Six years back in Bangalore, I started my career as a call center executive. The call center job only lasted for a very short period. But with the experience I gained from the call center, I went on to become a language trainer in one of the training centers. That was where I met the most straightforward and boldest girl I have seen in my life so far. She was from Qatar. The purpose of joining the training was to increase her fluency in English. Second week into the training she complained that my style of teaching English was not good (it still is not any better). I tried to teach her the way she wanted to be taught. In this process, we got to talk a lot about ourselves and one day she told she likes me, but she wouldn’t be interested in the words ‘Love’ and ‘Wedding’. She told she’s only interested in getting ‘physical’. That time I was already engaged to my fourth love. But since she was only interested in a no-strings-attached physical relationship, I agreed. The deal was too good to be turned down.
She was a tall and well-built girl with very large and fearsome eyes. No one dared to look straight into her eyes. It was like her eyes would burn you alive – such powerful eyes. Even I found it very hard to keep up eye-contact with her. But in fact she was a bubbly good-humored girl with tinge of eccentricity.
We anxiously waited for the day that would have us finally locked in a state of ecstasy. But that day never came. (I know this part would remind you of one of the episodes in Khushwant Singh’s ‘The Women In My Life’ but it is purely coincidental). One day she called me in my mobile and told she’s leaving India for good the next morning. She told she would get in touch with me once she’s back in her country, but that was the last time I heard her voice.
The same training center would play witness to one another interesting episode. This time the girl was a senior teacher, but quite junior to me in terms of age. She was in love with a guy she met via Internet chatting. I advised her of the ill effects of an internet relationship, but she didn’t pay heed. She trusted him with all her heart. On the day she finally met him in person and she took me along to take a look at him and judge his character. I didn’t like him straightaway. He looked like a sly and shady character. When we returned I told her what I thought of him. But she wasn’t willing to believe me.
Apparently the guy also didn’t like her for some reason. From that day onwards he rarely picked up her calls. He stopped messaging, and logged off from internet as soon as she logged in. She would come to my desk and cry for hours. To console her, I used to call him and beg him to call her number and talk to her for at least 2 minutes a day. He would call for two days and then the calls would stop, and she would start wailing. This went on for months. Then, finally the relationship broke for good, and then, the interesting thing happened. She asked me whether I can be her boyfriend until my marriage. (As I told in the previous story, I was engaged at that time). And for the first time in my life, I got to reject a girl. She was like a kid sister to me, and I couldn’t image being her boyfriend. Also, her offer was not out of love or anything else – she just wanted somebody as boyfriend for namesake. I wonder whether she ever really loved the internet guy – for her a boyfriend is just a fancy idea.
We are still in good terms. I get to talk to her over the phone sometimes. She found a new boyfriend soon after the first one. She broke from that guy as well and hanged out with another one. Last time I spoke to her, she told she got a job in a bank and now she’s placed in Chennai.
Most recently in my life, I met the perfect my-type-of-girl. She is fun-loving, honest, sensible and a good company in everything I would like to do in life; travelling, photography and getting drunk – sometimes. The first time I saw her, I thought she would be an arrogant and headstrong girl, and I didn’t like her at all. But my opinion changed the moment I saw her firm lips broke into a beautiful smile. It took a while – maybe a month, to get to see that smile, and I had to earn it just like a Bourneville. And once it started coming, it came in abundance and transformed every moment I spent with her into a joy ride. Had I met her before I got married (or rather before I met my wife), I would have dropped on to my knees (the only girl who would have sent me crawling on my knees) and proposed. But then, she being a sensible and clear-headed girl, would have rejected me royally. Because I don’t fit into any of the criteria her father has.
Now let me tell you about the simplest and the most complex affair of all. In 1998 I joined college for my bachelor degree. In the middle of third semester I befriended a girl from the same class. Our likes and dislikes were completely different and what interested me wasn’t interesting to her, but as we were classmates our friendship developed in due course, and much to our own surprise, culminated in madly falling in love with each other. But still I had a feeling our affair wouldn’t go beyond the college years, but it went further beyond, in fact 7 years beyond college and finally ended in marriage.
Despite our conflict of interest in many things, what worked for us when we were just lovers, and what is still working for us 5 years into marriage is our willingness to tolerate each other. I’m an extremely irresponsible husband but she puts up with me, and she’s a sensitive short-tempered girl and I know how to put out the fire in her head.
For the last 12 years, each morning has been a wonderful start, and in the course of the day, we fight, we fall in love again, we argue, we remain silent, we tolerate, we go to bed a happy couple. Life has been pleasant so far. Our differences still remain as differences, but we know we simply cannot live without each other.
Here’s a recent photo of my wife:
She’s the one who turned the wheel of fortune in my life. When we were in college, she was extremely popular because she was the college singer. But nobody knew me outside my class. Through her I became known to others. All through our college days, I was only referred as Libena’s (her name) boyfriend. She is my fourth love but the only girl to have fallen in love with me. She was in fact the main character in our love story – I played only a supporting role. Her friends even questioned her wisdom of falling in love with such a loser (I was a kind of loser then) like me, but she stuck on. Her parents asked her to change her mind about getting married to me, but she refused. After marriage she installed a ‘dream’ in my head and her persistence made me grow higher in my career. The little success I have had in life so far is all because of her. She’s simply more than what I deserve.
P.S: I do have scores of other friends, including the one whose name I gave to my daughter, but I do not have anything interesting to write about them. They are all super good people, and they all have a place in my heart. Let me also take this moment to thank my blogger friends whom I have never met, but have been immense inspiration in the virtual world; Bhavia, Purba, Nivedita.