I’m sure you’ve heard of people crushing on film stars, celebs, rockstars and even film characters. But have you ever heard of someone who’s had a crush on a Cartoon Character?

 No? I though as much. But you know now…me! 

The topic for this week is First Crush, and it got me reminiscing… and missing mine. Now, I don’t really recall anyone through Kindergarten or Secondary School who made my heart palpitate like boiling eggs in a saucepan, but I do remember my first real crush – a cartoon character. And this is how it happened.

I was watching cartoons with my brothers and cousins on Cartoon Network, back when the channel had just started and had taken most households with kids, who had heretofore survived on reruns of Alladin and Jungle Book, by storm (yes, I’m that old). While one series ended, the next one began, and there he was… Blue eyed, blonde, mischievous, reckless, caring, helpful, street-smart, and handsome to boot. He must have been portrayed to be around 15-16 years old, and the way he ran across the screen to save a damsel in distress or skid down to a two-dimensional precipice without giving a damn about his life, made me swoon, palpitate and vacillate between tender love and fierce devotion. My brother and other cousins hated watching his show and I would defend him with all my heart. Why were these fools not able to see how glorious he was?

That was in school, somewhere just before I shifted to High School. But this character (I dare not reveal his name here) stayed with me well into my Sophomore year at college. I have a bad, bad habit of daydreaming, and talking to myself and to inanimate things (talk about a double whammy) and he would be right there, in almost all my imaginary scenarios, stories and fantasies.

I had meticulously traced his onscreen family, facts like where he lived, what he did, what he liked or disliked, and woven a very, very realistic picture of what he would be like in real life. Yes, folks, I was that crazy! Some of my flatmates suspected I had a long-distance relationship with some guy and would needle me for information on this ‘mysterious boyfriend’. I never told them. What was I supposed to say, that I was crushing over a Cartoon? Ha!

I can’t remember daydreaming or weaving scenarios around any other person as I did with him. Damn him for all those times when I spurned overtures from real guys throughout school and early college. This guy was single-handedly responsible for setting the bar too high for any guy to match upto.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “This wasn’t a crush. This was an ideal of a boy”, and you’re right. But aren’t most crushes like that? Most of our crushes are our own ideas, about how a person must be, unless we’ve known that person for quite sometime. But yes, I will concede that as crushes go, this one was weird indeed.

It’s not like I didn’t crush on normal guys. I did. There’s an entire list of them. But they never got the same dogged devotion from me. However, somewhere in my Sophomore year I realised that my crush on him was causing me more harm than benefit. I changed. I grew up. I let go of my preconceived notions of how the perfect man must be. And he was relegated to only my stories.

But like they say, first crushes are always special. Mine was too, and to this day, he’s the hero of every one of my stories, unless the hero is supposed to be a dark character. I still talk to him sometimes, and of course, I still love him. Afterall, he’s my creation, my version of a perfect man. My first crush that wasn’t, but my eternal love.

©Pradita Kapahi, 2017

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