Once in a blue moon.
Way back in 82 I was working for Chola Sheraton. I was a young and energetic bachelor. I used to go to Gym and looked clean and healthy.
In those days I used to visit my friend’s house on weekends. Together we go to T.Nagar. T.Nagar is Chennai’s busiest shopping center area. We roam around the place. Most of the time we go for window shopping but sometimes we bought cloths or accessories. Before returning home we will have snacks like masala dosa or chat masala with lassie.
I never noticed some one was watching me from behind the window. Next to my friends house a young girl around sixteen years was watching me for over a period of time. She had just finished her high school. She looked very innocent and vulnerable. Her father had eight children. He must have really worked hard to produce them. He was a government official. Every evening he comes home with full booze. She and her mother help him to get out of cycle rickshaw.
Later whenever I spent time with my friend on terrace, she too came to her terrace and spent time with her infant sister. Whenever she got a chance she spoke to me with her beautiful eyes.
After about three months…. …
One day when my friend went to his room for changing his clothes to go out she came close to terrace wall and smiled at me. She then threw a folded paper at me and walked away. I was bit baffled and felt silly; never the less I picked up her note and went through it.
“I have been following you for the past few months. I want to talk to you… Do not forget to call me. Ph No…………….
Your’s forever!! And a lipstick mark at the bottom of letter!!!
Yess! At last someone wrote a love letter to me! I could not believe my eyes. It was too good to be true. At last someone loves me! I felt very happy.
Late at night I started thinking… we never spoke each other. How comes she loves me? Love at first sight? Nonsense! Only immature girls falls in love at first sight.
Next day we had national holiday. Around 10 am I dialed her number “ Priya…?” .
“Yeah, I have been expecting your call”.
“It’s me, Jivan. You want to meet me? Why? What is the matter?”
“Something personnel, I cannot tell you over the phone” . I will wait for you at he bus stop “.
“O.K, fine. I will be there in half an hour time,” bye now’.
When I went there she was already waiting for me at the bus stop. She got in front. While paddling all the way to T.Nagar she kept talking to me. Smell of her hair oil and jasmine flowers were intoxicating me. We went to Panagal Park and sat on a bench.
“You said you want to talks to me”.
“Yes”, I have been following you for the past few months! I like you….”
“You like me? We never spoke each other .this is the first time we are speaking. We like someone just because of their appearance. It is only a physical attraction. It happens...”
“No, I mean I love you!” There was a mischievous smile on her face.
“You do not fall in love with someone just because you are attracted to him/her. Appearance can be deceptive’”. You love someone because of their character or good habits. It will take years to understand someone. Without even knowing me you are telling me that you are in love with me. This is not love it is called infatuation or immature love. You have seen it in Tamil movies youngsters falling in love for stupid and sentimental reason. It is not love at all. People understand each other’s over a period of time. When both of them feel for each other they start falling in love. It is a gradual process .love happens over a period of time. In your case it is just an infatuation. You are too young. You need to study further. Then you have to find a job. After that you can find someone who is willing to spent rest of his life with you. Talk to him. Understand his feelings for you. If he reciprocates your feelings you can be sure he is in love with you. Later you can propose him. It is not necessary that you wait for him to propose you! If he really loves you he will accept your proposal. Ask his parents to meet your parents and discuss about marriage. It is always better to get parents approval first. If parents do not approve of your marriage proposal you two can legally get married at the registration office. “
I do not think she understood anything. She was lost in her thoughts. There were moist in her eyes. I held her hand “Don’t worry, we will remain friends forever’ . She wanted a honest answer from me but I went on preaching. She expressed her love for me and I brain washed her. What a tragedy.
I tried to change the conversation. ‘Come on, let’s have Tiffin’ she agreed with me. As we crossed the road she held my left hand. She was warm and soft. The feeling was good. Have you ever felt magical moment in your love life? While walking through the congested T.Nagar street, I found all others looked just black and white but she looked colorful with her white full length skirt, pink half sari with white blouse. It was made out of silk sari.
We went to the restaurant and settled down in a corner seat. I asked her choice of food. She wanted Masala dosa, coffe and ice cream. We both had same food. After paying bill we came out of the restaurant. Opposite to the restaurant there is one Sivan Temple. She wants to visit temple with me. Being an atheist I did not like the idea but I also did not want to disappoint her so I agreed to accompany her. ‘O.K, fine. Let’s go to temple’.
At the temple she asked priest to perform ‘Arathi’ for us! He brought a silver plate with burning camphor, Kum Kum and rose flower petals. She took Kum Kum powder and applied it on my forehead and she too applied it on her forehead. She put few coins in that silver plate and took out rose petals and put it over my head. Funny girl. Usually just after the marriage couples are blessed with rose flower petals. Priest looked terrified.
After that I took her back to bus stop and reminded her “ I have no hard feeling for you. We will remain friends forever’.
‘It was really good to meet you personally. I will think of you as my friend. ’Thank you, so much”.
“I enjoyed spending time with you…”
“Bye, see you some other time. She smiled at me and walked towards her home.
After that whenever I went to my friend’s house she smiled at me and I returned her smile.
I knew with her father’s single income it is difficult to run their house. She wants to get married early and reduce their family burden or maybe she wants to escape from hardship at home. After about three month’s time they moved out of their rented house.
In those days it was easy for guys to misuse immature girl. Any other guy would have taken advantage of her situation .Even though that was first and last time someone had ‘loved’ me , I was happy to make her understand what is real love.
To me love is not about physical attraction. We get attracted to lots of people in our life time. It is not love. When I love someone it is trust built over a period of time and commitment for a life time. I am yet to find some special. I never fooled anyone by saying that ‘ I Love You’ in my life time; not even when my wife presented my daughter . I said ‘Thank you and placed gentle kiss on her forehead.
In India love is a dangerous game for girls. Not every girl is willing to risk her life. Religion and cast can play havoc in their life. If lovers are not united in marriage usually girl will have to bear the consequences. Her ‘lover’ will disfigure her with acid or stab her to death in the heart of city. What sort of ‘love’ is that?
What is love?
Your comments please.