Round Two: Simren 1 – 1 Me

If you are up-to-date with the story of Simren and Me, then carry on reading.  If you’re not then I strongly suggest first reading my last post– otherwise you will baffled as to what is going on.

Following on from my last encounter with Simren, exactly 10 days ago, my mind has been racing with 101 questions, mainly about how she views me and my reputation, what she knows about me, how she managed to gather so much information about me and why?

That evening, where earlier I was tormented by what Simren had to say, I took a walk out in the pouring rain.  I needed the walk and that 1 hour and 20 minutes of time to myself, despite the ugly but refreshing rain, allowed me to regain my focus in ‘what I wanted to do next and how to achieve it’.

During my walk, I was totally drenched and I continued to receive text messages from Simren.  Her main concern was that she upset me, which was visible on my face during the get together, and to see if I was alright.

I needed to see her again, it was important.  Other than to make peace with her I had to get her to see the reality of my life, and more importantly to ‘try’ correcting her perception and image of me.  After consulting with a few friends close and afar, it was highly recommended and strongly suggested that I make the move and invite her to meet me, even if it was just for coffee.  Deep inside me my fear was that she was scared of me, of my reputation. I felt she wanted to keep her distance from me and didn’t want to be seen in public with me.

The following day on Sunday, exactly 9 days ago, I decided to text her and the following is our text conversation:

Me:  “Hi, despite what has happened, I think I need to meet you again.  It’s important – can I call you?”

Simren:  “Please don’t, I don’t want 2 b associated with u. Please don’t complicate my life”.

Her text summed up her nervousness and fear of me.  So I decided to call her up anyway and considering thinking she won’t attend my call, she actually did.  The first words out of her mouth after I said hello was “I think I really need to break your legs now”, at which point, the tension and fear I had around how the call will go eased.

It remains a mystery to me as to why she seems like a different-difficult-stubborn person over text messages and yet on the phone, she is entirely approachable. Anyway, I offered to take her out for a drink and despite all my attempts, and all the banter I used, she still refused. Just then, as I was losing hope, I could hear Aunty Jee in the back, not letting this opportunity go to waste I asked Simren to pass the phone to Aunty Jee. Despite Simren’s refusal to do so, the phone somehow ended up with Aunty Jee, and the conversation flowed along the lines of:

Aunty Jee: “Hallo”

Me: “Oh Hi Aunty, It’s me”

Aunty Jee: “Haiy mera putar, all OK son?”

Me: “Yes Aunty, how are you?”

Aunty Jee: “Jee Putar, I’m good. See son, Simren now answer your phone, I told her, she no mess you around now”

Me: “Aunty, that’s all good, thank you. Just one more thing Aunty Jee – I wanted to meet Simren and you for tea, in Leeds, in coming days. It will be good”

Aunty Jee: “acha, but son, Simren go to University and come back late. Esah karo ke tum Simren ko lay jao Unibersity (University) ke baad (it’s best if you take Simren, after University), I think it will be best”

Pause conversation – There is a saying common in South Asia, if you can’t take the butter out with a straight finger, bend you finger to have a better chance. My straight way of getting Simen to join me for a drink wasn’t working, so I resulted in using an indirect way via her mum. This is the moment, when you turn to a mirror on the wall, while on the call, and give yourself a smile. Continue conversation.

Me: “Aunty you sure, it will be good to see you too”

Aunty Jee “Yes, bery (very) sure, plus you joung (young) generation need to spend real time together, not only on basebook (facebook).

Me: “Aunty Jee, that’s great advice – well now I just need to convince Simren. Let’s hope she can make it”

Aunty Jee: “make it, son, she will have no choice, thair (wait)”

At this point, I assume Aunty Jee turned towards Simren and said:

Aunty Jee: “Hay, Simren, you go and have tea with boy, eva na puttar ke tang kar (don’t tease my son)”

I could hear Simren mumble something back – but wasn’t clear.

Aunty Jee, wished me good bye, asked how my family was and passed the phone back to Simren. When Simren had the phone, there was a bit of a pause and I could hear Simren run up some steps and then a few doors opened and shut, then:

Simren: “Is this how it’s going to be – involve my mum in stuff that doesn’t go your way?”

Me: “(I laughed a little and said ) OK, Give the phone back to Aunty Jee – she will sort you out”

Simren burst out in laughter, which added some hope to the entire conversation. We continued chatting for a little while longer. When I asked Simren (yet again) so can I take you out for a drink? She replied she need time to think about it, as going out for a drink with me wasn’t as straight forward, with anyone else it wouldn’t be a problem but with me – she needed some time to think.So I took the opportunity to give her some time. I explained that I’d wait and she could take as long as she likes (just days not weeks).

A few hours later I got another text from Simren, which read “I don’t think it’s a good idea, ur complicated n please don’t complicate my life”. A little disappointed, I gave my reply a little thought. What does she mean by “complicate my life”?  Am I missing something here? My mind yet again raced with 101 questions: Is she already with someone? Considering how beautiful she is – why wouldn’t she be? Is she scared to tell me, in case I pay her boyfriend a visit (which I wouldn’t do for the record)? Or would I be the complication in her life?

I replied with the following text “Simren, one drink, even if it’s for 10 minutes, plus you tea wasn’t that good, want to treat you to a real cup of fine Yorkshire tea”.

Almost seconds after sending my text to Simren, she replied “Really, was it that bad :-o I will make a disappointing wife”. This text was a key turning point in her mentality, although it may contain simple words but it did have a deep insight to her psychology.

After a few more text exchanges, she finally agreed. Which was a massive relief and I felt as if this battle I won. The one thing I had to concede to was that the day, time and place will be of Simren’s choice. If this wasn’t bad enough, she attached the following conditions:

1. I was to pick her up at Leeds Train station, when she returns from Uni.

2. I don’t pick her up in any one of my cars – a taxi will do.

3. No gangster suit – just casual.

My acceptance of her conditions above was conditional – that instead of a drink, it had to be a meal at a restaurant of her choosing and that she couldn’t say no. After a very long pause, which spanned for about 35 minutes, she agreed. I now had to wait for her to decide on what day and time I was to pick her up.

