Careful what you wish for..

Last night I told a stranger all about you...
He smiled patiently with disbelief
- Morphine : 'In spite of me'

I never thought of writing this story in the first person. I would rather have preferred to hide behind a character and let everyone laugh at the hapless protagonist. But then I thought 'what the heck, I am gonna write it anyway'.

So, is this such a bad story to tell? How do you decide whether something is good or bad? Do you look at its status as on today, and see how the scales are tipped? Or do you take a weighted average of all the ups and downs, all the twists and turns that brought it to this point, and then decide? You can argue both ways... for each his own. After all good and bad are different shadows of the same reality, created by perception and purpose.

I saw this new butterfly in town, as I walked into office that day. She was a chubby, beautiful girl, wearing a sleeveless green salwar kameez, with brown eyes hiding behind thick rimmed glasses, and a generous coat of red lipstick on her full lips. What really captured my attention that day was not her beauty, but her laugh, which started like the engine of a rickshaw, blossoming into something like a lightning. That was it for the first meeting, as she was just a new face who worked with another team on the floor. Months later she told me she too had noticed this arrogant chap who sat there with a 'don't care the world' attitude written all over his face. As I walk to the pantry to pick up coffee every few hours, I used to give a side-wise glance at this new beauty on the floor, nevertheless maintaining the 'don't care' attitude. Frankly, I never cared for any woman in office those days, as music, travel, books and alcohol fascinated me more than anything in the whole wide world then. Looking back, I probably would have never written this, if I had stood ground and not switched tracks, enchanted by the greenery on the other side of the fence!

Women are these amazing creations who are the biggest catalysts of change in a man’s life. Every man is helplessly hooked to the spell of one or another woman all through his life – be it mother, girlfriend, wife, mistress or daughter. One of the stories that always fascinated me as a kid, was that of Helen of Troy, whose beauty could summon a thousand ships and assemble the greatest Greek army the world has ever seen. Stories like these start looking silly, once you let the biggest enigma of all time get a grip on your life.

Days passed and both of us worked hard for the company that paid our salaries, ignorant of each others' existence. But life had other plans. My manager was an expert in spotting talent and accumulating all of it in his own team. So he made sure in due course of time, that all good looking women in the company reported to him. Eventually one day she too joined my team and was allotted the seat next to mine - one of the perks you get for being in the good books of your manager, how much ever an asshole he is. So that’s how 'our story' kind of started! Being in the same team, we started with the Hi, Hello pleasantries and graduated into conversations on more interesting topics over a period of time. I liked this new girl, not sure what exactly made me reach such a decision.

I wrote in my diary one of those days - 'Am I in love? I am not sure because I have never been in love before. But there is definitely something strange going on out there. Be careful what you wish for, you might actually get it and regret it for the rest of your life.'

I used to work in the night shift and had developed the habit of having a tea and a long walk in the middle of the night. One fine day, she offered to accompany me on my midnight outing. So we walked out of the office and had tea by the makeshift tea shop outside the campus. Luke, the dog who used to meet me every day on these outings for a share of my tea, liked her instantly and extended the same reverence and respect to her as well. Luke and I had become close friends over time. He used to accompany me on my walks and see me off at the elevator. Once Luke also approved her, I had no doubt that she is indeed someone special.

'We became fast friends', if I want to concise all that happened over the next few months into a single phrase. We also changed our views on each other. My image of her as another girl who cared more about her looks than anything else, was replaced by the picture of an intelligent girl who was in charge of her own life. Her idea of me as an egoistic bloke-head also mellowed down to something like a harmless, average guy. Though both of us did not immediately acknowledge the change in perceptions, the interactions had grown to a level where we trusted each other.

Then came Friendship day, and I had nothing spectacular to do. So I messaged her asking whether she would care to join me for a Friendship day outing. I was surprised in fact when she replied saying she will meet me at 3 in the evening. For the first time in my life I set out to have an outing with a girl, all alone. We never talked about life or love or friendship that day, instead we were just a couple of kids who were let loose from the confines of their homes for a few hours of fun, away from the watchful eyes of the elders. Needless to say, I had one of the most memorable days of my life.

I was totally in love with her by then. Just that, I never dared to let her know my feelings. I did not want- as the song goes- 'spoil it all by saying something stupid like I love you’. She enjoyed and shared most of my craziness, though she maintained a healthy level of sanity at all times, keeping her dreams closer to reality. While I had uncontrolled fantasy flights in my dreams, she mostly remained grounded, matured by the harshness and practicality of life. She was always more level headed than people of her age and was uncommonly endowed with commonsense. I still remember how she freaked out when I scooped up a bunch of tiny frogs in my hand, during one of our walks. It was her controlled freakishness and eccentricity that probably attracted me to her, a rare thing I found among members of the opposite gender; at least the ones I had the misfortune to interact with before.

