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Tag: life

Engagement Ke Side-effects: Demons

*name changed to protect identity

It has been difficult several months since our engagement.  I’m tempted to tell you in very fine detail but I see that you are focused on two important parts of your life, your career and our wedding.  I’ve battled my demons before, but since our engagement, my new demons or rather big compared to the past – they make me weaker.  You see me, I stand outside my car on the curb leaning my back on the bonnet of my Range Rover.  I see you park your car and walk over to me.  You have a giggling walk – you half walk and half run towards me. You push yourself and lean into me, you reach up and run your hands through my hair.  Gosh that feels good, it’s soothing and it’s meaningful.  “How are you” you say, and your hands are still in my hair.  Only if I could tell you that I’m weakening from within.  I use to be strong but I don’t feel it anymore.  I use to get what I want – even the camaraderie of another women ‘as and when’ but limited to sex only, now I can’t.  I want to tell you that I am fighting my demons and believe me Simren*, I am fighting them hard – with everything I have got.

“A little tired” I reply and display my cheeky smile.  You look up at me, into my eyes, I look back and I love what I see.  Your innocent eyes, the shape of them, the curled eyelashes and the smoothness of your skin, fresh and young – But I look away, I fear you may see into my heart – the truth that I am hiding and hiding the war I am fighting with my demons.  It isn’t a pleasant war and, for sure, I don’t want you to see it.

We get into my car, I drive, I have a habit of sitting comfortably in my seat – as if I’m learning deliberately on to your side.  I have my left-hand relaxing on the central column.  You slide your hand and lock your fingers into mine.  I look towards you; you hum away and look out of the window at the store fronts.  You connected your hand to mine via a subconscious action and I feel privileged.  Your hand is cold yet soft.  I like it, it is like a reassurance and I equally respond.  I squeeze your hand a little hard, I can see from the side of my vision you turn and look at me “easy tiger” you say.  I laugh and continue staring ahead.

Ah yes these words “easy tiger” do feed my demons.  Thoughts spring into my mind.  Thoughts of how these words have been uttered to me before.  These thoughts you don’t want to know.  They use to spur me on during my extra circular activities with women.  A kind of trigger to suggest I’m just going beyond the point of pleasure and into pain.  Then these words didn’t bring me a notch lower but increase in intensity, in rhythm, physically and went on to inflict more pain, until they screamed “stop, stop that’s enough” or physically escaped out of position.  I can’t see myself do this to you Simren.  I glance back at you to reaffirm this understanding and you do, you are innocent, you are unaware and you have underestimated this beast.  I am a beast, I’ve learnt to tame and discipline myself, but for how long.  After all a beast is a beast.

We arrive at our destination.  You, like an excited kid, want to jump out of the car.  I ask you to wait “hold on stay seated”.  You are confused, you need to get used to it.  It is a gentleman’s norm to walk over to the passenger side and open the door for you.  I offer my arm and you hug it and leap off from the passenger side.  I feel your chest and arms wrap around my arm and I’m pleasantly surprised.  The demons are back and I need to fight them again.

You walk in before me, your hand leading me behind you.  I smell the fragrance of your hair, as the air plays with it.  I’m sure I smelt raspberry, which is soft and delicate.  You simply stop at the reception, slightly taken back by the design, darkness and uniqueness of this place.  It can be overpowering if you haven’t been here before.  Admittedly it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.  Here you’ll usually find barristers, politicians, directors and other powerful entities dinning – a show of power, privilege and to some extent the wealth.  You look confused and I take this opportunity to walk ahead of you.  We’re greeted and he talks to me by name.  You looked surprised that I’m familiar to this place, that they know me by my name.  Without any hesitation, we’re asked if we want to be seated at our table.  I offer you to walk in front, and you are still confused, taken back and wondering.

“We’ve done as you wished sir, you have the best table on this floor”.  I hint to you to let him take off your coat for you.  It’s the norm here.  You still look confused and slightly overwhelmed.  I like it.  In fact, I find it very attractive.  The slightly confused actions of your coat being taken off for you and you taking it off at the same time makes me smirk and leer.  It is always ladies first, here.

