Most men go wrong in thinking that the first date is the most important one. Chance he nahin.
Everyone can be any girl’s minnat of a man on the first date and woo the girl with Chinese or Italian or something exotic in a romantic restaurant, ply her with wine — do your salaam-dua to Allah later for drinking, we can’t follow the text all the time, now, can we? Modern outlook, yaar, girls love that sort of thing — and pretend to be indignant with her silly boss on her behalf. It takes no talent to look at her hungrily, bashfully, and make her feel that she is the best, most beautiful woman on the planet and that if she ever had sex with you she would make you fortunate beyond jannat. Anyone can do such nonsense things.
Then you drop her home in your car. Girls like a man older than 26 to have his own car even if they say once in life they want to travel to Laddakh on a Bullet if only they found someone like that wagairah wagairah. Arre in NCR’s cold weather, jurrat of any woman to travel on a bike after dinner with a man in December? And in rape capital that too. Aama chodo yaar.
So in the car, you drive carefully appearing casual-like. As if driving toh you have been doing since bachhpan. She will think that you will also sex her the same way with casual control. Girls like that. And when you finally stop the car in front of her apartment complex, you kiss her, making sure the gurkha on duty is either away or sleeping, as if you cannot help yourself, as if control hi nahin, with passion and ardour. That you can feel anyway. But if she says ‘Stop’ you stop but don’t pull away fully. If her ‘Stop’ is full of regret, she will also say something like, “It’s so late. I have to go home. Office bhi toh…”
So then, don’t get all excited and say, “Arre, chodo office. Why you want to go to office for?” and start kissing her again. Stop means stop. All men need to learn that. Because if they stop the first time, there will never be another time with her when she will ask you to stop. So you stop but don’t pull away. Don’t say, “Please, yaar. Control hi nahin hua.” Show, don’t tell. Say, “Yes, yes, it’s all happening too fast. Sorry baby, but you…” Let her fill the adjective. Rub your palm idly and worriedly on her cheeks, brush her hair absentmindedly, looking anxious, and importantly absent.
She will say, “What happened, what you are thinking?”
Say, “Nothing, I have never lost control like this. Kabhi-bhi.”
She will melt. All women want to know that they are unlike any other woman on the planet. That they can make their men experience things they would otherwise never experience. “Really? I don’t believe you. All men are alike.” She will make such generic statements. Don’t deny it. Don’t like a fool ask, “Aama batao, how many men have you been with?” She will then dump you. Instead pretend like you never heard her.
Say, “Sorry, baby, I will do better next time. You get some sleep. Go home. I will call you once I reach my flat.” Turn away from her completely. Restart the ignition. She will then try to touch you, now she will want to kiss you. But you mustn’t. Peck her on the cheek, reach out and open her car door and say, “Good night, baby. I will call you. Get some sleep. You have office, no, go go.”
“Ali”, she will say, “Ali, is everything okay? Tumhara mood kharaab kyon hain?”
She’s mildly panicked. She feels she has lost the attentive lover she had in you. She doesn’t even want to leave you anymore.
“No, baby, nothing wrong with my mood”, you will reassure her and crack your worst PJ, “Go on, go dream about your MD Pai boss” you will say and she will laugh, highly flattered that you remember her boss’s name.
Always remember the names of her bosses and her pets. Always forget the names of her girlfriends. Better still get them mixed up and highlight their worst physical flaw in conversation. You will get so lucky, I can’t tell you. But on the first date, share your last joke for the night.
“That reminds me, last joke for the night.”
“Aama yaar, listen, you will like this very much. Why is Christmas just like your job?”
She will frown slightly, knowing she looks cute when she wrinkles her nose. Knowing you will want to kiss her again. You will oblige her but not by kissing her lips like she wants you to. You will helplessly rub your hands from her shoulder to her wrist, turn her palm upwards and kiss her palm. She’s forgotten the question now.
So you will say kindly, “Because, you do all the work and the fat guy with the suit gets all the credit.”
“Get it?” You will ask and chuckle.
She will laugh, lean over you and make such piyaar to your lips, you won’t know where you are. Let her. Enjoy it and after a decent while before you get too aroused, you send her home. If you smack her bottom lightly as she’s getting off now, she will only laugh.
That’s the first date, yaar. Demystified ho gaya. And for this every man behaves like it’s his first wedding.
I am not like other men. I am khaas banda. So I know that it’s not the first date that’s important but the second, third, fifth, and tenth. It’s the rest of life that’s important. Will she laugh at your jokes even then? Jokes that have been forwarded over emails and laughed at, jokes that have been What’sApped in that school all-boys group where if you read those messages after a long day writing code and waiting to read Manto, you feel as if Liaqat, Rahul, and Subraminan have not grown out of Aligarh at all. As if they are all still 15 year old college boys in pre-university still laughing at Santa Claus and naughty elves. But you have to smile at those jokes, come on.
So that’s my perfect girl, yaar, who will laugh at all my jokes even after I have repeated them a thousand times. Zubeida had no sense of humour, yaar. You know what she said? “Ali, please, you have already told me that joke. It’s not even funny. Such a PJ!” Arre! And I was thinking I would marry her. Chance hi nahin after this, no? Mood hi bigaad degi in any mehfil, yaar. Tauba! Imagine her saying that when we have guests at home!
But today, I am seeing Noor for the second date. In Hauz Khas, The Pink Room? That one. She told me on the first date that she loves pink. How thrilled she will be to know I remembered. See? She’s an English PG, from JNU. You know, the joke I have saved for the kiss, this time? “What do you call Santa’s helpers?” “Subordinate clauses.” She will be so kicked, yaar, I am telling you.
Will she laugh loudly? She threw her head back and laughed at this very same joke on our first date, yaar. Hauz Khas only. But in Amore. Such an expensive place. Masha Allah. But she had laughed and I could see a thin blue vein run down her throat, and her jutting collar bone, yaar. I decided then only that at least with Noor I will go up to the fifth date.
But today, if she says, “I have heard it before, Ali”, I know it’s over. So that’s why the second date is important, yaar. And even if I have fallen in love with Noor and her wild laughter, Allah, what laughter, yaar, I will say bye-bye and use my ghisaphita excuse of my nikaah being fixed on Ammi’s deathbed with Amina, my cousin and what to do. Insha Allah.
Second date, yaar, that’s why it’s so important. A laughing Noor, that’s who I want to marry. Give me a woman who will always laugh at my jokes and I will happily sacrifice my Jannat and 72 houris for her. That’s the sort of banda I am, yaar.
Written in response to Challenge: Meeting the 100% Perfect Mate on a Winding Corridor on WetInk, BWW’s private online writing platform.