Everyone has a Cupid Tale to tell 1.0

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She looked just too beautiful, clad in that red bridal dress with those red and white bangles clinging to her forearm. I could see a concoction of shyness and cheerfulness in her eyes. Those eyes were indeed too intoxicating. The expensive and elaborate ornaments that she wore were although, too unworthy to add to her beauty. She was the one who I had always dreamt, will be mine one day. And after so many years, finally here she was...

***

“Hi Vipul, is Aunty there?”

I did not utter a single word. I could have said a simple ‘no’, rather I should have said a ‘hi’ first. But I said nothing. I kept standing there with no clue whatsoever. She was standing at my door, she was looking as beautiful as always and she knew my name. Wow, she knew my name!

She had moved to our society a couple of months back. And as they say – It was love at first sight. Of course, this was not for the first time that I had fallen in love with a girl at the very first sight but this was different. I knew it was different because she was different from all of them.

Those big cheerful eyes, that cute little nose, that pony tail which swish-swooshed when she ran; well, I loved just everything about her. Today, finally I also heard her intoxicating voice; up, front and close. It’s not difficult to get intoxicated when you are just 10 years old. Even a minor dose will do.

Yeah, I was 10 back then. She was 10 too and studied in the fifth standard just like me. However, she was in a different school, an all-girls convent while my parents had thrown me into a boys' one. Well, if Samuel Taylor Coleridge had seen my plight, his poem would have sounded something like this ‘Boys, boys everywhere, not any girl to seek’.

Thanks to this state-of-the-art schooling, I somehow went dumb when it came to conversing with the fairer sex. So there she was standing in front of me for close to a minute till my elder sister came out to my rescue.

“Hi... How are you; what brings you here?” said my sister, greeting her inside.

“Hi, Didi; I got these coupons from school for generating funds for community service. Please, will you buy one?”

Buy one? I could have bought all if I could; just to see a smile on her face. But of course, that was not to happen.

*

Those days, I used to cherish the hide and seek games where boys and girls used to play together on some evenings.

I had taken the refuge behind a broad tree while playing one evening. Suddenly, I felt that someone had stealthily run towards me and was now clinging to me from the back. Before, I could turn around, the person hopped on to the next tree. Wow, it was her; I realized straining my eyes in the dark. I was just trying to sink in the feeling of her being so close to me when suddenly I heard, “I spy Vipul.”

The game was over for me!

Another day while playing, I had a minor tussle with her younger brother who had misbehaved with me. I was just reproaching him when she approached us.

“Hey, don’t scold my bro!” she said, staring me with her beautiful big eyes.

And well, as always, I went dumb. I kept standing there till my sister who was standing nearby stepped in.

“Hey, don’t scold my bro!” she imitated her light-heartedly.

We all started laughing and then out of nowhere, my sister proposed that why don’t we both stand together to see who is taller. These girls and their stupid games.

It was a bit embarrassing when I found out that she was taller. The guy cannot be shorter in a relationship, I thought. But somehow, I gathered myself together knowing that one day, being a male; I’ll grow past her for sure. Of course, the time proved me right.

*

It was in the eight standard that my team got through to the final rounds of Maggi Quiz Contest, the most popular inter school quiz of our city. When I and my partner won the intra-school round, my friends demanded a treat but the frugal me somehow ignored them. Meanwhile, even she had reached the intra-school round and I was keenly waiting for her results. The following day when I reached home, my sister broke the good news that from their school, my ladylove and her partner had emerged the winners. My friends got a treat, the very next day.

Within a couple of weeks, we had the finals. I was pretty confident of sailing through as my partner was pretty smart, just short of being termed a child prodigy.

The day came and there she was, sitting across me. We didn’t even greet each other. It wasn’t the ugly competitiveness but stupid dumbness that restrained me. The quiz was going fine until the final moments came. Her team was already out of the fray but we were still counting our chances. Our questions had exhausted and the only way to victory could be a passed question. By answering it we could at least tie with those who were leading and then go for the kill in the tie-breaker.