Being here, being so very well acquainted to this place and the surprised yet confused look on your face make me wonder what you are wondering.  I look at you and I see you are the prettiest thing here, but how do I say it to you.  Anything I say will not settle in you.  I reach out over the table, under the lamp my cufflink sparkle, you nervously bring out your left hand from under the table and place it in mine.  Now it’s warm, it’s soft and the skin feels young.  I squeeze it, like I did in the car to reassure you that it is all about you.  Yes, it is all about you.  The place is new to you but you are new to me.  I’ve become weaker in fighting my demons, the demons that so want me to commit my first mistake with you before we become official, official in the eyes of the world.  You try to reach over to my tie “You’re so far away from me” and I acknowledge.  I shuffle my chair closer to you; I’m always trying to come closer to you even physically.  You need to understand Simren, you are the longest I’ve known a girl without having gone as far as I have done with others.  This isn’t normal for me.  I must learn to respect you, you will symbolise how I look at others in a few months and I need to make sure you see that I am fighting, I am fighting these demons with everything I have.

I will fight! I will win!

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24 Hour Internet Ban – Every Week

Late last year, around late November, there was a new trend afloat around within my crew. Internet ban for 24 hours.  From seven of us in the crew, one had been toying with the idea to self-impose an Internet ban for at least 24 hours during the week, or rather, for one full day and night every week.  At the time when this was discussed, I brushed aside the idea, thinking that I, out of all the people, was in control of when and how I access the internet, be it on my laptop/PC, tablet or mobile phone.

I was wrong.

Two weeks ago, the same idea, was adopted by an acquaintance of mine.  She casually mentioned it during a late night, unplanned meal, and she and this whole self-imposed Internet ban got be thinking.

Now, I know the era we live in today is regarded, probably unofficially, as the Information Age.  I guess, others may call it Computer Age, Digital Age or New Media Age.   Information surrounds us whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.  What makes this possible is how digital/electronic devices have, it seems, embedded themselves permanently into our lives. 20 years, or so, ago, technology evolved gradually.  As a toddler I remember, In our household and I guess in any other household, you’d find a telephone, TV, audio player with radio and a video cassette player as devices capable of providing information – and that would be all.  The only time you’d replace one of these items would be when the old one broke and the old bloke at the local repair shop said it was beyond repair.  That’s right; you’d literally have local shops that specialised in repairing electronic devices.

Technology is now evolving at a far greater pace than one can and could have ever anticipated.  Everyone, and I literally mean everyone from children, teenagers to adults are exposed to Information Overload.  Infobesity and Infoxication is a reality and people are suffering from this, whether they’re aware or not.  People are finding it difficult to break away from this Information Overload and thus, I believe, have difficulty in understanding how to make decisions which can be caused by the presence of too much information.  By this I mean, people of all ages fail to understand how important it is to make decisions in real life and away from this artificial reality.

The idea for a 24 hour internet ban is to divert your attention and energy into something else.  It’s an idea that, if adhered to religiously, means that you may begin to (re)discover, life around you again.  Life that isn’t lived or viewed through technology or the Internet.  I must admit, I’m not a heavy user of technology and Internet on the move, but at times, I do find myself so immersed that I fail to see the world moving around me.

So, I’ve decided to implement this idea on a trial basis.  See how it works for me and see if it actually makes a difference of some sort.

But, it won’t be easy.

At least, it won’t be easy in selecting which day of the week I have an Internet ban on.  My extra curricular activities and social get together are, all pretty much, arranged via my digital devices – which – I also use to work on and run my businesses.  How and where do I draw the line?

On paper, Wednesday, seems to be a good day to introduce a 24 hour Internet ban.  It will be interesting to know how this works out, and whether I am able to adhere to it, and begin to focus and put more energy in other parts of my life – which currently – is a mix of life-work-Internet-technology.

I hope to provide a regular update on how this turns out, and what impact (positive or negative) it is having.

Would you consider adhering to a 24 hour Internet ban?

Do you think it’ll change anything?

Rock On

Okay, so maybe I was in two minds up until now, especially after my last post ‘the chronicles between Simren and I’.  Soon after publishing the last post, I had decided with warranted reasons I must add, that I wouldn’t write or blog about it anymore.  All, what I had written so far about Simren and I, was done with great pain and sting.  What I had written, the candor expressed, although anonymously and arcane, still did make me nervous and for many reasons.  My decision was made.

