Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I Miss You

‘I Miss You’, three simple words, in fact this statement is often  shortened to ‘I mis u’- Just 5 letters.
Short, sweet and yet, very powerful words.

When I think of it, I cannot bring up a single instance when someone told me these words and it didn’t make me feel special.

I have often wondered how this line came into being, ‘I love you’ & ‘I hate you’ are more direct proclamations of our feelings, but ‘I miss you’-How did this line originate?

Maybe it started when people actually ‘missed’ someone, as in the missed opportunity of meeting someone-like missing an appointment, or missing a train!

Over the years a guess the sentimental area of our brain (wherever it is), realized that the physical presence of a person in our lives no matter how strong our memories of them maybe is very important to our sense of well being.

When someone says ’I miss you’, it makes you feel important, doesn’t it?
The line’s I love you and I hate you are so frequently used, misused and overused nowadays that they have almost lost their meaning.

There was a time not so long ago when people would hesitate so much to say the words I love you that they would resort to writing poems, letters, secret messages and do thousands of other weird things struggling to express themselves.

Things have changed now, they really have.

Just the other day, I happened to sit behind a couple at an ice cream parlor  believe me when I tell you-I was not eavesdropping, I didn't have to, in fact this couple was so loud that a bulky woman with a walkie talkie had to calm them down so that the other customers (me included) could have our unbelievably overpriced yet delectable ice cream at peace.

There were almost a dozen of us there and thanks to all the drama unfolding before us we too got involved in their conversation.

“I love you honey”- The handsome young man was saying.
“No, you don’t”. The pretty girl sitting across the table retorted.

“I do, I love you baby”. He said, almost pleading.
“I hate you, I hate you Sunny”. She snapped.

As a group we were stunned by this unexpected reaction from the woman.

“But why”? “Why don’t you love me”? He inquired  the expression on his face was one of deep set anguish and frustration.
She paused to take a scoop of the black currant ice cream in front of her before swallowing it and said-
“I don't know, but I hate you”.

Ahh !!!  We all sighed, It was, what I like to call a palpable sigh i.e like the group sigh you hear in a theatre when you see something outrageous on the screen.

“Please Baby, Please”. The Man cringed.
“No, Sunny No, You don’t love me”! I love you but you don’t love me! She screamed at him.

The bulky walkie talkie lady started moving towards us again.

(Meanwhile in the background)
“I thought she didn’t love him”. The stocky person sitting on the table next to me said to his girlfriend/wife/sister (???).
“Wait wait let’s see what happens”. She replied with a sense of excitement in her voice.

“So you do love me”? The man-Sunny asked the girl.
“No, I don’t” she replied.

“Damn it girl pick a lane. Do you love him or not?” ! A tall guy sitting behind them yelled out.

The Bulky walkie talkie Lady turned to look at him.

“Sorry, sorry, I just got carried away” he apologized and sat back down.

“Do you want one more ice cream”? Sunny asked.
“Yes”. She replied.

Another Black currant was brought to her majesty’s table.

We waited with bated breath, as she ate one scoop of ice cream after another, anxious to know what her final decision would be.

When she finally wiped the cream off her upper lip and stood up to leave she said-

“Thanks for the treat, I’ll think about it and tell you tomorrow if I really love you or not”.
She unceremoniously walked out.

I could see that everyone else in the room was sad for the boy, he was a well built young man probably in his early thirties with very pleasing features. He now sat there alone with a dejected look on his face.
I saw a few guys stand up and pat him on his back offering a few words of sympathy.

I felt compelled to do the same, my heart went out to this young man who was apparently in love with a woman who would rather marry a large lump of ice cream shaped like a man than spend some quality time with this person who was apparently doing the best he could.

I stood up, completely ignoring my vanilla fudge ice cream which was by now a gooey mess.

Then his phone rang.
With some difficulty he yanked out a large cell phone from his jeans pocket and whispered into it.
I was really close, so I could hear him talk-
“Sorry honey still at work, I’ll be home shortly, kiss Tiya Good night for me please”. I heard him say, before he cut the call by uttering three words that obviously meant nothing to him – “I love you’.