While I waited, somewhat anxiously – something was bothering me. No girl till this day has ever put up such a fight, and with Simren it was just for a drink (well, now a meal instead) and her determination not to meet me, bugged me. Was it really me and my reputation that embarrassed her and was scaring her? Or was she seeing someone and didn’t want me to know?The later was important and I needed to know – somehow without getting this information from Simren.

In the next 24 hours that followed, I called up an associate who owes me favours, my objective was to know whether Simren was single or not, or was it more complicated than that? So, without wasting any more time, my associate sent out his scouts to her University in a fact finding mission.

I felt somewhat nervous and yet excited, my method of gathering information about Simren may be frowned upon, but let’s face it – it was important, especially if Simren was scared to tell me herself.

On Wednesday, last week, my contact asked to meet me – as such business shouldn’t be discussed over phone or any other medium. So I invited him to a local Italian coffee shop that same evening – where we could chat in private and amongst other business he could provide an update on what his scouts reported back to him with. When we met, he updated me with the following information – as best as I can remember:

1. Simren is single and isn’t seeing anyone other than a few lunatics who constantly chase her around and pester her.

2. In a large group of friends mainly consisting of women, she has no engagement with a particular guy.

3. It’s a pretty much a case of her commuting to University, getting her stuff done and then back home.

This was music to my ears, as I sat with my mates in the coffee shop watching the Apprentice – I ordered a round of pure orange juice , to which my friends raised a cautious eyebrow(s) and said “you don’t drink orange juice” and with a smile and a toast I replied “The sun will be out next week”. During this time I contemplated that it must be me and my reputation that really do scare Simren. I could be the complication in her life.

Over this weekend, Simren confirmed that she would be happy to meet this Wednesday and the fact that she will be leaving University early than normal meant she could spend a few more hours with me. Let’s just hope that the restaurant she chooses to eat at isn’t one that is owned by a friend or known associate, or one where the owner is petrified of me – otherwise I’ll be back to square one with Simren.

The sun is indeed out this week and I believe this round belongs to me.

Round One: Simren 1 – 0 Me

Read connecting post first by clicking here

You must read and understand the disclaimer(s):

  1. This is a very long post
  2. I swear to tell the truth, nothing but the truth so help me God
  3. If what you read shocks you to the bone – then appreciate my honesty in confession the truth to you – it wasn’t easy.
  4. I will have many WTF (What The F@#K) moments in the post which resemble my shock and disbelief in what I was hearing.
  5. This is a very long post, I think I might have said this before.

What is it about me that my name has been so proudly paraded in public amongst groups of British Asian females in Yorkshire? This may be my confession, or it may be a little insight into my private life-style, but it’s important for me to mention this now, before the rest of the post flows in.

I could never have imagined, that my past, which is and has always remained private and ‘top secret’, would catch up with me like this and haunt me. You see, for me I don’t believe in love, especially not after the one person who I loved more than my own life, was whisked away literally under the cover of night and forced to marry someone from her own cast thousands of miles away in Canada. My crime, I was of a different religion and culture to her, despite being a British Asian all the same. Three years of my life with her through school and then college came to an end, suddenly in one night, the night which took away the one person I only asked to love and be with. We didn’t even get the chance to say good bye. There is no such thing as love, if there was, I wouldn’t be the person I am now.

Since then I have submitted to this famous saying “Cultivating whatever gave pleasure to my senses was always the chief business of my life; I never found any occupation more important. Feeling that I was born for the sex opposite of mine, I have always loved it and done all that I could to make myself loved by it.”

What I have become since then: is a person who has a reputation for having many amorous adventures. I make no secret of it. I have always been insensitive to the feelings of the opposite sex and as a result got away with murder so to speak (repeatedly). I am a heart breaker with intention, and I make the effort in courting women whom I find attractive irrelevant of their status. I know my purpose with the intended target and I set the bait, and upon achieving my purpose I often passionately and swiftly move onto the next. I make the extra effort for not committing to one lady and majority of my acquaintances are fully aware of my life-style and happily subscribe and oblige to my thinking. In other words I enjoy my Playboy-Casanova life-style and I wouldn’t change it for the world – but then I met Simren, and for once I contemplated the idea of changing.

Simren and I met for the second time on Saturday – exactly a week ago, at her house. Accompanying me was my mum and you could say she was my backup – in case Simren did fulfil her promise in sending me away carrying my own legs. For those who know the story between me and Simren carry on reading, for those who don’t then it’s best to read my first post about it here.

As far as my mum was concerned, she was fulfilling a request made by another distant relative, now residing in Manchester, of distributing wedding invitations of their son for this summer. Since my family is well connected and have frequent communication with both family and friends, the Aunty in Manchester thought, our family would be best to distribute the 40 odd invitations to those intended and living in Leeds, Bradford and surrounding areas. So when, I heard the news early last week, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to achieve two things: (1) to take up the challenge Simren set for me (don’t know what this is, then click here), (2) get to know Simren a little better since her personality and appearance were deeply attractive and freakingly touched a part of me which only one other person has ‘ever’ managed to do.

So, doing what I do best, I made my moves and influenced my mum’s thinking, so mum could visit Simren’s house first before embarking on her challenge to deliver the 40 odd wedding initiation cards in record time – spanning over a week. Knowing Simren’s mum, and my experience at the wedding, she won’t allow this visit to be a quick fly by one, and if we did go there, it would be couple of hours of motherly catch-up thus leaving me and Simren to talk.

My mum spoke to Simren’s mum on Wednesday last week; during their long 55 minute conversation my mum explained that I would be accompanying her on Saturday. As I hovered around my mum trying to catch what the conversation is about, and whether Saturday was on or not, my mum continued to walk from living room into the kitchen, then from kitchen to the conservatory – I followed pretending to be doing something in those exact places. The only time my mum decided to end the call was when the Panasonic cordless phone decided to beep to indicate its battery is getting low. Thanks to Panasonic engineering, they preventing my mum and Simren’s mum doing a talk-marathon. Finally, mum confirmed Saturday is on – oblivious to my real intention mum continued echoing snippets of their conversation. One thing for sure, Simren’s mum didn’t want us to do a quick fly by visit and insisted we come and sit for a while – perfect and mission accomplished.

