The British Asian Blog

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Tag: Round two

Me, Her and Him – The Enemy From Within

I felt somewhat mortified and disgruntled after receiving those texts from RHK*, not to mention livid and extremely revengeful (catch up with the previous chronicles here).  How dare he, out of all the people, get involved in my affairs and tell me to back off. His actions didn’t surprise me, although at the time a little shocked, but what worried me more than his actions was his knowledge of Simren and me.

Those messages exchanged between RHK and I took me back to a memory lane which I was reluctant and averse to visit, but had to as they shape up the relationship between RHK and me.

RHK and I are blood related.  We are first cousins, where my father and his father are biological brothers. My father has five brothers, where my father is the youngest.  Four of his brothers live in the UK, One in South Asia and One in America.  We are a big clan. My father is the youngest sibling in his family and I’m the youngest in mine.

Our clan, by that I mean first cousins, is around 35 in total – I’ve not actually counted, it’s an estimate.

RHK is 14 months older than me.  Before I appeared in this world, my mum and dad with the rest of my 5 siblings use to live with his brother (RHK father) in a large house in Leeds and RHK was the youngest member of the family.  Few months before I was born, my family moved into their own family house, one which my father was slowly renovating in Leeds.

RHK and I have been extremely competitive from day one.  As toddlers, we would fight with each other over anything.  Before long, my siblings noticed the constant hostilities and war between us as toddlers and recall on few occasions how the elders had a go at each other because of us.  I was a big baby when I was born, but by the age of 2 I was well on my way in catching up with RHK in growth.

Our personalities clashed and these became more apparent and noticeable to others around us.  I can’t pinpoint why we clash, why the tension between us all the time – it’s just that we are simply two different people with different characters.

The family (my father and uncles) have gradually made it a ritual, a custom, to send most of their children to boarding school.  For the boys at the age of 13, and for the girls at the age of either 12 or 13 depending on which boarding school it was.  This meant, as a kid there was no getting away with extra home tuition that too at an extremely early age.  When RHK hit 13 he was given admission to the same boarding school where the rest of the unfortunate elder cousins had been sent and where I would go 2 years later.  This boarding school resides in Berkshire, and it was then while RHK began his new life there I began to forget him and the rivalry between us.

In the two years that RHK wasn’t around, other than summer holidays and family vacations where our families would connect and re-engage, the rivalry between us eroded away somewhat.  We both matured and the constant bickering between us lessened.

Finally, at the age of 13 and some months – I landed in the same boarding school as RHK. I remember the induction day, where I knew I had no other choice but to commit, no excuses not to go to school anymore I was practically living in the school.  Previously, I had been there a couple of times before mainly for the various entry assessments I had to go through, surprisingly somehow I passed them, and this induction day was the start of my new life, one which I hadn’t experience the anxiety and mixed feelings – it was simply one big confusing picture and a big blur.  From here onwards, my life would no longer be the same.

My family and RHK family were confident that both of us at the same boarding school would be a good thing.  The very least, being a newcomer RHK would show me the ropes, look after me and get me up to speed with living there.  In other words, I’d be more comfortable with RHK living there too.  They and I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I think our families realised the troubles between us when towards December of my first year, my father received an unwelcomed, unexpected letter from the housemaster, in which he (the bastard) explained in graphic terms how a friendly cricket game between the houses turned into a type-of-riot.  He painted a picture so dreadful that it made my father drive all the way from Leeds to Berkshire to have words with me, in front of the housemaster (the bastard), few academic staff (equal bastards) and RHK.  What really happened was RHK and I ended up in a fight, what I do remember is we were on opposite teams during a regular cricket game between (two) houses.  I remember coming into bat when RHK and few others begun taunting me, name calling and so on.  I did something (which is a little blurred right now) and the situation exploded and descended into an all out tussle where punches and kicks flew in all directions, it also forced other teams members and friends to get involved until we were pulled apart by our house mates and academic staff.

Our relationship at this point was cemented – we would never get on.  It meant our families had confirmation of our relationship and the enmity between us – so ensured we were never alone together when with families.

By the time RHK’s education finished at the boarding school, his father (my uncle) had moved to America – with the intention of living there permanently.  The main focus for my uncle was to participate in expanding my other uncles businesses in America.  This meant RHK moving to America and getting admission into a University there.  Over the years, my uncle did extremely well in America, where he established a number of businesses, including a real estate and two restaurants.

Two years later from when RHK finished his education from Berkshire, I too finished and prepared to enter a true student life at University.  I was glad to never face RHK again. Over the years RHK become a distant memory.  Of course, we knew what was happening in each other’s families, on at an extremely high level.  So it wasn’t that bothering anymore.

Until

About 15 months ago RHK and most of his siblings (including his mum) returned to the UK to seek new opportunities.  ‘Seeking new opportunities’ in the Asian dictionary means ‘Seeking marriage proposals’.  I remember when RHK and his family got settled back into Leeds, they were traditionally invited over for dinner at my mum and dad’s house.  I was continually getting phone calls from my mum, my brothers, sister-in-laws and my sisters to confirm that I was coming and making sure I turned up.  I think they feared that had I not turned up, not shown my face it would look bad on our relationship, it would raise eyebrows and make people/family – RHK’s family speculate.  So despite my reservations about RHK, I did turn up and strangely enough, RHK and I could actually have a civilised discussion.  The strangest thing about seeing him again in flesh after so many years was how similar both of us looked I mean, anyone could guess we were first cousins.

Somehow and somewhere RHK has started gaining interest in my life, what I do, who I am associated with, what I’m involved in and who I surround myself with.  These interests has reignited his competitiveness with me and fed his feral side.  I must admit, RHK up until he text me, didn’t bother me anymore.  I know he is successful considering the portfolio of businesses he and his family have both in UK and America, but I’m no longer the same 13 year old kid – I too have expanded my reign and occupy territory and have multiple businesses and a career in healthcare.

The real problem with RHK is, and has always been, his desire to have what I have.  It is as simple as that – a despot in the making.  Of course, RHK keeping a close eye on me meant it was matter of time until he would click on about my interest in Simren, and unfortunately, somehow amongst my generation people started speculating about me and Simren – which naturally would and eventually did reach RHK.

Without wasting time, he did what he does best, interfere in my life.  That to with something I expressed so much interest in – Simren.  Yes I am shocked, Yes I am angry and Yes I feel revengeful – especially since RHK and I haven’t even spoken properly, haven’t been in the same room no longer than an hour or so – yet within matter of months he has the nerve to text me such message and stake his interest above mine and being so truculent.  I know, right now, while I put this post together he is doing nothing more than to connive, deride and turning Simren against me, exploiting what happened between me and her.

I have two clear options: One – I can avoid the clash with him and indeed move on, or Two – I can do what I have learnt to do – fight for what I feel is right and this is exactly what I intend to do.

I hope, after reading this, you understand the type of person I am dealing with.  I feel, had I not written this post about RHK, you wouldn’t have understood why I feel so threatened, upset and angry.

Despite what RHK throws at me – I will never give up.  Because I am an open book on this blog – I can write exactly how things have been in the past, are right now and continue to be going into the future, and I must admit that I am scared, scared of losing someone that I want so badly – who I feel is the key for me to change my ways and a companion for life.

…and so, it all begins – yet again.

* Name hidden to protect identity.

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:

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 😮 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.

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