I returned to my seat, My Vanilla fudge ripple lost its taste; I slowly walked out of the parlor looking around disapprovingly at all the couples in the room.

Just a few moments ago, I had felt a deep sense of warmth inside looking at the very same people, holding each other’s hands, speaking to each other in hushed tones, looking so beautiful. Now I wondered how many of them were really in love, how many were hiding from their spouses, lying to their wives, their husbands and themselves, it made me feel sick.

I cheerlessly walked toward my bike, I was sad but it was time to go home.

Right then my phone buzzed.

A message from a long lost friend.

Just three words.

“I Miss You”.

I must admit, i felt much better after reading that text.

No matter how bad this world gets, or how meaningless relationships eventually become, there will always be true love out there, trust me, you just need to be a little patient.

Until next time,


Monday, May 20, 2013

Is Good Karma for real?

I first heard the word ‘Karma’ when I was at school, I had a little friend who shared her desk with me called Vidya, she had this habit of hitting her forehead saying Karma every time she did something stupid, so, for a long time Karma to me was a word people used when they got angry or annoyed with themselves.

A  little later, the same word got an entirely different meaning to me when I found it in the menu of a roadside restaurant, ‘Vegetable Karma’ for only 25 Rs, everyone reading this knows what it was supposed to be. right? Vegetable Korma-sort of a fancy name for curry, but in my defense the restaurant owner wasn’t very good at English, in fact the menu of Chinese dishes at his place hasn’t changed for years. See the picture below-
Free Home Delivary !
It was only in the early 2000’s, courtesy a song by the Aussie band Savage garden called ‘Affirmation’ that I understood what the word Karma really meant-‘What you give is what you get returned’.

I didn’t pay much attention to it till I graduated from med school.

Being part of the medical profession, irrespective of the fact whether we are a doctors, nurses or technicians, on a day to day basis we are faced by numerous ethical dilemmas, and on most occasions we have to make a choice, sometimes easy, sometimes difficult, very difficult choices.

I have seen karma demonstrate itself through different ways in the lives of most of the people I have worked with for the last 2 years, I therefore consider it very important to treat every single person I come in touch with the best that I can offer, sometimes I have succeeded and on few occasions I have failed.

Off late I have been wondering whether the good deeds we do actually come back to us, I know for a fact that the bad things we do come around to bite us sometime or the other, but regarding the good things- I wasn't so sure.

Then, Saturday happened.

Lately my bike has been going through kind of a rough phase, I haven’t been washing it as regularly as I was before, it has been a long time since I got it serviced and the oil tank has started leaking.
Actually It has been leaking for quite sometime now.

When I finally got a day off from work, I decide to cheer my bike up by taking it to the service station, and behold, all the service slots in the station were full, and so was showroom.

With difficultly I got hold of a service engineer, A tall man with a bearded face and frizzy hair.

He looked at my bike and then looked back at me with a sarcastic expression, I know that expression very well-I often give it to patients who treat their body without the respect it deserves, I’m quite sure that was exactly what he was trying to tell me.

“Do you know what damage this can do to your engine sir”? He asked me.
Pretty much, the same way I ask people what damage smoking does to their heart?

In a very professional manner he described to me the present condition of the bike, what could go wrong and what would need to be done.
“Well, I’m going to run some tests and then I’ll tell you what is wrong with your vehicle, the whole process may cost you anywhere between 350 bucks to 10,000 bucks depending on what damage has been done”.
His tone was very similar to mine when I've spoken to patients about various treatment options and their costs.

Clearly Karma was doing its thing.

He made me sign on a paper and went into the overcrowded service station with my bike.
I waited in the customer lounge, my hands gripping each other, I tried to look through he window to get a glimpse of my bike, no use. Neither the service engineer not the bike were anywhere in sight.

Ten minutes went by and I decided to walk into the station and see what was happening.

Vroom….. the engineer drove out with my bike.

“The tests were negative, your bike is safe”. He said smiling.

Hurray! I was relieved.

“I am never going to treat you bad dear”. I told my bike

Karma was alive, but it wasn’t done with me yet.

The service engineer escorted me to the billing section; I watched curiously to see what would happen.

“Charge him 5 rupees”. He told the handsome young man sitting behind the desk.