On the same Wednesday in the evening, Simren sent me an unexpected text, and I assume, it was when she learnt that I did after all rise up to her challenge of coming over for tea. Her text contained these exact words “So Mr, I c u took our last encounter lightly. You just signed ur own death warrant, get ur affairs in order b4 u arrive ;-)”. For the first time in many years I felt butterflies in my stomach. From now on, I could only guess how our meeting will go and I felt somewhat nervous of Simren – which according to my experience was rare, extremely rare.

On Saturday (last week) at exactly 2:15pm (15 minutes late) I drove up the small-up-hill driveway. Whether it was the loud engine noise of my 4×4 or whether Aunty (Simren’s mum) had CCTV, before I could switch off my engine – Aunty was already out, rushing towards my passenger side – where my mum was sat, with her arms out as a gesture to give my mum a hug. Aunty helped my mum out of the car and while hugging each other both walked into the house, leaving me behind to walk around the over-grown plants to my right.

As I walked into the house, I couldn’t understand where the hell Aunty vanished – along with my mum. My mind raced: Was this it? Is this the moment I witness my legs decapitated from my hips?

Luckily, Aunty realised she had left me behind and as I figured where to go, she walked towards my direction shouting “Putar, Kithay ha too (Son, where are you)”. Boy – was I relieved to see she wasn’t carrying a baseball bat or a sword to punish me? She guided me towards their living room and as I entered the large, bright, bling-bling living room, I could see Simren greeting my mum with a nice big hug – it was a pleasure to see her again and seeing her greet my mum so enthusiastically felt energetic and good.

Simren, politely walked my mum to a massive bulky leather sofa and held my mum’s hand as my mum sat down, she then turned and faced me, with squeezing her eyes together (which would qualify as giving me sweet daggers) she gave a big smile – and to be honest, her smile said a millions things and my heart sank. She then shouted “Oi, too khoon hai? (who are you?)” Which I realised was a sarcastic remark. Before I could find the right words to respond in an equal sarcastic manner, Aunty shouted “ai Simi, habardaar to meray puttar ko kuch kahay (Ay Simren, don’t you dare say anything to my son)”.

Simren’s hand was soft and warm, her skin was delicate and her hand size was much smaller than mine, as we shook hands, I sat myself down on the sofa directly behind me and Simren went and sat down right next to my mum.

As Aunty and my mum started talking, I realised their conversation will get more and more intense as it was clear they had so much to talk about. All this time, Simren refused to make eye to eye contact with me. It was obvious she was nervous, and so was I, I could also see she was pretending to be indulged in listened to what Aunty and my mum were talking about.

30 long minutes had gone by, at which point Aunty asked my mum to join her in the kitchen, where their deep family conversation could continue, and while Aunty put together a tea snack. The thought of being alone, in this large bright living room made me more nervous. Aunty shouted from the kitchen “Simren, show putar (son) house and garden”. Simren, immediately looked towards me, giggled and with her hands she rubbed them together as if she was warming her hands for a serious slap and said “Right, Mr, Say your last prayers”. It was a brilliant ice breaker and I simply burst out laughing.

Simren, today for some reason look much taller than when I saw her at the wedding, her skin tone today was much fair in colour than at the wedding. Her hair was straight and long with very light curls, and I loved the fact she was wearing the traditional shalwar kameez, light blue shalwar and her kameez was white with light embroidery. Her jewellery consisted of a silver ring, which she wore on her right hand, a silver bracelet which may have been a watch and two small earrings (one in each ear) – the simplicity of what she was wearing was perfect – my ideal. Her appearance was now more appealing to me then ever before.

The house tour went well, admittedly, the house is pretty big and I think I counted 5 (large) bedrooms with part of the house having a full new extension; this is where we ended up – it was like a library and a study room.

I immediately took the opportunity to apologise for my antics back at the wedding. I took the opportunity again to explain how it was meant to be a joke and how Aunty took it out of proportion. Simren looked more and more nervous and I felt as if she was scared, not entirely sure scared of what.

Simren quickly nipped out, and as I sat on the window sill, trying to see how the rear garden looked, she reappeared, a little more calm with a large try piled high with Samosaas, Pakorahs, plates and large pot of chutney.

We got into a comfortable conversation and discussed life at University, since she is doing law she stressed how hard studying has become. The next half hour or so went extremely well, and while I enjoyed the food and tea, I began to enjoy Simren more and more, she was soft but hilariously funny, with cute facial expressions. Right then, I decided to ask her a question which was troubling me since our last encounter at the wedding. How was I to know, that the next question I was about to ask, was the one which will uncover my reality, which would display all my past in such a way that it would be as if I’m looking directly into a mirror and seeing my past being played again.

I asked Simren, what she meant by “Your reputation speaks for itself and you know what – you will never change” during the wedding. Simren paused and looked directly into my eyes. For a moment the entire room went quiet, like tranquillity before the storm, and before long – the storm arrived.

In the interest of not letting this post get any bigger, I like to highlight her response to my question.

It appears Simren, already knows me really well. You may recall, in my last post – I stated that it had been almost 10 odd years before the wedding when I last saw Simren. Life had moved on, so did I and during this time, Simren was all too aware of me and my reputation. What you will read from now on may shock you but is my truth and I could not have put it any other way.

Simren, nervously with a little fear echoed what she knew about me and my past, which is:

1. One of my acquaintances – soon after my graduation just a few years ago, with whom I had a sexual ‘only’ relationship with is one of Simren’s best friend. This girl, whose real name is Sonia, according to Simren, has never since got over me and I’m to blame for screwing up her life.

2. Sonia also made Simren aware during this time that while I and Sonia were involved in a 6 months sexual only relationship, Sonia knew that I was seeing two other women at the same time – and that I had openly told her about this. What Simren said is true and I cannot deny this.

