Saturday, January 29, 2011

First Love

With everyone writing about love, I too thought of joining the brigade. Although officially middle aged and certified jaded, I was young once and as a reed thin and gawky (read ugly) young man, I too yearned to find the love of my life. Now it was a different matter that all the beautiful girls in my college never even looked at me. (On honest retrospection, I really don’t blame them) But hormones being hormones, they were doing their job and I was pining away for the princess of my dreams.
And one day, I got it. A small crumpled note, thrown into my hostel room. (Those days there were no mobiles, no internet, no social websites. Cards were too expensive and the only acceptable way of conveying your sentiments were anonymous notes written on pages torn off our notebooks). I like you, it said in large feminine hand writing. I nearly swooned with excitement. I rushed to the bathroom, the only place where we got a modicum of privacy and gazed at it lovingly. I even smelled it, expecting it to be perfumed, but it smelled of formalin from the dissection hall of the anatomy department. I tried to imagine the girl behind the note, but my imagination boggled. I went around grinning like an idiot for a few days till my room mate got alarmed and offered to accompany me to the psychiatry department for a checkup. I politely declined and smiled inward. What does this retard know? I thought, a girl actually likes me.
After a fortnight, there was another one. A note, I mean and not a room mate. Did you get my previous note, it asked and went on to declare, I want to talk to you. Talk to me, wow, great, unbelievable. All I need to do is find the girl behind the note. And that was easier said than done. I spent the better part of the week sneaking looks at all my female classmates and trying to find the girl behind the note. But it was of no avail. There was not even a hint of interest in any of the kohl lined eyes. The stupid tutor caught me staring at the girls and kicked me out of the class for the day.
Another note came after a week. Why are you ignoring me, it asked plaintively, Why don’t you reply. Ignoring who???? And I want to reply! In fact I want to throw myself at your beautiful feet and kiss them till kingdom comes but how do I find you????? By now the testosterone and other sundry relations in my puny frame were at boiling point. Do you know what these are? The same hormones which make the she donkey appear beautiful to the he donkey and the female owl the most desirable to the male owl and all that. Got the drift? Good!
It was time to get some help. I confided in my close friends over a bottle of shared beer (as one bottle was all we could afford in those days of penury.) You are bullshitting; no girl will send you a note; someone is pulling your leg etc. were the universal verdict. At last my room mate (the same who had diagnosed me a loony) took the responsibility of hunting up the lady in question. He went about the job with a calm assurance (which even bordered on indifference to my palpitating heart) A day passed, two days, three and then a week and there was no progress. Relax, these things take time was his standard rejoinder to my constant pestering. The week turned to a month and there was no answer. Yes, he started staying away from the room for inordinately long periods of time.
Then I found out that he had been spending most of the time with a girl from my class in the canteen. I was aghast at this perceived act of betrayal. When I accused him of stealing my girl, he was unrepentant. Actually dude, the notes were meant for me. You simply picked them up by mistake, was his explanation.

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