The British Asian Blog

Life as it is @tbablog

Month: January, 2013

Round Three: Simren 1 – 2 Me : Chronicles Between Simren and I,

Note – This post was originally written in August (2012) but I never published it and it sat in my draft folder till now – since I last blogged about us much has happened between Simren and I.  I feel, now is the right time to publish this post and continue on sharing the ups and downs in our relationship.

Disclaimer – This post may turn out to be a long one (although it was my intention to keep it short and to the point).  As I have always said – I swear to tell the truth, nothing but the truth and if what you read, shocks you to the bone, then appreciate my honesty in confessing the Truth – it never been easy.  The truth needs to be said for this to work.

Before I continue sharing the saga or chronicles around Simren and I, I wanted to show you guys this first:

First text message

First text message

Second Text Message

Second Text Message

These text messages were sent to me by someone (who is known) to me, and who realised that I had expressed ‘unofficial’ or unsanctioned interest in Simren.  I use the word ‘unofficial’ because it was (or is) something no one else knew (or knows) about, arcane if you like, apart from Simren and I – that I was (or I am) interested in her.  Oh, and you guys – my dear readers and visitors – who caught up with the story here on my blog.

While, right now, I should be writing the story behind these very text messages: who sent them?, why they sent them? and why they were written in such a way and sent to me?, I feel the need to write about something else first, and without writing about this something else, the story around these messages will seem and feel as if a big chunk (or chapter) of the story has gone amiss.

So while you ponder about these messages let me get you up to speed with the anecdote till date:

I met a girl (a distant relative of mine) called Simren at a wedding few months ago back in April of this year (this story can be found here part 1), instantly and within a flash, a person like me who is always in pursuit and detection of amorous adventures and who enjoys his inveterate (casanova-libertine) lothario lifestyle, suddenly is lost in a world where only Simren existed (this story can be found here part 2).  She, on the other hand, despite knowing everything (and allot) about me, refused to associate herself with me in anyway, including refusing to speak to me.  Simren’s acuity of me isn’t good at all.  Her insight of me (or rather her perception of me) is simply made up of rumours, chinwag and lies, which have swelled in my community by those old folks who don’t see this young gun in a favourable way but see me a threat to their very (old) establishment.

I can handle everything that’s thrown at me, be it lies, threats, misinterpretation, slander, character assassination and so on, but one thing I really find difficult to deal with, is that people have this perception or acuity that I am some sort of (white-collar) gangster a sort of business bully, which overshadows the hard work I put into attaining success and to think and do things differently.  I am certainly not a white-collar gangster or any type of bully and it makes my blood boil and it pushes my rage to a volcanic eruption when people look at me in that way.  I have learnt one big lesson in life which is:  it’s not that you (as an individual) can’t be successful, it’s because people won’t let you be successful – so either you worry about these people and get embroiled in their smoke-screen distraction or simply side step them and attempt to attain success.  I have made my decision.

Eventually after pulling some strings she finally agreed to meet me (this story can be found here, part 3).  To go any further in reading this post, I would strongly suggest you read part 1, 2 and 3 first in order to really understand the entire picture.  If, on the other hand, you have checked out the links, then that’s you all caught up to my saga and we can continue.

Since then, I met Simren in person on a few occasions:

The first time we met was Wednesday 25th May.  She arrived into Leeds train station after finishing from University.  On this day, she arrived a little earlier than when she would normally arrive.  If you have read part 3 to this story, you will know that Simren had sanctioned me to 3 conditions for when we meet – which I agreed to with alacrity otherwise she was not willing to entertain the idea of meeting me, these sanctions were:

1.   I was to pick her up from Leeds train station when she commutes back from University.  She didn’t want me driving all the way up to her University and picking her up from there.

2.   I don’t pick her up in anyone of my cars; a taxi will do for her.  She simply didn’t want to be seen with me or in my car.

3.   No suits or professional wear, projecting the ill-perception people have of me as a white-collar gangster – just casual wear is what she would prefer.  In her view, I had a bad name, a bad reputation and one of the reasons (albeit a trivial one) was my appearance and image.

