Saturday, December 22, 2012

Chapter 15- Toying with love, playing with fire.

So, the story had begun, I had jumped in a river that I didn’t fully understand.  Kids, I might vehemently deny that it was not a rebound, but it was. It was forced, it was uneasy and weird. After my recent break-up and an older lingering romance, I was laden with baggage. What I couldn’t understand was that in relationships, like attracts like. She was equally laden. Oops!

A word about this girl: Amazing human being, sweet, kind but with a past that couldn’t be shrugged off. I tried to help her smile about all the things that had befallen her in her past but, I guess, for some people, you just don’t have the cure. I was betrayed by love: the emotion.  She was betrayed by people. People she trusted. She trusted easily and was not afraid to swim upstream. Sadly, she had faced a lot of ugliness in her life and I think it had made her a bit too persuasive towards finding happiness. I was much at ease letting happiness get to me at its own peace.

So, we started dating. I was happy to be in a relationship but, I was yet to know her. She was guarded yet, loving. For example, she would read my text messages but, wouldn’t let me read hers. She was afraid to be judged and I was eager to judge. So, we took the long, torturous path of finding each other; the path of regular fights and misunderstandings and the clearing out sessions later on. By “we”, I mean “I”. Most fights were initiated by me driven by my impatient need to make this relationship the best in the world or get it over with. I was reckless with her, sometimes intentionally, just because I needed her to share everything with me, not in a “daily report” sort of way but in a philosophical way. I wanted our minds to meet and ideate together. She kept on playing the “thoughtless, emotional, stuck-up, talentless damsel in distress” role for a month or so which I knew (rather hoped) wasn’t her true self. She refused to take a stand because she was the exact opposite in her approach toward this relationship. While I was reckless, she was careful, sceptical and gentle.

Now, I don’t remember clearly but, I think it was on our road trip to Chitradurga that we had our first major fight in which she actively participated. The topic being her dislike towards me comparing her to my ex. Fair point. For me, that was the first day she began to talk to me. We had earlier shared how “mushy talk” bores us both and how lame are the terms “boyfriend and girlfriend” and how “clinginess” is such a turn-off for both of us, but these weren’t conversations. I could cover all these topics and more on a bus journey with a total stranger. The first time I made her really angry was the first time I was talking to her. Wrong way to do it, kids, wrong way to do it.

What ensued next was the “behaviour modification” period initiated by me; knowing that I had the upper hand in the relationship, I began to turn evil. In every relationship, there is a time when you try to change the person you love and here is the lesson kids- DON’T. This “behaviour modification” period was too long and hard to bear for her because we didn’t get a proper “honeymoon period”- those initial days in a relationship where all things are shiny and glossy and the world in annoyingly perfect. I had already spent a honeymoon period with my ex and that was too recent. I was gritty and unromantic which was unfair but she played along.

I am not proud of the behaviour modification period, kids. I was an unruly brat with more frequent mood swings than a PMSing girl. Yes, I said PMSing. It’s about time you understood these terminologies. You’re growing up! Go look it up in the dictionary. I was judgemental. I was closely looking for character flaws. I didn’t want to fail again. I made sure that she was loving, caring, kind, calls-you-the-right-number-of-times-a-day kind of girl. I was the kind of boyfriend who shouted at his girl if she showed any trace of selfishness or clinginess, if she called me when I was in the middle of something, if she asked too many questions. I am not proud, kids. You don’t do that to a girl. Surprisingly, she took it all and still stood tall! She passed all tests; she warmed my cold heart and taught me how to love. She could grin and bear it all with a love that said- “I’m not leaving you, no matter what!” One such night was when I had made her cry (in my defence, she cried at the drop of a hat), I had my first tears of guilt and love. I was suddenly thankful to her for everything.

Love Begins
Both of us were careful with our relationship. She was careful not to hurt me while I was careful not to get hurt again. She was this sage and I was this decoit. Now, every such story is incomplete without the quintessential change of heart. I started noticing all the nice things in her. The way she looked at me, way she laughed at all my unfunny jokes, the way she found reasons to stay with me, spend time with me; it was almost as if she was overcompensating for something. It was beyond my understanding. I expected a love-hate relationship which could finally grow into a love-love relationship but I was given the good thing too soon. I was happy and wanted to keep her happy too, for life. She had amazing dancing skills and enjoyed her dance, a quality I hadn’t noticed before. I started looking for more. I noticed how she could cutely look at you with those innocent eyes and make your heart melt, how she snorted while laughing, how she took it to her heart when things didn’t fall quite right in clinics and classes. I taught her to let things go and relax. I wanted to see her grow as a person, I wanted to be her best friend and her confidante. I asked her to write and her first two blog entries were impressive. She had depth of thought and clarity of mind. She was sure of what she wanted.

Sometimes when you refuse to look at something, you fail to see how amazing it is. Gosh! How I regretted wasting those past ten months trying to carve something out of this stone only to realize later on that it was already a diamond.