3. Simren once attended an evening party (for women only) last year in Bradford. There she recalled over-hearing a group of girls talk about me. They were openly boasting that two of them had sex with me together (as a three-some) a number of times. I do recall these two girls really well. One is a hair-stylist and the other is a primary school teacher in Huddersfield. Yet again, these are my acquaintances and I admitted and confessed to Simren, this is true.

4. She highlighted that there were other (British Asian) women who she or her friends have come across, who openly boasting about having sex with me, these girls are unaware that Simren and I are distantly-related. She feels as if, they actively go out to impress me, so I can add them to my list of acquaintances. Simren continued to give yet more examples of my Playboy-Casanova reputation.

This was a WTF moment, in which I felt embarrassed, ashamed, and small that I had to hear all this from Simren. She continued giving me examples of other girls, who her friends have come to know, who express their interest in me. She asked “What is it about you that you invite such attention, Why couldn’t you just be normal?” to which I simply lowered my head in shame. Simren appeared to be deeply upset, nervous and scared. I could sense she had tears in her eyes while she exploded with this information.

If the above wasn’t bad enough, Simren had allot more to say about me – but this time it was nothing to do with my Casanova-Playboy status but towards my reputation in Leeds, Bradford, Manchester, Wakefield and surrounding areas. Now this is where all the WTF (What The F@#K) moments really begin.

According to Simren, I and my close friends (which total 6 including me) have a ‘gangster reputation’ in the areas of Yorkshire mentioned above. In my book, a gangster is someone who is dirty, filthy, always engaged in violence, in trouble with police and who terrorises the neighbourhood, but in Simren’s view the following makes me a gangster:

1. The fact that I wear (fitted, tailor made) three piece suits throughout the day give people the wrong impression of me. She continued that normal people wear suits maybe just to work, but when they are in their own comfort zone (i.e. home) they switch to more casual wear, including jeans, t-shirts and casual footwear. She specifically highlighted that even on weekends she spotted me (with or without my friends) wearing three piece suits.

WTF moment, I have, as far back as I can remember, always dressed smart. I have been raised up in a family where casual and lazy look around the house doesn’t go down well. Even till this day, my father sometimes reads his newspaper with a shirt, trousers and a tie. When he visits the bank or the post-office he wears a shirt, trousers and a tie. I’m the age of 26 but my style and ways of doing things is the old-school way. A shirt with cufflinks, nice silk tie with tailor made suits is exactly what I call smart – but no way does this project that I am a gangster or my friends are. I somewhat subscribe to the idea that we the young generation (often first or second generation of British Asian) should always look smart where possible. I specifically wear ‘Ted Baker’ tailor made suits and nothing else, as this brand ticks all the right boxes. I prefer to wear a suit any day over wearing adidas jogging pants and a hoody which is pretty much the norm for most British Asians.

2. The fact I own a four-wheel drive motor which costs no less than £40k, and the fact that I have another luxury car worth £28k parked on my drive way, yet again, according to Simren projects the image that I am a gangster and live the life of one.

WTF moment, let me correct Simren here, my four-wheel drive 4.4 TDV8 Range Rover is not worth £40k, it is worth £38k to be precise, ever since my first Range Rover in 2006 I have always bought a Range Rover as the main motor for me to drive. The car that is parked on my drive way is a Lexus LS460 4.6SE-L Petrol and it’s not worth £28k it’s worth £23k – this, I only drive for long distance travel or when I need to go somewhere for business reasons.

These motors are as a result of my hard work, both in my commercial career and income generated from the handful of businesses I part own. This in no way means I am a gangster or live the life of one – I was truly shocked that Simren had in fact done her research and knew exactly what I owned and the value of it (despite being some pounds out).

3. The fact that I meet my close friends, without fail, every Wednesday evening at a local Italian coffee shop is yet again another indication that I am a gangster. I got to tell you, Simren did indeed do her research, she even pointed out that normally this coffee shop closes its doors at 6pm everyday including weekends, but how was it that only for me (and my friends) this coffee shop opened for Wednesday evenings, to accommodate us? The fact that during this special Wednesday evening openings, no one was allowed in other than myself and my friends and those invited by us – was yet clear that we got up to no good in there.

WTF moment, let me explain this special arrangement, which I tried explaining to Simren but she simply wouldn’t have it. This Italian coffee shop first opened about 14 years ago. I had my first coffee in this coffee shop on the first day it opened and I fell in love with the place. I and my close friends began to meet here regularly and especially after school. It became a place for us to locally meet and over the years we became more and more close to the Italian owner. After our graduation, when we all went into our own choice of work or business we made a pledge that ever Wednesday evening we would meet here, have our evening meals together and if we ever had any business to deal with it would be done then. The owner was happy, especially since Wednesday evening was the day where he did most of his paper work, and why not open the doors to a few lads who can give him some extra income while he did his paper work.

According to Simren, this special arrangement is common knowledge amongst the community, and people believe that we have a special member’s only club where we happen to do business which is wittingly hidden from the general public.

4. The fact that I own outright my own detached house, a 3 bedroom apartment in Leeds City Centre and another 2 bedroom apartment in Hebden bridge in the Pennine Hills – is further evidence of my gangster reality – and none of these are let out to any tenants.

WTF moment, I owned my first property when I was the age of 21. It was hard work and pure dedication that I managed to work along my elder brother in renovating properties, while still a full time student at University. The family business, which Simren is too well aware of, was a successful one and till this day my family continue to make it a success. The apartments are a result of my hard work, and majority of the income to buy these apartments came from my businesses as I mentioned previously. I have nothing to hide on this one and in fact I feel proud that I have achieved such high volume of success at a young age.

5. This one was indeed a shocker, and as Simren told me about this example – I felt shivers down my spine. Another example Simren uttered about my gangster reputation was in 2010 at her University (which is in Yorkshire). Simren explained that in her University, there is this British Asian guy studying medicine, originally from Yorkshire. According to Simren, this guy has the looks to die for, and that most girls at her campus simply melt when he passes by.

