A man and a woman walk into an airport lounge bar…

Award-winning writer Anjali Joseph’s fourth novel transits simply between London and Assam. Conserving in Contact pivots across the long-distance romance of enterprise capitalist Ved and artwork curator Keteki, because the 30-somethings navigate the social and sexual conventions of their colliding worlds and push by means of existential crises. Learn on for his or her meet-cute in that almost all liminal of areas—an airport lounge—excerpted from the primary chapter, “Eternal Lucifer”, setting the tone for a relationship fuelled by long-distance flights to fulfill midway all over the world. Excerpted with permission from Conserving In Contact by Anjali Joseph, revealed by Westland (Context Imprint).

Eternal Lucifer

Ved Ved sat within the govt lounge at Heathrow and sipped his peppermint tea. With a sigh, a slender lady appeared subsequent to him. She put her satchel on the bar and adopted it with a canvas bag, a guide, 4 magazines, a glass of champagne, and a plate holding girl-sized quantities of salmon, salad, cheese, and chocolate pudding. She sat down, sighed once more, crossed her legs and took off her hat to shake out lengthy black hair. What was she sporting—some form of jumpsuit? She smiled on the big window, past which, within the darkness, planes had been taxiing, touchdown or permitting passengers to embark.

No, stated Ved Ved to himself. He was thirty-seven. He’d had sufficient of govt lounge hipsters, belief fund youngsters, with their rising inflections and their good pores and skin. Don’t look, he thought.

She lifted skinny arms to coil her hair, and speared it with what gave the impression to be a single blue chopstick. Ved noticed some armpit fuzz, and wasn’t postpone. He felt a ache in his navel. He stared at her cheekbone, and one lengthy, barely upward-slanting eye. She appeared spherical, smiled at him amicably, and sipped her drink.

She wasn’t going to speak to him. He had simply begun to ponder this when he heard some fool blurt, ‘The place are you travelling to?’

It was him. She appeared up, glass in hand.

‘The place are you going?’ he stated, and smiled.

She was him. He wished to die.

‘Bombay,’ she stated. Her voice was clear and light-weight.

‘Oh, so am I,’ he stated. ‘9 o’clock?’

She nodded.

‘Are you finding out? Is that the place you reside? Bombay, Mumbai,’ he went on.

She remained calm and open.

‘Do you reside in Mumbai?’ he continued.

‘No. I’m going again to Assam. However I’m breaking the journey to spend a few days with associates.’

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