Kids, one of the earliest signs of love is that you start unselfishly doing things for you. I would have done anything for her in the past too but now I started enjoying making her happy. I began feeling the warmth of a relationship. I had finally let her in through the doors in my heart. I was never so sure of any other girl in my past. More so, because this time, it was mutual. I wanted her to meet my parents. I wanted her to be buddies with my mom so that there could be harmony at home ten years from now. In my mind, I was married to her. She was putting up an amazing barbecue in our farmhouse on a lazy, cloudy Sunday afternoon while our kids rode bicycles in the field. I was in love.

I even introduced her to my family during my graduation time and once even tried to make her talk to my mom on phone. I was being an idiot, I was rushing things, like they do in mad, unadulterated love. I am very proud of that Abhyudaya those days. I sort of made up for my mistakes in the past and was working on our relationship every day. There was this imminent looming scenario of me passing out and leaving Davangere but I was ready for an LDR. Go look up LDR in the dictionary! I could make it work anyhow. I had faith.

The Side Effects Of Love
Love is not a single, isolated emotion, kids. I was mistaken, fooled by the picture they paint in romantic movies. There are so many crimes born out of love in real life, so many stories of betrayal. Possessiveness, jealousy, misery- they're all children of love. 

More on that later.

Much love from Papa! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Chapter 14: Finding true love

Kids, till now I have not introduced you to the concept of picture perfect fairy tale romance. Well, it's time! Till now all my stories had a "loose grip over the way things moved in a relationship" sort of element. Here is where it all changes to a Utopian world where things were just the way they should be.

This story starts in the month of August in the year 2011. I had just broken up with Girl 4, virtually breaking her heart for her own good. This misplaced sense of righteousness was riding high on my head at that point of time. I was at home with my final year BDS results still awaited and it was around 8th of August when I logged into Facebook to check my page...

WHOA WHOA WHOA! So, this picture perfect love story started online?

Yes, it was the lamest way to begin a love affair but, it was destined to grow into something beautiful, something meaningful. And yes, I am using the word "love". So as I was saying- I logged on to facebook and there I saw a query on Bapuji group by a girl about the college and its credibility. I was happy to help. Few days letter, I had a pending friend request from her. I was not smitten at the first sight but, I was fresh out of a relationship and flirting was my only survival strategy. My heart was still ailing from the rejection by Girl 3 and the guilt of breaking the heart of no. 4.

Here's the lesson kids- Flirting is injurious to long-term health. There might be advice columns promoting healthy flirting but I assure you that there is no such thing. It's like dipping your toe before jumping in the pool and if you don't like the pool enough, do not dip the toe for God's sake.

That is not to say that I didn't like this girl. I just had never seen her, had no idea how she was, her emotional baggage and the suspicious nature of her friend request (being a girl). Making the first move by a girl was unheard of in my world. I suspected that she was probably a dude who wanted to molest me and steal all my money. I took it upon myself to ascertain her femininity and exchanged phone numbers and called her in the night. Yes! She was a girl and was about to take admission in my own college! I still had my internship year remaining in the college and I could picture a casual romance with a pretty lass bloom. I pictured pool parties, hitting the club and hitting on each other for the next 365 days.

Another lesson: Whenever you think you're ready for something casual, you are actually depressed from within.

So, then I began the most intense, shameless routine of flirting with her. Inept at the casual act, I actually ended up mouthing the words "I love you" to her in our first few talks. My text messages were laced with corny, cheesy innuendos. She was unnaturally complying with all my terms and conditions. It was as if the universe was making up for something, life suddenly found a shallow purpose. I was wooing her, courting her, for what? For whom? I will never know. There was something unnatural about her response too. She was quick to reply and prompt to accept my "love" which stood on no foundations.

Finally the day came, I saw her for the first time. She was there. Hiding behind her mother, shying, staring at me coyly and yes! It wasn't love at first sight. She was borderline obese, wore spectacles and didn't appear friendly at all. I seriously considered running away but I was in a bad shape emotionally and couldn't afford to break another heart. Her mother seemed sweet. Judging by her, I thought there must be some charisma brushed off to the daughter. Functional families create the best human beings. I decided to give this relationship a try and see if things could take a turn for the better and thank God I did!

When you meet a stranger you've met online, there are many things going on in your mind. Firstly, the other person would be nothing like you've imagined. To top that, I was meeting the girl I had never met, yet said "I love you" to and she had reciprocated too. It doesn't get weirder than this. Actually it does. So meet someone from online, you try to put up your best face because you're trying to impress the person. Then, your expectations are slightly shattered because even if you look like Rajpal Yadav, you always expect Catherine Zeta Jones. So eventually, I began to date this girl and thus on fake foundations, laid the first brick of true love.

There were still miles to go before we reached "true love" and on our way I discovered answers to many questions. In Chapter 15, I will throw some light on that journey.

Bye! Much love from Daddy!!