"Hello? Hello? Hello?.. Is there anybody in there? " .. Pink Floyd slowly filled the void of the silence in between the whiffs of the chill breeze .The summer had begun and the occasional chill breeze was a welcome respite. I stood there still on my terrace as my mind engulfed in a strange state of tranquility.
It was two years since I last heard from her. By now she must have a kid too, I thought. A extremely familiar silence welcomed me.
I hope she is happy.
Err..Let me be honest. Now I am actually lying to sound like a nice guy.
Truth lies somewhere in between. I was just not that cruel enough to curse her and not that awesome enough to fake the phony I-hope-she-is-happy-somewhere thoughts..As an average rest-of-us kinda guy, I was stuck somewhere in the middle.
I have no idea on true love except for what I have seen in movies. It seems like true love happens on once. And that's it. You brood and live on with the memories.
Unfortunately, I don't seem to be the one cut out for this definition. I have no idea on what is right or wrong. But all I know for sure is "This too shall pass". And so did it.
While the initial phase of separation is the hardest, "time" somehow magically seems to heal everything. I had indeed moved on. And yes, for real.
As a consequence, the best-of-my-photoshop-edited pics were already up in the matrimonial sites. My family was scouting around for that perfect made-in-heaven match
And from my side, just like any other hopeless but hope-to-get-married-soon guy, I joined a gym. Six packs were a rage then. And yes, yours faithfully also wanted that Dangal transformation. After all which gal would say no to a six pack.
Mission: Single pack to Six pack in 60 days
But fate had other plans. I had grossly underestimated the potential of my single pack.
"Is the water cold" goes a voice which I would rate moderate on the sweetness quotient (Personal note: Oye, if in case you happen to read this, it's still supposed to be a complement). I turn back and to my surprise its that same beautiful girl whom I was eying for an entire week in my otherwise desolate gym. She had joined a week back. And it provided a welcome respite from the usual sights of tight-t-shirt hugging tummy of the gym owner, hip-hop listening middle aged aunties and the underwear showing headband uncles.
Anyway back to the story, there is a tamil saying which goes
"Cycle gap kedaicha, Auto otiduvan"
Roughly translates as "if you even get the gap for driving a cycle, you will drive an auto"
With this profound Chennai quote as my inspiration, my so called conversational skills which had gone on a kumbhakarna mode for some years came to the forefront. Half an hour later I ended up talking about the weather, the cricket match on the screen (where I explain to her certain complicated things such as how to differentiate a T20 and a one day match, how to identify a no-ball etc. Cricket enthusiasts do forgive me), her job (where she did the complicated explanation of very interesting topics such as oil, pipes, process..grr ), college life, CAT preparation , MBA blah blah. Phone number was the only part missing. And she goes like "Can I have your phone number, because I need some guidance on MBA". God, once in a while does exist!
From then on, the script goes as per serendipitous design - Messages, late night phone calls, coffee shop indulgence, long bike drives, movies, shift in gym to Talwalkar (which helped in the process of adding few more kilos), night walks together, pani puris and her love friendly scooty which only starts when I kick..With no dramatic alaipayuthey madhavan moments, love seemed to take its own sweet pace as we slowly got comfortable with each other. And yes, one fine day, with no swaying trees stopping, no rains, no romantic arr song in the backdrop, no out-of-the world surprises, love just happened. The summer was at its scorching best, the traffic was extremely heavy, honking horns were the background music, our faces were covered with sweat and dust, no 100-ways-to-propose plans and yet love just swept us off our foot and man, it was so magical.
"Wow! maybe this was the girl that destiny had planned for me. "
But unfortunately your past still has its traces still left, which sometimes lets your mind come in when a few things are to be actually decided from your heart.
As I grapple around with these struggles which she clearly wasn't too comfortable with, the big blow came when her folks found out about us.
Me being the in-love-but-my-past-says-give-it-some-more-time mode meant a disaster was in the making. Our parents spoke and things didn't work out as expected.
And then something happened. Something I would regret for my entire life.
Her cute smiling face saw the first traces of blood (and that will be the last time ever. I promise.). She wasn't able to open her left eye which is generally deployed to deliver that trademark mischievous wink whenever she sees me. Her head had a large bump which on a normal day I would have made fun of as "this is why I ask you not to think too much. See your brain is popping out". But these were not normal times. She was beaten up for having chosen a jackass who could'nt stand up for her. Pause and let this sink in. Please abuse me under your breath for sometime if you don't know me or the next time you see me if you know me. I deserve it.
Everytime I think about this, I feel so small. I was indeed a jackass. And someone just got hit because she loved me and wanted to be with me. It's a regret which I will carry along with me for my entire life. Oye, I am so sorry. Please don't forgive me. (unfortunately given the heart she has, she did..)
And amidst the two weeks of break up and several months of her entire family not talking to her, our next phase of love story happened.
This time she was obviously the confused one while I had made up my mind that it has to her - come what may. And since she was fed up with all the shit going around, she took an onsite to Italy. The best part is she had told everyone that it was for 6 months while it was actually 3 months.
Lol. And this is exactly where the "tragedy" portion of our story ends and the comedy portion begins. The backdrop of a confused girl supposedly in Italy, but living in a ladies hostel in Chennai, a once-confused-redemption-seeking-love-struck stupid asshole trying to woo the girl back is the perfect recipe for some amazing fun and memorable stories which I reserve for my kids and hopefully my grand kids.
I used to go to her hostel each and everyday post work and take her out to each and every coffee shop and food outlet. Slowly I wooed her back and it was the awesomest (sorry english teachers..I made that word up) and most exciting time of our lives. The late night walks, bike rides, secret kisses, satyam cinemas, cold coffees, subs, that joyful wait in front of the ladies hostel (err joyful because I was expecting her and not because of what you think) gave us more than enough memories to treasure.
As expected from us, our love story needed to have some twist.
One fine evening, I called her up and said "Oye, will pick you up at 6.00 and lets head to Lloyds Tea house".. She with her ever cute smiling can't-I-have-paani-puri-instead face said "I need paani puri. Dot." It had been ages since we went to Gangotri and what better way to spend an evening than a pani puri at gangotri.
Since it was a crowded day, I asked her to take a seat inside, while I went to pick the pani puri.
Suddenly I heard a loud voice, "Hey Shal. What are you doing here". Holy shit. That was her sister along with her kids. I almost dropped my plates. Thankfully she didn't see me. I put my kerchief on my nose trying to blow my nose and in the next 30 seconds was on the parking lot and in the next minute off to god-knows-where but let it be as far away as possible from gangotri.
And how we handled the whole saga without getting caught, will be our secret story for some other time.
Soon enough, within a month, as scheduled by the devious man up above, we got caught again.
And this time for a change something very different happened.
Fed up. They got us married!!
From then on we have been living happily ever after.
And yep, that's how we fell in love..
Today being her birthday and the day I revived this blog.
Let me take the liberty to post a personal message.
I Love you Shalz..and Happy Birthday Baby :)