Despite, at the time agreeing to the sanctions or conditions, the only condition I could realistically keep to was point 1 (to pick her up from Leeds train station).  Point 2 (not to pick her up in my car) was something I just could not do.  No offense or umbrage to any taxi driver or taxi services in Leeds but I rather be in my own car and more to the point, I have nothing to hide or be cautious about with what I drive or own.  As for point 3 (casual wear) this was a little difficult, especially when I was at work for most of the morning, entertaining a handful corporate colleagues from the United States of America on business visit to our Leeds offices.  Besides, casual wear is something I simply don’t do especially during the day, when I am up to my neck in balancing my personal businesses with my corporate and professional lifestyle.

To summarise this first engagement or meeting with Simren (in the interest of keeping this post short and to the point) was simply ‘house on fire’.  Despite my reservation of where Simren decided to go for our initial drinks and then early dinner, I realised that Simren did all she could to make me feel comfortable and was very amiable, especially in places where I wouldn’t normally go for drinks, lunch or dinner.

Freakish as it may seem, but up until Simren uttered the following words “…honestly, I know you’re not a bad guy, and we have known eachother since kids.  It’s just the type of business you’re involved in or associated with freaks me out…” and where she continued “…and the fact that you have this casanova lifestyle which majority of girls are too well aware of simply makes me feel sorry for you…”  I was a total nervous wreck, which according to my records is a first but I acquiesced to her words.  The other thing I was nervous and somewhat confused about was how this girl, single handedly, managed to change my entire world literally in a flash, but yet had no idea of what she was doing or had done?  Does this really happen, or, am I just a one off?

The initial drinks went well, and I was glad in one respect, that she had decided to make the most of the time with me.  Looking back now, if we had just gone for a meal, I feel we wouldn’t have had the time to really relax and try to understand each other, and each others concerns about one another (or rather her reservations and qualms about me).

During the initial drinks and later, the early meal, there were some close encounters which could have potentially made matters worse for me, or bluntly put, could have screwed up things for me.  To help you understand let me try explaining what I mean.  Leeds and Yorkshire is my home turf or territory, and as the person that I am, my business and ways of doing things means engaging with many people of similar interests and business, and at times, getting involved in situations/business where no one else dares to.  As such, people either come to know you or come to know of you.  So when I’m out-and-about its normal for people to walk up to you, acknowledge you and ask your well being.  This, for Simren, was something different and something which she never really experienced.  Luckily, Simren was sarcastically impressed by my popularity (amongst these people) but I was glad that Simren didn’t feel too uneasy with what she witnessed and was going on.

The other thing was the location which Simren decided to go for our early dinner.  It was a restaurant of a known associate, someone who knows me all too well – as such is my relationship with the owner that – no matter when or who I go there with (according to past experiences) the owner never bills me, and at times giving the same treatment to people associated with me for the privilege of eating at the restaurant.  So while, Simren echoed where she planned to have our dinner, still while we were sat having our initial drinks, I couldn’t help but to worry that the owner may simply land me in it by treating me different from his regular customers and even worse, not charging for the privilege of eating at his restaurant.  So while, I made the excuse to use the mens room, I sent a text message to my friend saying “..,heading to beeeep beeeep, get it sorted with the owner…” which simply meant, I was heading to the restaurant and he should get there before me and tell the owner not to treat me any different from his regular customers and to accept payment when offered.

The plan worked wonders, and the owner didn’t give away the slightest indication that I was getting special treatment, although I could see some nervous waiters running over to our table to my slight twitch of the hand or a distant but blank glare at them.  Overall it made everything appear normal and it kept Simren in her skin and stopped her reminding me of who I am and of my reputation.

It’s worth noting that, I am big in understanding women psychology, and throughout our first meeting I read her clearly.  For example, when she realised after receiving her in Leeds train station that I had arrived in my own car, she raised an eyebrow and while giggling a little and leaning into my side as we walked towards my car, she punched me on my arm, indicating to me that she knew I was going to pull a stunt like this, so it didn’t come across to her as much of a shock or disappointment.  During the ride to our first destination for drinks, she somewhat felt scared and nervous, as she practically hugged her bag through the short distance to our destination.  In the second half of our time together, she began to relax a little, especially when she touched and fiddled with my cufflinks unknowingly all the while we relaxed and comfortably conversed.  You see, for her, she probably didn’t even realise that she was touching me, but for me, it appeared loud and clear on my radar.

