E18hteen – 2. You’ve Got Mail…

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0/18 – Prologue

1/18 – A Walk To Remember

2/18 – You’ve Got Mail…

” I hate melodrama, even in movies, but I’ve had the misfortune of having the most at extremely important moments in my life… thanks to you… I’m pretty sure you’ve got similar nice things to say about me too… There is nothing I’d say now that would make the incidents that happened after the trip less painful…
I know we were young and borderline immature, but I never realised you’d take the thing I said so much to heart. . .

I was 16 Abhi… and so were you… I could never understand how you were so sure about me when I couldn’t even decide what to wear for the tuitions in the evenings…
In my then 16 years of life, especially the past 3 years of being a pretty beautiful teenager, I’d always got those appreciative glances, the subtle smile on the lips of the guys trying to make eye contact and of course the straight on stares from the not so young… But yeah no one saw me the way you did…

No guy except my dad and except when it was my birthday had ever gifted me anything… Probably I intimidated them or none of them actually took the efforts… So I was kinda flabbergasted when you walked upto me with that ‘Theme Music walk’… pressed that gift in my palms and kissed my hand…
I know you might not believe me, but even after what happened then… I kept that gift with me throughout… for a long time…

Your unabashed brashness got me confused… since I knew you for just about a year now and the reputation you had of being at ease with all the girls made me do what I did… All this coupled with my perennial confusion about my life, made me pass on that letter to you through Swathi… I know that this letter is Waaaaaay longer than that excuse of a letter I’d written… A letter that just had 3 lines…. That letter made me realise the power of words… I didn’t know whether I should be amazed by my writing capabilities or give you a rap on your head for thinking the way you did… I left for my holidays a bit confused, anxious… But happy…
Even now on retrospect, I don’t think those couple of lines warranted such an extreme reaction from your side… Abhi… you know very well that it was whimsical but what you did closed a few doors in my heart… The doors that weren’t easy to pry open… who would know that better than you Abhi…
It took me some time Abhimanyu…
But I’d finally… fallen in…
Hate with you… ”

I wanted to destroy this page… This particular phase of my life…. I pensively looked out through the window… Nope… I wasn’t going to be blessed with clichés… The sun was still scorching and I decided to bestow myself with the cliché I needed…
I twirled my moustache a couple of times… lit up another cigarette… The dense cloud of smoke transported me to a very tumultuous time in my adolescent life…

That letter… The goddamned letter which I couldn’t take out from my head. . . It nagged me at the back of my head that my Mrinalini had such an opinion of me…

Abhi… I’m leaving for a couple of weeks… don’t forget me and go behind someone else in the meantime… I hope you won’t. . Bye.. take care…
RINA

This was the first ‘love’ letter I received… On retrospect my actions seemed borderline ruthless… But this wasn’t just an one off incident…

A couple of weeks before that, was her birthday and I’d decided to get her something… The budget for the same was partially sponsored by my Dad… just that he didn’t quite know about it…
It took me some more time to muster the finances and I also had help from Viju who accompanied me for the shopping….after a lot of time, deliberation and rejection.. I zeroed in on something that showed I cared… I gave her the gift a week after her birthday…
She smiled…
By God, she looked precious… She was overjoyed… I could see that she loved it… and seeing her so happy made me want to kiss her… I moved a bit closer… I held her hands… and then she came up with the question…

This is not the first time you’ve gifted something like this to a girl right

All I could do was smile and kiss her palm… In the following days there were quite a few snide and not so snide remarks from her friends who thought they had me measured…
All these events in addition with that flucking letter made me feel worse about myself…
I hated that it made me believe that I wasn’t what I thought… A bout of self doubt prevailed… I didn’t know what was right anymore… I was in the doubt whether I was what people around perceived me to be or was I trying too hard to fit the perception of me… it took me a few days to clear my head off these cobwebs…

Rina… you were my weakness and gradually… you became my strength… your unseen presence ensured that my holidays went from an abyss to an arcadia… I couldn’t wait to see you…

And then the Day happened… The day that changed everything without even asking prior permission. . .

I was meeting you after 15 days… I wanted to say a lot of things… and because I have a flucked up memory… I’d even written it down…
I so wanted to take you to ‘our’ spot, sit down next to you… move that perennial lock of hair from your cheek and place it softly behind your ears… look into your eyes and say…

Mrinalini. . . People might term me someone who’s sort of a casanova… A word that I don’t specifically approve… But the alternative word is something I despise… I’d never wanted that tag. . . I’m just comfortable around girls and to a considerable extent.. so are they… But yeah, I’m fascinated by the idea of love… I never knew that I could concentrate the entirety of my ability to love, on one person… till I met you. . . I was not a person who’d suddenly burst into a jig when there’s rain and neither was I a person who’d longingly look at the Sunset and earnestly wait for the sunrise… But all that changed. .. because till you entered my life, I never felt that these things belonged to me… I never felt that they were for me… because I hadn’t yet fallen in love with you… somehow due to the love that’s blossomed somewhere inside my heart, I’ve understood the method in the madness… when you meet the right person, all the romantic aberrations seem sensible…
I have started seeing your presence around me…The earthy smell during the rains is your fragrance… The first rays of sunlight caressing my skin is your touch… The gentle sea breeze that ruffles my hair is your playfulness. . . I’ve always believed that love has no age… it makes even a 60 yr old to dream like a 16 yr old… I’m anyway just 16… I wished the school days started earlier and it never ended… It is the only language that has no linguistic barriers… The most earnest prayer in this world… I love you Rina

I’d played this entire scenario in about 243 different types in my head… I’d tried memorising the lines and delivering it in varying levels of baritone… I was so happy seeing you… I still remember you walking towards me… looking into my eyes and asking me to promise that I hadn’t found anyone else in the time you weren’t there…
I snapped… and before I could take you to our place… hold your hands… caress that lock of hair… look into your eyes… I did something I’d regret for a long time…
An approach that I didn’t quite chalk up… An unnecessary godforsaken 244th different approach…

I Flucking broke up with you…

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