“Who won the latest Dada Saheb Phalke Award?” asked the quizmaster to the team sitting before us.

I jumped on my seat. I knew the answer and just wished they didn’t. Soon, their time was up and the question came into our lap.

“Sivaji Ganesan,” I shot back with a wide grin on my face.

“A real tough name but sorry, it is the wrong answer, buddy,” the quizmaster remarked with an odd sneer.

I couldn’t believe it. I knew I was right. I told this to my partner but even he was clueless. Just as we were discussing it amongst ourselves, the winners got declared. We were second in line; in short, we had lost it.

Holding back my tears, I hurried towards my dad who was accompanying us and pulled my bag from his hands. I unzipped it and pulled out my GK book. There on the final page were the recent awards and it clearly read Sivaji Ganesan against this particular award. I was ready to run back and snatch my well-deserved award when my father said, “Vipul, well done. But how could you miss that last one. It was so much in news recently. It’s Pradeep, the lyricist.”

“What?” I said, aghast at this revelation. It was then that it dawned upon me, my book is outdated. I missed it by a year.

God liked playing games with me when she was involved and well friends as you will see, this was just the beginning.

Meanwhile, at school and in the society, every boy knew, I had a big crush on her. So in that sense, she was my ‘Girl Friend’. Yeah, within my friends circle, she was officially my ‘GF’; it didn’t matter that she had no clue about it whatsoever.

***

Finally, it was time to leave the school after completing my secondary education. Though, I had remained loyal to her for the last five years but could not help having crush on one or two teachers. Yeah, we guys just had that one option. Anyway, now I had the option to go for a co-ed school but I opted for a boys’ college as owing to its flexible rules, I could easily bunk classes. ‘How bad, bunking to loiter around’; you must be wondering. No, that was not an option for a Non-Medical student. The bunks were meant for spending more time studying and preparing for the Engineering entrance examinations and keeping pace with the tuitions. And  these very tuitions brought me closer to her.

By God’s grace, we ended up at the same tuitions and by our parents’ grace, we started car-pooling. What a joyous moment it was when my father declared it for the first time.

Those few moments with her in the car were like heaven.

Wait, wait. Do you think we used to drive to the classes by ourselves? Well, at that age, we couldn’t. So it was either of the parents who used to drop and pick us up. Still it was a heaven. The customary tradition was that one parent will drive; the respective child will sit along. They’ll honk on reaching the other’s place. The other child will rush to the car, open the door, say namaste uncle/aunty/didi and sit at the back. Beyond that the conversations will be between the parent and the child or the parent and the other child. In net, not even a single hi yet. I sucked, I know!

Still, it was a heaven.

*

At the tuitions, it was important to let every guy know that she was the one made for me. So just like a lion creates his own territory in the jungle, I with the help of my close friends made it evident to everyone that thinking about her is out of question. However, this had its repercussions too. Soon, the other guys started finding pretexts to embarrass me in front of her. In most of the cases, this was done by linking our names and cracking jokes when she was around. Frankly, the loser inside me loved when our names were linked. Moreover, I had no other option but to enjoy it as I had dug my grave myself. No requests and no coercions made those guys budge from their antics.

Meanwhile, at the studies front, a healthy competition was developing between us. I was working hard to beat her at tests as I thought the man should prove himself more able to woo the fairer sex. Overall, this love was driving me forward in a positive manner. She was definitely more intelligent at these subjects but I made it a point to throw in some surprises on an off.

*

It had been about a year and by now we had stopped pooling as she had shifted one of her batches, when she approached me.

“Vipul, we need to talk about something,” she said.

“Y..y..yes, about what?” I stammered back.

“This all should stop,” She replied mysteriously.

“W..w..what?” the stammering continued.