In 2010, this particular guy approached Simren and wanted to get to know her better. Simren was blown away by this guy, and more so by his interest in her. Someone who the entire campus was fighting over was actually asking Simren out – she couldn’t believe it. Anyway a week or two into this new relationship with this guy, they both went out one evening for a meal. During this meal and in a conversation my name was mentioned by Simren. Upon hearing my name, this bloke simply froze out of fear, and asked the waiter for his coat, stood up and walked right out of the restaurant – leaving Simren behind all on her own. She explained that she just couldn’t understand why he did this, and while she sat embarrassed in this busy restaurant she realised he freaked out after hearing that Simren was related to me. Simren embarrassed by what had just happened, paid the bill and went back home.

That same evening, Simren got an email from this bloke, who apologised for what he had done and apologised for approaching her in order to get to know her and he didn’t realise that she and I were related. This really freaked her out.

WTF moment, I simply froze when I heard this example. I mean I simply have no idea why my name or names of my friends freak people out. It was hard for me to swallow this information. It upset me and what really hurt was what the perception people had of me. If Simren thought of me like this then I wonder whether I actually did project the wrong image.

After this last example, I was numb. My mind was puzzled as to what just happened. But this didn’t stop there. She yet continued giving me more examples, one in which during her student Christmas party at a restaurant in 2009, where approx 12 students finished eating their meal. Since Simren had arranged this evening, when she asked the restaurant manager for the bill – he refused to give her the bill and insisted the meal was on the house. Confused by this, Simren enquired further and the manager responded that the boss had instructed him not to charge them for their food. Baffled by this, Simren asked to see the boss and after posing the same question to him, he replied that because she was related to me he couldn’t charge her for this meal. It was something the owner was obliged to do because of me. She further explained that this type of special favour happened to her on three separate occasions in three separate restaurants in two separate locations.

Simren continued to smash me up with more and more examples, by this time, I simply convinced myself that I was totally finished. I had ruined my opportunity with her. For the life of me, I couldn’t image why people thought of me in such a way. The freaky thing about all this was that while Simren exploded with all this information, she, at one point got so emotional that she began to point her finger at me. I tell you one thing – no one points their finger at me, the last person who did now washing my cars without fail every Sunday morning for free. But yet, when Simren was doing the same thing, I didn’t feel bad, in fact I felt comforted that Simren was getting all emotional over me and my reputation – why?

As I sat there, I was pretty much oblivious to what was being said to me by this time. The Samosaas wouldn’t go down my throat and I felt numb and senseless. Only then, Simren echoed some words with awoke me from my senseless state. She confessed that she had always liked me, ever since our early teens and more so during my days at University. She even confessed that after hearing the news that I had graduated, and as is the custom for relative to visit and congratulate the individual and their family, Simren and her parents came to my house but I wasn’t in. She felt saddened that she didn’t get to see me and congratulate me in person. Since then, her feelings for me somewhat got engulfed with the news of my behaviour with other girls, and as more and more news began to reach her, those feelings turned into hate, and as my reputation began to align itself with the image of being a gangster, especially since when increasingly my name was associated with more and more incidents she totally began to fear me, to the point where she couldn’t stand being in the same room where my name had or was being mentioned.

You see, the life style I live is dedicated to hard work. It’s true that I have influence in my community and connected to the right people. This is all in aid of helping and supporting my community. When there is conflict, either between two business owners, or conflict between Muslims and Sikhs during Leeds/Bradford summer Mela, or where someone is being targeted for no good reason, I feel the need to intervene and use my contact to bring a speedy resolution before matters get out of hand.

One example of such community support was when two highly rich families in Leeds fell out due to a business deal going wrong. As blame was ping-ponged one side to another, very quickly the young adults on either side decided they would take matters in their own hands. Both sides targeted each others business interests, breaking up shops, beating their siblings where ever they could find them. I was approached by one of the elder from one side of the family that was involved. He begged me to bring about a true before someone got killed. So, I did what I do best and managed to call upon my close contacts who then invited both sides to attend a meeting at the very same Italian coffee shop on a Wednesday evening, the same coffee shop Simren claimed to be a place where no good was happening. When both parties arrived, within 45 minutes there was a settlement and agreement was made that all matters will now be buried. The elder generation did what they had to by getting me involved and I did what I had to in resolving this potential explosive situation.

Such examples, add to the reputation and I guess Simren is the victim of Chinese whispers and by the time news reaches the 3rd or 4thperson, more crap is added to make the situation sound interesting.

As for me and my close friends, well, these friends of mine have been with me ever since nursery. In other words we are ‘Chadi Friends’ or better known as childhood friends. Without these friends, I feel naked and unsecure and I would give my life for them and our friendship. Don’t get me wrong, I have many more friends but these close ones have a total different relationship with me. We have conquered different parts of industry ranging from restaurants, fast food chains, Gyms, Printing Firms, Solicitor firm and an accountant firm, we now pretty much spend most of our time expanding our empire and continue to support our community and those who call upon us for help.

As for Simren and our ‘get to know’ suddenly came to a pause, as Simren seemed upset that she had to say such things to me. I too was upset after all this, and Simren continued to apologise for saying such things and getting me upset. Being the type of guy I am, I put on a brave face and told Simren that she didn’t need to be upset and if that’s her opinion about me and my life-style then most of it was the wrong perception. To break the tense atmosphere I uttered that “it may have been less painful if she actually did give my legs in my arms – over having to hear this from her”. She giggled while in tears and quickly washed away the sadness on her face. We joined the ‘mums’ back in the living rooms, they were too busy in their conversation to notice that the faces of both Simren and I had changed.

As I was driving home with my mum, I got another text from Simren which read “I’m ever so sorry, I’m upset and I know I’ve upset u, u have a reputation and I know u won’t change.

Later on in the evening, we continued exchanging further texts in which I tried my best to explain from my side. I also took the opportunity to take a hard look at myself, my reputation with girls and the community. What I couldn’t understand and confused the hell out of me was how did Simren know so much about me? How did she know some of the stuff that was private to me? The fact that the British Asian girls who were my acquaintances shared information and compared notes with each other was something I least expected British Asian girls to do. In fact, society has moved on so much that while I was thinking a secret will remain a secret was a total false perception.