Until

Now, somehow and in someway, my personal experience and in general the ‘happenings’ between Simren and I, has attracted attention.  Thanks to my followers and readers and to their perusal, who contacted me either via my blog or email, encouraged me to continue, admittedly taken back by the response.  Continue in sharing the episodes between us, and I am somewhat persuaded in making every effort, more than ever and with more determination to keep you guys in touch with it all, and where I find myself unable to repudiate.

This type of attention and determination brings me back to my days at boarding school somewhere in Berkshire.  It was there, at the tender age of 13, a nervous and truculent British Asian boy with a wanton attitude entered an intimidating environment, which later shaped his character to what he is today.  I guess a dedicated blog post about this is on the horizon.  It was there, in that very boarding school that salient preference was given to writing, and handwriting in particular – irrelevant of who you were, which family you belonged to, which internal house you were in, and what great things you may be aligned to do where the history of this boarding school was hard to ignore.  We were encouraged to write, not type, despite every student been given a laptop, and write anything and about everything.  It was a way of expressing, letting out the demons, capturing what needed to be said on a fresh piece of paper, neatly bound together to form a navy blue hardback writing book – where each new page screamed out for my imagination, feelings and thoughts, helped by the creepy, suspicious harry potter type of dark and cold environment.

From the many years I spent in that environment, as my age ticket by so did the habit of writing.  Writing, before long, became normal but a method to free yourself of all the anger, hate, reservations, confusion and reasons why you just didn’t want to be there, away from family and away from your real world.

Since then, till now, the only visible change is the replacement of that navy blue hardback writing book to this blog.  Then, whatever was written wasn’t for the public domain, but today it is. although written anonymously.

If you have had the pleasure of reading about me, you will notice a strong dedication of learning, of educating beyond aberration or expectations of many.  That’s right, I continue to educate myself in many forms.  This can only be achieved by writing and reading.  Both writing and reading compliment each other and go hand in hand.  In my case, writing helps me make sense of things, a kind of birds eye view of things, which otherwise is simply impossible.  As far as my situation with Simren is concerned – meticulous writing about it – as and how it is – helps me understand the entire situation, a sort of roadmap with a birds eye view – on what the terrain looks like, and, what I am taking on no matter how lurid or modicum it is.

Considering the above, I will now make every effort to post regularly about our story – exactly as it happens and unfolds, even if it is morose.  I envisage to post once every two weeks the very least and without word limit restrictions.  This is in addition to writing about everything else surrounding British Asians.

Yes, I may piss some of you off, I may also annoy some of you by the methods I adopt to achieve the desired result – I may even encourage some of you in your fight for that right person, a sort of panacea if you like.  I may give courage to others that it is worth every effort.  I may even provide you with some entertainment and repartee – albeit at my own expense..

So, on that note, Que le jeu commence…

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.

Change

The British Asian Blog – Change

The combination of ‘change’ and ‘life’ is a weird one.  As life goes on second by second it’s also changing at the same pace.  In fact, if I dwell on this deeper – no two seconds are the same and can never be.  Some changes in life are obvious and appear on our life radar and we learn to deal with them, because change is something we simply cannot stop or avoid and some changes happen in small increments, and if we show patients and pay enough attention to the detail in our lives we’ll notice them.  I guess, in dealing with change we either try fighting it, or, do what I usually do, make it into an opportunity and take advantage of it – because whether you like it or not, change is going to happen.

This time last year, I was preparing for some changes in my life on virtually all fronts.  I guess, I had ventured or steered the direction of my life into a path that was less threaded on.  By that I mean, I jumped out of the rat race that our lives are so glued to in the system we live in and decided that going through a path which hasn’t been threaded on much, would, of course, be very turbulent and unpredictable but at the same time, more rewarding and more satisfying the very least.  There could also be the possibility that it could all go horribly wrong.

So almost a year ago from today when I write this post, I made some tough decisions in my life for the future, knowing full well that change was inevitable on all fronts – be it my profession, my PhD research and education, my family, my friends and relationships, on the entrepreneurial level, in my businesses and future ventures.  Change was to happen and I needed to be prepared for it, both mentally, physically and emotionally.

