She stared at me. She kept on staring. I had just told her that I need to take some time away from her and that it was my fault.
Basically, I wanted to break off with her. I thought she had no future with me.
Sitting inside the coffee shop that overlooked the rocky beach outside Shah Rukh Khan’s bungalow, the clock had just struck seven in the evening. The words she spoke next changed my life forever. And no, she didn’t say what you thought she would have told me.
“You need to have sex with me.”
This was all she said. As I tried looking away, she repeated in very clear pronunciation. Being a television anchor, she knew how to modulate her voice but while making this brief explosive statement, I detected that her voice was monotonal.
“You are refusing to let yourself go. You don’t have sex with me. What’s your problem like? We are not getting married if we have sex. I am taking the day off tomorrow and coming to your apartment. I don’t want any of your smart statements. I want some smart action. Now drop me home!” She got up, picked her bag and prepared to leave.
As I was driving her home, we didn’t talk. She was changing the tracks of my car stereo and was humming something. But there were a thousand things going through my mind.
Before coming to Mumbai, I had the nastiest breakup one can imagine. I am not at liberty to go into what happened earlier but it would be sufficient to say that whatever happened had left a deep psychological scar. The scar hadn’t healed till now. It technically transformed me to be a different person and made me swear never to go into a relationship again.
That happened before I took an official trip to Singapore and met this girl from a channel who was also there to cover an event. Being a part of the same Indian news media contingent who were ignored by the western media, we got talking. She was going through a bit of a rough phase with her former boyfriend and I conveniently lent my shoulder for her to cry on. That was how it all began.
Every day after our work was over, we would sit and talk for hours. She told me that she was looking forward to get married soon and this seemed perfect for both of us.
“Look you want to get married and I don’t think I will ever. So why don’t we savour these moments. Our paths will never meet and this is good,” I said.
She looked at me. Still. Then a few moments later, she nodded. “Okay”.
The day after that coffee house conversation, she came home. With two large suitcases and a few small bags.
She never left.
We have a three-year-old son called Suhaan.