5 Bucks!!! I thought to myself, Wow!!! I must’ve done something really good the last few weeks at the hospital.

There wasn’t any change in my purse. I offered the billing guy a note of a much higher denomination; he just laughed and looked at the service engineer.

“Don’t worry, I’ll pay your bill”. He said and walked out.

I couldn’t believe what was happening.

Good Karma was real.

Many times I have given patients great news, many times I have helped them get things done quickly, and on many occasions I've treated them for free or at my own expense.
My good deeds were finally paying off.

My heart was bubbling with joy; I looked around and thanked everyone in the room.
This was one heck of a ‘Service’ Station.

I walked out of the lounge with a spring in my step.

The engineer was standing next to my bike.

“Thank you so much”. I repeatedly said to him.
He didn’t bother; I gave him my visiting card and offered him any assistance he would need if he came around to the hospital where I worked.

“No thank you” he said assertively
“My grandfather died there last month and the month before that it was my grandmother”. He continued, clearly He didn't care much for my offer.

“Hundred Bucks”. He said looking at me, No expression on his face, he looked around to see if anyone was watching us.

“Excuse me!” I said sounding surprised.

“That will be hundred bucks sir”. He said in a placid tone.

“But you just said 5 rupees inside”, I said.

He nodded disapprovingly

“Hundred” he said again, no emotion no concern nothing in his voice.

“All the hurry, all the kindness, it was always about the money right”? I asked him.

No reply

I took out the money from my purse and gave it to him. He stuffed it into his pockets and walked away

Throughout the ride back home I tried to justify his actions, nothing could compensate for the fact that he had just conned me and cheated his company. 
Guess I was just being a sentimental idiot after all.

There is a verse in the Bible where Jesus asks his disciples if when he returns, would he find any faith on this earth?

2000 years later, I not sure if I can confidently say ‘Yes’ to that question.

I guess the 89 year old man who sits next to me every Sunday with his hands folded in prayer would beg to differ.

Good or bad at least karma exists in some form or the other.

For now I’m not going to let one bad incident hinder me from trying to do to others what I want them to do for me.

Until next time,


Friday, May 17, 2013

The Office - A Farewell To My favorite TV show.

The Talented Cast of The Office-US Version

Imagine a show that is based entirely on the lives of a few employees working at an office that sells paper products in a small county, now stretch your imagination a little more and conjure up an image of the show running for nine years, visualize it getting nominated for over 150 major awards and conceptualize a scenario where you find yourself falling in love with every single character on the show so much so that you feel they are part of your real life- that’s ‘The Office’

2 years ago when my brother first introduced me to ‘The Office’, I wasn’t familiar with the single camera setup of filming, I didn’t like the show, and episodes from 7 different seasons of the show lay quietly in my hard drive, like a treasure hidden right beneath where I stood.

It was a time when shows from the genres of action and drama occupied most of my TV viewing schedule, The eccentric doctor in ‘House MD’, The convoluted plot twists of ‘Lost’ and the frustrating exoneration of an innocent man in ‘Prison break’ these shows either came to an end or became unbearably boring and I knew it was time to try something else.

After Seinfeld and F.R.I.E.N.D.S finished their run the whole sitcom scene became unappealing to me, Sci-fi based shows have failed to impress me for ages, I reluctantly started watching ‘the office’ again.
And, to this day I haven’t stopped.

The Office is a special show, probably because there is nothing extraordinary about it, the show just shows us how wonderful our day to day lives are-no matter how boring they may seem if only we just looked a little more closely at them.

It may seem very boring at first, but as you get to watching more and more episodes it will be hard for you to stop, as it was in my case and as it is in the case of many of my friends who have been introduced to the show through me.

The show can be compared to a guy or a girl whom you find uninteresting and dull at first, a few days, weeks or months go by and you just can get enough of him or her.
The series finale of the office aired last night, this blog post is a synopsis of sorts, it’s all about how much I love this show and why I will miss it for years to come.

Michael Scott is a middle aged man, lonely, irritating and self obsessed, He is the regional manager of a medium sized paper company-Dunder Mifflin. 

