I am no relationship expert, but I always knew couples that made it to the next level.My relationship circle so far has been family,friends and colleagues.But yes, I knew how to handle family and friends in front of extended family and the rest.Until I took a glimpse of that someone!
A person whom I had not seen till my 14.5 years of existence in the same house, same lane,same area.
I do not have the habit of scanning people from head to toe. Regardless of the fact that I am bad at it, I took every effort to scan him thoroughly because I wanted to remember everything about him. I did not know why. I still don’t know why.
I couldn’t blindly term him my first crush. Dravid, till date is my first crush(every person I knew even gave me pictures of Dravid from every piece of paper they ever read/saw). I was too young to term it Love. My mother termed this guy-episode as Puppy love. And she said not to bother much as it was very common for a teenager. I didn’t understand it then. I never missed seeing that guy whenever I got a chance. Well, there were various crushes, but still I was not able to categorize him into any. That did upset me a bit, but I had too many other things to concentrate on and so I thought when I will divert my mind to rest of the things, this would slowly skip out of my mind. (Well, I know that was an advice btw!)
Dad knew something was happening and came to know a bit about the puppy love thing and told me to concentrate on my 10th public exams and think about the rest after schooling. I was shocked as I expected strictest punishment. His statement was very genuine and I made up my mind to concentrate on the tasks right in front of me. Cleared 10th and still this cruel guy didn’t walk out of my mind. Diverted my mind to everything else I could try in my last two years of schooling: dramatics, sports,tuition,friends,outing, etc., only to find the memories of that guy come back stronger. It was a surprise. It is still a surprise. I can’t still believe I am writing about this person. Never did I think I will.
I finally stepped into college. A place so far and new, a place that opened new horizons…….
4 years of college was all that I could have ever asked for. Fresh in every aspect I should say. Just a couple of school seniors were there. I spent close to two hours in college bus every day and that’s where the whole fun was.After getting off the bus, I used to walk, and had to cross his house to reach my place. Looked like his group of 4 had known about our encounters by then. They used to make fun or stare when I crossed and that’s when I felt annoyed. He never said anything, but just stared. I was upset, I was unable to fit this guy into any category. I never looked directly into his face when he used to look at me, but all I ever wanted was to stare at him. Well, I was still thinking that it’s puppy love, because I didn’t know what Love was.
College days were moving fast, I was already in my 3rd year. Placements were on its peak that year, no one ever knew recession would also be on its peak the next year. Days were running fast and that’s when I met a guy in one of the classes I joined during the semester holidays. We had known each other for hardly 15 days, but then we spoke pretty much about everything. I was comfortable and didn’t think much about anything after that. Placements were on and the competition was completely fascinating. Only 3 out 8 friends were placed(including me). That was uncomfortable, but still we managed to encourage and help each other for the companies next in line. My eyes still wandered for this guy near my house and managed to glance just a couple of times and was surprised that some liking was still there.
The final college year and the final chance at everything. Made a decision not to miss a single moment with friends. Now that all the 8 of us were placed, we had a motto to ENJOY every moment. That guy, I didn’t see him for a very long time. I did not have the slightest idea of what happened to him. Still my daily ritual of staring at his house continued. Days went by and this new guy (whom I met in those classes I had joined) had become a good friend. There was a mutual liking mainly due to some of the common interests we had. He told that he liked me and was in love with me. I was eager too.There wasn’t any reason to say NO, I accepted. I managed to tell him about this guy near my house.
He asked me. ‘Why didn’t I try talking?’
I just answered looking at his house, ‘I dont know. I think it’s just puppy love, like mom tells.’
