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Almost

It was difficult for him to act normal. For years, he had not had to wait for the right moment to say something. He was known to be blunt. He also felt too old for all this. The music was not the kind he was fond of. It was more of hip hop and he was a lover of good old rock. There were too many people, mostly the young crowd with the blush still on their faces. There was too much light. He could see his ridged and craggy hands, there were grey hairs on his fingers that he had not noticed earlier. For the tenth time he felt his breast pockets; the wallet was there. She said she would be in by 7, he was in by 5.30.
There was this one waitress who had heavy legs. Oddly, she reminded him of Jyothi, his first wife. Tall, lithe but heavy in all the right places. He found himself looking at her more often. There seemed to be some connection. The waitress kept glancing at him every now and then and caught him looking at her. Her eyes were the eyes of a yakshini, deep dark and full.
And just then she walked in. Stately, elegant and exquisitely dressed in black. She was wearing the pearls he had gifted her last Diwali. She smelt of sandal, his favorite fragrance, and she was not wearing those sandals that made those tick tock sound and attracted curious glances from strangers.
They hugged each other and he stole a secret glance at the waitress. He found her looking at him from across the aisle. For a fleeting moment, he thought he saw something in her eyes that he could not place.
What will you have, the waitress asked, once they were seated. Her question was directed at her, we serve good Indian. Continental she said, and ordered some greens. What is your favorite, he asked the waitress. Kachauri, she said, not really looking at him. And what else, he asked again. This time she looked at him in the eyes and said, dum biryani. Bring me that, he said, followed by Kachauri. Her eyes lit up. He loved looking at her. She was actually beautiful.
He made a mental note to come here more often. It was a good place.

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