Friday, September 26, 2008

Breaking up with Rahul

Early in my relationship with Rahul he asked if I had plans to visit any attractions in Delhi. At the time I thought this was genuine curiosity, so I answered honestly and told him I was planning to go to Agra to see the Taj Mahal on Saturday with some colleagues.

From that point on, Rahul would ask me at least twice per day if I had made travel plans yet. He repeatedly asked me to use his company and to request his services. While I was a little apprehensive about that - he did get us lost on the first day - I didn't know any other drivers, and I liked him, so I agreed.

Well, during the week I mentioned to Gopi (a student in my class) that I was going to Agra. He lives in Bangalore (in southern India) and had never been to see the Taj Mahal. I invited him, and he decided to come along.

Hiring someone who would drive safely was important to Gopi. He knew of a safe driver and wanted to use this driver. I had my own driver I wanted to use, but Gopi insisted on his driver. Since the only argument I had for my driver was that I didn't want to hurt his feelings, and since he had already proven himself able to get lost, we agreed that we should use Gopi's driver.

On Thursday afternoon Gopi tracked down a travel agent at the office where we were working. The 3 of us were discussing the plans for Agra in front of the office, when I looked across the street and notice Rahul smiling and waiving excitedly at me. That made me really uncomfortable. I was cheating on my friend, right under his nose.

I had to break the news to Rahul that I wouldn't need him on Saturday, and I wasn't looking forward to it. I actually was a little stressed about having to do that. I liked Rahul, and I had told him I would have him drive us to Agra. One evening he told me it would make him "very happy" if he could take me to Agra, and "very not happy" if he couldn't.

Fortunately, Rahul gave me an easy out. This morning he asked me if I would need him on Saturday. I told him no, and that was the end of it. Um, and I also gave him a big tip as I prepared to leave his car at the end of the day. As we said good bye, he said that meeting me had made him "very happy". We shook hands, then I returned to my room - alone.

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