To help you understand, how much this girl means to me in such a short time – let me give you some trivial statistics:  In the entire time together, she touched me or some part of me 11 times.  She checked her phone only 4 times in the entire time she was physically with me.  She said my name 16 times, she yawned 0 times and she smiled all the time.  Get the picture?

As I drove her home, around 9:15pm, after spending 6 hours and almost 45 mins together, I could see she was relaxed, not just by her posture but by placing her handbag in the back seat of the car, whereas as earlier she had hugged it as if it contained a gold bar or something of equal value.

As we approached her house, I pulled up my car just before her driveway, as I was slightly nervous and somewhat reluctant in driving my 4×4 roaring up to the side of her house.  We parked, and there was silence for a few precious moments – neither of us uttered a word.  I guess, in my mind, I was thinking whether today she had found me guilty or would she reconsider my plea of ‘not-guilty’ and pardon me – since she was hell bent on convicting me over my reputation with other women and perception of being some sort of gangster, albeit a white-collar one.  If I was to guess, during the same silence, she was thinking whether this was for real, whether this was some sort of bait to lower her into a trap or connive and whether this was something I do with all the other women – something which I was too well known for doing, but she, on the flip side, could have been thinking that maybe she got me wrong, and there was, afterall, another side to me and my reputation.  Either way, as we acknowledge that our time had come to an end for today, I quickly jumped out of my car, and rushed over to her side, and as any gentleman would do, I opened the door on her side and lent her my hand to help her get down from my 4×4 car.  As I watched her walk up her driveway, she turned and uttered “…are you going to call me?…” to which I replied “…no…”, she twitched her eyebrows in a cute manner, smiled and said “…why…”  I paused and then replied “…I want you to think about today, take your time and then think about today some more, then call me…”  She then gave me this warm glare and turned and vanished out of sight.  I was still, somewhat, nervous of me and Simren.  Was this one meeting enough for her to see who I am and what I am like as a person?  or, would today only scratch the surface of what she really thought about me?  It was then that I was convinced more than ever before, that this girl was the one for me.  She had to be otherwise why was I feeling so weird, different and like an excited child again?

Nonetheless, while contemplating and reflecting on how today went, exactly after 11 mins of dropping her off, I got a text from Simren, which read “…thank you, you’re not a bad guy, I’m still thinking…”.  I pulled up my car, and decided to send back a “;-)” and leave it to that.

It then took Simren 26 hours and 13 ever so long minutes to finally send me a modicum text, and in this text came a new opportunity for me, an opportunity which I thought I would never get or deserved to get – her text said “…thinking over, y’day when u dropped me off, I saw mum in lounge she asked me a question through her smile, and t’day evening when I got back from Uni, I replied back to mums question w’d my answer a smile too 😉

Our relationship from here on grew at a comfortable cumulative pace.  I wasn’t in her face all the time, something which I’m known to do, and she wasn’t in mine.  This meant that we both knew it needed to go at it’s own pace, not because we didn’t want to rush into anything quick (if it was up to me, I’d whisk her away immediately and get married to her), but because both of us have allot on.  Me and my profession-business-personal-student lifestyle and Simren with her final year and Law exams.  I was more convinced now than ever before that Simren was the one for me – everything felt new, bright, and refreshing, and as it stood, I would ‘do anything’ to win her over and ‘at any cost’.

As time went on, I contemplated changing my current lifestyle, which involved many ‘no-strings’ attached relationships with acquaintances, including those who possessed wealth, money, power, beauty and fame.  Simren was that reason for me to walk away from such a lifestyle, say goodbye, to never look back and begin to live a lifestyle where everything evolved around one person, Simren, and where it remained demure.  She would be my lust, my acquaintance, my wife, my desire, my ambition, my world, my yearn, my crave, my covet and much more.

The following few weeks and months, we began to talk and text more frequently.  It seemed the power above was sending down blessings all at once as all family get togethers, barbecues, weddings, mehndis (Hinnah) and birthday parties meant another encounter with Simren and her family, each one more aromatic than the previous, more energetic than the last.

