I don’t know if its a coincidence or not but I happen to write whenever it pours unexpectedly and beautifully in the National Capital. And these writings always come in mind while I am coming home from work. In 2005, I used to work in Nehru Place, I thought of this post while sitting in the auto. In 2006 I was stuck in a bus stop, unable to find any bus or auto to my home in Dwarka, the rain was so beautiful I took some impromptu photos.

Today it rained again. I had just taken the car out of our office parking drove for a few meters and hit the Nehru Place crossing. They played a song from the latest Shah Rukh Khan movie My Name is Khan, and I smiled. I felt an air of romance. Perhaps because all day today I have been doing something cute, something I didn’t do in a long time, chatting with this person I met on Twitter. And the paagal stupid mann which never stopped dreaming found some weird reason to smile at itself. This meeting someone, talking to him, knowing him bit by bit, there is a special kind of bliss in doing this.

We are romantics, we meet someone and the first thing we think is of romance. But it has been a while I did that. Over the last 3-4 years I stopped meeting people unless I had some work with them. I didn’t date anybody in the last 3 years. Bangalore kept me busy, gave me enough friends, activities, eat outs, parties and a very steady no strings attached relationship. It was a relationship but we didn’t really date. So the soul mate search took a back seat.

Now back in Delhi I feel lonely again. So what do we do when we are lonely. We search, for romance. So this me, who had stopped going out, spoke to someone after a long time, albeit virtually.

Now in our age, there are about 3 kinds of romance that we may possibly look for. First, you bump into this nice guy by some work of fate and then you get to know each other more and fall in love. Case in point, any Rajshree movie. Chance of finding this is very low.

Second, you meet this really young guy, very passionate and poignant, different from the world, may be 7-8 years younger than you, is awestruck by your personality, your independence your courage and strength and eventually falls in love. You of course reject his love in a very proud and elegant manner like Dimple Kapadia turned down Akshay Khanna in Dil Chahta Hai. If you don’t then they will call you all kinds of name, cougar, cradle snatcher etc.

Third, you meet your soul-mate in the most unprepared moment of your life, in your shabbiest best, in that most ridiculous hairdo and that pale makeup-less face driving home after a bad day at work, right then this pot bellied bald middle aged man bangs your car or comes in your way unexpectedly. You probably throw some F word at him and drive away without even realizing that was your soul mate. Remember Dianne Keaton and Jack Nicholson in ‘Something Gotta Give’?

But those of us who are romantics, we think, as we drive back, could that be my soulmate. At least I do. And you know what, that’s what keeps me going. I have met thousands of them at all the odd moments of my life, none of them turned out to be my soul mate but I never stopped dreaming. First there is the search, then there is the chase, then the pain and the poetry leading you back to the search again.

Today, as I drove through the maddening traffic soaked in Delhi rains and as the music played on the radio I said hello to the chase. The air of romance thickened when I took the roads through the dark secluded woods of JNU, which actually looks like a scene straight out of a Hitchcock movie. Amidst all the mist and the silence I pulled my car over and asked myself, given a choice between the search, the chase and the soul mate, what will I chose?

A lightening struck behind the woods, a rain soaked dog howled and the answer flashed in front of my eyes. The ‘search’ followed by the ‘chase’ but NEVER the ‘soul mate’. Because if I find and keep him, that will be the death of romance as I know it.

We are the romantics we live to fall in love a hundred times with hundreds of the soul mates.