Cupid in slow motion
There were many good-looking boys in her class. Some were tall, some dark, some fair, some had great brown eyes, a few sported extremely delicious dimples. There were more lookers in her senior class and also in her junior. She was infatuated with some and some didn’t make a dent in her feelings.
For a girl of 21, this was pretty natural; this infatuation. She was in her first year at B School and she was all set to study well to land a plum job in a dream FMCG company. Boys were second priority.
She had many friends though. And many, no, most, were boys. She somehow always connected well with boys. They were so easy to get along and they always connected to the person in her rather than her beauty. Not that she was ravishingly beautiful; but she was ok by most standards. Fair, big eyes and a pretty, always ready to break into a grin, smile.
Girls were another story. To her, girls were always petty, always competing on looks, or boys they had managed to ensnare. She was a different species. She attributed more grain to brains; to logic, to practicality. Oh yes, she had a heart in the right places, of course, but nothing that she carried on her sleeve.
This heart did melt on a number of occasions, but always came around.
In her school, flirting was the norm and she had no qualms about flirtatious boys.
But it stopped there. Dating was not her cup of tea. She kind of knew that if love happened, it would be for keeps.
Right till the beginning of the 4th sem, love did not happen. Then her Dad popped the inevitable question of marriage. She lost focus in classes and wandered around lost in thought. She could not, for the life of her, marry a stranger. Getting physical with a stranger was a topic she did not dare to think of.
She talked things out with her Dad and convinced him to press the pause button till she finished her studies, after which they could start groom hunting in earnest. The whole situation today seems laughable to her now, but then it had stressed her out totally.
She even checked her ‘boy’ friends and evaluated if they were marriage material (well, she at least ‘knew’ them) but nope, none fit the bill. Like Bollywood, she could not for the life of her, think of marrying someone whom she was not in love with.
She used to get feelers from a few boys, but there was this one tall simpleton who had left her confused. He would quietly pay her compliments and suggest his feelings for her and then go mum for days. In a moment she thought he liked her, the next moment she thought she was simply imagining things. What was worse was that she was sure she was not his type; she was sure he felt she was too exuberant for him.
They traveled to college together. She did not have a scooter of her own, he stayed in her area and offered to pick and drop her to and fro college. The 40-minute ride back and forth was normal; no earth shook, no hands touched, no hearts somersaulted.
On her birthday, he presented her with a simple card. The card had a rose. It said she could choose the color of the rose. Whoa! Was he, wasn’t he? Was he suggesting something?
She kind of liked him, his dimples were irresistible, she thought. He was tall, thin (too thin), with superlicious dimples, extremely intelligent, witty, with a great presence of mind and exceptional presentation skills (she was bowled over by the last).
One month before the last semester, she started thinking of weird things. She thought she would miss him after the course ended. She would never meet him again. He would never meet her again. What would be the reason after all, to meet? What would she say was the reason? Her heart sank with the thought.
And then it hit her. She was in love. It was her moment of epiphany. The divine realization that ‘he’ was the one. On hindsight later, it was a perfect a Dilwale Dulhaniya moment when Kajol and SRK discover they would never meet again after the journey ends on London station.
She had now become restless. It had to be now or never. Their common friend knew the secret, almost hidden, admiration between her and the tall boy. He, the common friend, couldn’t have been surer about the two of them.
So he popped the question to both – on the last day. Both nodded.
In the 6.30pm class that day in SIBM, it was the beginning of another great love story between two classmates who were as different as chalk and cheese. They would be the 12th couple to pass out of the illustrious B School. They would marry and live happily ever after.