Being the youngest in my family, it didn’t take long for my siblings to figure out something was brewing between me and Simren.  My sisters and sister-in-laws, who never fail to have banter and repartee at my expense, quickly and deliberately bribed me in doing things where the reward would be having an encounter with Simren.  It often meant accompanying them to mehndis and family dinners, or boring-long desi shopping.  To make matters worse, one of my nephews who is 7 years old even had the nerve to say “…Cha-cho, is Simren going to live with you…” in front of my brothers and sisters.  (Cha-Cho = Uncle)

In short, the tide was changing.  A once, stone hearted, insensitive to the feelings of the opposite sex, heartbreaker with intention, a casanova, a lothario, person was suddenly contemplating a change and that too for the good.  On the other hand, Simren too had begun to accept me as a person who wasn’t after all that bad from what she initially thought.  She expressed some of this during a few phone conversations and physical encounters.  Admittedly, it would take a lot more to really get Simren to fully trust me, especially with the reputation I unknowingly had.

Simren even asked for my advice in how she should tell her friends about our interaction(s).  If you have read the previous parts to this story, you would be familiar with how her friends viewed me as nothing more than a spoilt low life, insensitive and a complete prick with no respect for others, and you will be familiar with the fact that, I did not spare her friends from my target list (although, at the time, I didn’t know they were Simren’s friends ). I discussed how best to break this news to her friends and we worked on a plan, it seemed things were falling in the right place for both of us.

Until when disaster struck:

The stone hearted person that I am, there is one thing I do really good and that is ‘hurting’ other people, mainly people of opposite sex.  At times its unintentionally but majority of the times is intentionally.  As such, I did the same with Simren.

Over a tiny misapprehension which is not worth mentioning one bit, I hurt Simren badly.  So bad that she felt as if I had done everything to win her trust, lead her out to a new world of unknowns holding her hand, where everything is possible and then suddenly find that I simply abandoned her all alone, scared, derided, used and abused.

Over this little misapprehension, which Simren wasn’t aware of, I decided to drive Simren away from me.  It was all my gratuitous fault and zero blame goes towards Simren for this.  Each tear that she cried was that one reminder of who I am, each tear she cried was that one reminder of how impertinent and bad of a person I am, each tear she cried was a reminder of how much pain I put her through.

Following this misapprehension Simren had fallen out with me good and proper.  She shut off from the world or the world which I knew off and it was practically impossible for me to get in touch with her – until, not so long ago at a family gathering to celebrate the engagement of another couple that I managed to see her.  As my eyes landed on her, while she walked into the hotel lobby, my heart sank yet again.  That nervous feeling that had clenched my chest, my stomach and my throat resurfaced again.  She was, as always, a pleasure to see, that freshness that entered my life, she was that reason that I needed to change, for a person like me, nothing but a miracle could change my lifestyle and she was that miracle.

Every moment that past, every second that ticked away at this engagement celebration – I dedicated it to Simren – she had occupied me, my mind, my thoughts all this time.  Despite, Simren interacting with everyone including my family – she never once acknowledged me.  From a distance I could see Simren, and I felt that she knew I was watching her the whole time.  An opportunity to speak to her arose when the ladies were handing out drinks to everyone.  As she approached me, I thought of all the possible words I could say to simply speak to her again, sincerely apologise to her and to make her see that my interest in her is like no other and genuine.  She didn’t bother asking me what drink I’d like to have, and she reached out for a glass topped up with my favorite drink Irn-Bru and said “I got you your favorite, just for you”, and with a smile she handed the glass to me, conscious of the fact that she doesn’t make any hand to hand contact.  With a warm, refreshing and beautiful smile – she then leaned over to my right side, inches away from my ear and uttered “…your reputation speaks for itself and you know what – you will never change…”, these were the exact same words she used in our first encounter at the wedding (part 1) and she made a point by uttering them again.  These words echoed in my head, I don’t even remember if I actually finished my drink, or what happened in the ceremony after this.  All I remember is feeling weak, ill, nadir, worried, nervous and in a constant blur – I finally met my match.

Ever since then, Simren has done everything in her means to avoid all contact and communication with me, and continues to exercise taciturn.  I, on the other hand, have gone back to my same lifestyle where it’s all work, business, study and plenty of pleasure.

Until:

A very close acquaintance of mine who resides in South Asia, who not only is available to my beck and call (and likewise), but goes out of her way to help me as and when I need help irrelevant of how busy our lives are.  I must extol that at times when were sensible she injects sensible thoughts into my head.  On this matter, she has been exceptionally understanding and considerate.  I confided in her without any barriers or restrictions, she has ever since strongly pushed me towards making amends with Simren after perusal of the situation.  According to her ‘My Truth’ is hard for women to handle, and as such advised that I simply put all this right – as Simren is every bit worth fighting for.  I’m glad someone other than myself sees it from my point of view too.

