Here’s remembering the wonderful time I spent with Nawaab saheb at the sheesha-joint in Salmiya, Kuwait. Oh… those heady days of courtship (which, by the way, still continue over the phone) were moments we both looked forward to with a heartfelt earnestness.
Also, they were mostly the only times we met… once a week… times spent together in a lovely restaurant with hardly anyone else around to bother us. The seating for three next to the huge plate glass windows overlooking the parking lot (to keep an eye on the Denali)… with two seats occupied by us and the third by my purse, was the perfect place for a long undisturbed tête-à-tête. The place was perfect… we had a good view of anyone who came in to the first floor by the lift and the staircase and at the same time anyone invited to join us would spot us just as easily the moment they came in. Also, there was a spare table and chairs available for the times when friends were made privy to some of our meet-ups.
On Saturday afternoons, when we usually met, the place was devoid of the noisy crowd that would generally gather there in the evenings. We would sit there for hours chatting up each other… talking of anecdotal titbits of our lives, arguing about ideological differences, if any… or just discussing all matters from the mundane to the metaphysical! All this would be accompanied with the most delicious plate of Spicy Potato and soft khuboos (an Arabic bread). It was also here that I had my first experience of smoking a sheesha / chillum… the taste wasn’t bad and the fruity fragrance of lemon and mint was quite a thrill. Though, it did make me light headed soon.
What actually made the experience worthy of being cherished forever was of course, the stimulating company of Nawaab saheb… the light-hearted banter, the at times serious introspection on more important issues, the naughty flirting over drinks, the exchange of updates about the week gone by… Yes, those were heady days indeed!
© Surya Murali