I am in my thirties, married for more than 10 years and have a 6 year old son. But I don’t think I still can clearly define what really love is. I know for sure that love is one of the most misused words today.
However, in my life span I have had my set of complicated relationships, feeling of being “in love” and heartbreaks. And as part of this, I have done enough crazy stuff some of which is funny and some of which I wish had never happened. Particularly the school life is full of such crazy things because during teens when hormones are raging high, the feeling of love is highly over-rated.
My school life was in Dehradun and all my teen years in school were spent in “girls only” school. Having no brothers or close-to-my-age-group cousins – I practically had no interaction with boys. I was livingwith my older sister already in professional life, ready to get married and two of my cousins – both were in college and hence had a much “cooler” life than mine.
I was the youngest at home studying in class X when I already started feeling the need to have a boyfriend because my sister’s lives were so happening and I wanted to experience the same.
Though I am quite clear that whatever I felt during that time wasn’t love, it was just infatuation which was quite elaborated by me and my friends. On that note, let me recount one of the crazy episodes during Class XII.
Class XII – the pressure was super high. The boards, JEE, engineering entrances and the competition – all of which was driving me crazy. This pressure made me join coaching classes for the first time. I was super determined to get through IIT and with all the high hopes I joined the institute named Doon Ace.
The institute was near my school and we decided that me and my friend would stay back after school, spend an hour in school studying and then proceed to the coaching. I would come back home only late evening to sleep for a while and get to studies again till late night. So, you see with this kind of schedule and sincerity that I had towards my studies – there was hardly any room left for “love”.
But I happened to stumble upon this feeling during my coaching classes. There was one particular boy who was just an acquaintance then and for I found him quite attractive. He was quite charming and I somewhat ended up trying to make friends with him. However I knew that he had a girlfriend and so I had to keep my feelings to myself. I did exactly that. Though I told my friend about this and in no time both of us ended up spending all the time after school talking about the boys in the coaching class. Studies and preps for IIT took a back seat.
Few days later I heard that he broke up with his girlfriend. It was quite a news since he and his girlfriend was one of the famous couples of the town. I remember feeling quite concerned about both of them when I heard of this news. But quite soon this guy was more available and open now. He started talking to rest of the class and he started coming to coaching quite early.
I found this new opportunity to get closer to him and I started going to coaching 15 mins early in a hope to find some lone time with him. Few days I did that and we started talking about stuff. I learnt a little bit more about him and started sharing a bit more about myself. The girls in my school who were his friends started talking about this new friendship that was sort of budding. That gave me hints that he must be talking about me. We exchanged our phone numbers and though there was no reason to call him, I was still happy to have it. That was time of landlines and caller IDs were just getting popular.
In September that year my birthday was on a Saturday and I reached my coaching early to meet him as usual. I hadn’t told him my birthday but I was happily surprised when he presented me a greeting card. I remember I didn’t understand a word in my coaching class that day. Almost all my time was now spent wondering what he feels for me and why was he treating me special. I slowly started looking for reasons to call him on Sundays or in late evenings. Hearing his voice on phone was such a pleasure that I started giving him blank calls just to listen to his voice.
This continued for a while and then one day before the class, he came quite close to me and said – “By the way, I have a caller ID at home.” And he winked. I just froze and probably turned red. “Oh my god, he knows how I feel for him. He knows it all.” I skipped going early for the next few days because I was just too embarrassed. He didn’t pursue me any further. This distance helped me figure out how badly I was distracted and letting my preparations get affected. I gave up coaching classes sometime in October and this episode came to an end. Although I felt really rejected that he never tried to contact me at all and wanted to know why he did so.
Years later after I got married, I ran into him again. He lived in the same society in Bangalore where I was living with my husband. This time we genuinely became good friends and also shared what happened during school days. He explained why he didn’t pursue our friendship even though he liked me. He had his reasons and I understood them now as an adult. That was good to know as I got closure to that incomplete episode. And we ended up having a good laugh at our stupidities of school time.