Remember the first girl you liked? I mean really, really liked? What was it about her? Her dusky, chiselled face? Her flowing jet-black hair that bounced off her khaki skirt when she walked? Something about the way her shiny-white teeth were slightly askew? Or was it the aplomb with which she trounced you in school debates?

Miss, recall that guy with cleanly cropped hair, who was intermittently shy and confident, and whose endearing eyes caressed your tender heart every so often? Perhaps it was those freckles at the corner of his mouth that sent you swooning?

Now, a decade after the fact, you try to rationalise. Hot, teen blood. A passing crush. Nothing serious. Truth is, you just don’t know. Most of us neither had the pluck nor the pleasant perch of retrospect to do the right thing at the right time.

What if your intuitions were bang on even at that early age? The first person who had you tumbling down the stairs, starry-eyed in the middle of the day, the best partner you could have for life?

Blink is all about trusting our first impression. There was a reason you ‘fell in love’ with that dancing queen in the ninth, or the guy next door who giggled his way into your heart and mind. As a species, humans are primed to sort out the best mates to pass on the ‘good’ genes. You might never be aware of it but you are at no time completely free of the genetic and environmental milieu you were born in. Such a dispensation of things is, by and large, beneficial to humans. But you can rely on your senses only so long as you exercise a degree of control over them and are able to employ their services judiciously, as and when needed.

That girl… Did you notice a little twitch at the tip of her nose before she boomed into laughter at your silly jokes? Did he have this habit of shooting up his brows when gushing about your looks? Beware. Malcolm Gladwell believes these little clues — if you are smart (or trained) to spot them — are enough to give away any person. If you persist with something that does not ‘feel’ right, you are headed for trouble.

Blink is almost a guide, written in an easy and lucid prose, to learn to rely and hone your “(The) Power of Thinking Without Thinking”. Of course, the scope of taming and training your senses goes much beyond your love lives. It can help you make better career choices, raise happy families and pick good friends, and in any number of other imaginable ways.

Oh! So you bumped into her inside your favourite restaurant the other night!

It just didn’t feel right, now, did it?