…is so hard on the knees. So goes a rock song. It was sung by Aerosmith – thats the name of a rock band, in case you did not know. I am not sure why it was named so. In fact, I am puzzled by most rock band names –
Megadeth – sounds like a unit of death! Their junior band would be called Kilodeth I suppose!
Iron Maiden – Wonder how she would look like. All black and shiny , except of course, if she does not have rust on her. She is Iron, remember? And iron rusts – basic science, dear!
Sex Pistols – Now, what can I say about that!
Anyways, we could now go on with analysing all the bands and tearing their names to pieces. But I am not here to do that, am I?
I wanted to write about “falling in love”, and the immediate line that came to mind was ” is so hard on the knees”. Now, please do not get me wrong. I have not had any bad experiences with falling in love, so much that I have broken my knees. There’s only one place I fall everyday, and that is sleep.
But I was just remembering my college days, and I was reminded of an incident, in my first year, when a certain somebody fell for me. No, fell as in, fell in love. Cannot disclose her name for reasons of confidentiality. last heard, she was married and enjoying her state of marital bliss. Can’t say the same about the guy I think. Anyways, so she actually fell in love with me. Or that is what she said.
I do not exactly remember the events that transpired, before we found each other under a huge banyan tree in the park, but it was a sunday afternoon. And the park was adjacent to the bus stop. Not a very ideal place for coochie-cooing and talking sweet nothings, but then I was hardly in the mood for it. It had been around 3 months before I was beginning to find my bearings in the college, and I was surprised – no, confused would be more apt – at the situation I landed myself in. And all because i sang?!.
Yep! For the uninitiated, I used to sing. Not in bathrooms alone, but outside of it too. As in, not immediately outside the bathroom door, but in front of people . Ok, you get the picture i suppose. But that was a talent I was immensely proud of, and needless to say, I exhibited that with gay abandon when I joined college – during ragging, in the mess, in the classrooms, and of course in the bathrooms.
This became a hot topic with the girls in their hostel, and I was a star overnight – actually many overnights. Now, the bathrooms were pretty far and secluded from the girls hostel. How they could have heard me singing. On second thoughts, If I sang with “gay abandon”, how could a girl get hooked on to me!!?
Anyways, back to the point. In our initial days, we were a bunch of a few guys and girls who used to hang out together, and she was amongst them. I am not sure how the love bug bit her, but it did. Nobody, except myself, has ever related the word handsome to me. Its usually been – hmm, yeah ok, hmm again, and so on. And I am not a Salman fan either – never removed my shirt (that would have been a different story, or a no-story i suppose!). so, I am thinking it must have been my singing.
And there we were, in the park. We were sitting on the cement parapet surrounding the tree. She had my hands in hers, and she was looking at me. I actually wanted to look at her, but I had a myriad things in mind. That town is not so friendly to outsiders who come in and start making girlfriends. And they show their unfriendliness in a not-so-nice way – dead of night, you are dragged out of your room, and abused at. Now, if they were hitting you, it’s nice. But dragging you out of your sleep and only abusing you is something I do not like – hit me or let me go to sleep.
So, I was looking here and there, when she said, ” Rishi, I am really in love with you, and I am willing to wait for you”. Slightly touched (of course she held my hand), I looked at her, and then she said, ” I can wait even for 5 years”. Now, I am not sure even now, why she said 5 years.
Was it 4 years of college + a year of job and then marriage?
Was 5 considered a lucky number in love? Or
Did she believe in numerology?
Well, I never understood that, but brushing all that aside, I said, ” look, I need sometime to think over this. You are a nice girl, and I respect your feelings, but I cannot tell you anything now.I really need some time.” In reality, I had seen some dhoti-clad villagers looking towards us, and that was making me uneasy.
And so, I did a lot of thinking – over booze parties, over bunking classes and solving crosswords in the last bench. Then, one of her friends came to me and said that she really needs an answer. And with all the seriousness I could muster, I told her that I really am not interested in a relationship, cause I wanted to spend my college time on studies.
(Its a different story that I scored a 65% in the first year while everybody else was way above me!! But what the hell)
I saw her face, and I felt a tinge of sadness – she looked at me, as if she were losing me and all my love. But it had to be done. To achieve my goals, I needed to sacrifice something. With a forlorn look on her face, she almost whispered back, ” ok rishi. I understand. we’ll be friends only.” And I came back, a free bird!
The next few days, we never met. Though I was pretty sure of what I had done, nonetheless, a few doubts had started to creep in. After all I am human being too.
Exactly a week later, I saw her in a college fest. I was standing under my department, and she looked towards me, smiled and waved her hand. For a moment, I thought, ” is this a sign for me?”
And then, I saw it. From behind me, one of my seniors ran towards her with a rose in hand, in typical Hindi film style. I think it was the Miss Rose event for that fest. Just as he neared her, he tripped over one of the tent ropes, and fell right at her feet! He got up, brushed his knees, and gave the rose to her. She smiled at him, then looked at me, and smiled again.
He must have hurt his knees badly, cause, the next day I saw him limping in his room. I could hear the song he was singing.
Oh, by the way, I now know why she said 5 years. She failed the first year in college.