"a girl with glasses, she would have a denim handbag, kind of ok to look at. Nothing grand."
"a gold-plated watch on her left hand"
"one gold ring on her left hand. two on her right. "
"unpainted nails - toe and hands both. nails on both hands."
"Hair - black, chest-length. Half-pony."
"Would wear a gold-chain, and a bead-strapped slippers."
"dress - grey salwar kameez with plain band gold border."
Landmark Literature section. Saturday 4:00 PM
This was all I had to locate this mysterious person who has been a regular visitor to my blogs and made me addictive to her comments (rather than she getting addicted to my blogs)
I could see myself walking through Landmark looking closely at women's hands for gold plated watch and golden rings. And not so far ahead in the future, I could also visualize a case of eve teasing and a good bashing up by the burly landmark security guys. And the clues! Ah the clues! - could anything be more distinctive than "Nails on both hands" - Now, that, is a rarity! :)
Have you seen the movie 'Sliding Doors' ? The director tries to tell story lines in parallel. I am going to try and do the same here. The two tracks being mine and the Agnostiac's before the story collides with our meeting.
I was in double minds to go to Landmark that day, as I was not sure of what was waiting for me. Was it any of my friends who was playing a prank on me? Least likely, for the simple reason that they could not make a blog name called agnostiacal hedo… etc etc even if they had wanted to. Okay, so then possibility two becomes slightly more probable. A bunch of college or just out of college girls playing a prank. Have a "stooge" ( for want of another better word :) ) meet up with me and then have a prank-y fistful of fun at my embarrassed expense when the truth can be revealed by them.
"DO you really think he would come?" Agnostiac's friends were constantly asking her. Annie ( as I got to know her name later ) was the down to earth thinker who thought it pretty much improbable that a person could walk up to this rendezvous. Vinaya ( as I got to know…. ) wasn't really sure of the kind of guy who would turn out. Would this guy be a weirdo ? A guy with weird hair do , flashy accent and a lot of piercing including of the ear on him ? With all these doubts playing in the background, Agnostia dragged her friends to the Rendezvous point.
The sleuth in me had not died. Among all those distinctive identification tags given to me so generously ( "Nails on both hands" I ask you!!! ) I had given them only two identification marks "That I had fingers on both hands; and; my mobile number." My mobile, the Mobile - ah what a perfect ruse. The plan that was forming in my mind could compete with the master plans of Sherlock Holmes the sleuth! :) I would walk in to the point apparently immersed in a phone conversation and not evidently looking for some one. And with my keen eagle eyes, take the scenario in and behave the right way :)
I called JC. Told him about my ESOP. How long can you hold a call with your boss?
I called Prats. She was sleeping.
I called Shaju. He was in the Radio station. ("Anything important? If else, can I call you later?")
Satyajit. Driving, phone with wife.
Mayur. Not reachable.
Karthik - He picked up my call, God bless him. I am sure, he is still wondering, how and why did I call him on a Sunday for chit chatting. Sometimes, my height is quite an advantage - especially, when you want to "overlook" through the racks. First glance to the café - nope - No one sitting alone in any table. Lots of people around the racks though! - Which one of them would be she ?
The gray chudi clad Agnostiac was meandering through the Literature racks not knowing what to do. The mind, sometimes has this ability to go blank, right? And Annie asking if she should just call "Me" up. Can you just be patient, Annie? And Agnostia returns to the book shelf slightly far from Annie and Vinaya. Agnostiac turns back to look a Annie and Annie mouth " Can you see him?" Agnostiac mouths "No", turns around and picks up the Scarlett, the sequel to Gone with the winds.
"Me" is a silent spectator to the scene. With a phone to the ear and apparently deeply engrossed in the call, he watches Agnostia, as she takes the book and walks to the steps leading to the café and sits down there, trying to read the book. Time sets the motion in action. I say bye bye to Karthik and take a book from the shelf My phone receives an SMS. I walk to the café, with the book and sit down next to Agnostia, and told her": Hi Agnostia, I guess your friends can’t see you when you are sitting and you should stand up"
A surprised, scared face turns from the book and looks at you. Bespectacled, the face doesn’t know whether to be comfortable that the wait is over ( That the issue of " I told you he won't turn up" needn't be addressed :) ) or to be shocked ( surprised, perhaps ) at the sudden realization of what was till then, only a possibility. :) . Astonishment, was the primary emotion though. She did say something at that time. I still can’t remember. :) Then she said - yeah right, let me get them; the wiry frame rushed to her friends. I walked up to the Café and realized that there were no seats.
I vaguely remember a SMS tone just befor this small tsunami ( :) ) of activities began. I looked through to see a new unidentified number. Annie had come to the end of her patience and decided to get in touch with my phone :). I looked up to see two more polite smiling faces along with Agnostia's. Annie and Vinaya along with Preeja came to be known to Jay.
It wasn't really difficult being a sleuth! ( But still, "Nails on both hands", i say!!!! :) )