DM sells paper and other office supplies, Mike has a small sales team, it is led by Jim Halpert a lanky handsome young man who everyday dreams of leaving Scranton and pursuing a different career, he is in love with Pam Beesly the receptionist who sits 5 feet from his desk, but she’s engaged to Roy a guy who works in the warehouse, a good portion of their day is spent pulling pranks on sales associate-Dwight Shrute, the assistant (to the) regional manager, beet farmer, safety officer and part time Lackawanna county sheriff,Dwight is the most passionate paper salesman on earth, he shares complex feelings with Angela the diminutive head accountant of the branch, She Loves cats, perhaps more than she loves Dwight but she hates both her co-workers the gay accountant Oscar and the lovable chubby bald guy Kevin who cannot go from A to Z without making at least 10 mistakes let alone add numbers correctly.

Meredith sits behind Kevin, she is an alcoholic ( But that’s like the least of her problems), Creed Bratton shares Meredith’s desk he is wanted by the police of 10 different countries and what he does is in the office is classified, he’s the oldest working member here next only to Stanley Hudson-the droopy eyed African American salesman, father of two who lives for the clock to strike 5 p.m each day.

Phyllis another sales associate is an excellent knitter she wears weird perfumes and often releases room clearing farts, Ryan the good looking temp frequents the office annex where he shares a flirtatious relationship with the beautiful Indian customer service associate Kelly Kapoor.

Daryl Philbin works in the warehouse below, his team of workers include a wide variety of peoplefrom a Japanese heart surgeon named heday to a bunch of guys from ‘the hood’ and a woman- Madge whom Michael refers to as pudge they are in charge of shipping the orders, finally there’s the Scranton strangler (He doesn’t work at the office-Obviously ! But his presence is always felt) and…. Well…. There’s Toby.

Nothing great right? just a weird mix of people, like every other work place.
But as the show starts to progress and you invariably get involved with the characters, you start wondering-

If Jim will ever tell Pam how he feels about her, whether Pam would reciprocate ?
Would Michael ever find true Love?

If Dwight will ever go from being assistant (to the) regional manager to being full manager of the Scranton branch?

Would Kelly and Ryan ever be able to define their relationship?

Will the Scranton strangler ever be caught?

Will the office grow, would there be more interesting characters starting work here, one dude in particular who sings and plays the banjo like it’s nobody’s business?

Will Toby ever………stop being Toby?

Millions of fans worldwide spent the last 9 years in the pursuit of the answers to these and many other questions; being one of them I can tell for sure that it has been one heck of a ride.

I assure you that if you start watching this show and give it some time you will truly madly & deeply fall in love with it, for that matter isn’t that true about everything else in this life.

Over the last 9 years, the office as a show has explored everything that can happen at a workplace, office relationships,romances, affairs,fights pranks,branch closings and acquisitions,mergers, office picnics, birthday parties, Christmas Parties,downsizing and so on........

Now that the show has come to an end and I finally have all my answers, I realize how much I am going to miss it, every 21 minute episode of the show has given me many reasons to smile, cry, laugh out loud and even want to fall in love, through all the sadness I can’t help but think of something one of the characters says in the series finale-

“No matter how you get there, or where you end up, human beings have this miraculous gift to make that place HOME”.

Until next time


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Broken Glasses & Broken Promises.

The Victim, The Prepetrator(Dr.Monica) and the Problem Solver(Mahi)

Every morning is the beginning of a brand new day, come to think of it- every new day is a chance to have a fresh start, sure you may have had a miserable time in all the days that went by, but every time the sun rises in the morning you have a chance to experience something different.
However bleak the future may seem life’s unpredictability offers up hope, no matter how tiny it may be.

Just think of it, it’s impossible to predict exactly what is going to go down each day, anything can happen.
Imagine the prospect of meeting an old friend on the street or a surprise party waiting for you at work, maybe an email from a long lost relative, although these may seem insignificant when we consider the sheer size of bigger things like an earthquake or a tsunami they do have a major impact on our lives.

On the flipside sometimes even bad things happen and it’s just impossible to predict the exact sequence of events for a day, we just have to wait and see what happens.

When I woke up on the morning of May 10th I didn’t know that I was going to end up with a broken pair of glasses.

