Is it Love, Lust or survival?
Imran and Asha two Lovers -at least that’s how it seems from the outside – are sitting on a park bench about to make the decision of their young lives. Or shall we slip into their slippers and decide their course of action.
Imran, a Bangladeshi, won the Lotto – the Diversity immigration lottery – and has been in the U.S. for two years. Now he has scored again, but this times it’s a very beautiful woman. Asha, a chaste 28-year-old Indian woman, leaves India for her freedom-freedom from the over bearing greedy brothers, that influenced the father, who not only snatched away her happiness, but also insisted on picking her husband, and because she did not abide by their rules, feels justified to cunningly make her sign on blank papers and take the rights over her ancestral property. Miserable and broke she ends up in the land of the free home of the brave. Yes you guested it The United States of America. Unlike Imran she is only on a tourists visa.
The 25-year old Bengali is literally starving for a girl and here is Asha all for the taking, she is like caviar, pate de foie gras and Dom perignon all wrapped up into one. The young handsome Imran is out to please her. He really needs to get her, the way he is going about it, it feels like a must. He is trying every thing in the book to get her. Her polished and refined style has impressed him. He seems to feel that she is from a very privileged family, and above all she is beautiful. My God!!! He would be the envy among his peers.
Where as for Asha, she is still recouping from the ills of her family. Imran, this new man in her life, seems to be her only hope, at last may be now she might sight the end of the tunnel. Asha likes what she hears from her boy friend, all her prayers seemed answered. He is about to take his CPA test, now she can show her folks back home that she can find the man of her choice.
It is a sunny spring evening in a quite park in Queens New York, sits Asha waiting for Imran. She presses the indent on her I-phone to see what time it is. Well, it is about time, he should be here any moment. Imran on the other hand is racing in his cab, beating several changing yellow to red traffic lights to be there on time, but he is late. The phone rings -should he pick it up or ignore her- reluctantly picks up and answers… Asha-‘where are you’? … Imran-‘I’m right around the corner… aaa… I had to take a cab, my boss gave me something at the last-minute which got me late.’ Asha-‘ok…as long as you are fine, I was worried…ok then…. bye’.
Imran lied to impress her-about his job and studies- he never thought it would go this far, but now how is he going untangle himself from this mess. Do these lies faze him? Doesn’t it weigh on his conscience? Would the chatter in his head be- now I have to come clean, and if I come clean how was I going to do it?- He really didn’t want to loose her .
This evening was that evening; some thing was going to shake the table on which the house of cards is built on. Like so many times before-he goes through the same drill, get out of his cab, pop the trunk changes into a suit and tie, pulls out his brief-case and goes to meet her- but today some thing crazy happens, an angry bicyclist gets off his bike, press the lock button and slams the open cab door with the keys in the ignition. All because Imran had left the door open that blocked the cyclist path. Imran by his trunk was busy getting dressed, when he realizes what had just happened. He was furious, and gets into an argument with the cyclist. They both begin to curse each other out, and now, he is locked out of the cab. The cyclist bawling says-‘Serves you right Ass-hole, this will teach you a lesson not to block the cycle lane’, New York have bicycle lanes all over the city, and some cyclist take it personal if you block it. Poor Imran is in a pickle, his phone is in the cab, his only saving grace is, he has his money, credit cards and drivers license, they were in his shirt pocket. He stands there dazed-how in the world is he going to get out of this now- something clicks, Imran devilishly snickers to himself as he hastily jogs to meet his new found love. As the old adage goes, tell one lie, and you will have to cover it up with many more.
They both meet and begin to walk towards the restaurant, which was a short distance from the park. Imran was trying to be as normal as can be. Both are having their usual conversation at the restaurant, but Imran he is nervous, wondering how is going to get the keys out. Asha noticing his hidden anguish, asks him ‘what’s wrong’? Hastily Imran says ‘I need your phone for a minute’, Asha hands it to him and says, ‘what happened to you’, taking it from her, gets up and walks away saying, ‘I’ll tell you later’. He calls the garage, to resolve his problem.
Imran is trying to act his best, after his entire mind is all on the cab. At last the meal is almost over, and Imran has manage to pull it off, at least till now. He needs to wiggle out of here, he has taking a big risk with the keys in the cab, what if some one breaks the window and makes off with the cab. So now he comes up with another one, he tells Asha that he is nervous because he has to meet his boss and that he-his boss- is locked out of his car and he need to help him. With that excuse, he jets to his car.
As Asha is making it to the subway she gets a call, rather bewildered she looks at the number on the screen, it is a number she does not recognize. Before she can even answer, a stern voice on the other end bawls ‘Hey Imran, where are you man, the tow truck is by the car’ Asha rather gently replies ‘he left already’, from the other end the voice mellows down hearing her tender feminine tone, ‘I’m Carlos, the dispatcher at Imran’s taxi garage. The reason I called this number is because Imran has locked himself out his cab and his phone is in there’, Asha is baffled and says ‘what taxi garage’, Carlos says ‘ I am the guy who gives Imran his cab every day, he is a driver at our garage’, those very words sent a chill down her spine, the dispatcher kept rambling along, but Asha was lost in a vortex of sorrow, moving at warp speed she was transported to hell. She just could take any more that she just shoved her phone in her purse and squatted on the subway stairway in confusion. Oh boy! She appears to be stunned in disbelief. What is she to make of this, where does she go from here? He seemed to be that ticket that she was looking for, and now this.
What might she be thinking, is it the lies, or is it his status? Should she forget about him completely or should she accept him for who he is? Who is she as a person? Does she have money and status first on her Rolodex? Has she fallen hook line and sinker, or is it Love. I wonder which pair of shoes you would wear on her shoe rack if you were she.
As for him, why did he lie? Did he do this just to get into the sack with her, or was he in love with her? Or did he presume there might be a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, after all it feels like she comes from an affluent family, property may be there down the line. Or, may be he really is in love with her, and kept this going because of his own fears of loosing her.
We humans are inundated with facts, figures and studies, and we have made up our mind about so many things- at least that’s what we think- but we keep falling into the same set of ruses. Is it a survival instinct embedded into our DNA? Or are we addicted to that chemical rush in our brain? Is it loneliness and boredom that perpetual need for connection? Maybe it’s the paradigm we are stuck in, that we want to get out off. Because the core of ever though is permeated with feeling, and feeling governs everything, we try to control our feeling, but it often get the better of us.
Let us go to that park bench and make the right decision. Let us slip into there shoes and decide what is right.