They are in a cab. She’s taking him on a tour of the city that never sleeps, the city that he’s yet to explore. Outside a temple, their backs against adjacent walls. It’s silent. It’s serene. It’s so much better than the malls. This time by a lake, surrounded by slums. With kids playing cricket and ducks nibbling on breadcrumbs. In a little old café, they sit face to face. The grainy khus khus upma makes her grimace. They talk about movies and paintings and dance. They discuss culture, they discuss race. The facets of her personality cease not to amaze. She talks with a passion, there’s a twinkle in her eye. He wonders what it must have been like between her and the other guy. It’s 7 in the morning – an odd time for a date; breakfast at Dakshinayan, just after they meditate.

It’s not quite romance. It isn’t just a friendship. It’s somewhere in between. It’s an almost relationship. It’s nice, it’s light, it’s easy to maintain. How they wish this was something they could sustain. It sways to one side and then to the other. They flap, they flutter, they seek some closure. He can see her indecision, he can see why she’s unsure. But he has not all answers, he has not every cure. They wonder what this could be, with all its potential. They know it’s just a fantasy – it’s never going to be real.

The mind is fickle; it wavers, it wanders. They breathe in, they breathe out. To the moment, they surrender.