“Oh, C’mon man! That’s nothing; we thought you were going to tell us something better than an incident involving a broken pair of glasses”, You may think, but ask any person who wears glasses on a daily basis and he or she will tell you how uncomfortable it is to walk around without them.

Here’s how it went down.

It was a less busy day at work, my fellow cardiology residents Dr. Chandrashekar, Dr. Monica and I were reflecting on recent events in our outpatient department.
Mahendra our super efficient CATHLAB technician and Dr. Shilpa our colleague joined the conversation.

The five of us have a great group dynamic; we have a lot of fun together and irrespective of how busy things get at work, at the end of the day we get the job done.

Dr. Chandrasekhar has a great sense of humor, When his wife asked him to come up with a name for their son he spent a couple of weeks pouring over books and websites of baby names and when she insisted that the name should be only 4 letters long, an irate chandru replied-“Fine, We’ll call him TATA!

Dr. Shilpa has an infectious laugh and so does Mahendra, Dr. Monica is the glue that holds the group together.(Even though she is usually somewhere else missing all the action), my role is not entirely defined, I guess I add the glamour to the group !!!

Dr. Monica is a little theatric when it comes to expressing herself, I mean she tends to wave her hands wildly when she’s annoyed and she tends to pinch and punch the ones who bug her, it’s a completely different story when she’s hungry.

It was a good one hour after lunch time, Dr. Monica was hungry and angry (A very deadly combination).

We were just about to leave for lunch when a gentle whiff of Monica’s ‘Dupatta’ dislodged my precious frameless spectacles from their safe location on my nasal bridge and send it spiraling down in slow motion to its end.

There was silence.

The fun had ended. (Or so we thought), and so had my streak of not breaking my only pair of glasses for over a year.

No one said a word; we just stared down at floor where my glasses lay, broken.

“I’m so sorry Thomas, I’m soooooo sorry”! Said Dr Monica, once, twice, thrice…… and again and again and again.

I was tongue tied.
I did not know what the right emotional response was in the present circumstance; the other three in the room had resumed laughing and Monica’s pleading was becoming more and more musical with each passing minute.

“I’ll replace your glasses, I’ll pay the bill, I’ll walk you home, I’ll buy you lunch”. The promises kept pouring like rain from the sky.

I was confused, I couldn’t see.
The outlines of things and people weren’t clear anymore; everything looked diffuse, people blended into each other like bacteria under a microscope.

Suggestions poured in from all sides, Fevikwik, Wonder tape, going to the Ophthalmologist, being driven to home and so on.

We chose to start with the ophthalmologist, the five of us walked to the department below, somber looks on our faces, I balanced myself on Chandrasekhar’s shoulder and limped all the way as though my foot was hurt.

Sympathetic looks followed me wherever I went, Monica’s concern increased every time I scrubbed my eyes with my fingers.
I was loving all the attention I was receiving, it reminded me of the time when Dad and Mom took me back home from school when I fell off a desk trying to triple jump my way to the front of the class.

The optician said we were half an hour late, any order placed now would take at least another day to get ready.
“If only Monica had broken my specs 30 minutes before, bad timing”. I thought to myself.

Lunch was surprisingly quiet, (and dim-for me), Monica wore the expression of someone who had just committed a great sin.

We headed back to the Cathlab, Monica returned to the OPD with Chandru to mourn the loss of my precious glasses as I buried my head into my elbows and tried to give my eyes some rest.

Mahi got to work, with the help of some micropore (the wonder tape of the medical fraternity) and ingenious dexterity he managed to bring back my glasses to a wearable state.

I went to the OPD and showed off my ‘old-new-ish’ glasses to my anxious colleagues and then something happened.

I watched in absolute amazement as the complex expression of guilt, concern & sorrow disappeared from Monica’s face in milliseconds and transform itself into a wide grin, she started laughing.

What a funny world right?

One by one Dr. Monica withdrew all the promises she made less than half an hour before, Dr. Shilpa, Chandru and Mahi too were shocked.
Well at least they were all on my side and we weren’t going to let Monica get off the hook that easily.

After hours of deliberation and negotiations we arrived at a consensus.

