Around 9 PM, pleasant weather, racing heart..Could faintly hear a couple of ladies gossiping..there was a distinct stink of an old dirty cloth..and yes, this was the most romantic moment of my life…Hold it! Let’s rewind a bit..
It was the year 2006. This was the first time I saw him. We both were enrolled in the same coaching center. He was tall, lean and wore spectacles. Totally not my type! My 16-year-old self was into tall guys but a little muscular and specs were definitely off-putting. We got introduced, became friends, became good friends and then inseparable. Started sharing our life stories. I don’t even remember what bothered me at that age, but he was always there to hold my hand, understand and support.
Okay let’s fast forward about a year..getting that faint old dirty cloth smell, intense honking and swaying from side to side, he asked “Let’s start dating” in the local public bus (DTC route 620). One of the most un-romantic proposal ever! Being the practical calculative person, I am, started arranging my priorities in the head. There was a definite attraction but according to me it wasn’t the right time. I smiled sheepishly and bought some time to think. The inseparable duo sat awkwardly for the entire bus journey.
I wanted to decline, however, I had this very strong feeling of something going wrong. Gave it a lot of thought. Involved my friends, sisters..My dating decision was just a little bit away from being broadcasted on the TV! In a difficult life situation, I resort to what I know the best, pop-culture references. In this case Ross’s famous Pros-Cons list for Rachel. Cons were easy “Not the right time, should concentrate on getting into a good college”, “He understands me, but do I want to get involved in something more?”, “What if it doesn’t work out? Would I lose a friend?” but all that logic was completely overshadowed with this strong desire to dive in. You can’t reason with feelings.
Next day, we met in class but avoided even eye contact. We were waiting for our alone time during the travel back in the bus. Around 9 PM in pleasant weather with a racing heart, smelling the old dirty cloth listening to aunties’ gossip, I said “Yeah! Let’s try it out”. That was that! The turning point..my center of gravity changed! I fell head over heels in love with this guy who knew both my pretty and ugly sides very well and loved me no matter!!
Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the same college. Nor did we make it to the same cities after college. It wasn’t easy, but we kept pushing to be together. After 12 years of knowing each other, 11 years of dating and 8 years of long distance, we tied the knot in Feb 2018! I was just thinking the other day “What kept us going through the years?” It wasn’t the support or the shoulder to cry on. You get that and more from family and friends. It was the sheer time and energy we invested in encouraging each other to be better versions of ourselves. Our life’s mission was and still is to bring the best out of each other.
I have a travelling job and would be gone for six months at a stretch for the next couple of years..but I know, with him in my team “We got this!”