Friday, July 23, 2010

Chapter 6: The Eye Opening Ceremony! Girl No. 3

Ok, so where were we kids? Yes, the embarrassing story of how I met your mother. Unrequited love makes a loser out of the biggest of players. It knocks you over before you know what hit you. It's like willingly choosing to go through the wrong path, it's like descending down the ladder knowing that once you hit the bottom, the ladder will be gone.

Next comes the phase I wish never comes in any of your lives. The phase of lunacy. You are confused. Do not know whether to chase or to let go; whether to wait and watch or run and leave; whether to burn and die or to put the fire off! It's when you are most confused. Romantic films take the job of misguiding you and how! The hero gets the girl in the end. She loves some other dude but our dude's love is pure. He helps her find the other dude's love. She realizes that our dude is the right dude for her. She ditches the wrong dude and picks the right dude. In all the movies, all the time without fail! Hindi films are rife with girls running from mandaps, last minute airport decisions and other stuff.

All this plays with your mind. You think it will happen to you without realizing how tight the security is in real airports and how a bride can't run away from real wedding because of the crowd of chacha-chachi, mausa-mausi, mama- mami, bhaiya- bhabhi surrounding her!

Love makes you restless. You throw the whole deck in the game thinking that at least one card will fall right but, this is where you go wrong. It's not a game, kids. You don't have to be a good player here. You just have to be the right player. So, while following the "heart" you enter a "club" where you unlearn how to call a "spade" a "spade" and start running after fake "diamonds". OK, enough of the wordplay, what I mean to say is that hope and faith are good in moderation. Too much faith in a happy ending blinds you; you can't see that what is happy ending for you would be sad ending for someone else... and vice versa.

Coming back to the story... I tell her I thought I loved her... in one of our train journeys. She has the whole night to think over it (she did say NO the very next second) and being the defensive player that I am, I myself told her not to take me seriously. The feeling of "Not wanting to come on too strong" could easily be confused with the feeling of "not caring about her yes or no". Anyway, in the morning, she sneezes. I say, "When did you catch cold?" She replies- "Abhi hua hai". I hear- "I love you too *blush* *blush*" I am about to faint. I ask again- "Beg your pardon?" (Take notes kids, in real love, you never feel the need to confirm the statements.)

And she restates what she said and I am more disappointed than Vinod Kambli after India's world cup loss in 1996. Anyway, over the next few months, I ask the question in one way or the other. I am slowly turning into a pillow-wetting, Devdas look-alike who would give an arm for a "yes". All the 80's bollywood where the hero sips poison, threatens to jump off tall buildings comes to the fore now. That's when I realize, I was exploring new horizons of lameness. Rejection finally dawns on me. Those were the days when you really didn't want to be around or near me. I was boring, dull, rejected, dejected and boring, dull, rejected, dejected and boring, dull etc etc...

I start with my phase of lunacy; start isolating myself from her partly because I think it will make her realize my value and also partly because I, deep down, knew that being away from her is the only thing that'd fetch me my sanity back! I could feel something breaking inside me. It hurt initially but, I knew I was going uphill with the pain and after reaching the peak, the only way possible would be downhill!

Meanwhile, she made new "best friends" and started a new story of how she met her kids' father etcetera. She did keep popping in now and then and I knew this thing won't end when I want it to end.

But, by then, it had dawned upon me that if you want to kill a friendship, you don't have to stab it mercilessly, just leave it alone and it will rot. The friendship that survives the "rot test", has to be taken through the test of "indifference". That is sure to murder even the closest of bonds. Yes, kids... I had to be cruel because sometimes, it is the right thing to do. Once you create a dragon which breathes fire, it is better to chop off its head once and for all; than to put it to sleep every night singing sweet lullabies.

So, this was how... I survived the wreck a.k.a. girl no. 3.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chapter: 0 Meet Cute. This one is not a love story!

This one is a break from the ongoing series. Here I won't be talking about the girl but the person (who of course is a girl). Read on, you will see! The ongoing series about the girl no. 3 will resume shortly after this.

There is a certain prejudice attached to meeting people online. I am not here to address the taboo but to tell a tale that'd let you know how awesome it is to know someone nice whether online or offline.

