Cut to Shimla.
Oh before that you need to know what happened in Kulu. Well nothing really happened. We saw a plank with 'welcome to Kulu' or suchlike printed and our bus proceeded towards Shimla. Our itinerary read – ‘Reach Kulu’. So we did and left immediately.
As there was no possibility of finding snow in Shimla, our enthusiasm level was low. We reached Shimla sometime in the evening. I was missing River Beas. Shimla looked nice with lights and all but I just couldn’t get over Beas. This made me sulk. We reached hotel and began shifting our luggage. I was about to lift one of the heaviest bags when I had a YashRaj movie moment. A tall guy was walking towards our bus. It was hard to ignore him. He had a charismatic presence. Certain people have that effect. I kept a tight hold on my bag coz, who knows, he could have mugged us. He reached our bus, and a song played inside my head (trivia: I CAN be romantic). He was undeniably the best looking guy I had ever seen, I think (I don’t remember his face now). He looked at us and smiled. You know, one of those lopsided ones; like Milind Soman
Lesson number 10: I think its time we stopped obsessing over Milind Soman. He is old. He looks very old. Passé.
Nineteen year olds’ who are fed on Jane Austen and Mills and Boons can be unreasonably romantic in such occasions. A friend of mine giggled.
He said “hmm hi. Do you need help?”
I said nothing and pretended to lift my heavy bag. Few of my friends agreed. He picked our bags and walked back to the hotel. We all looked at each other and had only one thought running on our minds. “Is he staying in this hotel?” My friend broke the silence with - “Do you think he is a porter?”. We thought of using the non-existent knife on her for getting us back to reality. He disappeared into the darkness after dumping our luggage in the lobby. Yes. He was gone! Just like that. We couldn’t even thank him. I sulked some more.
Next morning our breakfast table hardly saw us eat and mostly heard us talk about the cute guy. So where was he hiding? What was he doing here in Shimla? Did he own the hotel? Or was he a porter? We didn’t see him that morning. We visited mall road, shopped and decided to return to our hotel. The sun had set several minutes ago coz it was surprisingly dark outside. The place looked very nice and you'd think nothing could go wrong. Well well to our luck there was no public transport. We had no choice but to walk. Locals were confident that we would reach our hotel in 20 minutes flat. But they were so wrong. It took us an hour to reach, not without some adventure.
There was no proper route to our hotel and we had to ask people for directions, which was not easy as there weren’t many people found on streets. We walked on the main road and saw a board with our hotel's name and directions. Happiness came. Then we had strange men in jeep follow us which made us take a diversion where we met an old lady who volunteered to take us to our hotel. We had to trust her coz we were tourists. Tourists don’t have choice. Stupid tourists.
Got back to our hotel, thanked lord of seven hills and the kind old lady. Of course we discussed about the cutie while we walked. By next day we had no hopes of finding him. Probably he was just another tourist. Or he was a figment of our imagination. Our tour operator had arranged a camp fire for us that evening. We all danced (I just moved from left to right). Other tourists were caught looking through their windows with a packet of popcorn. It must have been entertaining.
My friends and I unsurprisingly got tired of dancing and decided to click pictures as it was our last day in Shimla. We found a scenic place, a garden with lot of pretty flowers and were posing joyfully when we finally saw him. He looked better than we thought he did and was wearing an exquisite jacket (a big fan of jackets, that’s me). He noticed us and volunteered to click pictures. I just shrugged and looked around for support from swooning; well he was talking to me after all!
Lesson Number 11: My experiences with cute guys have been pitiable. I shrug or look away when they talk to me. Sample this. Don’t come to me for advice.
We all sat next to the garden and smiled goofily while he clicked our picture. We thanked him and he asked if we were having fun in Shimla. We replied something incoherent. He then enquired about our stay, my friend’s suspicion about him being a porter was growing stronger. And then he left with a wave. We giggled until Sr. S (our lecturer) spotted us and rolled her eyes. We reached our room and discussed whether his eyes were grayish blue with a tinge of brown or just gray or just blue. I lost track of shades after a while. I liked his eyes, yes, but I liked his corduroy jacket better. I should have asked where he got it from.
The following morning we narrated this incident to another friend of ours. Apparently she and her roomies were as romantically stricken by him as we were. With nothing else to do, we spent 15 minutes discussing the possibility of finding him in Bangalore. Whatever. My silent wish of a romantic encounter (a la Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge) almost came true; only mine ended before it could even begin.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010