Two days later my pick-me-up comes in the form of dinner with Meera. Thank the goddesses for inventing girlfriend time. We’re meeting at one of Meera's favorite places, VP2 (Vegetarian Paradise 2). Gwyneth Paltrow is also a VP2 fan or it is Red Bamboo? Either way – both restaurants are vegetarian-vegan fusion Asian-Soul Cuisine where soy protein/tofu does a body double for meat, poultry and fish.
Now as someone who is Punjabi – eating meat is a regular part of my life --- chicken curry, chicken tandoori, chicken biryani --- but I have got to say the mock meat options at VP2 are pretty good. Could I eat it every day? No. Then again I can’t eat any type of cuisine every day.
I get to the West Village restaurant first. Which is a little surprising since I live 65 blocks further away than Meera does. When she arrives a few minutes later, I find it STUNNING how much weight she has lost. Shoot-a-pickle! I spin and spin and spin and keep gaining and losing the same 10 pounds. Since moving to New York I am sure I have gained and lost 100 pounds total! Eek! I am the desi Bridget Jones! This woman, has a baby, outweighs me for about 3 days and then poof – goes back to being a Skinny Minnie. Sigh.
“Hey Desi Girl!” Meera says. “Look at you! You look great!” I gush. She smiles, in that super fabulous always camera ready smile, “Thanks, I am tired! But glad to see you. I need some girl time,” she says. Amen! We walk the few steps down into the restaurant and get seated. She orders a ginger ale and I get a Diet Coke. The only downside to VP2 is that it has no alcohol and is not a BYOB place. Which is fine, really.
“So what is new?” she asks. “I was called ugly,” I reply and sip my water. The look that comes across her face is a cross between horror and disbelief. “What?” she demands. So I retell every gory detail of the events leading up to the Flyboy dates, the date and the after date. "I didn't want to lead him on - so I was honest," I say. "He really liked you," she says. "And? I have liked guys - Town and Country - I didn't call him ugly...I should send you the email Flyboy sent me...it hurt my feelings,” I say. “It was supposed to…what an arse,” Meera mutters.
“It makes me SOOO not want to date desi, which sucks, because my brother and your brother and Rohit are TOTALLY normal,” I say and sigh. Meera shakes her head. “And just about our ENTIRE crew from college met their husband in New York – you, Abby, June and Cindy,” I add. Meera nods. “Maybe desi dating in New York is the problem,” I suggest. “Maybe, maybe,” she replies and then adds, “what a jerk.”