So finally one day, I amassed the guts to ask her out over the weekend. Rejection was too much for my egoistic mind to handle, and I did think it over many a times, before explaining to her how much I would love to watch a movie with her. She was cool with it and we agreed to spend a day together. After the movie I walked with her along the lake, to the eatery nearby. We sat there for hours and talked about all things under the sun. I always used to wonder what is there to talk so much, when I see all the love-birds in the park or a restaurant. But it was no more a mystery as I sat across the table with the most beautiful woman in my life.

And beautiful she was! I almost thought that Guns 'n' Roses wrote ‘Sweet Child of mine’ keeping her in mind.

She’s got a smile that seems to me, reminds me of childhood memories, when everything was as fresh as the clear blue sky. Now and then when I see her face, it takes me away to that special place, and if I stare too long I’d probably break down and cry ...
She’s got eyes of the bluest skies, as if they thought of rain. I hate to look into those eyes and see an ounce of pain. Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place, where as a child I’d hide, and pray for the thunder and the rain to quietly pass me by
.’

Being in love is not just pain, it is an ordeal. It suddenly brings to life a bunch of emotions and sensations which you otherwise never acknowledged or never knew existed within. Two of the most prominent feelings in my case were possessiveness and jealousy. Not that I wasn’t jealous or possessive about things before, but it was the intensity and individual focus that was different this time. When I used to miss her even when she was walking beside me, you can imagine how I felt whenever I saw someone else spending time with her. All those people around me, even my friends, suddenly started looking like competitors or unwanted elements or complete nuisance. She being an innocent, straight forward person, believed in keeping in touch with everyone and never hesitated in sharing a good laugh. My sense of possessiveness at times used to take the steering wheel, driving me mad and there were moments when the thought crossed my mind that I am nothing more than just another good friend for her.

July 4th. It was a Saturday and the morning sun gave me no clue of the things that were supposed to happen later that day. Then I got a message from her.

It said “Don’t be so good, people are blindly falling in love with you”.

It took a while for the feeling to sink into my consciousness, beyond layers of reasoning. And when it did, I was aghast. I decided to play around a little and asked her who these ‘people’ are.

Zoom came the reply, “Don’t act smart now as if you don’t know them.. you know her very well”.

I decided to play the guessing game a little longer and she asked me to ‘use my little brain and big heart’ to identify the person. I asked her whether she is talking about herself, and she replied ‘Relax, just wanted to tell that you are a very good person and everyone loves you for that’.

I commented on her bad taste and I got the reply I always wanted to hear.

It said “It is not bad taste. You don’t know anything about it... it just happens and we don’t even know whether it is good or bad”.

We long for things to happen in life and when they really happen, we feel ‘so-so’ about it; this is what I have heard generally from people. But ‘excitement’ is too incomplete a word to describe what I felt after this conversation. The first time a girl proclaims her love towards you is indeed a special moment in the life of every man. So much that has been written about ‘first love’ was done for a reason. I was feeling like a teenager let loose into an adult video store with an all access pass! It was one moment when I could confidently sing the good old 'Albert Hammond song..

If I could make a wish, I think I'd pass
Can't think of anything I need
...
All I need is the air that I breathe and to love you..


Fast forward a few years, one Thursday morning she called to tell that she is getting married. As she took those seven steps into somebody else's life, I was literally on cloud number nine... 14,000 feet above sea level in the Gharwal ranges of the Himalayas. The irony of being at the most beautiful place on the worst day of your life!

13 comments:

Sadiya said...

all i can say is awwwww...sounds wonderful- too bad it didnt end well for u...gud read all the same.

Kavitha said...

An exponentially well-written tale of love and its pangs...!

Good work there...Looks like you took off the pain that you carried so long...! :)

Happy Blogging and Wishing you luck over there!

tilopinion said...

Heartfelt!

attiDuDe++ said...

@Sadiya, Tilopinion
Thanks much.

@Kavitha
Thank You. Perhaps we are wired to retain more memories of pain than pleasure!

Kavitha said...

@Jacob(I hope that's your name not surname)

We wire ourselves, we aren't wired! :)

Well, it might sound a little philosophical, but that's how it is! :D

Cheers!

attiDuDe++ said...

@Kavitha
Jacob is indeed the surname. And about wiring, I was not referring to Philosophy, but Physiology. And notice the 'Perhaps' out there? :)

Kavitha said...

Ok,Gotcha...!

So what are you called?!

attiDuDe++ said...

Disney, Stupid, That arrogant chap.. been called all these and more!

Jules said...

Wow.. what a beautiful and tragic story. So heartfelt. Do men really feel this way?

attiDuDe++ said...

@Jules
Thank You :)
You too think men got this 'cactus where the heart should be', like that song from Magnetic Fields? :)

Anonymous said...

She was just not lucky! You'll meet someone who will love you for who you are. I understand the fact that you could be a man with an ego as high as those mountain of himalayas but isn't that a quality women adore? Well, there's nothing to feel sorry about but be happy that it happened in your life..I meant the "falling in love" part! Wish you all the best in finding your true love. It will come to you when you least expect it.

attiDuDe said...

@Anonymous: I have moved on! Feels funny coming back here and reading this once again :)

Anonymous said...

Good for you.

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