How I Met Your Mother


Prologue

Hey Buddy!!! Your mother has recently accused me of not being expressive enough of my love for her. Of not saying how much I love her and expressing my love on social media like Facebook with such terms of endearment as Janu, Sona, My Love, My Life, and not posting photos of her cooking with the caption Made by my Lovely Wife. I have always been a very shy and reticent person who likes to keep his thoughts to himself. But today I am going to tell you a story. This is a story of a simple village boy and a smart city girl, how their different worlds collided and became one. This is my storyOur story.of How I met your mother. The title of the story is borrowed from a popular soap opera but the rest of the story is carved from the pieces of my heart . You are too small to understand it now but one day you will grow up and read this and convey it to your mother and then she will understand..

Chapter 1 : The Girl on the Platform

The story starts years ago on a train. I, a third year student, was travelling to Kolkata to join a tution class. As I alighted on the platform and was looking for my buddies, I saw this girl get off the train. As she passed me with a smile on her lips, a cool breeze blew across the parched valley of my heart. It was just a moment, an instant, and then it was gone.. she was lost in the milling crowd. My mates approached me and soon I was on my way to my classes with the image of this girl with a lovely disarming smile. Little did I know then that we were destined to meet again on the same dayand then again. and again.. that the smile will remain with me forever.. and like the sun brighten up my dull days..like the lode-star guide me through my darkest nights..


Chapter 2 : And Here We Meet Again

It was my first day at the coaching centre. I promptly arrived and took the only vacant seat available. As I looked around , I was surprised to see a girl seated across the room. The Girl with the Golden Smile, watching me her captivating eyes. I was intrigued. I wanted to know her name, to befriend her. But being a shy kind of guy who hardly spoke to girls outside his circle, I retreated back to the comfort of my cocoon. But, by the end of the day I somehow managed to know the name of my mystery girl.Madhumita

I never believed in love at first sight. I still dont. In subsequent days I formed a more clearer picture of her. A fair skinned Brahmin girl from a well to do family from the suburbs of Kolkata, thinking herself superior to the rest, living in her ivory tower and looking down upon and judging people like me from small town. Well I disliked her then. I normally was a chivalrous young man but I decided to adopt this cavalier tone towards her. We even had a few fights. One day as I was taking some papers of my friends to the get them xeroxed, she asked me if I could take hers as well. I was piqued. How could she just sit there smugly and order me around. Cant you get them done yourself? Are your feet made of clay?, I quipped. We had our fight, but I got them done xeroxed anyway. For gods sake I was not a monster to turn down pretty girls.. I was just showing her a bit of my attitude.

Judging people while not sufficiently knowing them is a crime. And as time passed I realized the depth of my fallacy. It was not she who was judgemental, I was. She was just diametrically opposite to the image I had formed of her. It was my insecurity, a dark skinned small town boy hailing from a so called lower caste Hindu family, that I had projected onto her. It was fuelled by the endless chatter of her friends who liked to bitch behind her back. welcome to the girls world (me being too sexist eh, well if its any comfort we boys do it as well). With time we slowly started conversing a little and started to know each other.. Our prejudices started to melt away……

Chapter 3 : The Proposal

She was this colourful vibrant young woman whom everyone desired. I was this reticent, brooding young man whom people liked to despise. My shyness was often taken to be a mark of my arrogance. There could not have been two different people imaginable. But they say opposites attract..

I used to steal glances at her while pretending to be deeply immersed in studies. One day as I looked up at her, I saw her looking back at me. Our eyes met……Those deep dark eyes looking into mine.and I knew. I tore my eyes awaybut something sharp had already pierced my heart. The cupid had cast its proverbial arrow. Focus I said, focus on your studies, you could not fall into love at this point. Concentrate on your studies, exams are ahead. Failures had taught me one thing in life - to focus on your goal. So, my mind said pay attention to your studies you fool. But the love bug had bitten deep and I could feel its poison run through my veins. I had to get it out of my system. I had to let her know of my feelings..

We used to find excuses to talk to each other. But we were always with a room full of people. Iwe. wanted some time alone. One day at the end of the classes I found her lingering behind. Her friends had left. I took my cue and took an unusually long time to tie my shoelaces. So, my friends also moved ahead. Finally we were the only two left behind. Our friends seem to have deserted us today. Lets walk together to the station, I said. Okay, she replied in her sweet voice. So, instead of taking a rickshaw we walked to the station together. It was awkward though. We did not know what to say to each other. It was long silence.. a bit of forced conversation. then silence. anyhow we somehow made it to the station together. We parted ways. Stupid fellow, I said to myself, what were you thinking, you would be lucky if she ever talks to you again. But I could not be more wrong. We went for classes twice a week and the next day the same routine followed except that this time the conversation flowed more naturally. This continued for weeks. Had the others noticed? They surely must have, but at that time I couldnt have cared less.

