Everyone has a Cupid Tale to tell 3.0

 


The last time I had been to Delhi, I had gone back with a resolution to shed all my inhibitions. And well, in my very next visit, I had literally returned to the city with my ladylove. I had certainly made some strides.

At the fest, her friend was a great help. She kept giving me tips whenever she got a chance.

“Vipul, the other day you told her that she is not beautiful, haan?” she asked me when my ladylove was busy talking with some old school friend of hers.

“No, I didn’t. For me, she is the most beautiful girl,” I replied defensively.

“Oh, didn’t you say that the guys only talk about beautiful girls?” she delved further.

Those words reminded me of that particular conversation. Since the day we had started talking, she kept asking me odd questions.

“What do the guys in the college say about us?” she had asked one day, referring to herself and couple of her friends.

“Not much, they are busy discussing the beautiful chicks,” I had replied nonchalantly. 

Obviously by that I meant girls who believed more in revealing than concealing. Maybe, the choice of words was not right. But then she should have realised that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and in the eyes of a nineteen year old male beholder, there can only be one meaning of beauty.

But now talking to her friend, I realised this had offended her and offended her badly.

“Well, but she should know, I like her so much. I never meant it that way,” I clarified to her friend.

“Yeah I know, but you should be careful. You can’t just say that to a girl,” she replied with a halo appearing on her head or maybe I just imagined that. After all, she was passing on some important gyan to me. 

I couldn’t be frank with my ladylove, I realised.

We spent the remaining day basking in the festivities and magic of the fest. I also got an opportunity to attend my first dance party with her. That had always been my dream as being in different branches, we never had a common party.

On this wonderful day, I even preferred to ignore the fact that she had introduced me to a couple of her friends as being her batch mate, rather than a friend. 

What difference does it make, I had told myself. 

As the night fell, she and her friend left for her aunt’s place. I wished she could stay through the night too but I was happy for whatever wishes the otherwise sadistic God had already fulfilled.

The next day, my group was returning back home while I had to visit my sister who had just returned from her training in Mumbai. She was staying at a cousin's place who had a birthday the same day. There was a family get-together planned for the evening and I was looking forward to meet all my relatives living around the city.

At night, I sent her a message, “Hey, I hope you reached home safely. Should I be there when you arrive tomorrow?”

I knew she would send a practical reply telling me not to wait for her. However, deep inside I wanted her to ask me to stay. 

After half and hour or so, my cellphone beeped.

“Vipul, I had a great time today, thanks to you. I would really like if you could be there with us tomorrow too,” she had messaged back.

I was elated.

*

Next morning, I bid a farewell to my friends and called up my sister, “Hey, I won’t be able to make it till the evening.”

I had to stay behind for my ladylove

The next three hours were spent waiting for her arrival. With nothing better to do I kept sitting at a corner reminiscing the previous day and fantasizing about the day ahead. Finally she arrived and I woke up from my day dreams. 

However, as the time passed, she looked pretty disinterested in talking to me. As many times I tried to start any conversation, she preferred to deviate from it. She was more interested in what was going around and when we failed to get passes to an event she wanted to attend, she became pretty restless.

This was not what I had remained back for, waiting for hours for her arrival and delaying meeting my sister who I had not met for six months. 

Finally, out of frustration, I pulled her aside and asked sternly, “Will you keep behaving like this.”

“Yes,” came a harried answer.

There was a limit to my patience and I wished a good bye and left hurriedly. Moving towards the hostel where I was staying, I kept cursing myself for the stupid dreams I had seen of a perfect day with my ladylove

On my way, I got a couple of calls from her but I didn’t answer. Finally, I had to yield when her friend called me.

“Hey, Vipul. What happened? Where are you? Please come fast. She is so upset and crying here. What happened between you two?”

Crying? 

Hearing that word, I suddenly forgot that I was annoyed and hurried back to the auditorium where I had left them. Walking back, I realised how far I had walked by then. I had already lost my heart in love but now it seemed, I’ll lose some pounds too.

I saw her sitting on the pavement and sobbing innocently. I felt like slapping myself for hurting her.

“I am sorry Vipul. I turn a bit agitated at times. I didn’t mean to hurt you,” she apologised to me.

But, it was I who felt like apologising instead.

“No, I am sorry for behaving like this,” I replied and soon we were smiling again.

“You two are mad,” said her friend amusingly and we set out to further explore the dying fest.

