I was supposed to be in Nepal that weekend. I had planned for months and saved so much money to go to Nepal. My flight was scheduled to depart of October 15th, but China Southern Airlines alerted me on the 13th that political unrest had halted fuel shipments into Kathmandu.
My then-boyfriend was unsympathetic. He didn't understand why I was going. The airline was able to refund my ticket price, but the insurance company doesn't cover political issues, which left me $2500 in the hole.
I unpacked my suitcase, called my friend Ari from Portland, and turned my phone off for a couple days so I could recover, emotionally.
A couple weeks before, I had been introduced to Indian dance parties. I won free tickets to the gold-themed Jai Ho party by Bollywood Dreams Entertainment. I loved the music and the environment. I had always wanted to work in entertainment, so I took to these events like a moth to a lightbulb. DJ Prashant was the one who taught me to play Dandiya, an Indian line dance with sticks you tap together in a pattern.
C.R.Y, an Indian charity focused on the welfare of children, was hosting a fundraiser that Friday. Ari and I got dressed up and headed to meet her friend, Vinay.
In the Safeway parking lot, we met Vinay and his co-worker, Ravi.
The four of us went to Curry Point in Bellevue for dinner. We ordered fish fry, daal chaval, and a few other dishes to share. I don't think I even looked at him twice when we first met. I only remember that he was wearing these torn up, light washed jeans and a "Cheese, please" tee shirt with a picture of a pizza on it.
He and I didn't speak much initially, other than him complimenting my beaded juttis. I remember rolling my eyes when he said he didn't dance. It wasn't love at first sight, but I definitely got closer to him throughout the night.
A group of us had stepped out onto the balcony to have a sip of whatever what in the flask. Ravi seemed way too proud, so I cracked a joke about his manhood to cut him down a few levels. I cut the small crowd to follow up with a hug, so he didn't think I was just being rude.
After that, I couldn't leave him alone. I followed him around like a puppy. He was intriguing and had this "bad boy" façade that I was so interested to infiltrate. He was very magnetic for me.
As the boys dropped Ari and myself off at her Airbnb, Ravi kissed my cheek. My whole body blushed. I gave him my phone number and waved him goodnight.
The next night, the four of us made plans to go out again. We met at Amber, a bar on 1st Ave in Seattle. There was tension- the good kind. Ari and I sipped mango martinis. We danced.
Ravi was chivalrous. He wanted to make sure everyone was comfortable and attended to. We walked to Foundation nightclub together. I lived 200 feet from this club for over a year and had never been.
It was loud and full and I didn't care for the music. Ravi watched the DJ. I sang the songs I knew.
Ari and I were invited into the VIP area at some point. We joined the party, but I kept looking over at Ravi. He was clean shaven and well dressed. He stood on his own, gently swaying, and sipping his drink. I watched him for a long time before he turned on his heel and quickly walked.
I immediately panicked- I thought he was upset that we'd abandoned him. I practically ran out of the club after him. He was on his phone, facing the street. I grabbed his shoulder to turn him towards me and I kissed him.
That was it. He was mine from then. We took our first road trip to Portland two weeks later. He met my parents that weekend. I moved in with him within a month. We wasted no time. I've never been so genuinely satisfied.
Everyone asks whether we felt it was too soon, but I always say the same thing- when you know, you know. Ravi literally feels like an extension of myself. He is my other person. How long are you supposed to wait once you realize something like that?
This morning he reminded me of something his mother always told him- 'all things happen for good'. I think about that every time I think about Nepal. My life would have been totally different. I'd have never found my lobster.