Concentrate your energies, your thoughts and your capital. The wise man puts all his eggs in one basket and watches the basket – a wise quote.

There and then, I decided to put all my eggs in one basket, and give this a go one more time with everything I have or I can do, as I repudiate this situation.

As I prepared for battle, and conditioned my mind to be truculent in fighting what she throws at me, I was sent these text messages (which I displayed earlier in the post) which simply meant – it now wasn’t just about Simren and I, but another person has entered this war and, he, for sure isn’t on my side or wanton.

The story about these messages, who wrote them?  Who is this person ?  Why did this person write them?  What is my relationship with this person?  will all be revealed in my next post.  But as you come to read the last words of this post, consider yourself all upto date with my story with Simren – as from here onwards, you will walk with me into this battle – failure indeed is not an option.

This song captures the very mood that I am in and best explains my feelings for Simren:

Achievement Award for 2012

The desire to succeed in life has always been the fire or flame inside me.  No matter what it is, how trivial it is – I have the desire to succeed.  Those who know me spend their time around me and who generally come in and out of my environment will be all too familiar with this flame – it’s always burning.

This morning when I arrived into office we had our regular communications meeting – scheduled once every month for all managerial positions to attend to learn about developments, progress, issues, solutions and regular updates – I was presented with an ‘Achievement Award’ for 2012.  It came as a total shock and surprise to me when the chair of the meeting and regional director announced my name, in front of approximately 30 other managers seated and another 10 or 20 who attended via video conference, called me up and handed me the award certificate.

The wording on the certificate said “Achievement Award – awarded for dedication and perseverance resulting in 100% successful project/assignment delivery this calendar year”, and with this came a high street voucher for £250.  During the meeting one more person was given an achievement award.

Since then, it’s dawned upon me that although I was engulfed and indulged in the daily grind of ensuring those projects under my management were on track to be delivered and where I fought endlessly to ensure the projects didn’t derail – it took someone else to recognise my hard work, dedication and desire to succeed, and it felt good and valued.

During 2012, I successfully delivered 3 projects which ran parallel to one another, and delivered 4 major milestones with our ongoing main healthcare contract – total value of these projects for 2012 hits approximately £4.7 million.  My previous best in 2010 was £4.2 million.

Although this certificate indicates that I exceed expectation of my targets that were set, my annual performance review is already looking promising.  What helped my confidence was the regional manager who later approached me at my office and congratulate me in person hinted to ensure I get prepared for my annual appraisal which to me indicates towards two things pay increase and promotion to the next tier above, something which my manager hinted in November last year.

I’m in my office, with this certificate on my desk and I’m wondering whether I could do this again – whether I could beat my 2012 best efforts of delivering projects beyond £4.7 million worth?

All I can say is this – I have the desire to succeed.

Pakistan vs India

This post isn’t about a cricket game between these two great nations, although I wish it was.  It’s very unfortunate that I start the year with a blog post of such nature, but I feel I need to express my views on a situation which potentially can escalate out of control.

India and Pakistan – The British Asian Blog

In the last few days, tension between India and Pakistan has risen to a dangerous level, and the dangerous level between these two nuclear armed neighbours could potentially escalate into a regional war and bring further insecurity to this region.

I have returned from India just this weekend, after spending the entire December in Bangalore and Mumbai.  This news first popped up on the radar on Sunday, when I was about to fly out of Bangalore to Manchester via a complicated-connecting flights, and instantly I realised that this was news that is likely to escalate, especially the way the media in India was so aggressively reporting.

India and Pakistan have lived together as one nation peacefully before.  If it wasn’t for the ‘border’ which divides this nation into two – I believe these two countries (as one) would/could have been a serious contender for the worlds ‘next super power’.  But you see, those who occupied India (the British) new of its potential and what it had to offer – fearing what could or can become in the future, they decided that while they made preparations to leave – they would leave a gift for this nation, a gift which would simply keep their power, focus and attention concentrated in its own territory forgetting about the rest of the world.  This great gift came into two parts – the first part of the gift was the border and the second part of the gift was Kashmir.