As I had to leave for my cousin’s place to attend her birthday party, I prepared to leave after some time but they insisted me to stay. We made an arrangement that first we’ll go to a neighbouring mall and from there, her aunt’s driver will drop me off at a suitable place from where I can reach my destination quickly.

The next couple of hours flew by quickly. Soon, it was time to leave. I hurried to a card shop in the mall to buy one for my cousin. Her friend accompanied me.

“So, buying a card for her, haan?” asked her friend.

“No, actually, I am buying it for my didi. It is her birthday today.” I answered plainly.

“Oh! So you won’t give any gift to her?” she exclaimed.

“It never occurred to me yaar. Should I?” I inquired innocently. 

“Ofcourse. Come I’ll help you,” she replied and we started searching for something worthwhile.

As we drove towards the spot from where I had to take an auto, I kept looking at her stealthily. She looked beautiful as the lights of the moving vehicles fell on her tender skin. 

I loved this woman and I wanted her to be mine.

Soon the car halted and she too got out to bid me a farewell.

“Hey Vipul, thanks so much. I am really sorry if I hurt you unknowingly,” she said affectionaltely.

“It was my pleasure yaar. See, here I got something for you. Thanks for making these two days so special for me,” I replied handing over the wrapped gift to her.

As I was turning my back to negotiate with the auto richshaw driver, I could see her literally jumping in joy and showing the gift to her friend who was sitting in the car. 

She had loved that gesture. Her friend had guided me well.

By the time I reached my cousin’s place, the party was over and everyone had left.

However, one such family gathering can be sacrificed for the sake of the future family that I desire to have one day, I told myself and soon fell asleep, tired from three consecutive days of fun.

I returned from Delhi in a couple of days. Just like the previous time, this time too, the city had a strange effect on me and I realised why it is known as Dil Walon ki Dilli. I made up my mind to propose her again. That smile and way she had reacted to my gift convinced me that finally, it was the right time.

 *

However, as I reached the college next day, I had turned pretty indecisive. The excitement had slowly worn down as I started thinking about the repercussions. However, a close friend of mine convinced me to give it a try and also discussed about it with her friend.

It was decided that her friend will accompany her to a restaurant and I’ll meet them there. 

So finally, I was sitting with her at the corner table of the restaurant and her friend had just left to attend to an imaginary phone call that she had just received.

“I need to tell you something,” I applied the first gear.

“Yeah?” she nodded suspiciously. 

I could sense that she could sense that something sensitive was coming up next.

“See, you mean a lot to me,” I applied the second gear and proceeded to the third, “I have always cherished whatever time I have spent with you. Since, the childhood, I have been very fond of you and you mean a lot to me.”

Thereon, I applied the fourth gear and started expressing my love to her though I never used the word love explicitly even a single time. All the while she kept looking at me with her beautiful big eyes, sipping into her colddrink with a straw. She looked pretty cute doing that. 

However, before I could proceed to the fifth gear, she suddenly interjected and applied the reverse gear.

“Vipul, even I like you a lot as a friend. However, I have never thought about you that way. Please don’t interpret it wrongly.”

Now she continued and I just kept nodding. I could see my dream castle crumbling down and I could just stare helplessly.

She had rejected me earlier but that was understandable and on phone, that too through messaging. 

However, being rejected on face can get pretty embarrassing, I realised and that too when you try to justify yourself  by questioning, “Then why were you so excited on getting that gift.”

“Well, we girls just love gifts,” she had replied plainly.

“Hey, you all right na,” she asked as we got up to leave.

“Yeah, yeah, I am fine yaar. As it is we are friends,” I replied sheepishly shifting to the neutral gear and we soon left for the college.

*

Though the proposal and the subsequent rejection happened in a very cordial manner, the next one year was full of crests and troughs. One day, we were on talking terms and the very next day, we even failed to acknowledge each others’ presence.

Soon, I realised that there is a thin line between ego and self respect. Sometimes to safeguard my so called self respect, I used to turn pretty egoistic and couldn’t help blurting out my frustration in the meanest possible words. Frustration was bound to creep in with chances of a breakthrough looking pretty slim. 

Such outbursts were always followed by the ‘We don’t know each other’ phase. 

Even she had her own mood swings. At times, she could get annoyed on simplest of excuses or not give heed to my number of phone calls while at other times, she used to be the one who took an initiative to end the troughs.

