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Yes ladies and gentlemen, it's that time of the year again when one must strive to rekindle the fire of romance in one's life. For nothing screams 'loser' like spending February 14 alone, without that special someone to keep you company (at least for the duration of a meal).
They create new accounts, search for suitable women, leave them messages and thanks to the power of the Internet to bring people together, are immediately banned from using the network ever again.
It is for these unfortunate people, who currently stand no chance of propagating the species, that I have drawn up a 10-day action plan. If you follow this plan you should be able to seduce a beautiful little damsel to accompany you on a most romantic dinner for two by February 14.
While I cannot guarantee success by any means, I am sure that this is much better than what you are doing right now to enrich your Valentine's Day: downloading porn.
Today you will embark on a rigorous health improvement programme. You must exercise and maintain your diet. Women totally dig guys who are fit and seem to be in good shape. This is because women are genetically programmed to subconsciously evaluate their prospective partners. Too fat and she will end up cooking all day. Too thin and she will have to do all the lifting and pushing and pulling at home.
You must join a gym. This can be expensive. Instead, what you can do is make use of the 'Free Trial Day' offer which is available at most places. Find ten different gyms near your home and spend one day at each place. Remember to always look as if you know nothing. Talk a lot about wanting a three-year plan. They will get the entire staff to train you.
Today you will get a great new job. Something that is high-paying, high-class and has great future prospects. This will require preparation, networking and sheer hard work.
Alternately, you can get a set of visiting cards printed for yourself in the name of a fictional investment bank. Call it something swanky yet practical -- 'Sigma Century Investment Bankers'. Also give it a caption that will impress the ladies: 'Sigma Century Investment Bankers: We pay our employees by the truckloads'.
You should get a box of cards for around 100 rupees. If a box doesn't help you get a date...hmm...
Once you have the body and the job you need a great place to live. You might want to do dinner at a five star restaurant on V-Day. But if you do come back home you don't want to introduce her to your roommate who cleans the house each time the Olympics [Images] roll around and is remarkably extrovert for a person who wears only underwear.
The best thing is to join a real estate agency for a week or so. Collect keys to lots of furnished places. You can also take photos of the flats and carry them in your wallet.
Today you must arrange for transportation. Nothing turns off a potential date like arriving at the Taj in an autorickshaw.
When the tourists do it everyone finds it very cute and so magnanimous. When you do it, they laugh at you and call you a 'kanjoos makkhichoos' or something like that.
Best is to borrow a rich friend's car. But then he will definitely have plans of his own on february 14. My solution for this is to make sure you book a test drive at the local Mercedes showroom. Time it to coincide with the start of dinner. After dinner act as if you have no idea where the driver is and send her away in a taxi.
Then catch an auto.
Now that most of the infrastructure and logistics have been taken care of you must find a suitable place to scope out the ladies. Thanks to the emergence of coffee shops this is no longer the challenge it once used to be. Find one near colleges, beauty salons and bookstores.
Spend day and night keeping a track of the number of women coming and going. Have a cappuccino once in a while, but no desserts. We are slimming, remember?
Today you will spend all your free time doing breathing exercises like pranayams. You may also do light yoga and read self-help books. This is because you will soon spend days making conversation with woman-kind. This requires patience and fortitude.
They may often throw questions at you like: "Darling! I have spent the last few hours trying not to show how much you're upsetting me tonight and you haven't said a single word at all! Is it because you don't care or because you don't want to accept the fact that you are, indeed, upsetting me?"
Strength, my friend. Now breathe in long and slow. Exhale. Repeat.
Today you are looking thin, fit, at peace with yourself and the cosmos. You are ready to hunt for prey.
Hit the cafe you have chosen. Take a notebook with you today. Also dress in disguise. Wear a cap and large cooling glasses. Today is a day for observations and analysis. Make a note of all the ladies who visit the cafe. Try to eavesdrop on their conversations. The best way to do this is to buy a pair of cheap earphones. Insert the wire entirely into your shirt and then push the phones into your ear. Everyone will think you are listening to music. Now lean across and overhear all the conversation.
Find out who is single and looking for a V-Day date. When you do, immediately note down their names, interests and so on.
Some people will tell you that you must only look for people who fit your type and have the same interests. Most of those people have had arranged marriages.
First day of your attack. Wear cool clothes, carry your cellphone and hit the cafe around the time your shortlisted women are expected to arrive. Once they are in the cafe, speak on your phone loudly. Use one of the following lines:
"Not yet Ravi. I hope to find one soon. I am looking for a girl who is not after my fabulous wealth, God-like body and hard-to-top lovemaking skills..."
"Sorry Diana. I am simply not after a physical relationship. I want a woman I connect with mentally. Sorry. I will not be treated as a piece of meat..."
"Hi Dad! What! Eight hundred responses on shaadi.com! Please Dad. I don't want an arranged marriage. When I find the woman of my dreams I will know it. Only then will I ask her hand in marriage. Only then will I give her the 17-carat solitaire that once belonged to my great grandmother..."
Beware of women approaching you at high velocity.
You should have a list of potential alliances by now. Today is the day to swoop in on your chosen one. Spend all day talking to them one after the other. Always appear suave. Mention that diamond that belonged to your granny at sporadic intervals. When you think you have identified the perfect one, pop that all-important question: "Do you like expensive five-star food, or does a simple homely dinner at an Udipi and a romantic walk by the sea impress a beautiful, talented woman like you? (Cough) Solitaire (cough) diamond..."
Fingers crossed. She must agree.
Today's the big day! Be there on time. Pick her up as scheduled. Don't order anything with ginger or garlic in it. Act reserved and classy. Get people to call you on your cellphone so you can pick it up and say:
"No Jerry. I don't care how much money I can make on this trade. I will not talk business on a date. Sorry. Three million? I don't care!"
But what happens from this point onward is really in your hands. We've brought you so far. You should be able to take care of yourself from here on.
Happy Valentine's Day!
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