What I write here today isn’t about describing and explaining change in every aspect of my life – that will be explained, I hope, in future posts as and when ‘change’ happens.  This post, I wanted to dedicate to, sharing with you guys some of the stuff that has happened or is about to happen in very brief description – I guess to set the tone for going into 2013 and beyond.

In less than 24 hours, I will be well on my way to India.  This would be my second such visit to a country, which prior to 2012, I hadn’t even contemplated I’d visit twice – let alone in one year.  India as a country, has taken me by surprise.  I’m in love with it, with its people and with its culture.  It fascinates me in every way – and I’d like to thank that one special person in my life, who took me under her wing and showed me the ‘true India’.  In my view, it’s a place where the future is, or at least, the future is for business and future entrepreneurial ventures – and I’m jumping on that bandwagon early.

About 8 months ago, that special acquaintance who resides in India approached me with an idea, a brand new venture on a very large scale.  Prior to her approaching me, she had worked alone on this idea for well over a year.  I must add, her profession and assignments usually occupy her entire time, but when she could afford the time – it was dedicated in recuperating and on this new venture.  So, 8 months ago or maybe a little longer, she made a decision to take this idea of a new venture to the next level and bring in a partner or an investor.  The idea behind bringing another party (or individual) was that it could continue on its own merit and where she could continue on in her profession and career.  I use the word ‘investor’ loosely and if there is one thing there is no shortage of, and which usually is a core ingredient for all ventures, then that is finance and money.  Access to money is not a problem and this is key.  In part of taking this idea to the next level, she put together a list of people who she would consider to approach and bring in as partners.  As she did a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats) analysis on the few people she had in mind, I was the only remaining potential that ticket most of her boxes.  If I failed in any area then that was my location.  I reside in UK and she in India.

Due to her profession and career, this new venture couldn’t be associated with my acquaintance at any cost – simply due to legal reasons and complicated career contracts.  It was ideal for a new face, someone who, to the world, would appear to be fresh, energetic and most importantly an entrepreneur from the West, i.e. UK or USA.  So we engaged and she broke this news to me, I felt privileged, excited but at the same time nervous and a little tense.  As my rule in life, with any acquaintance has always been, just that, an acquaintance is just an acquaintance and no relationship or friendship would come of it, and definitely no business ventures.  When I asked her why me, her response was out of the world and in that description of me she used the words ‘passion’, ‘determination’, ‘creativity’, ‘disciplined and confidence’.  If any of you know me in person, then you would know that new challenges attract me, they turn me on and I can’t resist but to take on the challenge.  I guess that hunger to succeed takes over.

As we continued to discuss this in more detail, which included some physical engagements in Florida and Singapore – it was clear to me that this girl meant business and it was going to be simply between me and her.  If you like, she would be a sleeping partner and I would be the face of this new venture.

So in the 8 months that I have worked on this venture, I have conducted further in-depth market research and the more I do, the more convinced I am that this venture is going to be something big, and failure is not an option.   So on that note, I plan to spend the entire December in India, Bangalore (short of a few days) in which I hope to accomplish three things:  1 – to secure contracts for this new venture, where the head office will be in London, 2 – to help her on another assignment which is due to go live in late January 2013 and 3 – to network with some high profile people who will ensure this venture takes off the ground in the right way, I guess I could add a 4th point here which is to explore more of this beautiful country with my acquaintance.  So tagging along with me will be my barrister who also is a close friend (from childhood) and forms part of my crew including a business partner for another one of my business.  Since the new venture requires a head office to be based in London, in theory we are trying to give this venture a foreign and western layer – which is more recognised in India, so my barrister will guide both myself and my acquaintance in getting setup.  Although my barrister’s visit to India is only for the duration of 13 days, it’s the first time he visits India so that will be fun.

This then brings me nicely on to my career and profession.

