It was a lovely day in the month of February. I don’t remember the exact year; perhaps it was the early 2000s. The sky was overcast, but a cool breeze breaking into gentle gusts intermittently flavored the day.  The leaves lay strewn on the roadside as the trees awaited the spring to grow back leaves. In the late-afternoon I was out on my ranger-max, my beloved bicycle.

I was making laps of the circuitous path in the church compound when I heard something crash behind me. I turned back and saw a girl lying in a heap with her bicycle. I would have laughed had it been a familiar face but I had not seen her before. She must have been new in the area or maybe I never noticed her.  I removed her bicycle and extended my hand helping her to get up to her feet. The touch of her hands made me go all giddy, and my head was floating in la la land. The touch of her hands was so soft. She wore a lovely frock. Her curly hair fluttered in the breeze; her dreamy dark-brown eyes, and a small mole on her right-cheek mesmerized me.

I enquired if she was all right as we introduced each other.  As she went her way I asked her to be careful but I hoped she fell again and I was there to help her. The few days after I met her my mood was in an uplifted state and I was all happy-happy. The beautiful weather augmented my emotions further and I felt a connection while listening to the love songs on the music channels or when played in my cassette-payer.

On the weekends I would be off to the church compound waiting to get a glimpse of her.  I would be impatient when she would not show up, and when she did, I would be irritated seeing her with her friends, as this made me hesitant to approach her. After a lot of trial and error and with help from my resourceful and useful friends I found her alone in the compound one day. Her bicycle was parked, and she was offering a prayer in front of the grotto.  I waited and when she spotted me she gave me a smile.  I wanted to dance at that moment. Had I been in my room alone, I would have, but I was out, and I did not want her to think of me as a buffoon.  We went to the nearby thela-walas and munched on bun-momos, jhal muri , and the kulfi ice-cream. What a day it was.

Three months had passed since I first saw her, and during one of our casual walkabouts she informed me that her family had to move as her dad was being transferred. I secretly wished to change things and make her stay. Alas! I could not do anything about it and a reluctant good-bye exchange followed.

Years later I spoke to her. She had grown up to be even more beautiful.  We kept in touch for a while and then she informed me she was seeing someone else.  I quietly moved on with my life, holding on to those wonderful memories of innocent crush,  times spent on cycling, making fans from dried leaves, feasting on ice-cream, tamarind-flavored jhal muri, and yummy bun-momos. 

On a lovely February day my ears sometimes scan around to listen to a bicycle crash, and in the eyes of my mind I see a beautiful smile.


(Picture Source: http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com)

Last week I shared my story of what Valentine’s Day reminds of me. It reminds me of a particular Valentine’s Day when I proposed a guy I had a huge crush on since 3-4 years. It also reminds me of all the crazy things I did to get his attention. It reminds of those silly teenaged days when everything lovey dovey in Bollywood looks like a reality.

Yes, I placed my heart in his hands telling him very genuinely what I felt for him. I told him that I really liked him. I knew we were going to be away from then on. He was going away to another country for his engineering and I was going to another city. But still I felt the need to at least tell him what I felt for him. As soon as I did that, I realized that he started to avoid me. He was the son of our close family friends, so there were multiple occasions where we had to encounter each other. And it broke me to see how easily he managed to ignore me. 20 days later, I decided that I needed an answer. If he has to say a NO, he has to say it. So, I asked him and he said a NO. Surprisingly, it gave me a bit of satisfaction because I felt that now I can really move on. For the past 3 years, I had spent my nights wondering whether he liked me or not and now I had an answer. I felt rejected but I also felt relieved.

I got into an engineering college and a hostel life. And it was a whole new world after the protective environment of the school. But the rejection that I had just gone through affected my confidence a great deal. As I started to get used to college and hostel life, things started to get better. As I saw that there were other guys who expressed interest in me, it gave a boost to my confidence.

He had gone to another country for higher education and this affected me too. While in college I started to hate him with a determination to get even better education than him. I made up my mind to be MIT post graduate after my engineering. I did not realize it then that he was the motivation behind my craze to go study in the US. I started to prepare for GRE. In my final year, I started to like another guy – Kapil. He was sweet and funny and he really loved me.

We came out of college; my relationship with Kapil grew strong. I got a job in Bangalore and he was working in Mumbai. Everything was going well, but I was still hell bent on doing my masters in US. Kapil did not want to leave India. And that was the only reason of multiple fights between me and him. I knew if I had to take GRE and leave India – it would mean leaving Kapil too. While going through this, I got a chance to go to US for 3 months. And in those 3 months, I felt so terribly lonely and horrible that I hated that place.

So, now the situation was – I wanted to study in US because I wanted to prove something to the guy who rejected me. I hated US. I wanted to be with Kapil but I knew he did not want to leave India. And to add to all this – my parents were eagerly looking for a match for me. My life was messed up totally. It was one of those times in my life when I felt nobody really understood me.

Life has different ways of coming for a rescue. I got introduced to “Landmark Education” which has a series of courses that help your give up your past and create a brand new future. I did these series of courses and it transformed my thinking and my life.

I could so clearly see now why I want to go study abroad and with this stubborn attitude if I really do go abroad, I would end up too messed up and too frustrated. I realized that I had to let that guy go. I had to let go of my hatred towards him. If you love someone and you get rejected, the solution is not to hate him but to be indifferent to him. I eventually did everything I could to let him go from my life so that I could embrace a brand new life with Kapil. What followed this was an amazing journey of marriage with Kapil!