Viren put on the most fantastico of his shirts, sprayed that expensive perfume he used to reserve for only the best of occasions and looked at himself in the mirror. He adjusted his collar and wished to see just a little better version of himself. But till that happens, he would make do with what he has got.
He put on his watch, taking a quick look at the time and got out. The show was to begin at 3 and there still was an hour left. He got on his bike and pumped his way to Vedica’s house. It had been weeks since he had been asking her out on a date but every time she came up with an excuse. But that particular day in the office, she finally succumbed after carelessly letting him know of an anticipated film. Viren had jumped on the opportunity and for a moment, she forgot how her family would take it and said Yes.
It was a 20 minute navigation to Vedica’s house and the cinema hall was at a walking distance from there. It was all done and planned with the careful intent of getting Vedica’s parents’
blessing approval for the date. As he reached there, he looked to the skies. He prayed something in his mind, with his lips moving a little doing that, and went in. He knocked on the door which was, thankfully, answered by Vedica herself. She got him introduced to her parents and to her younger sister. He looked nervous but still tried to make an impact on them. As for her parents, they wanted to like him but they chose not to. Vedica guessed that and understood their insecurities. But her younger sister was peppy and smart as she cooled the moment between them and took on the formal proceedings. Soon it was time and they finally got up to leave.
On their way out, Vedica told Viren that her parents had asked her to take her younger sister with her on the show. Viren wasn’t expecting that and given his first impression of her sister, he knew she would hijack all the conversations he wanted to make with Vedica. And as it turned out, that’s exactly what happened. By the time the end credit music rolled out, Viren and Vedica had been bored to death by the frequent upbursts of her. Then came dinner and there too, she stalled the proceedings by not letting things steam up between the duo. Viren finally dropped them at their home, knowing in his mind that it was a wasted date.
But he wouldn’t give up so easily. Next month, he again asked Vedica for a similar date night and she hesitantly agreed. Only this time, he wanted to make it foolproof. He got his own kid cousin to come with him to the show as they picked up the girls thinking he could dump Vedica’s sister on him. They were the same chatterbox people so he thought they would be ideal counterparts to each other and he and Vedica could finally get along alone. Again, as it turned out, fate disposed this plan too. This time, Vedica had convinced her family to not send her sister as a ‘bodyguard’ with her and so when she found out that Viren had come with his cousin, her shock had no bounds.
Although his cousin wasn’t as bad as her sister, he was an obstruction. And the fact that Viren had gotten his relatives to bunk his coaching to let him come with him made more of a reason why he couldn’t dump him in a corner to be alone with Vedica. It was again a ruined date.
Next few weeks, they would simply get a Hi and Hello at office, as their respective departments were going through harsh loads of work. It took them two months to finally think of a relaxed date again. And this time, they actually sat down and made everything crystal clear. They planned to counter anything that might come up in due course to halter their date.
And then they met for the third time. Only this time, they did not go to see any movie, nor to a restaurant straightaway. Vedica took him to a peppy childhood place of her liking where she always felt warm and free. Viren didn’t find the place as such but seeing Vedica so happy and different there made him like it too. They spent hours talking to each other about those sweet nothing of life and what made it all up. By the time, they were done, it was late evening as they had a quick meal and Viren dropped her back to her house. Only this time, it had been worth it. “As they say”, Viren chucked in his head, “third time’s a charm”.