Working on the new venture means establishing a head office in London, and for this venture to really become a success, there needs to be an office in four major capitals two of which are London and Delhi.  Right now, my crew are working on securing offices in London and in particular Knightsbridge.  On this basis, a few weeks ago, I wrote an official email to my employers, in particular to my assignment manager and department director.  As an IT consultant and a Project and Program Manager in the healthcare industry my profession is tough and very demanding.  So, I expressed my desire to take a career break or a sabbatical for a period of one year.  Considering that I have been with the same employer for just over three quarters of a decade, I envisaged some raised eyebrows.  The thing with my company is that I work for is that they are a renowned international company and their IT consultancy expands to Nuclear energy, Military, Banking, Formula One and NASA aerospace just to name a few, and they, for sure don’t like letting go of people – as they see their staff as assets not cost.  So hours after I officially sent my email of intent, my assignment manager immediately called me and expressed his views and demanded, with all due respect, to make that official email an ‘unofficial’ so that a solution can be found which would benefit both myself and the company.

So, a few days later a meeting was setup between HR, my assignment manager and department director (who flew in from Germany to attend – which is the first for such matters, so I have been told).  During this unofficial meeting, I expressed my desires and aspirations in wanting to focus my attention on my new venture, which would require some foreign trips mainly between Delhi and Prague, and also meant living in London to oversee this venture.  My employers expressed their desire to keep me, and offered to go away and work out a solution so I could continue with my employment and yet fulfill my desire and aspirations.  Thinking this would be impossible, I somewhat agreed.

Few days later, the following simple solution was proposed – which surprised me:  I didn’t have to take a career break or sabbatical, I could relocate to London and work from our company offices in London, where once a week I could travel to our Leeds offices.  This would mean that I would simply continue working for my employer and I could be relocated in London and yet I could still continue working on my current projects with the same resources and team in Leeds.

This solution was perfect for me, although traveling between Leeds to London wasn’t ideal but I guess I need to compromise a little here, and in some respects I’m killing two birds with one stone – so to speak.

So come January or February 2013, I will officially be living in Vauxhall in London, working both in Vauxhall and establishing my new venture in Knightsbridge.

As for my life in Leeds, well, most of my crew members (another name for close friends) will be supporting my businesses in Leeds – as I have worked hard in recruiting business managers who will report to me directly on a daily basis for each of my business.  My family, as usual, continue to support me in this major change.  According to my business plan for my new venture, my relocation to Vauxhall in London, should only last for the duration of one year – after which, it will be time to focus my attention to Leeds or wherever my life decides to take me.

So, these are the changes taking place in my life.  I hope to write when I get to India as well as tweet, but I’m not going to make it a priority as my time in India is going to be my time.  I think, considering the graft I have put in this year, I deserve some rest and pleasure and on that note – I wish you all a very ‘cold’ and ‘wet’ December if you are in the UK or in the west and I’ll be thinking about you guys from India.

Note:  I have written this blog post in the last 6 hours in very small snippets.  As always, there is a mad rush to get my affairs in Leeds in order and my travel schedule is hectic and goes like this:  Outbound from Manchester Airport to London Heathrow, then connecting flight from London Heathrow to Doha International, from Doha International to Bangalore International airport – which means 2 stops and a duration of 24 hours and 45 minutes and arriving in Bangalore for Friday 7th December at 02:55 (according to my e-ticket).  So, the post may have appeared a little rushed but I guess you guys get the idea.

Oh one last thing:  Last few days I was on skype with my acquaintance in India, I could hear a strange and weird song in the background.  So I asked her what it is – when she put the volume up and later sent me the link to that song – I basically had had multiple fits.  My visit to India is all summed up in this one song.  Note:  although the words may sound like Hindi, they are not, they are in fact English but pronounced in Hindi style – sit back and enjoy:

 

Cornetto Ice Cream

This morning, not sure why, but I rode into work on my motorbike despite the weather being so terrible and ‘so not ideal’ for biking.  I’m a little confused why I did this – especially when in summer I only took the bitch out about six times when the weather was perfect for a long period.  Bitch is the nickname for my motorbike and I like it.

Maybe, I did this because, few days ago I saw another chap at work rev into work on his motorbike.  Or that, my acquaintance who is due to spend a few days with me talked about me taking her out for a ride – something which she has never done.

On that note..

Honestly, if someone had told me how hot women get more hotter when they experience the thrill of riding a motorbike, I’d quit University after my first semester and open a women’s motorbike school only for hot women – that way i’d save years in figuring out why so many women wanted a ride on my motorbike again and again when I finally qualified to ride one and got one in my final year.

Any-ways.

