Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sid's Proposal to Kalpna, by Sid (see comment)

1 comment:

by Kalpna's Friends said...

Sid's account of his proposal to Kalpna:

So, yes, I got engaged this weekend and want to tell you all the story so here it is. Sorry for the mass mail, but I think I'm too lazy to repeat it several times. Anyway, my hope is that my single friends read this and realize what not to do. I also hope my steady relationship friends feel better about themselves after reading this as well. I’m sure Kalpna may chime in with some missing details...After holding out for several months on getting engaged, I finally decided it was time to take the next step. This was no big surprise really as I had already procured a ring of sorts months earlier as wells informed everybody (including Kalpna) that it would probably happen this summer. What was surprising on how much can go awry even with a bit of planning. This last Tuesday, July 6th, I decided this weekend or the next would be great as things at work have died down significantly and I have time to pick up where my life left off a while back. First thing to do was to check with the crazy parents on what dates work to pop the question. Being the semi-anal, prepared-type person I am, I had actually already asked for dates from my Mom in early May. Most of the dates sucked as they were during the week; a few fell on weekends but I was out of town for those. So, I re-asked my parents with hopes to negotiate a date that worked for me and that somehow wasn't on the original list--a list that now only had one date left until October (!)--Monday, July 12th at like 1pm PST. I figured I could meet Kalpna at the Fremont McDonald’s for lunch and have a frosty cone afterwards to celebrate. Ok, not happening...So, I get into a big argument with my Mom on how this is impossible to do and finally she calls my Grandparents in India who say there's a loophole in the Kashmiri calendar in that if I take action sometime on Sunday, July 11th PST, it'll actually be July 12th IST. Ok, whatever, I got my way, but then my Dad chimes in saying that I need to do the asking only between the hours of 3pm to 4:30pm as that was an auspicious time on Sunday--it was really meant as a "cover your ass" maneuver by my parents, just in case god or whatever he/she is brings this incident up one day. Ok, I'm a good kid more or less, so I would follow the dates & times for them. Ok, the date is set and I figured I like state parks, and Big Sur has a bunch of them that are cool, so I decide a weekend in Monterey and the vicinity would suffice. First thing was to book the bed & breakfast...I spent like 3 hours searching the internet and everything was booked except the Clarion Inn, listed as a 3 star hotel by AAA, for$230...holy crap, oh god. Oh well, I stomached it and hoped they would provide a discount for last-minute bookers like me trying to propose. Anyway, I figured I'd dupe Kalpna into coming with me to Monterey by saying we were going hiking this weekend in preparation for an ass-kicking 20 mile backpacking trip the following weekend. At least this tactic worked. I also said I've never been to the aquarium and that we should see that. Saturday rolls around, and we see the aquarium, the jelly fish, the sharks, the otters, the overpriced teddy bears or fish things, and then decide to stroll Cannery Row. All of a sudden one billion superbikes come rolling into town and line the streets of Monterey absolutely everywhere. Apparently there was a race at Laguna Seca/Honda raceway and every person with a racer bike was in Moneterey--no wonder the hotel was so expensive (more on that later).Anyway, Kalpna get's the great idea to rent a tandem bike and go bike riding. We rent a two-seater with 3 wheels (seats where side-by-side) and we put our backs on a hook on the frame behind us. In my bag is the ring that's totally uninsured, so I kept my eye on this bag the entire trip. A few weekends earlier, one of Kalpna's relatives said that I was a fool for not insuring it and that when he got his ring, he gave it to his then girlfriend immediately as it was burning a hole in his pocket. I was unamused and thought he was overzealous. Ok, so back to the bike ride...things were going great, so great that I decide to herd geese in a nearby greenbelt using the tandem bike because it would be cool. So, we jump off the bike path with the 3 wheeler, onto the grass, over a wooden bridge, all with the geese waddling ahead of us trying to save their noisy, poop-infested lives. Finally, they realize they can flyaway, and, thus, my fun had ended. We kept riding. 5 minutes later, Kalpna says, "Hey, where's your man purse?" Holy crap...Ok, so I turn the monstrosity of a bike around and start pumping like crazy, The problem with these type of tandem bikes is that they only have one gear so it would have been faster to run than use the bike to go back down the path. I'm crapping in my pants big time because if I don’t propose this weekend, I'm screwed until October, and then everybody in both families would hate me. Ok, luckily we find the bag next to the geese, damn geese. Kalpna was pretty suspicious at this point and I played it off saying that all my valuable stuff like my wallet and keys were in there, even though they were already in my pocket. Things were back to normal I guess. Eventually, the evening progresses and we end up at the Clarion Inn in Monterey. In the motel parking lot, this brown man gives me the Indian cold stare while smoking his bidi. He then says, " are Sidarth?" I was like oh god, how does this guy know who I am...oh, right, he's gotta be a Mr Patel. So, we go inside and he makes me sign something and stuff saying that I will owe him an arm and a leg for a room that I get barely any sleep in because there are a billion motorcycles around and their owners going nuts all through the night. We make it through the night, and I pay Mr. Patel his money the next day. At least I got continental breakfast, of which I believe a bunch of biker guys, who didn't stay at the hotel, also had. So, the hiking day beings starting at Point Lobos State Reserve. What an amazing place, the pictures do not do it justice. We go hiking, and stuff, and then eventually find ourselves at Nepenthe, a hippie/Californian cafe place right in the middle of nowhere off highway 1/PCH in Big Sur. We get there at 2pm and find that there are20 people waiting to be seated. Kalpna finds the place very cool so we’re stuck there waiting, waiting, waiting. The service there isn’t super great, but their dishes are very good, so, we stick it out. Keep in mind that it's now 3:45pm now, and I have to make it to Julia Pfeiffer Burns state park to do the asking thing all before 4:30pm. I’m super impatient at this time and we jet down highway 1 to the park entrance by 4:15pm. Ok, I can do this, the hike I have in mind is only1/4 mile. But, Kalpna, puts the car seat back and says that she's feeling woozy from my erratic driving and having a heavy dessert with milk. Oh god, I’m screwed. She's also pissed that she can't find her cell phone after looking for it everywhere. Great, another one of my plans has backfired. See, I stole her phone and shut it off just in case her parents give up my plans before they happen. Somehow I get Kalpna to get out and walk with me to the waterfall overlook (image attached). She doesn't want to admire the beauty, but wants to take a break on a nearby bench. I'm freaking out as it’s getting near 4:30pm and I ask her, "Do you want the shade? Some water? Some rest? A ring? "Ooops, I guess I just asked. Fortunately, I was on my knee. Unfortunately, I was sweating bullets as it was damn hot. Also, unfortunately, I think I was sweating because I was trying unsuccessfully to put the ring on her right hand. She clenched her fist and I got really worried because at this point I'm pulling her hand towards me to put on the ring, and she's pulling her clenched hand back. Finally, she says, "It goes on the left-hand, silly!" Ok, I manage to get it on. Ok, mission accomplished. But, then I realize I didn't ask her to marry me and she didn't respond. Ok, so I ask if she says yes, and the rest is history.