Two weeks back, I met this man who was three decades older than me. He was here on a business trip and wanted to catch up over drinks. An affluent banker, South Indian, entrepreneur. I think he scored all brownie points to get me to say Yes. I went in my starched cotton, ice-blue sari and we met, at a plush, opulent restobar.

We spoke a lot, about the Malyali feminist author Kamala Das; his wisdom; his travelogues of 12 countries; his grown-up daughters who were of same age to me. I came to know that his marriage anniversary exceeds my age. And yet, despite all of this, we connected.

I am not a habitual smoker but my urge to smoke increases in a stirring camaraderie. I smoked four gold-flakes that evening and was intoxicated. I quipped –

“I don’t know if the alcohol, cigarettes, or you is causing this titillation?”

But the meeting had a not so good end when he asked me to come to his hotel for sex. He had his own reasons for making love with a stranger. ‘Revel at the moment’, he said. But my value system for sex differed from his. He tried to cajole me, twice on the way as he dropped me home in a Uber, but I turned down his offer every time.

There have been other men as well, who misconstrue my frankness as an ‘open invitation for sex’. Which is NOT! So, to make their lives easier and lessen disappointments, I’m creating this quick cheat sheet of what a man can expect when he is with me:-

1. Day 0-30 of getting to know each other – Who are you?
2. Day 30-90 of getting to know each other – Lunch may be?
3. Day 90-120 of getting to know each other – Dine & Wine : )
3. Lifetime commitment of companionship – PS: I love You!