Three weird and crazy things happened few nights ago, which I have been debating and wanting to write about.  They are (in order of how they happened):

1.  I was involved in a street fight
2.  I lost my watch in that same street fight
3.  I made friends with a gay guy

All three things happened in one short night, and where in the words ‘street’ and ‘fight’ come together, you can expect plenty of fists and plenty of guys.

OK “plenty of fists” might be a hyperbole or an overstatement, as well as “plenty of guys”. What happened was two pairs of fists began to clash like in a boxing ring, between two blokes.  Neither the fists belonged to me nor neither was I anyone of the two blokes – well not at the beginning.

You’re probably trying to find the correlation between this post title ‘Cornetto’ and the three crazy things that happened all in one night.  Well…

I was alone at my apartment, having just got back from my daily pulverize.  It had just turned 11:25pm and I suddenly got the urge of stuffing at least two Cornetto ice creams down my throat – a strawberry one and a mint one – as quickly as possible.  It was my fix.  I was simultaneously texting an acquaintance who was staying over at her friends nearby, let’s give her a name:  Kiren.  Upon discovering with a fright that I had zero Cornetto ice creams in my freezer – I frantically text this information to Kiren – whose quick thinking suggested “come pick me up and let’s get some” in her text.  Perfect…

or was it…

I drove to her place, picked her up, and headed into the spaghetti-road City Centre in the direction of Tesco express.  I gradually rolled my car towards the traffic lights which signalled stop.  My attention suddenly fell on two guys and three ladies, just a little ahead on the side pavement to my right.  Out of frigging nowhere, one of the guys suddenly launched a ferocious attack on the other guy.  Who at first, put up a little resistance until he suddenly dropped like ‘George Foreman’ against Muhammad Ali during the ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’ fight in Zaire.  What didn’t help George-Foreman-guy was that the three ladies were on the side of Mohammad-Ali-guy.

“Mooootttthhhhher fucker” I put my foot down and literally rammed my Range Rover on the the pavement towards their direction.  The next few moments where a little blur and hazy, but from what I recall – my Range Rover ended up about 2 feet before the George-Foreman-guy who was still  lying on the floor and the Muhammad-Ali-guy and the three ladies were up against the wall with their hands raised above their heads at the sight of my Range Rover heading in their direction then suddenly stopping – I bet their entire lives flashed by them in a split second as they took their last gasp of air and confined in the wall directly behind them.

Side note number one:  My acquaintances have never seen my rough side.  By ‘rough’ I mean when it comes to fights of confrontations with other men – minimum of two.  My rough side is usually contained and controlled only executed at the right time and at the right place.  On this occasion, these guys were boxing on my home turf and I wasn’t going to ignore this or allow this to happen.  I don’t give a fuck, who you are, who started it or who did what, all I know was that I was going to finish it.

I launched out of my car, and examined the guy in the floor – The one still stood up was trying to continue his attack on the man down – I immediately restrained him with a struggle and a shuffle in which I ended up pushing him onto the floor.  I recollect standing over him and uttering the words along the lines “how do you want to finish this?” with some nasty swears chucked in.  Trying to imply that although the one you attacked is down – I’m ready to frigging rearrange your face right now – right here.  At the same time, I was having a nervous feeling of not wanting my white shirt covered in anyone’s blood the least mine – or the tie I was wearing, to be used to strangle anyone at least not me.

Kiren attended the damaged guy, who at this point was trying to sit up and assess himself. Behind me, I had Kiren and this guy and in front, was this foul mouthed cross between a rugby player and a jockey, oh and the ladies, who were rallying the guy to carry on with his attack.

This debacle within minutes fizzled out, helped by some people who recognised my Range Rover, awkwardly parked on the pavement with both doors open, who then decided to investigate, upon seeing this, the group of attackers somewhat nervously turned and fled.

It dawned upon me that this group of people knew each other.  Well at least the two guys involved knew each other as Kiren interrogated him and while I drove the victim home – well to his apartment, which wasn’t far.

Side note number two:  Kiren was in a total shock.  She freaked out when I said “right, Tesco it is” just as we dropped off the battered George-Foreman-guy.  For her, it wasn’t something she could get over quickly.  By ‘quickly’ I mean, as quickly as I did.  For me it was a common-regular fracas.  One which I have seen a millions times before this one.  Kiren was somewhere between being overly impressed in how I engaged this group alone with confidence and between witnessing the rough side of me – which as I said earlier, she hadn’t seen – and neither has any other acquaintances.  

