Haasar and The Hatman
#3 Aboorva Sagodharargal (Rare Bros.)
This is a story.
A ‘fictional‘ retelling of a story that many of us would have seen, heard, faced, lived or probably long forgotten.
When we were kids, there was nothing more in this world we wanted than to grow up.
I wanted to grow up.
I wanted to have my first cigarette. I wanted to have my first beer. I wanted to move out of my parent’s home into my very own ‘crib’. I wanted to join college where I could rough up seniors who had a problem with me liking a girl from their batch.
I wanted to fall in love.
I wanted to fall in love with that one person who would change everything.
A person who would make me forget that my school exams didn’t define me. Someone who would playfully admonish me every time I goofed up. Someone who would be there to tell me that the words of my parents were meant to encourage and not push me to harm myself.
I wanted to fall in love with that one person who would make me a better person with her presence.
A person who would remind me of my strengths and respect my weaknesses. Someone who would understand my fears and grasp my hand whenever I see a cockroach. Someone who would soothe my anger and try to figure out the root cause of my anger.
I wanted to fall in love with that one person who could effortlessly put a smile on my face.
A person who charmed her way into my heart. Someone who was so stable and independent. Someone who was so sure of being herself that me being myself was the only logical approach.
I met the very person.
I met her.
I was 12. She was 11 and a half.
But wasn’t I too young to fall in love?
So yeah, we became friends.
She made me happy. Her presence made me so comfortable and feel good about myself.
I was 15. She was 14 and a half.
I wasn’t too young, but I wasn’t very brave. What if I ask her out, she shoots me down and I lose out on the opportunity to even be around her?
We continued being friends.
I was 18. She was 17 and a half.
Comparatively older, but still skeptical. I started going to her home regularly. Her parents adored me and I loved the warmth that was extended to me from that household.
We moved on to become family friends.
I was 18 and a half. She was 18.
She fell in love with someone else and someone else fell in love with me. I moved on. She didn’t have to because she was never there. A lot of things happened and in a few years, I was back to square one.
We moved on to become good friends who knew each other’s families well enough.
I was 22. She was 21 and a half.
Both of us were single. The proverbial window opened up just a bit. I saw the light through that window. I was old enough to vote and drink, but I wasn’t brave yet. I could tell her what I felt. I could tell her all the things I kept rehearsing over the span of ten years. I was already comfortable with her surroundings and she was with mine.
Everything seemed to be in place. Everything seemed to be perfect. But then, there was this niggling doubt.
There were a bunch of What-Ifs.
I hated rejection. I didn’t like getting No for an answer and I spent my life avoiding questions that might result in binary replies.
I didn’t want her parents to think I spent time with them just to woo their daughter. I didn’t want to be the friend who didn’t value the sanctity of friendship. I didn’t start working then and was wary of that being an issue with her and her family. I only thought of living a life with her.
Marriage seemed to be the only conclusion I had in mind.
I was 23. She was 22 and a half.
I was in a decent job with good salary. I thought I can finally ask her hand in marriage. I thought I was in a respectable position as warranted by the society around me.I thought I was mature enough to get a ‘No’ and was convinced of my speaking skills to ensure I was still in a good light with her parents.
I thought. I thought. I thought. I thought.
I didn’t do anything when she walked up to me to tell that her parents were looking for a prospective groom.
I didn’t do anything when she showed me his photo. I didn’t dop anything when I received the invitation card. I didn’t do anything when I saw their wedding photos on social media.
I didn’t do anything at all.
Some friends called me a loser, some called me ‘Devdas’, some called me an idiot while others called me a coward.
I don’t know.
It is easy to spew advice on love, life and relationships.
Retrospection is a pain. Looking back, probably things could have been different.
If I was a bit more brave, things would have been different. If I was a bit more aware, things would have been different.
If that common friend had told me about the way she blushed when she first realised I had feelings for her, things would have been different.
If I knew the real reason for her to take those extra classes to ensure she returned on the same bus with me, things would have been different.
If I knew the logic behind her mail-id, things would have been different.
If I knew why her home always seemed to have my favourite snacks stocked, things would have been different.
If I knew that she had a pang of jealousy everytime I spoke of a friend from college, things would have been different.
If I knew that at one point of time, both of us wanted similar things from each other, things would have been different.
But I didn’t know.
She might have not known it too.
We all have that somebody in our lives who were so close yet so far.
All of us have the ‘one’ that we needed, wanted and loved so hard that it hurt at times.
We all have somebody who would have fit perfectly into the gaps between our fingers.
The ‘one’ who would be the reason for our happiness and success.
We all have that special ‘One’.
Some go their entire lives living with that ‘one’ some others go their entire lives searching for that ‘one’.
Some go their entire lives searching for that ‘one’.
Some go their entire lives waiting for that ‘one’.
And there are some others, the ones who are smart enough to figure out things. Even if it is pretty late.
Some others like me who are not stagnant but are successfully moving on with whatever life offers and what we claim as ours.
Someone like me who go their entire lives living life to the fullest.
Someone like me, who is all fine till we hear that one song or see that one movie scene or feel the breeze in a nondescript location.
The thought train then leaves the present to go on a journey that is fiercely private and well-guarded in the chambers of our heart.
Just to have a brief look into the “What-Ifs” and “Could-Haves”.
A brief meeting with our special ‘One’.
The “one” that wasn’t meant to be.
The “one” that we loved.