Tall dark and handsome. Handsome is a must. Dark.. well she didn’t really care for fair skin, even for herself. She preferred herself tanned, just a little bit. And tall is like a normal thing for guys right? At least 6 feet. That was like basic.
He’s got to be well read. I mean someone who doesn’t know all of Oscar Wilde is a waste of space. Unnecessarily staying on earth. I hope Neruda too… but that’s totally optional. I mean someone who worships Neruda, would be a pleasure to talk to, no? She sighed as she said this, counting the many more qualities she desired. And well-spoken of course, she continued. I mean someone who says “bherry” instead of very will be such a turn-off!!
That’s all I want, she said. And anyway, this is something, every normal guy must have, any well-bred individual for that matter. I mean along with a good body, not six packs and all, thank you very much. Just NOT potbellied, even a little bit. And fit. He should be able to carry the bags and all, right, when we go shopping. And he must be fond of travelling, because so was she.
She said she’ll like it if he was rich and not stingy with gifts. Because Jimmy Choo shoes don’t come cheap. Sounds like a nice guy, I said, even as she was saying chivalrous and opens doors for me. A was extremely sarcastic. How would she ever find such an awesome guy? Do they even exist today? Did this kind ever existed??? It was impossible for one person to have all these attributes, and I told her so. I also told her to please let me know whenever she finds him. Why should I miss seeing a perfect piece of art! She was too sweet, too naïve to get my sarcasm. Giggling, she said, of course I’ll let you know honey.
We lost touch after that. Real life interrupted our dreamy existence and we went our own ways. After about five years from that day, I went into a café and found her, sitting there, sipping coffee. Alone. And smiling. To herself. She never did either of those. Ever. She had found it loopy. Anyway, I rushed to her and told her I had to rush out, maybe we could catch up later. My clients were waiting for me, and this time the excuse was 100% true. She said, wait, don’t you want to meet my boyfriend? He is about to come here and I would really like the two of you to meet.
I couldn’t say no. Finally I would meet a perfect guy. Mentally recalling her “criteria” – tall, dark, handsome, well read, well spoken, nice body, rich and chivalrous! A tall order indeed. I eagerly waited for the Greek God to arrive, ready to pay obeisance.
Keeping an eye on Shahid Kapur / Arjun Rampal clone and speaking to her at the same time, I came to know she met him in college, about 6 months after we spoke last. It was almost an instant connection, she said with her trademark giggle. Oh there he is, she said, still smiling. I followed her sight but could see no one. Was she hallucinating?! Unable to find the perfect guy, she had schizophrenia’d him!! I giggled internally at my own bad joke and looked harder.
OH. MY. GOD. I could not believe my eyes. It was just another guy. I mean, really. Not tall, barely 5’5”, looked Kashmiri, so obviously not dark, and handsome, not even by my own standards, which were pretty dismal by now. He was normal looking, next door, nice guy, kinda guy. How could she? What had happened to her? What about the CRITERIA???
Okay. So maybe he was rich. I knew she wasn’t that shallow, but some redeeming factor from the CRITERIA should be offsetting the other things, right? He smiled at her, patted her head(!) a bit and looked at me, introducing himself. I being tongue tied at the moment just forwarded my hand and had to be introduced by her. We started talking, I stumbling into the conversation a little and then soon found out that he was really just another guy. Cracking jokes, making fun of himself, his job, his friends, who I didn’t even know and cribbing a little about his job,and the EMIs, from which I could figure out that he wasn’t even rich. He kept looking at her and smiling, holding hands discreetly, when they thought I wasn’t looking. He soon went to get the order and she looked at me expectantly.
I told her, he was awesome, which he was, just, not according to her CRITERIA. He was a genuine, warm guy, and quite humorous. But how could I point out all that he wasn’t. Tall, dark and handsome. She never wanted THIS guy, and yet, even after 4 years, they still looked like a newly hooked couple.
She suddenly laughed and said, hey, do you remember the set criteria I had for the guy I would fall for? She said, she never really thought of the CRITERIA in the initial years of knowing him. When the going was that good, and heady, she didn’t have time to process it. Only today, after seeing me, she had remembered her criteria and how he didn’t fit into that. I mean, she laughed, he hasn’t even read the Alchemist! I think it was a wish list, more than a criteria, and even then what I really wanted was never on it. Humorous, hard working, honest, considerate and kind. And am I glad my wish didn’t come true!
Her criteria, something that she had cherished so much when she was 16, were just words for her now. He was so much more.Walking away, the thought in my head was, is love blind or is it an eye opener?
PS: All characters are totally fictitious :P