27 August 2011

Why I Love Massage Class

July 30
In just two words, Mahinder Kapoor.

The pleasant ring of his name alone doesn't quite express the brilliance of his class, though.

I met Mahinder at exactly the right time. I'd met Raj a few days before, the young Indian man who nearly ruined Indian men for me. I was walking up the endless Jogiwara stairs on my way to buy fruit for our post-sacrament meeting potluck when Raj tapped my shoulder. Could he please share my umbrella? I consented, thinking he just wanted shelter from the sudden downpour. As it turned out, I was wrong.

We reached the top of the stairs, and when I said I was going left he was no longer headed right. At the fruit stand, he insisted on buying the mangoes and bananas for me. I was not going to accept, but the fruit man said the price in Hindi so I couldn’t pay. Then Raj accompanied me on the entire fifteen minute walk down the hill. “Please, can I have your number? Where do you stay? Will you come to my hotel? Visit me in California? Here’s my card; call me if you ever need a ride to somewhere far away. Please, ma’am, just one kiss? Just one? Please?” My “engagement ring” didn’t stop him from putting his arm around my shoulders, but my armful of fruit and umbrella didn’t hinder me from swatting that arm away either. “No, I am engaged,” I insisted repeatedly, “only my fiancé can kiss me.”