Like almost every young middle class Delhi boy, I dreamt of two things in the later half of my school life: A girlfriend, and braces, so that girls will stop noticing God’s sheer injustice to my face. Most of those years were spent trying to find someone special who would look beyond my nerdy image and lack of any interesting trait. But since no woman from a dream sequence or a video game is actually real, those years were wasted trying to figure out what actually went wrong when the natural calamity called puberty struck my life.
It took some time, but finally things like peer pressure, confidence gained from weird tips on sleazy sites, will-power to miss lectures and to part with my limited pocket money enabled me to ask a girl out, who said ‘Yes’ because may be she found me funny, but mostly because I threatened to slash my wrist. Happiness is a rather mild term for that moment because since that day, I have never paid for butter chicken ever again. Call it love, or call it excuses like “Oh I forgot my wallet!” or “Hey I paid the last time when we had bhelpuri at that local thela“, I have earned my free chicken meal a lot of times.
Like almost every non-Rahul Mahajan relationship, the start was a Romeo-Juliet level of romance, or as friends call it, “get-a-room level”. As per many dating experts, is usually limited to 6 months, out of which only the first two weeks are voluntarily participated in by the guy. Gifts are exchanged, new places are visited, parents want to disown you because of your phone bills, friends use phrases like ‘pyaar me chutiya gaye hain saale’, people getting sick at your public display of affection are called jealous. Then the first fight happens. The fight is never forgotten, and the guy is never forgiven.
It is not easy being with me, because here is what she has had to endure so far:
• Regular bargains over compensation money for having to laugh at my jokes in public,
• Semi-violent bursts of my own laughter at my own jokes,
• A ‘Raag-Depression’ low note rendition of Albela Sajan Aayo Ri in response to a request for a romantic song on Valentine’s Day,
• Consistently embarrassing Khap-Panchayati behaviour after the 4th drink at any party.
• Having to sit through almost every movie with me, even the ones with Tusshar Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha.
The girl has not only done all the above while keeping a brave face, she has also avoided giving any response which will hurt me to the question “Why are you dating that imbecile?” (her current favourite answer is “I’m paying for sins of my previous lives”). Sometimes, when I have kept quiet for a few minutes and she is able to hear her own thoughts, she says that I bring balance to her life. Yes, I use the somewhat funny teacher-and-haryanvi-student WhatsApp jokes to make her laugh when she is feeling down, and when she is too happy, I restore it back to baseline by smiling for her. Our support for each other goes way beyond the odd-even formula that we have employed for who will make the STD call on which day because, you know, long distance.
About the future, hopefully she will develop more interest in football and watch matches with me, but not too much interest because one of us needs to go to kitchen and make me that sandwich to enjoy the match with. Hopefully she will keep that affinity for cleanliness so that in future, my pizza boxes will not keep lying on the floor for days. Hopefully she will catch a permanent cold so that she can live through the phenomenon called smelly feet. Fingers crossed.
I do feel lucky, and I guess I should just count my blessings. (NOT just a semi-emotional dialogue in the end to save my ass.)