a very good one!). Then she played me some of her favourites, and i found her taste much to my liking(though, honestly, at the moment, i find most carnatic songs pleasing to my ears). Then i played a few more songs, and she began to hum, and eventually to sing in her beautiful voice. This gave me no end of delight, because on one of the previous days, when i had learnt of her singing talent, i asked her to sing me something, and she said she mostly sings for herself and is uncomforable singing in the prescence of an audience! I realised her singing then meant that the whole evening had made her so comfortable in my presence that she was blissfully unaware that she'd overcome that inhibition! What's more, she ended up saying, "I hope you don't mind my singing?", and this nearly killed me on the inside! I let her sing to hearts content and it was delightful to hear her match skill with the great carnatic musicians. Then i saw her scribbling away on her laptop and asked her what it was. She told me it was her private blog, and natually, i asker her if she had a public one. I then started off on reading that one while she tapped away on her laptop. With all the objectivity that i'm capable off, i must say, she is a very good writer! Her imagination and attention to detail is splendid, and she has a way with words that holds one's attention. I sat there reading her posts until it was 4 a.m and then we both agreed that we had better part for the night. I thanked her for a wonderful evening and took leave. How those 5 and a half hours flitted by i still can't understand. It all seems like a pleasant dream now, and i'm indeed very grateful to this wonderful and charming woman for such a memorable evening!

And since she spent so much time with me, i only hope she enjoyed it too, though probably not in the same measure as i did.

I also hope i shall be fortunate enough to spend a few more evenings with her before she leaves ASU in a month's time.

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