If Kiren had witnessed this alone, it probably would have taken her more than ‘a minute’ to get over it.  It would have taken her months and probably involve endless phone calls to her girly friends for support, sick leave from her work on the grounds of fracas-witnessed-related-stress, 2 boxes of Ferrero Rocher chocolate with 64 in each and a “I fucking hate Leeds” view for life – then there would go my pleasure and minus one from my acquaintance database.  DRAMATIC RIGHT – I know.

Luckily Kiren wasn’t alone, luckily Kiren had me to help her get over it, luckily we were in Leeds, luckily I was in the mood of some Cornetto ice cream and I wasn’t going to let this punch up deter me from my objective – two Cornetto ice cream one after the other – one strawberry and one mint one.

Any-ways.

At the checkout in Tesco, hugging two packs of Cornetto ice cream, with six in each – I suddenly got a weird feeling in my right wrist.  When I looked – my balls dropped, a sudden fever overcome my body and my forehead pulsated rapidly, I couldn’t hear anything, everything had gone numb – my Hublot wrist watch was missing.

Side note number three:  Now, the thing with my watch was this.  1.  It was a Hublot.  2.  It was a fucking Hublot.  3.  I never paid for it, it was a gift.  4.  When I come face to face with my acquaintance in December, she will ask ‘where is it’?  5.  She will practically shoot me on site, and be prepared to spend her entire life in a prison in South Asia for my murder when I go to visit her this December.  6.  It was a Hublot.  7.  It was a watch which was given to me on my 25th birthday as a gesture of our relationship or whatever we have between us – it wasn’t just a watch it meant more to me then just that.

Staggering somewhat, I made it to my car.  Opened the door and said to Kiren “where the fuck is my watch?”  Knowing I would never see that watch again I contemplated spending five figure sum to get an exact model again – to conceal the fact I lost it.

That night I spent alone, without having consumed my Cornetto ice cream and wishing that I could kill someone with a perfect murder to drown the sorrow of losing my wrist watch.  I had multiple heart attacks on the thought of someone selling my dear Hublot watch on eBay and using the large sum of money on a holiday, a car and plenty of alcohol.  I ran through various scenarios – would my insurance believe me when I say to them I’d lost it?  What if they decide I was lying to them and refused to replace it or compensate me…

The next morning..

I didn’t have any meetings till the afternoon, so I got into work at 9:40am – set up my laptop and then walked straight out to get a coffee, all the while, thinking about last night and more so, whether my acquaintance from South Asia who gifted me the watch would actually find out, and if she did, what would be her reaction?

I walked into Leeds City Centre, deliberately avoiding the very same location where this saga unfolded.  I got to my regular coffee shop which is bang on in the middle of the city centre, ordered a large latte and took a seat.

I sat there miserably, trying to drink my latte but struggling to swallow when one of the workers in the coffee shop stood over me and said “excuse me, the boss would like to see you”.  Somewhat confused, I asked her to repeat herself.  When she did I felt like saying “Fuck you and your boss, I have had a miserable night, a night where I didn’t get to consume my Cornetto ice cream simultaneously, a night where I engaged in hostilities, a night where I saved someone from a brutal beating, a night where I almost petrified Kiren out of Leeds never to come back, not to mention how bad that would be for Leeds economy if she did, and most important of all, I lost my Hublot which was gifted to me and you want me to meet your boss because he says so….go fuck off” but in return I replied “No – I’m very sorry”.  She walked away disappointedly and I didn’t give it a second thought.

Until

She reappeared and said “Are you the guy, who lost his watch last night?”.  I looked up at her face with some mixed, screwed up emotions.  I replied “how the hell do you know?”. She then uttered “boss wants to see you”.

As crazy as it may seem, I leaped out of my chair, followed the lady through some small grey weird doors until we reached a back office type room.  Right in front of me, you wouldn’t believe who was sat there.  It was the same bloke who I saved from that brutal beating the night before – he recognised me from the CCTV screen right in front of him. More importantly he had my watch right in front of him too.

