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I refused and refused and refused...
September 02, 2005
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Get Ahead reader Apoorva is 23 years old and lives in Bangalore. It's been a year since she fell in love and she shares her story with you.
Boy meets girl
Imagine a typical Bollywood film scenario -- first day in college, boy meets girl, falls in love, girl is oblivious.
Boy keeps pining until, one fine day, she is teased by the college bully. Boy puts up tough fight and hammers bully. Better still, boy comes to girl's wedding where dulhe ka baap demands an exorbitant dowry. Boy steps in gallantly and offers to marry girl.
In my case, it took two days, post joining college to pursue my post-graduation, for the hero to fall in love. On the fourth day, he told me how he felt. Imagine my surprise... no... shock! He did not pine or wait for a villain to turn up. He just said it, straight upfront.
Opposites do attract
He was calm and collected. I was wild, rude, brazen and egoistic. I knew and had seen enough to understand that falling in love meant losing one's independence. And I treasured mine too much to lose it. I can't help being honest and I refuse to play hide-and-seek, so I told him straight off that things were not meant to happen. Maybe we could have a fling -- or was that too scandalous?
Nope, I could see no future for us -- we were poles apart, culturally as well as nature-wise. So I refused and refused and refused and... he pursued and pursued and pursued.
We became friends; and, somewhere, I guess I was enjoying all the adulation.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder
I had to make a college trip to Mumbai, which happens to be his hometown. One minute I was overjoyed, the next minute I felt a sense of... am not sure what it was. I brushed away the thought and busied myself with work. But, as the day of departure approached, I realised I was increasingly feeling uneasy.
On the day I was leave, he came to drop me off and my cab delayed for an hour. Everyone was worried, except me. I was overjoyed; I believed the trip would be cancelled. Then the darned cab arrived. As I got in, I felt I was leaving a part of myself behind (Sounds filmi? I guess those guys do know what they are talking about).
I really, really missed him during those 10 days I had to spend in Mumbai. He even came to visit me under the pretext of the Ganpati festival that was taking place then.
Bitten by the love bug
When I returned to the institute, I realised I was back home in more than one sense. Though my apprehensions persisted, I decided to take the plunge. One night, at 1 am, I confessed my love.
He took it with panache, as if he knew it was coming. It was heaven from then on.
But wait! It's not 'THE END' or the 'THE BEGINNING' as some filmwallahs would say. We were not yet destined to live happily ever after.
And it bites hard.
The first month was bliss. Then began the arguments, the cribbing and the tears.
I am a very forgetful person and tend to misplace things all the time. He is impeccable and disciplined and likes to have a place for everything.
I can laugh away my problems; he likes to think about them till he comes up with a solution.
Slowly, our relationship became bitter. The word 'independence' started playing around in my mind again. I like being around people and, to an extent, would forget about him when I was with others.
Hey, I was not used to being in a relationship -- what else can I say!
He wanted my attention 24/ 7 (like all men, I guess) and that became an issue with me. I had to wear clothes that would not reveal my belly button (which, by the way, I thought was a statement) and I had to go to temples (not regularly, but once in a while). I am not an atheist, but I believe God is where the heart is.
It was turning into a major problem. Three months into the relationship, I decided I had enough. One fine morning, after a volley of arguments, I called it off. It was not easy. Nevertheless, I did it.
A pillar of strength
The difficult person that I am, he could have easily walked out of my life. However, he stuck around and tried to make me understand. Friends stepped in too and plotted to get me back into his life.
He promised to change himself -- for me. Had it been someone else, I know he would have slapped them and stomped out.
I am slightly less emotional than he is; it takes a man of great patience to handle someone like me. He does it without complaining and calls me his "little princess".
It's exactly a year since he confessed his love. We still hold hands like we did then. We still have our share of verbal duels and I have 'broken up' with him three times already.
But our arguments are shorter and we don't need a third party to call truce. I have grown with this relationship and so has he. I realise that independence is truly about doing what is right, irrespective of what anyone thinks.
I also realise it's okay to love and care for someone else. It's okay, if someone else is a bigger priority than you are. It's okay if you can't wear T-shirts that reveal your bellybutton or if you have to fast every Monday for the well-being of someone you love.
I took my time but I have learnt a lot and I have a gut feeling that we are going to go a long way.
Have you ever been in love or experienced heartbreak? Do you feel strongly about an issue? Want to share your experiences with other Get Ahead readers? Write to us!
Illusration: Uttam Ghosh