“The guys making fun of us,” she replied in a serious tone.

“Believe me, its.. its not my fault. They j..j..just don’t listen to me,” I replied. I couldn’t see myself of course, but knew that my colour had gone pale by now.

“I am not blaming you Vipul. But if this continues, then I’ll have to tell papa.” she retorted.

That last word came as a bombshell.

“No.. no.. don’t do that. I’ll talk to them,” I replied sheepishly.

On my way back home straddled on my red scooty, I felt such a heavy weight on my head. At that moment I could empathise with my scooty which had to carry my gargantuan weight every day.

*

Talking of weight, I had once also tried to get rid of it earlier in the year by cycling to the tuition. Maybe it is my weight that’s keeping her away, I wondered. The routine was going fine until the day when the tuition had to be cancelled due to a power cut. My teacher had to make arrangements for the girls to return safely. She had been dropped off by her father that day, so sir approached me.

“Vipul, you are on your scooty right; why don’t you drop her off. She’s your neighbour right?”

All guys looked at me, some pitiably, others sadistically as they knew my response.

“Sorry, sir. I come on cycle these days,” I replied.

“Tough Luck, boy,” came back his reply. Oh my god, even he didn’t budge from extracting sadistic pleasure out of my situation.

From that day onwards, it was ‘bicycle bye, bye’. But even the Electricity Department had decided to indulge in sadism. There was no other power cut after that one.

*

Since the ‘I’ll have to tell papa’ fiasco, there had not been much interaction between us. I had told the boys to keep off limits but those brats just made things worse. Now, when she was nearby, they started chanting “Daddy, cool, cool, coolraag. Though alarmed at first, even I had to chuckle at their ingenuity.

I always tried to hide from her at the tuitions and we never acknowledged each others’ presence. During this period, I wrote many love letters to her but all of them finally landed up in the dust bin, shredded into pieces or at times to be extra careful, smothered into ash.

Finally, during the last months of our twelfth standard, I had an opportunity to again start the heavenly car pooling. Of course, I had planned it out. Till now, I had been consciously or unconsciously changing my batches and even tuitions to somehow end up with her. I ended up hiding from her is a different story altogether. Recently, a new competition batch had started and she was in the early morning one. If I could shift to it, then we could start car pooling as in early winter mornings of December-January, riding to the tuitions on our gearless bikes was out of question.

However, I had recently heard from someone that she had joked about me changing my batch soon. Though, I hoped this was a misunderstanding and she actually meant something else but I got the opportunity to give her a taste of her own medicine. It was the show time.

So after one of our afternoon classes, I approached her in the parking lot.

“Hi, do you think I keep changing my batches after you?” I shot the question at her without building any premises.

“W.. w.. what are you saying Vipul?” It was her turn to stammer.

“Didn’t you say so the other day?” I said sternly.

She was confused at first but soon realised what I meant.

“Oh, that.. that was not what I meant Vipul.” She replied innocently.

I knew my ladylove was not lying but I couldn’t let it go.

“Whatever it is, please do not think about me in these terms. I am sorry if I ever did anything wrong but please do not insult me like this.” I had thrown the bombshell this time.

She was definitely taken aback as till now, I had never said so many words at one go. She assured me that she was being honest and the episode ended there. The next day, I changed my batch and as had been planned meticulously, my dad called her dad.

*

Waking up early at dawn and that too on a cold winter morning had never been so much fun.

“Namaste Uncle... Hi…,” I said entering the back seat of her car.

“Hi,” she replied.

Yes, we had moved forward in our relationship, exchanging greetings finally after seven years of knowing each other. This was the part of evolutionary process and I hoped my further progress would be geometric in nature, just like the mankind and his inventions.