He said, past is past.So, I did not tell him anything else, as all that mattered to me at that moment was to talk to him or maybe I was not ready to tell him about the whole thing. Days went by and so was the being in love thing.I was new to it and before it could settle in I had received the offer from the company I was placed in. So I was hyper about going to a new place and still keeping in touch. Been in Chennai for 20 years and that moment only meant entering a new world and was not thinking of missing Chennai. The 6 months at home made me feel that there was much more than Chennai to see. I was in the cab to leave to the railway station and all I ever wanted to do that moment was to look for him for one last time before I left my hometown. Nope, I didn’t see him. Something made me believe, he was alright.
The new place was like heaven on earth, in spite of the sturdy training period. Again, the whole place was new and gave way to experience togetherness. We were close to 30 from our college who accompanied each other in times of need and it was completely survival and helping each other. It was so much like being in the army. 7 months flew away like 7 days. But the memories last a lifetime. Engraved many of our memories with the help of blogs.
Was back in Chennai by early June. A lot of things had changed. The new responsibilities, the 4 hour travel everyday, a bit of work pressure and more of relationship pressure had taken its toll by then. The concept of long distance relationship was not troublesome, but the way it was being perceived by two people in a relationship mattered a lot. There was nothing called MY TIME in it and it had become more of a pain in the neck type. All my activities were down in the gutter and everything was like to be done together or completely done by me. I had lost my space in the relationship. I had no time for my family or myself. All the time I was listening to the saddest news that was happening in some corner of the world. And all that sadness came in 24/7 and all I ever yearned was a break which didn’t seem like it was anywhere close to me. The person who had cherished and enjoyed every small moment once had now become the most insensitive and the most insensible person. Even the most romantic song didn’t make sense to me. I would just switch the channel and watch news.
That was when Facebook came as a diversion. So was blogging.
Life was good, till it hit me hard on the 14th June 2009, I lost my newborn nephew. Losing the first baby to the hospital’s carelessness and our prolonged wait made the family days more glum. I thought the worst shock was over but never had the slightest idea that the worst is yet to come. Working and everything else made me move from the grief inch by inch. But definitely the glum days reminded me of the family structure and how well-webbed all were.
Orkut was THE SNS during college, but Facebook addict count was growing more each day.The ideal question when I meet someone became, How are you? Are you on FB? Lets catch up there! I was not very keen being a part of the Facebook family because, I had Google chat and Skype and 100 messages per day, lowest rates to call everybody and getting addicted to something was the last thing on my mind. Not being a part of FB was intimidating as most of the opinions shared had become so much from it in our lunch group and here i was free to wander in my world of nothing. Just like they say, Curiosity kills the cat, Facebook killed my time, but yes with minimal work in project that was the time for a diversion. Facebook opened a whole new dimension of connecting with people. Playing games, expressing views and exploring ideas with many minds. It was good to be back on a social networking site which helped connect with people who were in very far places but yet so near and vice-versa.
Many were open about their interests and it was very productive to watch everything unravelling itself in front of me with just choice making left to me. All those forward sharing friends definitely had more dimensions that I am aware of now. And Facebook was a platform to express everybody’s thoughts and passions, be it sharing talks,music or writing. I loved every information it offered. It was new and exciting. Along with it came the pain of confirming friends with the mutual friend list. Be it random juniors or most distant cousins or colleagues and friends of friends. But everything has its pain-points. Started living in the virtual world which included checking out blogs and writing comments about topics i read. This was very entertaining and idealistic for a lazy bum. Nothing much happened in the area of improvement except for appraisals and other occasional reading stuff, but the only religious task I ever followed was to walk past his home every single day with a hope of seeing him someday.
It worked but what I saw shocked and thrilled me. I saw a rude and dangerous looking huge fellow getting down from his bike and turned to look at me like I was his prey. The look shattered me. The change from a calm and pleasant face to a muddy look which showed that the world has betrayed him in every way. I just turned and walked away. Sometimes we can feel or sense pain when we are in a similar state, but choose to say nothing till we understand it for real. Days passed, appraisal passed, relationship passed, but I failed in many things without realizing it. The worst of all happened in 2010.
Continued in Part 5…..