When I met an Afghan guy on a dance floor in Delhi I didn’t really think much of it. Well, I mean, that’s if you don’t count the mildly offensive suspicions I had about a Muslim being at a nightclub; a nightclub Muslim? Nonsensical, right? It goes against everything the stereotypes ever told us. Anyway, you can imagine the surprise I got the next day when he found me on Facebook and handed me an out-of-nowhere declaration of his undying love. From fear to fascination to the birth of a weird sort of cyber relationship thing, I learned that two people with a world of difference between them could still laugh at the same jokes.
READ PART ONE
READ PART TWO
READ PART THREE
READ PART FOUR
From this point in my story I can’t talk about events as such, because our relationship grew literally from text messages and Skype chats. We were talking every day at one point, and I really enjoyed it. I looked forward to texts and jokes and banter. But I still couldn’t suppress my suspicions about what he wanted from me.
He is an intelligent guy. He studied business and wanted to do his masters next year but his parents wanted him home. He speaks five languages, which he pretty much learnt by watching movies. He is really ambitious and driven, and has big plans to start his own successful business like his dad. He is witty too, quick and funny.
But honestly, what does he want from me? I’m 28 and I’m a total bitch sometimes. He has had to put up with my needy and moody side several times and we are literally only cyber buddies. Granted, he does have a lot of respect for women; he adores his mum, cherishes his sisters and tells me he will do whatever I ask. So I don’t know, is this love thing just him and the way he was brought up to think and behave, or are there ulterior motives looming behind his submission and cheeky smile? If there is, I genuinely don’t think it’s threatening. And I have no doubt that he likes me as a person and respects me. But love? LOVE? I’m still unconvinced.
I’m going to go on now to just talk about him as a person. Because when I was getting to know him a bit I was obsessed by how interesting I found him. I hope you agree.
Basically his life in Afghanistan contrasts greatly with his student life in India. At home in Afghanistan he lives under his parents’ roof and his parents’ rules. He works with his dad and he helps his mum at home. He needs to be home at certain hours and honour his religious duties. He is happy; he loves his family and he is used to this lifestyle because this is the way he was brought up. But his future is very much determined by his parents. And I imagine it’s hard for him after three years of licking on a bigger sense of freedom in India.
When he was in India he was a free dude and the nights were his oysters. Our Skype dates would sometimes see us start at 3am (his time) and finish at 6am. If he was too busy to Skype me it would be because he was out at the clubs or playing cards for money – gambling if you will – with his friends at home. He doesn’t drink; it’s a religious choice because drinking is considered haram (forbidden by Islamic law). He was the only one among his Afghan friends in India who chose not to drink though. But then again, gambling is frowned upon too. So you know, everyone chooses to follow their faith in different ways.
It’s probably a really good thing that he wasn’t drinking alcohol because his days were usually chocka block with college, work, gym and fun.
He worked as an interpreter for Afghans who would come to India for medical treatment because it cost so much less. He called them his ‘patients’ which I thought was adorable, and he would interpret for them with the Hindi-speaking doctors. Often he would spend the day with his patients, waiting for them to be treated or showing them around Delhi. He was making good money from this job which would have come in handy being the social creature he was.
One of his favourite places to go was the mall – that’s where a lot of Delhi’s students go and hang out. He’d go to cinema to watch both Hollywood and Bollywood films, enjoying them equally as much. In fact, one of my favourite things to learn about him is that his favourite film is Titanic. Yes, Leonardo Dicaprio’s and Kate Winslet’s Titantic. He loves Vampire Diaries and the film, Step Up, too. Romance, you see! His innocence and softness in this area is actually beautiful and I’ve tried a few times to explain why I found his taste in films so interesting. But some things just don’t translate. This is of course the sort of information that makes me try to appreciate and accept the love and romance thing a bit more – but it still jars me. “We’re from two different worlds,” I often tell him.
He’s a Chelsea fan and also massively into the gym (an interest we bonded over!), which he is also able to frequent in Afghanistan. I used to very much enjoy the pictures he would send me post workout, but then again, I think everyone on his Facebook enjoys them too. Him and his friends are right into the selfie culture and I used to joke about how many selfies we would take together if we saw each other again. He has a great smile but insists on pouting in all his selfies, so if I ever selfie with him I’ll probably have to give him a little tickle before we click.
He has loads of Facebook friends. Him and his friends seem to just add people they don’t know; Facebook privacy isn’t really a thing for them. Like, I’m not really one to talk but I share for the blog, don’t I. In fact, I’ve recently accepted the friend requests of his brother and his brother-in-law.
Anyway, you can see why I am so fascinated by him. I think, can you? He is a cool guy, with an interesting life. He comes from a war-torn country in the Middle East but is totally westernised. And now that he is back in Afghanistan his future rests in the hands of his loving and kind parents who follow very traditional cultural rules.
Him and I still speak, but much less now. He knows I have Afghanistan on the cards and wants me to come and meet his family. Which I want to do, because you know, culture vulture over here, but is it the right thing to do? I want to continue our friendship and get to know him more, but with the whole love thing rolling around, is the situation rife with expectations?
Part six will be determined by whether I see him or not I suppose. Please leave your thoughts and comments.