However, I started realising that she won’t ever accept my love. I wanted to chuck her out of my mind but all the efforts went in vain.

I kept myself busy in extracurricular activities, establishing and working in different college and city clubs. Well, academics were not my cup of tea, so keeping myself busy by programming JAVA applets was not on agenda. However, whatever I tried she always remained at the back of my mind.

During one of the troughs, I even made up my mind to search for some living distraction. And hence I landed up on a blind date and some stupid phone chats too. But that was not my cup of tea. I needed her badly just like a kid craves for Playstation 3 these days.

“Hey, she’s looking at you only,” said a friend of mine while we were sitting under the sun one fine afternoon.

I turned around to see but by the time I could meet her eyes, she had turned her gaze towards her friend sitting alongside.

This was something that happened too often. I had noticed her from side of my eyes watching me with her beautiful big eyes as I talked to any girl.

During such troughs, I knew she was keen to talk to me and so was I but the specific quarrel that had landed us there stopped both of us from approaching each other.

However, a simple sms or an email from the other person after gap of a month was enough to thaw the differences and we were back on talking terms.

 *

The monsoons had ended and her birthday was just around the corner. Thankfully, the rains had washed away our differences and we were going through one of the highest crests of our odd relationship

So I spent a whole week, preparing a mammoth card for her and choosing a suitable gift. And well, she just loved them.

It was on her birthday that we went for a movie for the first time and well, I drove her to the multiplex. It was for the first time that we were alone in a car. Yeah, yeah,  without any of our dads/moms/sisters accompanying us.

Ofcourse, her friends were also joining us there though they came separately.

Every first is a special occasion when you are in love. At least I was in love.

However, how could the sadistic God see me spending some quality time with my ladylove!

So, the same day her sister was to leave for abroad and her parents were accompanying her till New Delhi. Even she wanted to go but they insisted her to stay back. 

So, my ladylove spent most of the time outside the hall talking to her sister and parents and when we finally got out she was all gloomy. I felt like giving her a comforting hug, telling her that I want to wipe off all the gloominess from her life and cheer her up all the time. I wanted to tell her how much I love her but it was not an opportune moment, I knew.

Upon returning, I messaged her a number of times and even called up a couple of times to inquire if she was fine. However, she didn’t reply. 

The next day in the college too, I could see her pretty disturbed and wanted to talk to her. However, whenever I tried to approach her, she never responded well.

As the day proceeded, I myself turned pretty gloomy thinking about my worthlessness in not being able to cheer up my ladylove. Things kept simmering up and I became pretty restless.

It was an ultimate recipe for disaster.

I approached her finally and took her aside to the parking lot. There looking into her eyes, I started blurting.

I told her how I could not see her sad, I told her how I wanted to be her pillar of strength, I told her how it pained when we didn’t talk for weeks together, I told her how I had tried to wipe her off my mind, I even told her about my blind date and other deviations and how they strengthened my belief in my love for her, I told her how I wanted her desperately by my side, I told her how I had made some important decisions like opting my college because of her, I told her how it was important for me to hear her decision as I had some tough career choices to make, I told her how I could not see a future without her, I told her how I had tried my best to restrain myself from saying all this, I told her whatever I could.

I kept on saying and she listened patiently.

Finally, when I was done, she just replied, “Vipul, you know my answer. I cannot commit anything about the future,” and she left.

*

I knew I had made a blunder. I knew that when I had proposed her for the first time through a message. I knew that when I proposed her for the second time after returning from Delhi. But despite that, I had done it for the third time. I was not ready to learn from my mistakes or maybe, I did not want to. I was not content with her friendship. I would have preferred to be a stranger than being a friend. However, being a stranger was not that easy. So, I could not give up the odd friendship we had.

Upon returning, I sent a long customary “I am sorry” message. I didn’t expect her to reply right then but to my surprise, my cellphone beeped soon.

“It’s alright Vipul. I am not mad at you,” was her reply. I was happy for the fact that atleast she understood my position, though I felt sorry for the whole affair.

It was Saturday the following day, so the college was off. I kept trying her number the whole day as I wanted to apologise in a more decent manner. However, she didn’t pick up the phone. That obviously made me anxious. Finally, it was at night that she replied to a message I sent her. Well, that reply, actually changed my life.

“Hey, what happened? You said, you are not mad at me, yesterday. Then why are you not talking now. I said yaar, I am sorry. I just fail to restrain myself.” I had written.