Here's a little preface before I take you to the "meet cute"

I keep dropping this girl a line almost every day as you know I have this thing for wise eyes... and boy does she have a wise pair of eyes or what! It's not the kajal, not the eyeliner, I know wise eyes when I see them and she had got them! Ok... so I drop her lines and she replies. Mostly about the movies she likes, the books she reads. I do my homework on her, rent the movies, read the book reviews (reading the whole book is too much to ask for, frankly); listen to her favourite songs and we start talking. Now, things take the familiar course of direction. We become friends! It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I had to withdraw my fishing rod because I liked the fish to remain in the pond. Now that might be the worst metaphor to explain what happened but, yes, my attraction transformed into admiration and we became good friends.

Now, let's come to our first face to face meeting-

Meet Cute

I land in Bhopal. We plan a meet up and then things go awry. What can I say? It has happened to me before. But I am hopelessly in love with the city. So, I set out on foot to explore Bhopal and keep sharing my every little excitement with her through text messages. It turned out that each one of the umpteen messages I sent to her, delivered at least six times to her due to some network problem. I thought she'd have probably started hating me by then, but the very next day, she took time out to meet me. Brave girl I must say!

So, finally the text lands in my cell "I am leaving home, let's meet up at Chinar park". "Oh! Chinar park? That's like a few minutes walk from my place" I thought. Turns out that few minutes meant ten long minutes precisely; ten minutes which are almost long enough to lull a girl into believing that she has been stood up! Anyway, I walked, maybe a little slow because I didn't want to arrive all sweaty, smelly and panting on our first meet. It was a humid afternoon. I walked thinking of a cool opening line. "Wassup" sounds retarded, "Hi" is too stupid, "Hello" is lame. I finally finalized on "Jai Maharashtra". So, finally I reach the gates of the venue and I see a girl, with her back turned, sitting on her scooty. Mumbling "jai maharashtra" to myself, I proceed toward her. We all have our own faces, personalities and a peculiar air around us. To talk to someone for the first time, one has to break the ice first. Blame it on the heat of that sunny afternoon but, there was no ice! My "jai maharashtra" was now a tool that I didn't even need now. I used it anyway.

I walk up to her, she turns around and there she was! She extends a hand, and starts the conversation with the mention of a man who passed a comment on her a while ago. As expected from her, she is sporty about it. I struggle to see the wise eyes. They are there somewhere under the hair. I hand her the toon book I had made for her and she asks whether I use pencil first or directly draw on paper. I am forced to praise myself. Of course, directly with pens, I am awesome like that! As we walk across the park, make small talks, I am easily put to ease. She is someone before whom you can easily lower your guard because you know you are way out of harm's way. I hand her another gift that I had brought for her, but I really don't like hearing "thank you" so, I say you don't need to thank me because I made this one to impress the girl sitting beside me in the train. This was the time I realized I am turning into a compulsive liar. Anyway, the purpose was served, no thank-yous, you-are-so-sweets came my way!

The scorch in the sun drove us out of the park, we decide to go somewhere else and so we take off. She hands me the keys of her scooty. Before we take off, she turned into osama-bin-laden with that famous scarf/dupatta which turns prettiest of pretty lasses into terrorist-like things. But, I guess, it is the ultimate shield against invasion of female privacy and the strongest blocker of unsolicited male attention.

We reached Bitton market, I suggested CCD, as we were on our way, I did the deadliest mistake in the book. I looked at another girl, a pretty lass and said "God bless you" to my friend for bringing me there. Had it been a date, I deserved to be ditched right there but, as was reinforced, it was something a lot more natural than a date, everything was cool. I guess that's why you fall in love but always rise in friendship! We chose the same place from where I had seen the girl coming out, picked a place and sat with one of the most difficult-to-eat but delicious-to-taste delicacies. A mud pie. I am bad with food. I struggle while eating, the thought of someone looking at me when I have my mouth full wakes me up at nights! (Ok, that was a bit of exaggeration) But, here I was okay with pie crumbs ricocheting out of my plate because the other side of the table didn't show any lack of recklessness either! We both attacked the pie recklessly and found out the simple joy of it!

