A journey across half the globe. Three half fights between us (Definition – I fought , she listened ). A reinforcement of the belief that my parents get angry when they should contact the shehnai wale instead . Quite a few happy moments , with me giggling at my own jokes, on most occasions. And we are still together , with me admitting that she has contributed most to the fact that the relationship is going as strong as a well fed wrestler , with my contribution being spilling food and driving her around , primarily.
This experience has changed , and continues to change quite a few things around me .
I mean , my telephone bills have ‘changed’ by a noticeable margin , to the horror of my mom and to the sheer delight of Airtel. The amount of driving I have been doing around the city has gone up ( The sight of her house as I turn around the corner is sight more beautiful than Taj Mahal’s for me . Sorry , Jahangeer . Or Shahjahan . Whoever. ). I no longer wonder if I would have to change some baby’s diaper someday , confident due to the instruction that I HAVE to change it . And believe it or not , for the first time in my life , I ambled into a Jewellery store at South Ex , looked at the decked up salesgirl as she eyed me suspiciously and mouthed the words “ I want a pair of earrings.” . Ok , the Ripley’s part ends here , because I gave up after looking at seven earrings , wondering how could anyone choose between things which are equally tiny , equally shiny and meant to be completely hidden under hair anyway.
But while the stuff which has changed around me is varied , with an entire chapter justified for how my family took it and almost fed me to dinosaurs , the most felt change for me , has been inside me.
I mean , not that my kidneys have changed color , I am talking about internal transformation .
You know , this is not the first time someone put her faith in me . Is not the first time someone thought she would have me besides her in every storm . Is not the first time someone put me in a position where I could hurt her , trusting that I would not. Idiot , I am . Guaranteed.
After all that past which would justify a Kameena Sequel to be shot on my life story , it was like god had e-mailed me a letter confirming that I was incapable of taking care of anybody , except my bike maybe .
I had vividly visualized a Dolby surround system installed life where I would live alone , watching HBO and eating pizzas only to die someday with the unpaid credit card guys being the only ones bothered by my death .
When I looked at myself in the mirror , I saw a guy who had run away from every difficult situation of his life . A guy who thought ‘walking away’ is a cool thing to do , yet ashamed in his heart. A guy who had come to believe that life is this meaningless string of moments , and more scaringly for me , had lost the will to find a meaning in this string of moments .
I know it was no holocaust I had faced , and there are people who have seen worse things such as a college hostel’s food , but to my mind , I was a useless failure , who could earn money and mimic Shahrukh , but was worse than a China made plastic bicycle when it came to reliability and trust.
And then she came along. Strong minded . Independent . Graceful . Elegant . A lady who had the sensitivity of a petal to heal life , yet the strength of a tree to face life . A heart which could absorb all pain , yet could shed tears touched by the pain of a stranger. A soul which held an understanding the very wise have , yet cares like the most innocent child ever. In short , my complete , geometrical opposite.
Considering the opinion I had about myself , I believe it would have taken a lot of foolishness or marijuana for me to believe I could be the guy she deserved , and to this day , I believe I am lesser than the guy she deserves.
But yet , since that day , she has been a friend , a guide and an inspiration for me . Without trying to teach me , she has given me something I could never give myself , something no amount of movies could give me , something no amount of hours immersed at work could give me .
She has given me a reason.
She has given me the reason to believe I can be a better man when she says she trusts me in spite of my past.
She has given me the reason to wake up at 4.30 in the morning to ensure she is safely on the bus she is supposed to get on , even though it is hard getting up that early even for a free sandwich.
She has given me the reason to feel special as she sings a birthday song for me while I cut the cake untidily. By the way , she takes over the knife after thirty seconds and cuts out amazingly neat slices. How do women do that?
She has given me the reason to roll down the window and hand over some coins to a boy begging at a signal, knowing she would do the same.
She has given me the reason to call her as I grip the steering wheel with one hand, imagining the smile that would emerge on her face seeing my name on the cell screen. Pretty dangerous , that driving stunt . Don’t tell her.
She has given me the reason to face the people who changed my diapers , safe in the knowledge I am right in not letting them demean someone they should not.
She has given me the reason to stand up to accusations and screams , determined not to step aside , but to go through them.
She has given me the reason to choose the hard but right path , having learnt from her that a righteous life is better than a convenient life.
She has given me the reason to again believe that goodness and simplicity can exist and thrive in this world inhabited by greed , egos and exorbitant petrol prices.
She has given me the reason to know I am going to be all right , because my definition of being ‘all right’ has changed from not facing problems to solving them.
She has given me the reason to truly wish a smile on the face of someone not even aware of my own presence in that moment.
She has given me the reason to feel accepted , not because I am perfect , but because someone does not expect perfection.
In a way , I think I never cared about the kind of guy I was . A bunch of mistakes , I lacked the reason and the confidence to do anything about every mistake I had committed.
She gave me the reason to want to be a man better than who I am.
You know , I know I will never be the man she deserves to be with . But for the first time in my life , someone has gained that place in my world that I am willing to happily try till my last moment.
Probably everyone else thinks this relationship is following the normal , bollywood inspired storyline , and will end up fizzing out in a few months or years , replaced by the real questions such as who brings the kids from the school or why haven’t I still paid the telephone bill , but I know she will always be the same special one for me.
From that dream about death amongst pizza cartons and a TV remote , I dream about a life which ends with the joy of having lived for people I really loved.
Because while a boy finds a girl who keeps him happy , this boy has found a girl he wants to keep happy .
While a boy finds a girl to live happily with , this boy has found a reason to live happily for.
I don't know if 'you' are reading this , but if you are , I just want you to know that I have made a lot of mistakes , and my grammar is all wrong , and I crack jokes nobody gets , but I love you without expectations . And I will never stop doing that .
PS – Considering my family may read this , please promise me you will contribute money , utensils or old toys to help us escape to Alaska at the opportune time. Ok , just kidding dude .
~~ Added Later
@ This is for each and everyone who chose to comment here
Thank you guys ( When I say guys , consider it as a figure of speech . I am equally grateful to the female segment of homo sapiens ) . I mean , I started this blog at the tender age of 23 , and I turned 28 last month ( But if you plan on addressing me as uncle , I have contacts with underworld . So dont risk your life ) . But if you did not flunk in maths , you see that I have spent more than five years talking to you . I have an entire bunch of friends I have never seen , but have helped me more than a 'visible' friend would have . I guess I would tell you about the kind of experiences I have had interacting with people I have never seen someday , but for now , just know that whenever I read a comment , good or bad , I feel grateful because you could have spent that moment scratching yourself , but you invested it in talking to me . And more so now , at a time when things are not very easy in terms of support from the people around ( notice the diplomatic use of language ) , your wishes mean a lot to her and me . I really don't consider this blog as a story I tell . I consider it as a conversation with each one of you . And thanks for being nice enough and unemployed enough to talk to me . Chalo abhi , let us all go back to work before our bosses catch us . Enjoywa.