Apparently, while I was wrestling to hold off his attacker, my Hublot, somehow, broke its strap and fell on him.  He clenched onto it, thinking it belonged to his attacker.  Only after I dropped him off at his apartment he realised the watch didn’t belong to his ex-partner (that’s right, that other bloke was his ex partner), so he immediately assumed it was mine.

Too fucking right it was mine.

This guy who I saved – lets give him a name:  Kevin is a franchise owner of a well established, branded and very popular coffee shop.  He recognised me, as not many people come into his coffee shop with a Hublot watch – which he assured me, and more surprisingly he is a gay.  That’s right.  This late 40’s bloke, who looked like a tanned Australian beach volleyball player you could pass off as being aged in his mid-30’s – was a gay no joke.  When he told me his age, his body physique simply did not match a late 40’s person.  Kevin was as fit as me.  Instantly, in my head I recalled all the past experiences I have had with men who think I’m gay – and I really didn’t have the energy or patience to take on yet another battle.

However…

We spent the next 3 hours or so, talking about him, his fight, the patterns on his face from last night, democracy, Israel (he is Jewish) and how to take advantage of the downturn in Leeds economy and the closure of so many retail space.

As for the fight last night.  Well, the story goes like this…

Kevin was married (to a women) where they first met and got together at University, but Kavin realised he was gay and was too scared to come out into the open with it.  His wife finally found out and ended their marriage with a painful and very expensive divorce.  Kevin then moved to Australia for few years.  When he returned, he moved from London to Leeds for business reasons, and in the process met his first ever long term gay boyfriend.  Let’s give him a name:  Mark.  Mark was his newly appointed business bank manager and a gay who wasn’t scared to openly admit it, they got on, fell in love, and Mark helped Kevin open up his real identity without fear of the public.  They moved in together and lived together for over 4 years until disaster struck and Kevin was being used and abused for his wealth and contacts.  It all ended up in a big mess and Mark eventually walked out on their relationship.

The other night, was the time when both Mark and Kevin came face to face in a club, they talked, caught up with each other until their history came into discussion.  The discussion got nasty, helped by the three ladies who Mark was out with to entertain, and ended up being pushed and shoved out of the club, only to be continued outside – that’s when I showed up at the traffic lights – and the rest you know.

It should be made clear that by now Kevin, to me, didn’t appear to be gay.  He was, to me, just like any other straight guy would be – and I guess, that’s what made me comfortable around him.

We exchanged business cards, he presented me with a loyalty card for his coffee shop. One which allowed me to eat and drink whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.  Thank you but no thanks and I rejected it.  Only to have Kevin appreciate me even more.  So in return, I offered him free membership and free access to my gym any time – which he accepted.

I did have one question on my mind.  I asked him “what if I didn’t turn up today, what would you have done with my Hublot?”  He laughed and confessed that the idea of selling my watch on eBay did come to his mind, but he recalled only ever seeing this watch on two people who come to his coffee shop.  One a white chap and one an Asian chap – who was me.  So he was intended to contact Hublot with the serial number of the watch and get them to locate me if I didn’t show.  Smart move, this now makes me more comfortable around Kevin – and I liked his personality.  It was a good job I intervened in his business the other night.

Now that I have made friends with a gay, this brings the headcount of my gay friends to four.  To me, he isn’t gay and that’s probably how I’d like to see Kevin.

Come Sunday, I have invited Kevin to join me and my crew for a few games of snooker. Kevin accepted and agreed to bring his son around too, who by the way, is in my age group of mid-20’s.

I think, Kevin and I along with my crew will get on really well.  Firstly because we are all business-entrepreneurial-minded people.  Secondly Kevin and his personality is of a great guy and him being a gay is not an issue and thirdly because we probably can network on business-entrepreneurial level.

On my way back to work, I called up Kiren and told her what just happen.  She simply could not believe it.  She screamed over the phone…then paused…then said “open another franchise coffee shop in Leeds with him”…now there’s a good Idea – don’t you think?

I write this blog post from the kitchen of my friend’s house, where four of us have just consumed some spicy Chinese this late hour, and where I have, finally, got the chance to clench my Cornetto urge.

That or contemplate all the ‘what-ifs’ of that weird and crazy night.

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