Still I need to know how Simren knows all this about me. Does she keep a close eye on me and my business out in the world, or was my business already public knowledge?

I’m not giving up on Simren just yet, she has the ability to change me for the better and for once someone had the nerve to tell me ‘how it was’ and I respect her more for being brave. She has declared war and I accept her declaration for war. I want her.

That very evening to contemplate what just happened, I went for a walk, a long walk in the pouring rain, alone with me and my mind.  The song below somewhat captures my moments:

The Apprentice 2012 – Sixth Episode Today – Week Six

Today, the sixth episode of The Apprentice 2012 will be aired on BBC One at 9pm.  You can catch up on my previous episode updates by links provided at the bottom of this post. So far, we have seen five people get the chop by Lord Alan Sugar.

A Recap:

Week One said good bye to Bilyana Apostolova

Week Two said good bye to Maris O’Conner

Week Three said good bye to Michael Copp

Week Four said good bye to Jane McEvoy

And, week Five said good bye to Duane Bryan with a big smile.

As I have done previously, I predicted that team Phoenix will win – and proud to announce I was correct.

It’s more sensible to refer to each team by their team names from now onwards, especially since the teams are mixed with both boys and girls.

The task this time was one which involved more thought process, relied on simply and possible idea over hard and complicated one.  This time, the teams had to design and plan a ‘new’ exercise regime which would tempt three major UK fitness clubs to franchise or lease.

Team Phoenix had a group of people who seemed to be reluctant in putting their names forward as project manager for this task.  The only person to put their hand up was ‘teeth chewing’ Stephen; it was the likely choice since work related to fitness was his daily job.

Team Sterling was more engaging and two people put their views forward as to why they should be project managers:  Jenna and Ricky made their cases and in the end Ricky got more votes.

Both teams worked on their ideas and in my view, team Sterling were quick off the mark, as Ricky almost instantly came up with their concept and their training regime.  Team Sterling lead by Ricky tried to blend martial arts with fitness – not a new idea and has been around in various fitness clubs for years.  On the other hand team Phoenix endorsed a retro 80s style fitness classes.

Both teams had to produce a promotional video, which later would be used to demo their ideas to the large fitness clubs when they pitch their ideas.

From both video’s I have to admit I preferred Team Phoenix – as their style suited their 80’s idea.  Team Sterling seemed to have lost the martial arts touch in their video – and it became evident that their video promotion appeared standard dance/fitness class.

As usual both teams struggled to cover important areas of their fitness regime including material and equipment which team Phoenix didn’t account for.

Nonetheless in the end, Team Phoenix won the task – despite having the first two clubs reject their ideas in the boardroom and only the last and final club agreed to trail their fitness regime.

So, not surprisingly team Sterling lost and it seems they are in a pretty bad state now.  The boardroom was yet again full of people pointing fingers and in the end Ricky decided to bring Duane with his big smile along with Laura who has become a common face in the boardroom face-offs.

With Laura fighting her corner on the grounds that she was doing what she was instructed to do, and Ricky claiming the video promotion lost him the task meant that Duane was left out and in the end Lord Sugar agreed and fired smiling Duane.

Today’s task is all about Street Food.  Lord Sugar sends the candidates to Scotland, where they must make gourmet grub and sell it on the streets of Edinburgh. The teams decide on Italian meatballs and Scottish stew, but before heading north there is a spot of market research at one of London’s fancy street food fairs. It is clear from what is served up that there is more to this business than dishing up a burger and chips.

On today’s task I think I am going to back Team Sterling to win, they need this badly.

Your thoughts?

Anyway, I’d like to leave you with a video below of some funny bits on the last episode.  See you all tonight at 9pm on BBC One

 

Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four, Week Five

The Apprentice 2012 – Fifth Episode Today – Week Five

It’s Wednesday today, and you know what that means:  The fifth episode of The Apprentice 2012.  Most of you by now will be well aware of what’s been happening, or at least been following my brief updates on this year’s apprentices.  The Apprentice 2012 will be aired on BBC One at 9pm.  You can catch up on my previous episodes updates by links provided at the bottom of this post, so far we have seen the rise (well sort of) and fall of four apprentices so far.

A recap:

Week One said good bye to – Bilyana Apostolova

Week Two said good bye to – Maria O’Conner

Week Three said good bye to – Michael Copp

And, Week Four said good bye to Sylvester Stallone look alike – Jane McEvoy

Last week, prior to the show being aired, I wrote how the boy’s team Phoenix will win this task, after coming to know the task.  I was proved correct and the girls team ‘Sterling’ lost the challenge.

The task was simple, buy crap (household goods) for as cheap as possible, condition them and resell for a profit in a shop.  The girl’s team was lead by Laura (the attractive business women – as she claimed, but the truth couldn’t be far from it) and the boy’s team was led by Tom, the relaxed and contained chap.

To be fair, it was hard to tell which strategy was working well.  Tom was adamant to have a say in almost everything that was considered to be bought for team Phoenix, and where Laura simply had no clue and her team Sterling were simply buying anything and everything.

In comparison to their shops, I did think that team Sterling had more items to sell in their shop and their shop looked busy with recycled items.  On the other hand, at one point, Tom’s team Phoenix had purchased so little that their shop looked empty with only about five items – but over time they increased the amount to better numbers.

When the shops opened, Tom’s leadership and vision paid off instantly as the shop quickly attracted people who started to purchase almost immediately – despite the shop having more empty space than items.  At one point, Tom had to call for more recycled items to be bought and immediately sent to the shop, as they began to run low on stock.  Luckily the Blonde Assassin and her team were good at scavenging second-hand items and did so perfectly, and before long, they had refilled empty spaces in the shop.

