In this lockdown when no one wants to meet each other or rather cannot for obvious reasons, I started to think how I met my better half, my partner in crime or the one I chose to have arguments with for the rest of my life.
I only wish Love was a subject in college, I would have scored pretty decent marks in it. It taught me more things about my life than any subject ever did. In my 3rd year of college, I was on cloud nine, keeping very fit and taking part in local modelling competitions. My last relationship had ended in the second year, and with just 6 months left for my college to finish, I had to try and make a girlfriend. The gender mix in my college was 80:20. 20 being for girls, thus every girl had at least 5 or more guys who liked her, plus a few locals of that city. It was pretty crazy, so when I started considering whom I should go and talk to, I had to consider factors like- will I get bashed up by my batch mates or locals, etc.
Well, Amrita being so gorgeous, still had no boyfriend at that point. She was an Inspector General’s daughter and would kick your ass in front of 20 people. Some really good candidates in her group had tried and failed miserably, and the others were just afraid to ask. We had a common friend Nisha, and it was time to strategize. Amrita really looked up to her dad and looked for similar qualities in a boy. So Nisha started to tell her how I had a few of those same qualities. A few days hence she was leaving for Delhi and when I got to know this, I and my friends rushed to the bus stand with a bunch of yellow flowers and a bar of chocolate to let her know that I’ll be thinking of her when she’s gone.
As she left I realised that there’s a month before the new session begins, so we have to meet at least once in Delhi. So I went over to one of my friends, to whom words came like the morning breeze. He used to write poems, he remembered lyrics from songs, he read a lot and most importantly he helped friends like me who couldn’t think beyond saying “Would you like to go out with me?”. We headed to an Internet Cafe and he drafted a love letter(mail) for me. The effort paid off and I got Amrita to say yes for meeting me next week in Delhi.
This date was like a job interview, and I swear to god it was one of the toughest interviews I’ve ever been to. She was the whole panel and had come with some 20 questions, the answers to which were critically analysed and required further explanations. What all the questions meant were, I should not behave like a typical controlling boyfriend and affect her self expression in any way, no public display of affection, no sharing food in the same plate, etc… Well, the interview ended with a glass of wine (did not have money for two), and she became my Half Girlfriend. Thinking about it now the date was the easy part, what followed in the next 2 months was nothing like I had imagined.
By the final year of college, you feel that you’ve figured out life. As no exception to the rule, I now felt that I could deal with anything and that is when life opened the doors to my next obstacle course. Amrita and I met a few times in Delhi and life seemed great. By the time we returned to Jaipur (where we were studying) things had changed quite a bit. For starters, no one called me by my name anymore and I was now officially “Amrita’s Boyfriend”. The name- Rohit, which means the first ray of sun, was now hiding behind the clouds and the news of my relationship was spreading like wildfire.
In the first week, I was definite that a few guys would march up to my room and bash me any time. I was always on the lookout while going to the nearby markets, as the locals too had been eyeing the girls of our college and after hearing this devastating news they were not going to keep quiet. As the week went by I thought I will survive being the boyfriend, so I went on with my routine, which included going to the gym twice apart from having a literal appetite for destruction. So on the eventful Saturday of week 2, at around 8 am, I reached the gym, parked my new Hero Honda CBZ in the quiet lane and went into the gym for my morning routine. When I came out something was missing. Yes, you guessed it right! My god-damn bike was gone. Life was teaching me one of the most important lessons that when all your material possessions are gone, all that is left are your loved ones. They will support you, love you and make you stand no matter how many times you fall. Even without a bike, life was great and we (including Amrita and other friends) went on some of the most memorable trips that created memories of a lifetime.
18 years later, with some of the craziest vacations to look back at and after getting my ass kicked in public and in private by her, I am proud to say that we are still very much in love and have been married for 12 years with a beautiful daughter and a mischievous 2-year-old.
You and I have floated here on the stream
that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers,
Shared in the same shy sweetness of meeting,
the distressful tears of farewell,
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.