So… This Is My Love Story.

It was the winter of 2009. October 9th, to be precise. It had been a busy week of practice with my band (which included me and 3 other idiots who were convinced that I could play a steady beat for 3.5 minutes because I had taken ‘music lessons’) for a performance at another medical college. After a mediocre performance and a round of applause from the audience(which included my own juniors who were threatened into attending and female fandom of the vocalist because women find him cute), I saw someone in the audience. It was the moment of my life that modern poets describe as ‘Ladki beautiful, kar gayi chull‘.

The initial few conversations went fine, and in my head the reason was my humor and the fact that I was a drummer, and hence had some cool quotient. It was soon established that she found my jokes weird and it was obvious that I was an amateur at any form of music, and it was only sheer politeness on her part that she still gave me her number after a trial of desparate excuses and persistent use of the word ‘please’. Being the super-smart dude that I am, I sent her a few hundred texts including good wishes for festivals I didn’t know existed (Happy Ganga Mahotsav and Shubh Kartik Poornima) and cheesy lyrics of songs which, in hindsight, could’ve guaranteed that I would die a bachelor. A few extra ‘please’ and a promise not to embarrass her in public later, I got her to go on a date with me.

I was fairly confident that I could make her laugh on the first date. It was her birthday, so that was an opportunity to shamelessly save money by asking for a treat, and to impress her with a gift. I discovered that I do not look good in any of the clothes I had, and then 2 hours of panic later, borrowed one size smaller pullover from my friend and showed up at the date with my insanely thin wrists and forearms exposed. I stayed hidden at a distance to notice her first. She was radiant like her name while I was dirty brown like the water in the open Shahdara drain. I did what any guy would have done: sprayed 6 puffs of deodorant over my collar, chanted a few lines of Hanuman Chalisa and went to see how bad Murphy’s law can prove for someone on a first date.

One of the major issues in getting her to like me was language, because O Punjabi bole na, tey main English wich ardaa si. It was tough for me, because myself from West Delhi area, and we could talk to our English teacher in Hindi too. It was a long and tough process to first think in Hindi, translate it, run a quick mental scan for grammatical errors and possible better vocabulary, only to realise it’s already too late to reply and then change the subject to “how’s college and everything?” and hope for the charm to work. Well, she’s lived through that and contributed to my posts as an unpaid editor. No, she didn’t know what she was signing up for.

We continued dating, our favourite date being coming from our hostels to CP for early morning coffee and sandwich. She likes it because it a nice, fresh time of the day to meet, but I just wanted to find out how cranky she was without her early morning coffee. If I could tolerate her at that level, then surely this was meant to work. Maybe she grew fond of me, may be other guys in medical profession were worse than me, or just may be it’s the fact that I am willing to say sorry and get her chocolates after every argument irrespective of who was at fault, but she has stood by me for few years, last two and a half of which included long distance.

To be honest, our long distance wasn’t any kind of ‘twist-in-the-tale’ as it is shown in Bollywood movies. I was happy on getting to go to Mumbai to see her, she was happy expecting me to finally put more thought in gifts for her. There were a few awkward moments though, like the argument that we had over the fact that she won’t allow me to shout “Mumbai ka king kaun? Bheeku Mhaatre!” at Marine drive, or the incident when I tried to greet Marathi strangers on the road in their language without knowing that ‘Taacha Maayla‘ meant ‘Teri Maa Ki‘. About 6 more months to go, we are going to make it through, hopefully without me being beaten to a pulp by an angry Marathi.

I have spent the last 7 years answering the question “How does she tolerate you?” unsatisfactorily to almost all our mutual friends and even some strangers who read my posts on Facebook. I am yet to confirm from her if she actually takes anger-management classes or is it neuronal damage due to overdose of medical literature that she ‘tolerates’ me, and then I might make a public statement soon. Till then, I think I should focus more on the fact that she is brave indeed, and it’s about time I should put a ring on it.

If you’ve survived through the full story and reached here, chances are I might have already put a ring on her finger and signed away every shred of freedom in my life, forever.

I’m happy, actually. Wish me luck. 🙂

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We are Man City fans and will ‘try’ to stay humble

Manchester City is in an amazing run of form, with record consecutive wins and unbeaten yet in every competition this season. We City fans, who no longer have to hold a neon board saying WE EXIST to get noticed, are enjoying every moment of this. Of course it hasn’t come without some obvious, and at times ridiculous, criticism. Let’s take a look at some of the excuses/criticism people have showered over our fanbase:

1. Pep is a cheque-book manager. My granny could win the league with such a team.

No. Your granny may be a better centre-back than Mangala, but she couldn’t be a better manager than Pep. Fabian Delph is playing really well at left back, and your senile grandmother could not even think of such an idea because in all probability her name is Arsene Wenger.