Either Monica was going to pay all the charges towards repairing my glasses or she was to promise to buy me a refreshing bottle of cold badam milk as and when I demanded it, to know what option she chose see the picture below.
The Deal !

It’s been 5 days now since the incident and only I know how difficult it is to make Monica keep her promises, but I understood two important things as a result of this episode, firstly the whole experience gave the five of us some really fond memories to look forward to in the future.

Secondly, it taught me that if you are Dr. Monica’s friend-Please stand at a distance J

Until next time


Monday, May 13, 2013

Friends will be always be Friends.

Trust me, we looked much better in the morning ! Dr Vasudha, me & Dr.Vinay.

It is camp season at work, while last month I had to visit just one school nearby, this time around the hospital has organized 16 camps spread across different districts in the state of Karnataka.

Bagepalli is a small town located at around 100 km to the north of Bangalore, I was not scheduled to visit this place today but then I had to oblige my colleagues who had valid reasons for not being able to make it, now I am not against conducting and attending medical camps, it’s just that I am not a big fan of waking up early in the morning, especially if it has rained the previous night.

The small government protected forest area I drive through to get to the hospital was laden with the fragrance of freshly squeezed eucalyptus leaves but I had no time to pay any attention to it, I drove like a madman zipping past my fellow patrons on the road splashing water in all directions as I drove over large puddles of mud. I do not endorse high speed driving, better late than never, right?

At the hospital I was joined by my colleague and friend Dr. Vasudha and Dr. Vinay, someone I had never met before but was very pleased to be acquainted with.
On the way to the camp site we talked about topics that ranged from our personal ambitions to politics and bestselling novels, there wasn’t a dull moment during the 2 hour drive.

The usual camp crowd was present at the primary health centre in Bagepalli where the camp was arranged.
There are a few aspects about attending camps that draw me toward them, one is of course the food-we usually get a taste of the local delicacies, the other is the fact that on most occasions we end up meeting some interesting people who leave us with long lasting memories.

At Bagepalli I met a lot of new people, close to 300 in fact, it was however a group of four patients who taught me an important life lesson about friendship.
The gang was led by Mr.Thimappa, he sat next to me on a chair as he described all his complaints one by one in a very somber tone.
Three of his friends stood behind him, Mrs. Muniamma, Mrs. Gundamma and Mr. Huligappa, they were not related to him by blood- trust me, I asked them the same question over and over again. They were childhood friends who knew each other for over 6 decades.
Whoa? Shocked,eh ?  Well that’s exactly how I felt.

Friends forever ! Smile Please...

Here’s the interesting bit.
For every complaint Thimappa shared with me, his friends had a cheeky comment to pass.

When he told me “Sir, I have severe Chest Pain” His buddies behind laughed as one of them said “He’s had it since he was 16 when he saw that girl he loved getting married to someone else”.

When He complained that he couldn’t breathe easily, his chums asked him to breathe slowly since he only had a few more breaths left in him.

Thimappa looked back at his peers with a look of disdain on his face and said, 
“You didn’t have to come along, it’s better to be alone than have friends like you”.
His pals kept quiet for a second, a look of guilt on their faces before one of them said – “We’re here to carry you home if you passed out when the doctor was examining you”. Raucous laughter followed.

The same thing happened with the other three as they took turns to be examined and treated.

I was amazed.
Its funny how Irrespective of age, literacy, language or place of origin and whatever differences we may think of, when friends are together they always have a good time.
On my way back home I reflected on all similar experiences I have had in the past with my colleagues and friends and it made me happy.

Here’s hoping that the month of may will have more of such enriching experiences.

Until next time


Sunday, May 12, 2013

The KFC Girl

If Only I kept eyes open when it mattered most !!!

KFC, Kentucky Fried Chicken the world’s second largest fast food restaurant chain in the world, the only place on earth I will eat food at without creating a fuss about the menu, I mean what fault can I find with a menu that has an option for a ‘bucket full’ of fried chicken in it?

I love everything about the KFC outlets in India, the staff are usually in high spirits greeting me with an enthusiastic- Hey, how you doing sir? (Completely ignoring the person who just placed their order), they look so trim and fit almost making me feel like the food I’m about to eat is completely healthy, their patrons are unpretentious, the music is always good and everyone is basically having a good time.

