"That's a very cute kid you have", I said to the twenty-ish something very good looking female sitting besides me, with an adorable toddler on her lap. All kids are cute. The compliment was meant for her. And I think she knew it too. I was on my way to office. A typical Chennai day. Hot, humid, energy sapping. I decided to take the air conditioned bus to work. A luxury I afford myself every once in a while.
That got us talking. From the Chennai weather to the IT industry to my entrepreneurship plans, we discussed it all. She was smarter than what I expected her to be. I kept wondering as to why she must have gotten married so early. With intelligence like hers she would have been successful in any field. Then why choose "home-making"? It took a lot of effort to not ask her why. I mean, after all I'm Indian. I'm expected to ask personal questions.
Deep into our conversation, my cell phone started ringing. 'Ringa ringa ringa' from Slumdog Millionaire. I had read an article about how a person's ringtone speaks volumes about the person. I cut the call. She continued talking. It was obvious she hadn't read the article.
"Why did you cut the call? Do I make that good a conversationist?"
"You do. I don't know why, but there is something wrong with me. I just can't get myself to talk on the phone. Phonophobia is the fashionable term for it."
"That explains why you haven't asked for my number yet."
I blushed. For a second time in about a minute. I like confident girls. She was right. I think I'm the only guy who'd rather have the e mail address than the phone number.
"Yeah. And and the sad part is that there will be like a thousand Pooja Shahs on facebook. How am I ever gonna find you?", I teased.
My stop has come. I get up to leave. I wave at the kid. And at her.
"By the way, this is my nephew Siddharth. And ya, another thing. There may be loads of Pooja Shahs on Facebook, but I am sure there won't be many Shawn Francis's."
And I blushed yet again.
10 months ago