2. Pep is a bald fraud. He will lose and get exposed soon.

I agree that City will lose. May be we will get battered badly in an odd game too. But will that ‘expose’ Pep? Yes. It will expose that team fatigue is a thing, and a manager and his players are humans after all. I promise we’ll go down fighting, because that is the way we play, and Pep will not blame the loss on the fact that Pogba, Zlatan and Rojo were injured.

3. If you take away goals that Sterling has scored, you’ll be a point behind Man United.

True, but why stop at Sterling? In fact, remove goals by Aguero, Jesus and Sane, and we would be in the relegation zone right now. Go further, take away all the saves by Ederson too. No, because then you’d have to take away the saves by De Gea, and that is a scary idea, isn’t it, my dear United fans? Let me tell you why you can’t take away goals by Raheem Sterling. It’s because HE’S TOP OF THE LEAGUE *chants frantically*

4. You got lucky with Mane’s red card.

May be we did get lucky with that because a boot to the face is okay as long as you can touch your head and say “God swear my intention was not to knock Ederson’s head off“. The fact that we were already leading 1-0 at that point, and that Liverpool conceded 4 more without losing a defender, makes it a little more about grit than just luck

5. Sterling dived for the penalty and the third goal was offside.

Granny! Is that you??

So, we’re going to stay positive, and enjoy the football as Pep’s team puts up brave and attacking performances on the pitch because as they say,
“Haters gonna hate, single people gonna masturbate”
Wait, what? Potatoes gonna potate? What sense does that make?

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Should I just count my blessings instead??

Life hasn’t been great lately. Well, it hasn’t been great at any point of time in my life, as my face structure and life choices will tell you, but last few months have been a little extra demanding. I don’t usually introspect, except once in my third semester when I probably had a rather strong dose of ‘herbal’ nebulisation, and went thinking about the meaning of life. In case you are wondering if I found it, yes, I did: “Carrom bambanu, juice peevanu, majja ni life.”

In my small little world, where everyone from my parents to my brother to my special someone has been overprotective of me, I’ve lived rather lavishly in an emotional sense. Yet somehow, I’ve spent the last few months pondering over what all is wrong in my life, so that I can feel Bollywood-ish and look outside my window like Ranbir Kapoor looks at the rain in a lot of his scenes. It will be closer to an uglier Ishant Sharma looking at the Delhi smog in my case, but worth a shot.

So, I tried and made a list of what I thought wasn’t going good for me, and here are a few unedited notes:

1. Least gratitude-inducing job in the medical world.

I’ll be honest here, my pay isn’t so much that I can go home and feel nice about my job because I get to spend the remaining day going online and buying things that I don’t actually need. My only shot at job-satisfaction being a doctor is a patient thanking me for my contribution to his health. My job as an anaesthesiologist ensures that my patients give me utmost respect when they say the words “Matlab aap apni field me exactly karte kya ho?”. It’ll never get old. Or less irritating.

2. Being away from my better(and saner)-half.

No matter how many promises she has made to me about tolerating me for the rest of her life or I have made to her about trying to come up with better jokes and not breaking into “mera rang De Basanti Chola” while passing the Indian Flag at CP, and better general conduct in front of her friends, a little insecurity is bound to creep in when one is in a long distance. She says she has made peace with it, but my friends tell me that the fact that she is dating me is enough to prove that her decision making is questionable. After all, she did say ‘yes’ to a guy whose number plate would probably read “BURI NAZAR WALE TU KYA UKHAAD LEGA, KISMAT PEHLE HI G**NDU HAI MERI”

3. Receding hairline.

May be it’s the tense exam-going year, or may be it’s the fact that I use Ayur/Patanjali shampoo to save money, or may be just unfortunate genetics, but my hairline is receding faster than Arvind Kejriwal’s common sense. A hair transplant will be a necessity in some years, or may be my contacts will ignore my balding head because my nose is still the funniest part of my face.

4. Exam-Going Post Graduate year.

I’m called an EGPG now by my peers, to which my usual reply is “behen ki gaali de do, EGPG na kaho”. My books make as much sense to me as GST makes to economists. Ask Arjun Kapoor to act well or ask me questions about my field, the response will be an awkward 10 minutes of err-umms followed by an amazing dance performance on “Hawa Hawa”.

The above nonsense can also be summarised as a sentence that I’m a mature-for-age doctor in a secure relationship about to be done with my MD degree soon, but what fun is that? Also, it doesn’t allow me to look out the window and imagine “Kabiraa” song playing in the background.

Apni chhoti si duniya me main khud ko hero samajhta hu.


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