Since the British exited from India, their gift to this nation has done exactly what they expected it to do.  The border has divided a nation into two and Kashmir has been a place where both sides will not lose at any cost.

The recent events along the line of control between Pakistan and India has made me nervous – especially in the sense of what this can lead to if either side refuses to back down or avoid escalation of the issue.  Now, some may argue that India started this aggression and provoked Pakistan into reacting others may argue that it was Pakistan who first crossed the line of control (LOC) into India – and to be fair, neither side will gain anything positive out of this but those who gifted this nation the border are probably sat back, sipping a cup of tea and having a laugh at the expense of India and Pakistan.

I don’t want to see these two great nations, armed to the teeth, ready to rip each other apart.  I don’t want to see the development of both nations hindered to its borders when the world has become a smaller place.  I definitely don’t want to see sectarian and religious violence to erupt especially since all religions have co-existed peacefully for centuries and the very fact that all religions in the region are prospering to this very day is a testament in itself of peaceful co-existence between them.

As a British Asian, I find it difficult to stomach how these two nations have been divided and that the only things which have come out of it are brutality, war, instability and arrogance.

Let there be love for two brothers separated by a wall.

2012: Year in Review ‘no end’

It wasn’t so long ago, that I was reviewing year 2011 – and for the life of me I can’t work out where a whole year has gone.  I now write a review (in the shortest way possible) for year 2012.

Firstly and most importantly:  All praise is to the Lord above, who has yet again blessed me and continues to do so.  Not only do I remember ‘you my Lord’ for when times are hard and for when in trouble or for when evil surrounds me, but for when you bestow upon me happiness and success in wherever my focus goes, and for this, ‘I am ever indebted to you my Lord’.

With all new chapters and new starting points in life, I like to start with a little prayer.  The previous paragraph is my attempt to say thank you to my Lord.  In my view, words cannot express the humbleness, gratitude and appreciation that I have for everything in my life.  It’s easy to fall into a habit of calling upon the Lord in hardship and when in trouble, but it’s hard to remain focused and thank the Lord for when we are happy, successful and trouble free, and this, in my view, is key.

As I write this post on my iPad, the time is 7:50pm here in Mumbai.  I’m, alone, in probably the highest building which has an open top roof bar.  I’m sat in Aer Lounge, in what is known as ‘Sunset Happy Hour’ at the 34th floor open air lounge in Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai.  I’ve made this a place which I visit regularly; at least every 2nd or 3rd day – and I love this place.  In fact, I am in love with India, with Mumbai, and with the hustle and bustle of the city (but not the crazy traffic during peak hours, honestly, I thought the traffic in Leeds was bad).  More about India in future posts.

I’ve just witnessed the sunset from this jaw dropping view.  I’ve sat here on this very spot probably about 12 times in the past 4 weeks – but today I came here alone, without my acquaintance or with my new friends that I have made here in Mumbai.  Today’s sunset was a different one.  It reminded me of how 2012 came and went, and it’s given me an opportunity to reflect on the highs and lows of 2012.

Don’t worry, I won’t bore you with my highs and lows for 2012, but what I will say is this:

2012 has been a year of great challenges.  I have deliberately made some tough decisions in pretty much all aspects of my life.  You could say, I deliberately and consciously decided to walk on a path that has been less treaded on, knowing that the journey via this route is unpredictable, more stressful and more dangerous, but I know the reward and satisfaction in the end is invaluable against the grave risks I have decided to take.

As for 2013, well, I know for sure that this year will be more challenging than 2012 or 2011 ever was or double of what I experienced last year.  I accept that.  I am willing to accept the challenges for this year and do what I do best ‘fight on’.

This blog will be the gateway for me to echo what is happening, the challenges I am facing and what I get up to. This blog in itself is yet another challenge for 2013, as I’m sure most of you will agree with me that finding the time to blog is a challenge in our busy and bustling lifestyles.  What keeps me energised and enthusiastic to continue blogging is you guys.  I have met some great bloggers and some fantastic people from all around the world through blogging – it is you guys that fuel me in continuing to share my stories, experiences and views.  You may or may not agree with my views and opinions but we are a community and I’m glad to be part of it.

With that I’d like to wish all of you a happy New Year.

Good Bye 2012 and Welcome 2013.

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