Laura’s team didn’t do well at all as customers refused to come into their shop, those who actually did were quick to leave empty handed.  I found most of the girls doing their own things, as their egos were getting the better of them and they began to distant themselves from actually selling in the shop and focus more on getting people into the shop.  The lack of numbers coming into the shop prompted Laura to print and handout leaflets in the surrounding areas – which proved to work but it was too late in the day for some serious money to be made.

As I predicted before the show, the boy’s team Phoenix won the task, meaning as well as Tom’s first attempt as Project Manager turning into a win, the Blonde Assassin also enjoyed her first ever win in the show.

Laura asked Gaby and Jane to join her in the boardroom, which after a bitch fight had erupted it was Jane who got fired.  It was clear that Gaby was wrongly brought back to the boardroom since she was probably the only one who worked extremely hard throughout the task.

Today’s episode (week five) Lord Sugar turns the candidates’ attentions towards the highly profitable keep fit industry. The teams have two days to devise and brand a new fitness class that reflects recent popular trends like Zumba or Body Pump, which attract gym members to classes in big numbers. They must then pitch their routines to leading health and fitness chains, who will pay for the rights to run them if they like what they see.

Yet again, I am backing up team Phoenix to win this task, since the boy’s team have proved to be more committed in doing whatever it takes to get it right.

Any thoughts?

Anyway, I’d like to leave you with a video below of some funny bits on the last episode.  See you all tonight at 9pm on BBC One

Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four

Me versus Aunty Jee = Simren

One of the weddings I attended was of a distant relative.  It was in Bolton and the weather was miserable.  As you may well have read on my blog on earlier posts that I try my upmost to stay away from Asian social gatherings – and I have my reasons.

However, I had a conversation with an Aunty Jee as follows:

Aunty Jee:  “Puthar (Son), it’s been a long time, where you been hiding?”

Me:  “Hello Aunty Jee, Hiding, No Aunty – I’ve been extremely busy with work and stuff – you know how it is with us young guns”  I’m thinking this will be a quick Hi and Bye.

Aunty Jee:  “Yes, yes, yes, in our days when we were young, we didn’t have all this technology and easy things, like bacebook (she meant facebook) or mobiles bhones (she meant mobile phones) we had to do everything the hard way”

Me:  “I understand Aunty Jee, but…”

Anuty Jee: “You see, today you young generation have ebery (every) thing on plate.  Cars, flats, houses and even ristay (marriage proposals)”

Me: “But..”

Aunty Jee:  “What But but but, look at your 3 piece suit – I bet you have hundreds of these suits but in our time we only had two Sarees.  One in the wash and one we were wearing.  I tell you, there is no value in anything any more”

Me: “But…”

Aunty Jee:  “What but, but.  Tell me have you done shady (married) yet?”

Me:  “No”

Autny Jee:  “What do you mean NO, bloody what’s the problem”

Me:  “Aunty Jee, there is no problem.  You daughter doesn’t answer my phone calls – what can I do”

Pause the conversation.  OK this was meant to be a joke, we call it banter and a sarcastic remark, and oh boy did I ask for it or what.  To be honest, I didn’t even know she had any daughters or at least I can’t recall meeting any recently.  Continue conversation:

Aunty Jee:  “Which daughter, is it Simren.  I tell you Simren is always on Bacebook (facebook) all the time.  She tell Choti (I assume Choti is the younger daughter) she likes you, and Choti tells me – I know, so why she not answer your call – I bloody phix (fix) her.  Oi Simren, Ithay Ahh (Oi Simren come here)” By this point, Anunty Jee was shouting out loud across other people who were seated, “ithay ahh and tell me why you not answer this boys bhone (phone)?”

Me:  “Aunty I was joking, listen Aunty I don’t even know your daughter – I was kidding”

Aunty Jee:  “Puthar it’s OK.  I know Simren, she bloody in her room all day and always in bacebook (facebook).  She been home from Univerbasty (University) for two bloody weeks and I no seen her, she always in labtop (laptop) or listen to busic (music).  I shout but she no bloody hear me”

Pause the conversation.  At this point, I see her daughter called Simren walk up to join us.  I was impressed by Simren’s eloquent walk, and her look (white saree and silver jewellery, with some red touch in it, and did I tell you – white is one of my favourite colours?).  Her look was simply (hardly any cosmetics) but yet pretty and attractive.  I could tell she has natural long hair, but for this occasion she had curled them slightly and she looked beautiful.     I now recognised who Simren is – and the last time I saw her we were much younger at it must have been at least 10 years ago or more.  I felt nervous and I felt my tie get tighter and tighter as Simren approached us.  So as Simren joins us.  Continue Conversation:

Simren:  “Yes Mom, what” with a nice gentle smile towards me.

Aunty Jee:  “Yes mom di batchi (daughter of), ithay ahh.  Why you no take this boy phone call?”

Me:  “Aunty Jee, please listen..”

Aunty Jee:  “Puthar don’t burry (worry), I talk to her”

Simren:  “Mon, what are you talking about, who is he and why would he call me?”  I could see total confusion in Simren’s face.  She too didn’t recognise me and I could feel my collars irritate with the heat expressed by my increasing nervousness.

Aunty Jee:  “What, you don’t know him, hey listen don’t go far with me.  I tell you at home bloody get off bacebook (facebook) and interact with family so you see the real world.  I tell you now and you bloody listen, when this boy call you, you answer his phone – OK”

Simren:  “Mom, are you feeling OK, who is he, and I’m totally confused?”

Aunty Jee:  “Chup karr (Shut up), don’t know who he is.  I don’t want no excuse.”

At this point, Simren is giving me the most serious looks I have ever had in my life.  Having said that Simren is actually pretty and attractive.  I try my best to avoid eye to eye contact with her during the 3-some conversation.  But Aunty Jee, has taken this joke to the next level and I felt embarrassed, ashamed and numb.

Aunty Jee continues:  “Tu Sadah Puthar hai (your our son) and you welcome to our home anytime.  You know where we live now?”

