Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Encounter

The man I had coffee with in Bangalore three years ago is now sleeping next to me.

Sometimes you wonder how on earth do two strangers fall in love? What does it take? A genie? White or black magic? Oh I know, it all began in a silk shop called the Government of Cashmere on Commercial Street in Shivaji Nagar district. The hot April sun was reflecting off dust particles with piercing, bright haze. Busses and auto rickshaws were zooming away in all directions. A typical day in Bangalore that wasn’t so typical.

In the Government of Cashmere store, his warm gaze was following me, uninvited. But I didn’t make a scene. He was kind enough to give me a ride there, even though I only knew him for a day. His demeanors were much nicer than other rickshaw owners, although their skins were comparably the same color. Afterwards, he treated me to a cup of coffee and we parted ways. I must say, I quite enjoyed his company and didn’t want him to leave. But that’s what happens between strangers right? They meet and they part. Each goes his or her own way. It was not the first time men gave me warm looks.

The reason why I missed his company…well…had to do with what happened the day before.
He came to pick me up in front of my friend’s apartment. He had the features of a tall, dark Indian man. But his English was flawless with a British accent. On the scooter ride to the orphanage, he told me about the Indian caste system, about volunteers who painted the walls, about the streets in Bangalore even though he’d only been there for three months. Who would have thought that one scooter ride can fill you with so much information? So how was it that he looked Indian. He explained that he was half-white, half-Pilipino and was adopted. But then he got me in stiches when he said something about 'the American in me' part. His posh accent and his American identity just… didn’t jive.

Maybe this was when I really got charmed, (now I didn't say I fell in love but only charmed) by the man in the hot April sun in Bangalore. The minute he opened his mouth.

His name is Graham Saunders. He is my husband.

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