I met Aanvi at a get together party we were having. It was an open to all party; everyone was free to invite anyone. She came on an invite from a friend’s friend and also brought along another girlfriend of hers. She knew about me through a few common friends, but I had never heard of her. It sounds funny, now that I think of it in retrospect but it was quite okay at that time. Perhaps, it was our destiny to meet.
She was not the type of girl, you would exactly call beautiful, but there was something in her that made her very attractive. While the rest of us were having a great time making even the bartender nervous with our drinking, she sat listening to all of us silently with her first drink still in hand. Her fingers were fiddling around the rim of her glass of whisky. I was on my third drink and Rienna who was sitting next to me was saying something, that I can’t recollect. Anyway, nobody remembers what Rienna says. She talks so much that it is beyond the capacity of an ordinary man to be sane if he does not switch off his brains while she is talking and simply respond once in a while so that she does not feel bad. In the midst of all the noise my eyes were constantly seeking Aanvi instead. She was wearing black jeans and a white high neck sweater. She wore a nice smile too that was attracting me towards her. Or perhaps, it was the whiskey that was having its effect on me. I was reminded of a song by an Australian contemporary rock band, Arrows – She wore a Cabernet Smile – because of her dark smiling lips. I smiled at the thought.
Aanvi was slightly on the darker side, her face a plain one without any make-up – not even a lipstick. She had long, straight hair and her eyes had something that I found very appealing. I had always liked the kind of girls that most don’t find beautiful. Probably I enjoyed the exclusivity that I felt with them. The so-called beautiful girls never turned me on.
I wanted to talk with her but did not have the courage to do so. She had a no nonsense look in her eyes, that nobody dared to make a pass at her or make advances easily. Yet I felt she probably did not like to stand out of the crowd.
The next time I met her was quite by accident. I was walking one evening when I saw a new café that had opened in our town. It was brightly decorated in a contemporary fashion and I wondered why I didn’t noticed it earlier although I have been in that area quite recently. It was a windy day and a coffee was a nice idea. I went inside it and as I opened the door, I saw her. Coincidentally, she was also looking towards the entrance and she waved at me. So, I went to her table and asked if I can sit with her and she said, “Oh! That will be great. I was just looking for a company.” I was suddenly blushing, the reason I still can’t fathom to this date.
I ordered for two cups of coffee and I was wondering how to start a conversation. I looked at the brightly coloured walls. Some kind of an abstract painting was hung up. The decoration inside the café was minimal and it lent a classy feel to the whole ambiance. The lighting inside was creatively designed, the fixtures almost hidden and there was a certain calmness from the lights that accentuated the chic and charm of the brightly coloured walls. The owner seemed to be an ardent fan of arts. The waiter got us the coffee in two bright coloured cups. They also provided us handmade spoons and a sugar bowl which seemed handmade too. Though I liked the place very much I was still feeling awkward and was at a loss for words. She probably sensed it and broke the “awkward” silence by asking me about the book I was carrying. She told me that she liked to visit this place and that it was a kind of platform for art lovers. She also told me that the painting on the wall I was looking at was an Expressionist one. I could see that there was something very emotional in the painting. Anyone could tell that the artist was very talented, as the artist had hardly touched the canvas with his brush and yet the intensity of feelings was very strong. I told her about it. After that, words flowed like water flows from the mountains to the streams and from streams to the river and from the river to the sea. I don’t remember a single piece of that conversation but I do remember ordering several cups of coffee. We left only when it was time to close down for the café. I paid the bill and came to know that she lived nearby. I walked her home as it was too late for a girl to walk alone in the streets. More than that, I wanted to spend as much time with her as I could.
When we reached her place, I thanked her for the wonderful evening I had with her and left.It was only when I was walking back home, I realized that she was completely a different person than the one I met in that party. I was very comfortable with her and she was unlike any girl that I had met in my life. She never said that she was getting late for home, she allowed me to walk her home. There was a certain confidence in her that said a lot about her immensely good upbringing. The more I thought about her, the more I was attracted to her. I wanted to know everything about her. More than that, I was getting interested in arts which was very strange.