Me:  “Aunty Jee, erm No, I think you lived in South Pudsey right”

Aunty Jee:  “oh no puthar (laughs) that was a long time ago.  We now moved to other end of Pudsey and we have a much bigger house now – you will like.  Simren – give this boy our address now.  Your mom always complains you not at home and is trouble, but she is wrong – you are a good son I will tell her”

Simren:  “Right, give me your number so I can text you our address” Still giving me those serious looks and with a fake smile.  She managed to frown and produce a fake smile at the same time – which was sort of cute but I never felt so nervous in my life.

Me:  “my number is XXXXX XXXXXX, (and at this point the Aunty Jee reaches up for my cheeks, pulls down my face towards her and gives me a sloppy fat kiss on my cheek and walks away), Simren, Serious it was meant to be a joke.  You mom blew it out of proportion”.

Simren:  “How dare you tell a lie?  I am not impressed.  You embarrassed me and this is the last thing I want.  I’ll deal with you later.  Thanks for your number and I’ll text you the address later.  Your reputation speaks for itself and you know what – you will never change” With a punch to my arm she walked away with an angry look (in fact she looked cute).

I thought this was it but then Simren stopped, turned around and said “If you even think about coming over to your house, I’ll make sure you walk away carrying your legs”, she smiled again and walked away.

Dam, Simren from cute turned to hot.  I felt energetic and safe that I got away with it – well sort of.

Around 10 minutes later, I got a text from Simren with the address and a nice little message saying “Don’t even think about it”.

Boy oh Boy, have I been challenged or what.  My reply to her was this :-)

To be continued… but the video somewhat captures the mood soon after:

Phir Mohabbat Karne Chala Hai’ [Official video song] ‘Murder 2′ Ft. ‘Emraan Hashmi’


British-Asian Wedding Marathon Finally Over

..and at last, I get a chance to write and have some quality time to myself.  The British Asian Wedding Marathon has been a blast of a time.

Over the last two weeks popularly known as Easter period, I have attended 5 weddings in 5 days (7th, 8th, 9th, 14th and 15th April).  Not just attended but been pretty much part of the organisation of them too, including all the ceremonial activities, often expanding for couple of weeks prior to the big day.

Over the last few years, the Easter period has increasingly proved to be a popular time in the year for families to plan weddings.  It has benefits for everyone.  The kids are off from schools, students are off from Colleges and Universities and most people who work tend to take off holidays during this period, to be with their families and siblings and also to take advantage of the two public holidays (Good Friday and Bank holiday Monday).

As my wedding marathon comes to a close, I feel proud that I managed to be part of all the weddings, including planning before, during and after each wedding, and still lived to tell the tale(s).

Most of these weddings have been in the planning phase for well over a year and in one case almost two years.  It’s been a sensation in watching each wedding come together on the important day(s) and in the end, it’s all been worth it without a doubt.  Majority of these weddings were either relations or distant relations and a couple were of close family friends.

Many of you no doubt will be aware that Asian weddings are not ‘one day’ ceremony.  Asian weddings span over couple of weeks of ceremonies, including singing and dancing, Mehndi night(s), and other ritual events often building up to the ‘big day’.  These 5 weddings didn’t fall short of any expectations I must say.

It’s been the first time ever that I physically got involved in these weddings.  Previously, I would have come up with all the reasons under the sun, for not wanting to attend such weddings and I have explained this in an early post.  For some reason which is unknown to me, I couldn’t avoid them and in fact – truth be told, I actually wanted to be part of them.

Many people, who read this, will be accustomed to the grandness of Asian weddings, especially South Asian style weddings.  There is never a small wedding and guest less than 400 are frowned upon as not being too Grand-enough.

Right now, I feel extremely tired, not just physically but mentally too (including financially).  While I write this post, I have had a strong mug of coffee.  Thanks to Amy (the Business Analyst) who made me one after instantly recognising that I needed one when I walked into the office like a zombie at 10:25.  You may question “what’s the big deal with having a mug of strong coffee?”  Well the reason why I mention this is because the last time I had coffee was in University during my studies and that was back in 2006.

For now, this is all I can physically and mentally afford to write.  Stay tuned as I have more tales and stories to share with you from these five weddings, including my thoughts, opinions and views on many aspects of Asian weddings.

The Apprentice 2012 – Fourth Episode Today – Week Four

Today, the fourth episode of The Apprentice 2012 will be aired on BBC One at 9pm.  In the last week episodes, which you can read by clicking on the links at the bottom of this post, we have seen the fall of three apprentices so far.

A recap:

Week one said good bye to – Bilyana Apostolova

Week two said good bye to – Maria O’Conner

And, Week Three said good bye to – Michael Copp – they saucy guy.

Last week, prior to the show being aired, when I realised the task was related to food – I predicted that the girls team ‘Sterling’ would be victorious.  I was right.  Although Lord Alan sugar decided to switch few of the people around I couldn’t help thinking that the girls team needed some male muscle to help them – and again my thinking was correct.

Katie, the Blonde Assassin who was heavily criticised in previous two episodes, surprised me by her dominance of the male group.  As the Project Manager for the boys team, she not only was calm and organised, she seemed to have understood a tricky situation really well and come up with a plan B for selling their source, despite losing the first batch to the guys badly following a recipe.

Nonetheless, Katie led her team to failure and currently is the only person who has been on the losing side 3 times.

On the Girl’s team, It appeared that the only two boys seemed to have had a grip on the task.  Despite negative feelings from other girls they pulled it off with a win.

The remaining contestants have begun to show their true colours, and from them you can see who is a doer and who is just hot air.

Today’s episode (week four) Lord Sugar asks the teams to set up second-hand shops in London’s fashionable East End, home to a thriving market in retro and refurbished household goods. The teams must source second-hand stock from auctions, junk shops and car boot sales, and resell at a profit during a one-day-sale from their respective shops.

Today’s task is about having an eye for identifying items which will sell over stuff that simply is just crap – I feel (gut instinct) that the Boy’s team will win.  They have proved to be more daring that the girls and better at sales.

What do you think?

Anyway, I’d like to leave you with a video below of some funny bits on the last episode.  See you all tonight at 9pm on BBC One

Read about previous episodes here, here, here and here.