But perhaps the thing I like most about eating at KFC is that there is no pressure to stick to some elaborate eating etiquette with knives and forks and napkins, everyone just grabs their share of the chicken with their bare hands and bite into it like savages from another era.

In the picture above I’m standing in front of a KFC outlet where I had an unforgettable experience a couple of years ago.

It was a warm Sunday afternoon and I was out shopping with my parents, my brother had wandered off into a street beside the main road and tired of looking through curtain samples with my mother I decided to take a stroll.

The pleasant expression on Colonel Sanders face at the KFC outlet opposite where I stood reminded me that my brother had expressed an interest in trying out a new flavor of ‘Krushers’ that had been launched recently.

My Brother at another KFC outlet at Dubai! No Krushers here though!
I walked in to the restaurant; to my surprise the usual Sunday crowd was missing, apart from a couple of girls who stood at the counter the place was more or less empty.
One of them looked at me as I walked in and immediately turned her gaze towards the display board above, the girl next to her stood with her back turned toward me; she wore a white shirt and blue jeans. I couldn't see her face the two of them were trying hard to decide what they would like to have.

They made way for me to place my order.

“Hey there sir, what would you like to have”? The Guy across the counter said to me in the usual KFC enthusiastic tone.

Till that point of time I knew exactly what I was going to order, but standing next to the girl in the white shirt my mind went blank. I looked back at the sales staff, he repeated himself, again I wasn't able to open my mouth and say anything.

It was almost as if my heart had stopped beating for a while, like I had just been given a high voltage electric shock, from the corner of my eye I noticed that the girl had turned towards my side, I am damn sure she was looking straight at me but I was too scared to turn around and see who it was, my heart started beating again but this time it went into overdrive, palpitations and tiny tremors followed.

Meanwhile the salesman across the counter was losing his patience, the girl momentarily turned away and I relaxed a little, even though I still wasn’t able to talk, I pointed my index finger at the ‘Krusher’ my brother was interested in, with a little difficulty he understood what I wanted and he left the counter to get things ready.

The girl turned her gaze towards me once again, more electricity this time, I stood there motionless, if my eyelids weren’t moving people would’ve thought I was having a stroke or something, all I had to do was turn my neck a few degrees to the left and I would see who this girl was.

“Common Thomas do it, turn around”! One half of my brain said to me.
“Don’t be a sentimental idiot, take your order and get out”. The other half told me.
“She might be the one, just turn your neck and see who it is”. The better half of my mind said sympathetically.
“Nonsense, whoever it is she’ll eventually break your heart man”. The other half said.

I decided to go against ‘the other half’ of my brain and I slowly started straining my neck to look to my left, just then my order arrived.

“Damn it”! I thought to myself.

“Hey ma’am welcome to KFC”. The salesman yelled at the person behind, pleased that he was finally done with me.

I walked out of the restaurant trying my best not to look back.

Sitting in the car confused by the whole incident it occurred to me that both halves of my mind had finally arrived at a consensus, they both now felt that I had done the wrong thing by walking out on that girl the way I did, in fact the ‘other half’ now strongly believed that I should have asked her for her name and number too.

A few minutes passed, I started having second thoughts, I should’ve at least seen who it was, what if she was ‘the One’?

Too late, dad had already started the car and brother had gulped down half his drink.
The car started to move.

I knew I would regret this later but I barged out of the back seat and ran back to the restaurant.

The girl and her friend were gone.
No sign of them anywhere inside or outside.

They had left, the moment had passed, it was over.

I am probably never going to see that girl again, and even if I did I can never know for sure if she is the same girl whom I stood next to that day, unless of course if she remembers the whole encounter when we meet again-if we meet again.
But then what are the odds of such a thing happening? Very, very less I guess.

I’m sure that in your life too there have been such experiences but I also know that it’s not easy to just throw away our inhibitions and follow our heart every time something weird happens, but if we actually did do so, if we muster some courage and chase after these small subtle signs that life shows us from time to time, we may discover something wonderful.

The possibilities are unlimited.

Until next time,