Wisdom makes life easy and as my mind predicted long ago, being with her was easy. On the road, an autorickshaw zoomed past us, spraying water from a pothole on us. I am used to loud shrieks and insane reactions on such instances; I prepared my heart for the mourning of the spoilage of the dress but, all I got was a momentary "eww" and back to normal! She is the last hope for mankind I thought to myself. My heart smiled.

Next on the list was a place up the hill from where the horizons of a large water reservoir were visible. Sounds serene, eh? Not quite in the scorching heat!! Anyway, Jack and Jill went up the hill. It was a small stroll, and a turn back. It was time for me to be dropped back from where I was picked up. All through our journey back, the thought that we might not meet for a very long time never crossed my mind... some people are so good that, your brain almost automatically switches to denial mode. I somehow thought I was gonna meet her again tomorrow and started hopping back to my place.

"Bye" she said with that hand extended again; that hand made me realize that the day was over! The sun was about to set but the sunshine didn't fade that day!


Hope to meet you again soon!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Chapter 5- Girl No. 3 The Muse Begins....

What's the word for loss of all your social abilities, unlearning of all your charming habits and desperation to please someone so bad that you stop to be the person you were?

That's right, kids. It's called one-sided, unrequited love. The biggest problem with one sided love is that it blinds you. You see the signs when there are none. You start deciphering language and symbols as they sound convenient to you. Love, which is supposed to come easy and charmingly, becomes tricky and difficult because of all the coding and uncoding that needs to be done. When she says she "luvs" you, it is hard not to believe that she is not in love with you. She just loves you as she loves her two-wheeler or her comb or her ear bud or etc etc.

So, there I was. Standing alone, with all these dreams. My situation was a shrink's nightmare because, my cognition was perfectly alright. The signs were there. Sleepless nights, late night phone calls equally from both parties, it is hard to say what was missing kids. I guess, what *was* missing is probably what they call "true love". She didn't enjoy my writings, she didn't listen to my thoughts... well, nobody does but, the most clear sign of love is knowing the person. While I claim of knowing her, I don't think she has ever met the real me. The real me would never talk to her for more than 5 minutes but, this stupid-me went on and on yakking and blabbing away God-knows-what-crap day and night with her non-stop... on the roof, in the corridor, in my room, under the bed, inside the cupboard, circling the badminton court, near the tree, in my dreams... I carried her everywhere.

One picture that I remember clearly is of her crying face. That was the first time I saw her crying. Cheeks rosy red, a hint of rose on the tip of her nose. Kajal smudged for the gothic look... it was our physiology viva exam. I remember her face and torn pieces of dove feathers in the yard. I connect the two sights so seamlessly in my mind that both come to mind when I remember the picture. My heart bled that day... I was raging mad at the professor unless I heard the sound of her chuckle. She was back to normal. That day should have been the dawn of realization that I was over-reacting... my feelings were a bit dramatized but it wasn't.

Another memory that I hold fondly is of our first date. Ok, it was just a hang out for her and a date for me. Cloud nine seemed so distantly far below from where I was standing. It was the first and last time we went out together and shame on me, the girl asked me out and the girl paid the bill too! She spoonfed me from her cup of icecream, which set my heart galloping, later I realized she did it as a habit and there was no big deal in that! For her!

Now kids, this part is a little bit hazy as she claims it never happened while I remember that it clearly happened and made me realize that she was into me. My interpretation is that she was initially into me but when she realized that I was into her she went out of me. Maybe I scared her away like Ted Mosby! Or Maybe what I am going to narrate never happened! Ok, We were discussing crushes when the topic came to the most awesome of them all- "Why in the world does no girl have a crush on me! The Legendary Abhyudaya!?" She hesitantly named a girl who did have a shadow of a crush on me and then quipped, "Guess who else had a crush on you?" With my fingers, toes, appendix crossed, I asked- "Who?" She blushed (I am lying, you really can't tell... it was a telephonic conversation) and said- "Me". I did my happy dance and then coming to my senses asked- "Now everything is fine, right? Because, it's a bed idea you know." (GOD DAMN! IT) and she replied "Oh yea yea, it was just a passing crush, it ended long back!"

So... basically... I had it screwed up since the beginning!