The Law says that ‘Valentine Day’ is a foreign concept and it is illegal to celebrate it in India
I call up Sunil early morning on 14th February to cancel my appointment with him.
“Why?” He says, “I have already booked a table at Sheraton, we have to close the deal today.”
“Oh! I am sorry, but I cannot meet you today because it is Valentine Day and we might get arrested if we are seen together.” I say
“But I am not your lover!! I am just a business consultant of my company in Bangkok” He protested
“Yeah, that’s true,” I say, “But how do I explain this to those cops who are patrolling the city, hunting for cupid arrows?”
“Look, be reasonable. I really have no day to waste, we have to meet today.” He argued
My mind reels back to different avenues in my area where it would be safe to meet. 5 star-Coffee shop?…no,Not safe at all! …Udipi?…nah!..can’t eat too many dosas…... Batatawala stall?….Nah!...unhygenic!..Juhu Beach?….hmmn…messy!...Local train?...too crowded!....Jogger’s Park?.. can’t jog while talking….My house?....Cannot!…neighbors are peeping!.....Where?. Where?, Where? ..It is important to meet him today, I know that too, but where the hell is the safest place to meet?….I cannot afford a ticket to Bangkok, just to attend this meet today!
We decide to meet at a fast food restaurant across the street.
At 1pm I enter the restaurant and request for a table for two.
“Sorry Maam” says the waiter, “We have no tables for two.”
I look around to take in the interior of the restaurant, the ambience is good, there is a sweet fragrance of food, beautiful pictures adorn the walls, all the tables in the restaurant have a clean, light blue table cloth with a small flower vase holding one stem of Orchid but each table has only one chair.
The waiter looks at me apologetically, shrugging his shoulder.
“Can you please join two tables so that I have two chairs to seat me and my friend?” I say.
“Sorry Maam” he says, “Cannot do that today, it is against the law.”
Sunil is surprised when he sees me sitting alone at the table and no chair for him
“I am afraid you will have to sit at your own table, over there, at the far end of the room” I smile
“And how do we discuss the deal?” he frowns his forehead
“Unworry. We have mobiles, we can discuss it on SMS’es” I say and turn my gaze to the menu card.
And so, for next two hours, while we enjoy the meals at our own single tables, we discussed the pros and the cons of the business deal by exchanging 325 SMS’es, nods and smiles between us..
Sunil insists on paying the bill for me.
Court hearing to our case is scheduled for the next week.