As our exams approached and tuitions got over, I started finding pretexts to somehow meet her. Board Exams are secondary for engineering aspirants, but I took them seriously and well, this also gave me the chance to visit her place in order to collect her pre-board papers and then revisit to discuss those questions which I couldn’t answer. Yeah, yeah, even if I could answer them all, there was no harm  in lying in order to see her. Otherwise, those days were pretty uneventful and soon I got engulfed in the exams.

***

Have a lovely Valentine's Day and wait for the concluding part of this Cupid Tale!

Click here to read the Part 2 ...

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Dear reader, I have been diagnosed with ACDS or Acute Comments Deficiency Syndrome. My condition is critical and deteriorating day by day. The Doctor has recommended me a high dosage of comments to stay alive. So, if you took out time to read this post, be kind enough to take out some more time to leave a comment. Your few more moments may add few more moments to my life. May God bless you and your blog.

18 doses of compassionate comments received.:

Nalini Hebbar said...

Good Luck...and blesses

Shilpa Garg said...

Oh! Wow! That's a lovely cupid tale!! Made me smile and laugh too! :))
Can't wait to see the concluding part!! :)

BK Chowla, said...

Very very interesting.Each one of us have gone through this experience, haven't we?

Vipul Grover said...

Hey thanks Nalini.. keep visiting :)

Um happy 2 read ur review Shilpa di.. will cum out with nxt post pretty soon :)

Well, Chowlaji u r right.. thats why the title reads Everyone has a Cupid Tale to tell :p

Himanshu said...

wow ... that was a lovely read ...

Bharathi said...

Reminds me of my school days. well narrated.

I smiled when she gave you a bombshell :-)

And finally, you made me read such a long story (that too a love story (I hate love stories now a days)) with out any break. Thats a compliment.

Smriti said...

Lolz..oh my gawd..this is really funny..imagining u and her..especially the scene in the car :D

evanescentthoughts said...

Hey Vipul that was nice :) Waiting eagerly for the next part!!! I liked the way you scolded her and then shifted the batch..hehe :) Good luck!!

Mr. Pramathesh™ said...

arre yeh toh tangy tuesday me bhi aagaya.

shail said...

Lovely. Waiting for the next part.

Tavish Chadha said...

Shit man....this was brilliant... i had a childhood crush too and I went thru 95% of the experiences u just narrated... just that it was not that long(1.5 years) and there were a whole list of other crushes that followed... u got a smile on my face... am so waiting for the concluding post now... u better come up with it fast... i a little to eager to read it now...

Cheers!
Tavish
Latest Blog Post: Terror strikes India again

Vibhuti B said...

Aaah..Hope Love's labours weren't lost!! Dying to read the conclusion...Congrats on the story being up as a Tangy Tuesday read!!
Kudossss

Vipul Grover said...

@Himanshu.. Hey, thnx buddy.. keep visiting :)

@Bharathi.. Yeah, yeah, I can see the compliment.. thnx 4 appreciating it nd i hop u smile in the nxt post too :)

@Smriti.. Oh so u found ur way here. I thought of tagging u bt 4got :)

@Ash.. haha, tht was devilish of me :p
as for good luck, lets c in the nxt part if i was lucky or not :)

Vipul Grover said...

@Pramathesh.. yup bilul aa gaya :)

@Shail.. thts cuming soon :)

@Tavish.. I said na, we all have a cupid tale 2 tell.. our xperiences r bound 2 match.. we may luk diffrnt bt human emotions anywere nd everywere r the same :)

@Vibhuti.. Lets c if they were lost or not.. thnx thr.. keep hanging around 4 d nxt part :)

Dhiman said...

Congratz for Tangy Tuesday!!! Shall I say back with a bang :D ... loved the lovely tale... looking forward to next part ....

Vipul Grover said...

Hey thnx Dhiman.. Well by now, the nxt part is out and u'v cmmntd too.. so i'll cntinue the rply there :p

The Survivor said...

Finally things started moving which is a good sign.

So what happens next?

Vipul Grover said...

Well, part 2 is already out buddy.. third gonna cum too :)

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