I feel the magic between you and I/ I want to hold you so hear me out/ I want to show you what love's all about/ ...I've got hungry eyes

It was dark and warm. The throbbing lights and sensual music were intoxicating. And I was dancing to the tunes of a stranger. Dancing the Merengue which started slow as a ballroom dance with slow hip movements and then broke into what seemed like a bright, fast Jive with lots of turns.

My dance instructors have been telling the guys in the class to 'lead' the lady. I have never actually known what they meant till yesterday night. I didn't know a thing about it (except that it is a fast dance), but my partner just swept me off the floor, pushed me out, pulled me in, turned me in fast whirls...He made me feel like a princess.

The night had not started out on a promising note. I was covering theValentine's bash at Tapas, the Jaypee Vasant Continental bar, thrown by salsa dancer Kaytee Namgyal. I was as usual stag and accompanied by friends A and G. Kaytee was teaching everything from salsa, merengue, bachata to blindfold dancing. Of course the basic steps. While speaking to him, I happened to tell him that I have been taking salsa classes at Ashley Lobo's. He said: "You go to Ashley's for Jazz, to Shiamak for Bollywood and me for salsa. At Ashley's they teach the original salsa of the '70s. I teach the Cuban and New York styles. Hang around, you will see what I mean." And I did see, so much so that next month I think I will try Kaytee's classes.

Meanwhile, a guy walked up and asked me to dance with him. I was cool with it so long as it meant just a dance. Yet I felt hesitant. G danced with him after which he kept insisting for a dance. I guess I was acting pricey but I didn't really intend to. I was enjoying my glass of rum and coke. Kaytee was busy playing music, so he patted me on the cheek when I asked him to show me some steps and said: "Give me five minutes." Next he walked on to the floor and called a guy in red who was probably a dancer with his troupe. "Dance with her," he said.
Thus began the next few minutes that made me add another criteria to my list for the perfect guy (I decided to respond to the tag by Mint Chutney and Thalassa Mikra even though I have been tagged twice, which means I do not have to do it) :

1. He should dance or, lets be lenient, he should learn dancing (Since this is my latest obsession in life). Right now, more than a life partner I think I want a dance partner.

2. He has to look decent. I should not feel ashamed of being seen with him (This might sound vain but seriously I don't want to hem and haw while introducing my lover to you).

3. "I do this, I love this, my mother thinks I should marry someone like Sonali Bendre..." Yes, this was a navy guy who managed to bore the hell out of me. A guy who is too full of himself is a big NO.

4. I dig chivalry.

5. He should have a sense of adventure and be game for fun (though when I say fun, I don't mean swinging;) You would know what I am talking about if you have watched Rajat Kapoor's Mixed Doubles).

6. He should not act like a moron when I am with friends. In short he should have a social life of his own. I can't bear someone who would be stuck to my hip 24*7.

7. He should love to eat out. And he should be a decent eater. I have known friends -- guys -- who eat abominably. Like they have been marooned on an island without food for weeks.

8. And he should be able to relate to me when I talk books.

There, I am getting that feeling of not having said all that I wanted to.


Is it time for a change?

It will be a month since I returned from Goa. But the sand seems to be there in my flip flops.

The trip came as a junket offer and I stayed at a resort in South Goa. I was on my own. Yet I had the time of my life. I did as many things as is possible in three and a half days (my feet went really sore). Eating, parasailing, jetskiing, dolphin chasing, a trip to a spice plantation, going for elephant rides, getting extremely oily ayurvedic body massages...

Parasailing was exhilarating. It was the first time I tried it. The scenery from up there was fantastic. Only I had a hard time getting back to land. I have to come to the conclusion that you need strong arms to make it back.

And yes, I went for an underwater sea walk. This was a weird experience at the Baina Beach near Vasco. First of all, the water was not at all clear, secondly, there was no changing room and thirdly the helmet (very like a huge space helmet) which had several 1 kilo weights attached to the rim left two sore spots on my shoulders. Turns out that mine was defective.

I have to confess that I am not a water baby. So as I descended down the ladder into the sea and had the helmet lowered over my head, I panicked. The water was rising and almost threatened to reach my ears. But then thankfully it didn't. The only consolation was the good looking walk leader. I didn't even get the chance to flirt. The resort guy insisted on saying: "A come on hurry. We have to leave." I have never felt more akin to punching somebody.

The one moment I will never forget is when I was sitting on the rocks on Anjuna Beach and swigging a cranberry breezer. The wind whipping my hair with wild abandon, the sunset and the firang band playing live music at Cafe Looda's in the backdrop. It was surreal. As it grew darker, the sky became as starry as it could get. The feel was so bohemian and young. Now I know why people rave about Goa. Plus it has some of the most pretty quaint villas. I want to go back -- either own a shack, or be a bartender.

Or if none of these work, I have come upon another career option. Recently I attended a chocolate appreciation workshop by a French chef who is the head patissier at Harrods. I asked him if he would let me be his assistant. The man kept laughing. But he gave me his number and asked me to give him a call. So now I have to take a call.

In between, my folks have been obsessing about me returning home and working in Calcutta. At one point I was ready to and even asked my boss for a transfer. Now when he said: "I can't imagine you working the Cal office. Also you have to do production work," I thought twice. I guess I am too much in love with my life, work, the profile, the timing, to give it all up. My parents are sulking but I am too chicken to take such a huge step. And I just hate production. So am sticking on in Delhi.

Meanwhile, it is nearing. S's wedding. Everyone around me seems to be getting married. Now even another friend, who has gone to Calcutta for some time, is planning to go in for an arranged marriage. The bug seems to be spreading fast.