It was Friday afternoon as I was driving back to Ahmedabad from Gandhinagar. It had been a productive day, meeting bureaucrats, talking to them. As a journalist who’s new in her field, I still find it hard to talk to people. I have taken time to accept that it *is* my job to ask questions and it is *their* job to answer them. My asking questions does not mean I am disturbing them. I was pulling together my thoughts about the last 5 hours spent at the state capital, and forming plan of action as the radio played the 90s songs. 90s songs always make me nostalgic because growing up, television was my constant companion (before internet took over as my new best friend). I’ve never had many friends anyway. A Salman Khan song triggered a few memories and I smiled to myself. Only then did I realise that I had a smile on my face all along, and the memories just made me smile broader. For inexplicable reasons, this made me burst out laughing.
At the same moment, I noticed a guy on his bike was flickering his headlights. I thought he wanted me to move away from the fast lane so he could overtake. I obliged. He overtook, and I noticed “PRESS” written on his bike. Hmm. Birds of same feather, I smiled. He look at me through his rear-view mirror and slowed down. And before I realised, I had overtaken him. From the rear-view mirror, I could see him smile. He again flickered the headlights of his bike and I let him overtake again. This time I was determined not to overtake. We are not in some thrill movie. Racing is dangerous. And I like to be safe. However, he slowed down to the point that I could overtake him even if I were walking. (okay, that’s an exaggeration)
It repeated a couple of times, till I finally rolled down my window and asked, “Yes?”
“What’s your name?” he asked. Okay, maybe he’s a journalist and he has seen me before, and he’s being polite.
“Sneha”, I say.
“I’m Tushar”, he said. “You know we cannot keep racing each other, right?”
“Well, we sure can.”, I said and took off my sunglasses.
“Can I have your cell number?” he asked.
What? Is this some new trick in the books that I’m not aware of?
“Umm, no, I don’t think so.” I said.
“Do you want my cell number?” he asked.
“No, thank you.” I said. “It was nice meeting you”, I added before zooming off.
What just happened. Did a complete stranger on a bike ask for my number? में इतनी भी सुंदर नहीं हूँ .
At some point I managed to lose him, and I reached office.
Rest of the day went by in a blur. It was a busy day. It wasn’t until 9 pm that I turned off my computer.
I could feel the chills as I walked towards my car. As I sat, I noticed a note stuck on the glass wiper. I got out of the car, and read the note.
It was a lovely co-incidence to see you today.
(to be continued, maybe.)