“Vipul, I said that because I did not want any discussion yesterday. Still, I am not fine and don't know if ever, I will be. I might want it or not but still I have to respond to you every time despite whatever you do because you always make such a scene out of everything,” was what she had replied politely.

I was shocked. My face went red. I could feel my cheeks burning. Droplets of sweat came down my forehead. I could feel the goose bumps. I was literally shivering. 

Ten years that I had known her came flashing by all of a sudden. 

That cute little girl with pony tail in front of whom I went dumb, that shy girl who couldn’t even say a hi at the tuitions, that bold avatar of her that gave me the “I’ll have to tell papa” threat, that comforting girl who told me how excited she was about me shifting to her branch, that sweet girl who concurred that she had been stupid not to talk to me all these years, that excited girl who literally jumped when I gave her a worthless gift, that beautiful eyed girl who stared at me when we weren’t on talking terms, that compromising girl who could approach herself to end those silent phases. 

And suddenly I came to the present. I could just see a girl who could deny our very friendship that I thought somehow existed though odd in nature, and blame me for creating unappetising situations for her all the time.

At least, I couldn’t deny that friendship. So like a good friend, I replied her back.

“I am sorry for whatever I may have done knowingly or unknowingly. I promise you as a true friend that I will never disturb you again.”

I don’t know if she again tried to make up for it or not. Although she did approach me a couple of times like she used to do earlier during the troughs but I’ll prefer to think, even those were my illusions and she never wanted me in her life. I somehow spent the last one and a half year in the college seeing her everyday and dying from inside everyday. 

But I had promises to keep.

***

Nearly three years have passed since then. Today in the morning, I finally saw what I had been expecting to see one day. News Feed on my Facebook homepage carried her numerous pictures. Everyone was busy commenting on them, congratulating her and wishing her well for this new phase of her life. Even I wish her well from the bottom of my heart though I preferred not to comment. We might be on each others’ Friends List but have never communicated since then.

She was the one who I had always dreamt, will be mine one day. And after so many years, finally here she was; tying the knot with someone else.

*****

 
All Cupid Tales do not have Happy Endings!


You may also like to read a related poem, I wrote some months back - The Sophomore Days!


Disclaimer
This is a work of fiction loosely based on real incidents.

Images Courtesy:
http://www.soils.wisc.edu and http://imageshack.us

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.

Everyone has a Cupid Tale to tell 2.0



 Click here to read the Part 1 before you proceed...

The competition exams came and went and we both scored enough to get through the college we aspired for. However, my ladylove had something else in her mind. She wanted to pursue Electronics and Communications Engineering while in this particular college, being the highest rated branch, she could not get through it. So she decided to go for the next college in line.

And well even I had to sacrifice my Civil Engineering seat at my dream college to trudge along, errr... behind her. However, I could not manage to get through her branch and had to suffice with Computer Science and Engineering.

So started the next phase of our relationship @ our useless ‘second-in-line’ college.

The initial months passed by dreaming - that somehow I might get through her branch in the remaining counsellings. The second one came and went and by God's ever-showering grace, ECE got filled just before my number.

Now, the third one was around the corner and I heard that a student was planning to shift from her branch to ours. It meant a vacancy and being on the top of the list, I knew, in a week or so, I’ll be there with her to recreate my lion’s territory. I met this girl and despite my inhibitions of talking to the opposite sex, convinced her to stick with her stand. The wait was killing me and finally the day arrived.

*

The mood was tense as the counselling started. There were many present there aspiring to somehow get a seat. I already had a seat, just wanted an upgradation. God won’t play games this time, I somehow knew. Soon the student who had opened the doors of heaven for me went up to the podium to sign the required documents. And with that, came up a single vacancy in ECE.

My name was called and I moved towards the podium with a feeling never felt before. In just few moments, I’ll be with her, in her class. As I took out my pen to sign the documents, I heard a faint sound.

“Waaaaaiiiiiiiittttttttt...”

I turned around to see a guy running towards the podium. He looked like an ugly male imitation of Kajol running behind the train in the climax of DDLJ. I was the badly bruised SRK clinging to the compartment’s door, the only difference being that I would have loved to push her, errr... him away rather than grabbing his hand.

He reached the counselling desk and presented his documents. He was from the Civil Engineering Department of my dream college and wanted to shift to ECE in my ‘second-in-line’ college.  

