Karma and Asit met on September 24, 2009 at a fundraiser for their mutual friends, Shawn and Noel, who were off to Africa to work as legal aid refugee attorneys. The mutual friends had known Karma for three years at this time, but had known Asit for only a few months. Karma, who spent the summer studying for the Bar exam in Oregon, hadn’t been a part of the cook-offs, dinners, and track practices through which Shawn, Noel, and Asit came to know each other. But she was back in San Francisco in time to attend the fundraiser at 15 Romolo, a bar in the City’s North Beach district.
Karma arrived at 15 Romolo, found a few friends she hadn’t seen in months, and spent time catching up with them. When the friends decided to leave an hour later, Karma decided it was time for a drink. On her way to the bar she noticed a very well-dressed and handsome man on the other end of the room who appeared to be having an animated conversation with a small circle of people. Amused, Karma placed her drink order, and, for lack of anything better to do while standing alone at the bar, waiting, she pulled out her phone and checked her email.
“So, are you just going to stand there, look at your BlackBerry, and ignore the rest of us all night?”
She laughed, and turned around. There was the well-dressed and handsome man, looking at her with a raised eyebrow and taking a sip of his martini. “Well, when you’ve invited twenty people to the party and none of them show, you must wonder what your friends are doing,” she said. He didn’t buy it. She turned to reach for her drink and paid. “I’m Karma.”
Both eyebrows lifted now. “Karma? Really? That’s your name?” he asked, with a hint of sarcasm. Another cool sip of the martini. “I’m Asit.”
The name hit her. She’d heard of him.
“Oh, you’re Asit! You’re the one who placed last in each of the cook-offs this summer, and you missed your goal of the 6-minute mile by two seconds.”
It was his turn to laugh. She’d gotten back at him for his comment about the BlackBerry. The conversation then turned to basics: how they knew the mutual friends, where they worked, where she had been all summer. They parted ways.
They met again fifteen minutes later. More conversation. Another drink. More friends arrived and were greeted. Food was ordered. By the end of the evening, Asit had Karma’s number. The next afternoon he sent her a text message, stating “It was nice meeting you last night.” Two minutes later, he found her on Facebook. They both went dancing with a group of friends the following evening. Six days after that was their first date.
And four years later, they’re getting married.
NOTE: The prosecution objects to the defense’s assertion that Karma was at the bar and had ordered a drink when Asit approached her from behind. According to the prosecution, she was in the middle of the room, standing alone. No witness testimony is available to support the prosecution’s theory.