She stared glumly as one rickshaw after another passed her by without stopping, some not even deigning to acknowledge her existence with a look.
My heart went out to her, she was such a young, sweet thing, pretty too. But more than her obvious good looks was the sense of helplessness on her face, that aching vulnerability at being utterly at the mercy of cads who just didn’t care and unable to do anything to change this pathetic position.
I so wanted to stop my car and offer her life. But I hesitated, fear impeded my good intentions. What if she misunderstood, thought I was some tharki buddha trying to chance maaro seeing a girl in distress? What if she sunaoed me and made me seem like a despo in full public. There was no way I could prove to her that my only interest was in helping her.
Especially since I wasn’t even sure myself. No, don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I had any intentions of coming on to her or driving off to a desolate destination and jumping her bones. I’m not that kind of guy.
But yes despite what must have been at least a 15 year age gap I did find her attractive. The more optimistic, dreamy part of me was nurturing fanciful notions that she might, in the light of my charitable gesture, see me as one of those rare good guys in today’s world, the one whom women always claim to be looking for but never finding. And yes there was also the wild fantasy that she would find me cute looking, charming, funny in the 15 to 45 minutes that she would be spending with me in the car. At least to the extent of wanting to get to know me better over a coffee or a dinner or…
Ok so sure I was guilty of in a civilised, decent, kind of romantic way lusting after a younger girl – but let’s call it desiring not lusting. I did want to get to know her as a person not just a body, really. And fact is I was unattached, not married, no steady girlfriend. So why not? Age difference? Hey Michael Douglas – Catherine Zeta Jones in your face buddy.
And yet despite all these perfectly phrased arguments and justifications I hesitated. Cause still somewhere I was scared of rejection, of seeing a look of scorn and disgust in those beautiful eyes which would make me feel like the lowest form of sewer scum.
But then I told myself – nothing venture nothing gain. I could go on dreaming, wishing but unless I took some immediate action, that one non assholic rick guy would show up and swoop her off. Plus I had seen so much heartbreak and disappointment in my life. What did one more matter. This couldn’t come close to getting dumped at age 16 cause I was such a bad kisser. Or… wait why are we talking about that stuff? Less talk, more action.
So I summoned up all my courage, eased my car in front of her, popped my face out the window and with the most charming yet gentlemanly smile at my disposal said, “Excuse me, can I give you a lift somewhere… the auto guys here can be right rascals.”
She stared at me, her internal detectors doing a rapid assessment – Maanoon ya maroon? My BP soared to alarming levels. I was definitely not the cool dude I was purporting to be. Hoped she couldn’t hear my heart going Thumpa Thumpa. And even if she did, she realized only a decent male would go through these emotions.
It seemed she did. For she smiled, a wide toothy ray of incandescent light that illuminated my life, set off celebration bells clanging and my flights of fancy soaring. Especially as she opened the door, sat right close to me and in a melodic cadence said, “Thank you… Uncle.”