What a nutcase; couldn’t he do that in the first counselling itself?

I wanted to be the SRK and reach out to my senorita but that useless chap flew away with my seat. My ship had sunk in a deep ocean and as I took those slow steps down the podium I felt like I was sinking too. 

It must have been after a minute or so that I regained consciousness and saw a horde of people encircling me.

“Don’t worry beta, you at least have a seat. See, my son couldn’t manage that too,” said a sweet elderly woman in her attempt to console me.

Well, the poor lady didn’t knew, I least cared about the college or the branch. I had fainted in love.

*

As I reached the college, I was pretty depressed. Our first sessionals had started and I somehow sat through the test, just thinking about the games, The God plays with us, the mango men.

On coming out of the examination hall, I bumped into her in the parking lot. She approached me with a sweet smile.

“Hey, Vipul, I heard about the counselling. It’s so no right!” She said ruefully.

“Well, that’s how it is.” I answered matter-of-factly, putting up a bold face while being a little surprised by her reaction.

“I was so happy that finally some nice guy is coming to our class. All others are so useless here.” She declared.

Those words came as a shocker to me, a nice shock I mean. I knew she was sweet but… so sweet. Wow!

“Well, your bad luck, it seems,” I replied, trying to be over smart.

“Yeah, I feel like killing that stupid guy,” she concluded.

I couldn’t believe that she was saying all this. For the first time, she was talking about me in front of me and well, what a positive feedback I was getting. I was loving it.

*

However, that momentary happiness didn’t survive long and soon I was engulfed in the pain of being targeted by the God once again. I was sick of being the victim of his sadistic appetite. I preferred keeping to myself, not interacting much with the others. Soon, my classmates started calling me Devdas and indeed I had become one. Thankfully, I had not taken to drinking yet.

Some close friends helped me in coming out of this melancholic phase. During this period I also ended up making some female friends, though not due to an individual effort but thanks to a couple of friends who were good at demarcating the lion’s territory. So finally, our group consisted of four guys and six girls and I soon found that I was not that shy when it came to interacting with girls.

However, I was still finding it difficult to move beyond the hi’s with her. I normally preferred to rush through this routine, not even halting for a second while greeting her. My friends had a good time imitating me.

Meanwhile, seeing her talking and laughing with other guys used to add to my woes; not because I had any problems with that but because I cursed myself for not being one of them.

By the end of the first year, nothing much happened and it was around this time that one of my closest cousins shifted to our place while doing her industrial training in the city. It helped a lot to discuss my love issues with her and soon upon visiting Delhi, I even broke the news to my sister who had by now taken up a job there.

Sharing this secret with my closest siblings filled me with a strange confidence and upon returning from Delhi, I had made up my mind to do or die.

*

“Hi, what’s up? Vipul this side.” I said upon calling on her landline number, first thing in the morning.

This was followed by some small talk. While conversing, I came to know that she has recently bought a cellphone. I had been waiting for this day since I got a cell, the previous year. I always found it more convenient to chat with girls through messages than talking on phone. The former somehow concealed my inhibitions.

That night around half past ten I sent her some forwarded message and waited for her reply anxiously. Finally after few minutes she messaged me back a cute picture message saying “Good Night”.

Good night??? Oh my God! Was that too late to message her? Am I just going too fast? Should I slow down a bit?

All these questions cropped up in my mind while I cursed myself on this foolishness.

“Hey, Goodnight. Sorry for disturbing you that late.” I messaged her back.

Soon, my cell beeped again and on reading the message, my heart skipped a beep, errr... beat too. 

“Hey, c'mon; I had sent that picture message just like that,” she clarified and with that started our longest chat till that day. Our cells kept beeping for the next couple of hours and wait for each beep was filled with a unique blend of joy and anxiety.

How stupid we had been till now, we concurred and laughed at our foolish inhibitions, of course, in hahahaha, hehehehe, lols and rofls.

The next few days were spent telling my close friends about the latest developments in my lovelife. Meanwhile, our sms chats continued unabated and finally, I could feel that that elusive geometric progression is taking place in our relationship. However, within a week, it turned out to be just a silly illusion.

*

Mustering up the courage to hit a six without even scoring a four yet, I decided to propose her. And what a fantastic stance I decided to go with. I messaged her. Yeah, yeah, I know it is like hitting a six with a defensive shot and such things only happen in older versions of PC games.