Our classes were coming to an end. Then came the Bengali festival of Neel Sasthi. I would surely propose to her on this auspicious day. But the words never came out. I cursed myself…… surely the next day. I was determined this time around. I started with light conversation. She seemed in an unusually cheerful mood. As we approached the platform time seemed to run out. I gave her a Subho Nobo Borso (Happy Bengali New Year) card. She seemed to like it. Say itWe were now on platform No.1 taking the overbridge towards platform No.2.. Say it . I opened my mouth to utter those three magical words. You know, today is my Birthday, she said suddenly. Oh Hell. should I say it now? What if she says no? It would spoil her birthday and I would never be able to forgive myself for making her sad on her birthday……Next day perhaps.. But someone inside me cried out. Be a Man, its today or never. I mustered enough courage and asked her cautiously Have you loved anyone before?”……. awkward silence.. Man I had blown this .. After a long silence she said encouragingly Actually I never have.”…… This was my moment.. I said, You know how I feel about you??? Do you feel the same.”……..more silence. Then slowly she replied, You know how I feel, dont you???”…..

That day when the train came to a halt at my hometown I was not on it. I was miles away with someone special. We had found love, and we were not willing to let it go. Though I couldnt afford any expensive gifts, she afterwards told me she got her best birthday gift on that day .…… Love.



Chapter 4 : Things That People in Love Do

Love is a wonderful emotion. It uplifts you, transforms your dreary everyday existence into the ecstasy of Eden…….. But Love can also be a hard taskmaster, especially if you don’t have a penny in your pockets……

Vignettes

Scene 1: A couple is sitting on a bench on the Platform. Trains come… trains go….people are rushing by….they are oblivious….they just look into each others eyes….

Scene 2 : A railway overbridge….. a couple are having their first fight…. They are planning to go to a restaurant. They are arguing about who will pay the bill…. the boy wants to pay…. the girl offers to pay as she knows he doesn’t have a penny on him….

Scene 3: A boy and a girl are walking…..sometimes holding hands, sometimes apart…. they don’t know for how long they have been walking……they don’t know where the path will take them…. the girl is not used to walking, you can see her feet bleeding….but she doesn’t care…..they have each other…..

Scene 4 : A hot summer afternoon…. It’s 45 degrees outside and humid…. there’s not even a dog on the road….. a boy appears, holding an old rickety bicycle in one hand, a mobile phone on the other….he is soaked in sweat…sweat is running in streams from his forehead, his eyes are blinded by it….. but he is afraid to wipe the sweat from his brows, least the call get disconnected….. wonder who he is talking to…..

Chapter 5 : Enter the Villain

Every love story needs a villain…. I too had mine…only in my case the villain was not a person…. It was much more than that….. It was one of the Seven Deadly Sins….. My Sloth….

For four long years I had been living in a dream world. We had become so lost in one another that the outside world did not exist. But this dream bubble burst with the first prick of reality….. One day a call came…..“They are fixing my marriage. Today I am supposed to pose for my profile photo”.….

All Hell broke loose….my world had turned upside down…. “Hang on”, I said, “I will always be with you…… just don’t let go”…..

Thus began the most difficult phase …….the struggle to stay together, the struggle to stay alive…. of burning the midnight oil, of frantic searches in newspapers and magazines for jobs, of giving job interviews….. “Just hang on….don’t let go”……

Finally my Bela Bose*** moment arrived…… only in my case, my Bela was there on the other end of the line…..

Chapter 6 : A New Beginning

With the sounds of Shehnai, ullur dwoni and saankh I arrive###, clad in the traditional Bengali Punjabi and Dhuti….. She awaits in an upper room in her red Benasari Sari…… rituals are performed…. garlands are exchanged…..shoes are stolen. Tears are shed at the Bidai….. As we depart for our home, she sitting beside me, it all slowly begins to sink in… it was end of one journey and the start of another…..

(And They Fought Happily Ever After)

Epilogue

Here my son, I rest my case. You be my messenger, and convey my message to her that ours was a Love that that overcame the hurdles of penury, caste, colour, status and inverted the accepted social norms……. and may be….. just may be….. one day she will understand…..



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P.S. - The above piece was written as a series of Facebook posts to woo back the affection of my estranged wife.

(Notes -

***Bela Bose is a song by the famous Bengali auteur Anjan Dutta in which a boy telephones his girlfriend after getting a job. But the call came just a bit too late….

### This Para describes the Bengali Marriage Rituals)

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2 comments:

How I Met Your Mother

Prologue Hey Buddy!!! Your mother has recently accused me of not being expressive enough of my love for her. Of not saying how much I ...