Chapter 2

It was a quaint little café where she had agreed to meet him. Not one who had wanted to impress him, she had put on a plain white shirt over dark blue distressed denims. Her hair was pulled back tightly into a high ponytail, but she failed to realize that it made her look more stunning than not.

            She recognized Varun from his picture, the one her mom had sent her. He seemed to be lost in his own thoughts, and typing away something on his phone.

            “Ah well. The boring type,” she thought to herself.


He looked up as she moved closer to the table where he was sitting.


“Hi, I am Varun,” he said as he stood up.




When they had both settled in their seats, Varun excused himself and called a waiter to the table.


“Would you mind getting a glass of water for the lovely lady with me?”


“Ugh! And he flirts too!” she thought with disdain.


Outwardly she just let on a barely-even-there smile.


“I don’t know how to break the ice, Pallavi. I have to be honest, this is the first time I have ever been on a date.”


He laughed as she cocked up an eyebrow, not believing a word he said.


“Okay, alright you got me. This is not my first date. But this is the first time that I have come to meet anyone on my parents’ insistence. I have to admit, I am not used to this. This is very unusual for me.”

Pallavi had already decided that she wasn’t going to talk much. So she just nodded.


They had their coffees in near silence. Neither felt the inclination to order anything to eat. There was visible tension and discomfort between them.


“Look, I really don’t know your views about this Pallavi, but I came here today to tell you that I really don’t want to get married right now.”

“What?” she almost choked on her coffee. This would make her life a whole lot easier. Things were indeed going better than she had planned.


“It’s not you. It’s just that our parents being known to each other and all, let’s just say I was bulldozed into meeting you. I really like you, I do. But I am not ready to settle down yet. There are things that I had planned for myself in my life, and this is just not the time for marriage. I am really sorry. I deeply apologize if I have hurt you in any way.”


“No, no that’s okay, I understand.”


“I wish you good luck and I pray that you get married to the man of your dreams soon.”


“Thank you,” (for more things than you could imagine) she thought to herself.


She left the café smiling. This time, at least, she wouldn’t have to do the explaining. There would be no angry arguments, no retorts, no ‘what-do-I-do-with-this-girl’ exasperations. Sure there might be disappointment, but it wouldn’t be coming from her. Thank God for that, and thank God for Varun.

She sure could use this as an excuse to get out of further match-making attempts at least for a few more months.


She saw him as she hailed an autorickshaw to get to the hospital. He waved to her, and she waved back at him, half liking him already.







“So what was he like?” Shreya asked as soon as she saw her coming into the pediatric ward. Shreya was a resident, but over the last couple of months she and Pallavi had become close friends. Pallavi found her easygoing manner and non-judgemental reasoning a perfect complement for her own passionate personality.




“Brad Pitt. The guy you just met Pallo!” Shreya said exasperatedly.

“Oh him? He was okay.”


“Just okay?”


“No he was good looking, if that’s what you are getting at.”


“Grow up, Pallo. You know I wasn’t just talking about that. God knows how many good looking fellas you have rejected in the last two years. What I meant was, what was his personality like? Did you like him?”


“He rejected me, Shreya.”


“What? Why? What did you do?”


“Nothing. That was the best part. I didn’t have to do anything. He had made up his mind much before he came to meet me. But he was a pleasant guy, yaar, and if we wouldn’t have met in these circumstances, maybe we would have been friends.”


“Wow! I thought I would grow old before I ever heard you utter a good word for a guy, but God has his ways of restoring faith. He must have been really cool.”


Pallavi just laughed as she pushed the door of her consulting room open.


There were many patients today, and it would be a good while before she would be able to get home. That was blessed relief. She didn’t mind getting tired here at work. This was her release. Her home away from home. Her mother knew that she would not answer her phone during consulting hours, and by the time her consulting would end, her mother would be already in bed.


The discussion and explanations can wait until tomorrow. Pallavi switched her phone on silent mode and motioned to the nurse to send in her first patient for the day.



…to be cntd. 


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