Times had changed but I was still a loser.

“No”, came the reply and I could just message back a “Sorry” and “Can we atleast be the best friends” crap.

“You really wrote that?” asked my friends the next day and had a good laugh. My cupid tale always kept them hooked and amused and it usually spanned half the time of our conversations.

After that rejection episode, I started getting a feeling that she is distancing from me. Maybe, it was I who was trying to get too close and she was not yet ready for such proximity.

Meanwhile, I realised it was important for me to concentrate on some other aspects of college life too. Ours being the very first batch, there were no existing avenues for extra-curricular activities. I decided to exploit this fact and start a college club.

At the back of my mind there was always the notion of proving my worth to my ladylove. Moreover, as the activities were to be conducted on weekends, I thought I’ll get the opportunity to spend time with her without much ado. Of course, I had convinced her to be a member of the club.

As the time progressed my restlessness too kept rising. Not getting a sms reply used to turn me gloomy. If she didn’t pick up my phone, my mind started calculating all the possible combinations and permutations of negative reasons. On whole, I turned into a wreck once again. My appetite was down, I was not talking much at home and I was no more the cheerful me.

It wasn’t that we were not talking but somehow, I kept getting the vibes that I had made a blunder by jumping the gun too soon. We used to have frequent phone chats but in the college, she mostly preferred to keep a distance. The club I started had been a hit but I found her totally disinterested in this achievement. She was turning into a puzzle for me. 

This went on for a couple of months and meanwhile even my mother came to know the reason behind my despicable condition. Well, it was the same cousin who had to spill the beans on being cajoled by her.

One cannot hide anything from the mothers. Maybe, the bond that is created in the womb transcends much beyond the physical severing of the umbilical cord. However, she was a sport as even she was pretty fond of my ladylove. This gave me more strength and confidence.

*

It was in the month of September that year that my group packed the bags for the famous college fest at the Imperial College of Engineering. Well, if you read popular books and watch popular movies, you definitely know which college I am talking about. We had just arrived and were attending the fashion show in the grand amphitheatre when I got a call from her.

I was on roaming and the rates were pretty high back then but the frugal me could not resist picking up the phone.

“Hi, Vipul, you reached Delhi right?” she asked from the other side of the phone after the customary hellos.

There was a lot of noise, so I had to rush outside.

“Yeah, in the afternoon. The fun has just started here.” I shouted back, trying to rub salt on her wounds. With the help of one of my highly persuasive friend, I had tried my best to convince her to accompany us but even his persuasion powers had failed.

“Well, we have convinced our parents and we are planning to come over tomorrow. If we come, you’ll be able to arrange the passes right?” she asked, referring to herself and her close friend.

I was elated and after confirming with my friends if they had any issues about it, called her back after some minutes.

“Yeah, pack your bags. I’ll make the arrangements,” I said, already chalking out my plans for the next day. The remaining day and the next morning were spent waiting for her.

I had never dreamt in my life of being with her, miles away from our homes. She was being sent on the assurance that I would be responsible for her. Yeah, yeah, that meant even her parents were fond of me, I deduced.

I had to make the best use of these two days to woo my ladylove. It was a simple proposition of now or never.

*

It was around noon that she finally arrived along with her friend. As my friends were leaving the campus for Delhi Darshan, I had to stay behind. It was like prioritising between friends and love. Somehow from within I didn’t get a nice feeling about it.

Once they were gone after exchanging pleasantries with her, we set out to explore the campus. I had already been there since the previous day, so in layman terms, my job was to be their guide. We loitered around the campus stopping here and there to watch or participate in various activities that were being conducted in the fest.

It felt great walking with her hand in hand. Okay, okay, not hand in hand but at least we were walking together.

It was fun watching the expressions on the faces of her classmates who were also visiting the fest. As such, other than a couple of her friends, no one from her branch knew that we had known each other for so long or that I had a soft or should I say mushy corner for her. So obviously, it was a surprise for them to see us together.

Finally, I was creating the lion’s territory far away from home.


***

Yet to be concluded. Don't crib about the length; my love tends to be lengthy.


Click here to read the Part 3 ...

Image Courtesy:
http://z.about.com

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.

Everyone has a Cupid Tale to tell 1.0

This post got selected for BlogAdda's Tangy Tuesday Picks. Click here to see the BlogAdda page.

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.

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