Lisa, how can I forget her name? And the face, how can I ever forget it?
The first time I see her is at the reception. There is one for us, the overseas participants. As I go around introducing myself and our GNH concept, I see her across the room. She is looking immaculate in her uniform. Immediately I want to talk to her, ask her name.
As I edge around people I catch her eyes. I smile at her. She returns it. There are still a lot of bodies and introductions en route. But like King Arthur of the Arthurian legends I overcome all obstacles. My price is the beauty who beckons me like a beacon. My sword is my wineglass which I brandish around. My path is cleared and I soon have a straight path carved towards her.
But then, my new friend from Mongolia, Setii comes in the form of Lancelot to disturb my Lady Guinevere. As I reach her, Seki is already en route from the opposite direction.
I ‘hi’ her and introduce myself ‘ from Bhutan’. ‘I’m Lisa from Tokyo, Lisa’ is her intro. Her English is flawless with a strong western accent, unlike many Japanese that I had met. I compliment her on her English. She says that she is currently studying in Canada, so that accounts for it.
Then Lancelot reaches there. Soon she is deep in conversation with him. I am sidestepped. From their conversation it seems that she has been to Mongolia previously and they met there. I just look around. I have nothing to say.
She notices my silence and ignores Lancelot to give more attention to me. Is it just courteousness? The Japanese are well known for that. I don’t care, all I know is that we are talking and Setii is ignored. The stuff I do for love. Love? It can’t be. I barely know her, yet I am smitten by her. Is it love at first sight? I am confused. Is it love that I am feeling? I am reminded of Bob Marley’s words.
Then it is dinner time and she goes away to help around the table. She is one of the organizers so she is busy. The entire evening I spend around imagining lots of things about Lisa.
Setii is visibly grinning at me. What? I mouth him. He eyes Lisa. Then I get it that he too likes her. So it is going to be a battle! The evening passes with no further developments. But I do get her card. She wants me to add her on facebook.
On the ride back to hotel we are in the same bus, but her mother is with her. I give her hidden glances.
From the next day I don’t see her. When I ask around it seems that she is doing her duties in another part of the site. I want to meet her, talk to her, do lots of things that boys in love do, but I can’t. She isn’t near me.
Then it is time for us to depart. Lancelot is going away a day before me, something to do with his flight timings. Boy, am I happy? I plan something for the evening with Lisa. But she is escorting Lancelot’s group up to the airport. I bid her bye and add that I will see her tonight.
Yeah, she replies. I am really excited. But as fate would have it, there is another engagement for her in the evening. She doesn’t turn up, nor is she escorting us to the airport the next day.
I give up. Then I return to Bhutan.
Three days ago I find out that she has accepted my friend request on facebook. So I send her a message saying how I was looking forward to meeting her that evening. I didn’t even get to give you a proper goodbye, I write. Her reply is pure courtesy. But I can still feel her fingertips gliding over the keypads as I read each word.
So I didn’t get to build a relationship, but I was wistful. I could have built a better Camelot for us. I was ready.
Maybe for her I was just that Bhutanese guy. But for that instant, she was my world.