Watch and hear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HAKscjXUX8
A million moons and some three decades back, at a tender fourteen or fifteen, when ‘tinder’ wasn’t the temptation I had to resist, ‘google’ wasn’t the guru we had and Mr. Zuckerberg was still somewhere shitting in his diapers, a few biology chapters were the only sex education we had. So basically, it was us and our hormones to figure it all out- the good, the bad and whatever goes in between. Jane Austen, Bronte sisters (their epics) were my favorite refuge and pals. So, my teenage that could or should have been a party of crushes and infatuations was under a serious spell of platonic romance, ideal relations and what not!
The first time I had a crush, “Who the hell let my dogs out?” was the question I kept asking myself. Romance then was on an indefinite fast. For years, I was flirting but only with grades and academics. Around twenty two, when I was done with all my degrees in Economics, but couldn’t understand a zilch about my own diminishing marginal happiness, I realized that somewhere I needed to end that fast. Quite coincidentally, my parents proposed a match of a boy from a family they had known since years. Aah yes, let me tell you that even I had managed to check him out a bit. Mind you, no Facebook timelines, no twitter profiles but we had our indigenous technologies and we were masters at that.
The D day arrived and the family carnival began. the offer and plan was that the girl an the boy will take a call after having a heart to heart talk. Within an hour I realized as if the tinder profiles had perfectly matched. Let me tell you, only of the families. Another hour and I see a heavenly glow on my mother’s face. The way she is lovingly looking at the boy, it is as if she has just delivered him. All i know is that my Mother India has already swiped him right on this daughter’s behalf. Restless? No! Fidgety? No! Desperate? No! Trust me its difficult to put up that show when you have no candies to crush, no pokemons to catch and no statuses to update, ‘Checked in five hours back in this family curated blind date. Done with all my patience, I walked int those family conversations and straightaway looked at the boy and said, “Sir, Now can we please have a chat?”
There we were! Me and he just by ourselves. Now there was this one script saved in my hard disk (head) here. For years, it had been dying to be performed in a one to one with someone like this. All excited, I was about to shoot off! But, this guy took the center stage and drove the conversation towards a complete monologue and kept going on and on and on. If that wasn’t enough, he suddenly asked for my hand. my brain did signal me, “Lady! hold your horses.” But this heart of mine was in some heady trance. Before I could figure out anything, his fingers were reading the lines on my palm. What next?
We had an engagement that lasted three years. Many of our dates were like ‘Kavi Sammelans’ (Poetry meetings), where my poetries I read and I made sure he heard. Somewhere love came on board. We never know when.
All in all today, twenty two years of being together. more than that twenty two years of being as much in sync as chalk and cheese. If it is my ground, it has to be his skies. If it is my pastels, it has to be his brights. if it is my soft steps, there have to be his gritty strides. But, I do often ask myself, “Lady! Would you have had it any other way?”
The answer I get is, “Nay! Nay! Nay!”
Lest I forget, somewhere between being ‘mad at each other’ and ‘Made for each other’, we also made a boy. He is today seventeen. A typical millennial kid. At least twice a day, he looks at us sideways and says, “Hashtag couple goals!”
And we know that this bum is being sarcastic!