It was an unusually chilly morning for Bombay. I woke up real early (around 4:00 AM) to write a poem for her. I had bought the small wallet sized blank card the evening before and I was honestly marveling at my stupidity. Such a tiny card? How the hell am I gonna fit even two lines into that? She might not even see this on her desk! Wah Wah…tussee great ho Yoguji.
But after a while…when the panic subsided (and the calm mind reminded me of people fitting the Koran on a grain of rice)…I decided to write the poem.
But what do I write? OK…what was the one thing about her that really spoke to me…the one thing that came to my mind every single time I thought of her?…the answer came right back!…her legs. Seriously man, that girl had the most gorgeous pair of legs ever! There was no way I was going to write a poem on her legs though…I was 15…not suicidal or crazy. So what next? Her voice. Yes. Now that was more like it. I loved her voice…strong, clear, crisp and precise! Hmmm…err…that sounds a bit like a soft drink ad. Just imagine Rekha’s voice. It was similar to that.
I obviously don’t remember the lines I wrote 15 years back…but they were something to this effect.
I saw your face, and I was impressed.
I sat behind you, ‘coz of the way you dressed.
Then I heard your voice…and I felt…blessed.
Yadee yadee yaada…
I think there was some mention of her hair too in that but I really have no recollection. I showered quickly, drenched myself in some cologne and ran out to catch the 5:22 local.
We both attended the same private classes and so far, I had not spoken to her even once! I was hoping that today, being V Day and all, would be a good day to break the ice. As I was entering the building, I spotted the phoolwale ki tapri which was closed at that unearthly hour. Like a true romantic, I ended up inside the tapri hoping to find a free rose or some other leftover flower. But all I could salvage were a bunch of decaying roses. Suddenly…a bulb chamkofied somewhere in my cloudy mind and I furiously started plucking out all the non-sadofyed petals. I then carefully stuffed them in the tiny envelope. So that way, I reasoned, when she opens the card…the effect will be magical! Tussee actually great ho Yoguji…*broad grin…self pat-pat*
I entered the empty classroom and located her desk. I slid the card (taped to a piece of stone) in the book compartment underneath the desk so that she won’t miss it. I sat behind her desk and then I waited. And waited. And waited.
All the lazy bums started pouring in quite at the same time. But she didn’t turn up. Her 2 friends came in (the ones she usually came in and sat with)…but she wasn’t there! Crap. It looked like she wasn’t gonna turn up. Of all the days to maro chuttee…she chose the V Day!!! Dhat tere ki! But worse things were in store for me.
You see…I usually address all my romantic mail with…For You (copyright) in front of the card…with the initial "- Y" (copyright) at the bottom. According to my considerable experience…it has a thrilling effect on the receiver. I tried the same here too. Imagine my surprise when her idli-faced friend turned around blushing like a madcap!!! Aiyyo! I returned a frozen smile back to her and started shaking my head slowly…painfully aware that the class was silent and the Professor (forgot his name) had already started talking about “geometric straight lines”. Idli-face now turned her focus on the card. Feeling utterly helpless, I panicked…and just as she was about to open the card I leaned forward with lightning speed and jabbed her in the shoulder with my pen! She yelled out a painful yelp and turned around abruptly…shock and hurt glaring out of her eyes!
The series of events after that are a blurred memory…although I do remember apologizing to the professor…offering to take idli-face to a hospital…and eventually giving the card to its rightful owner…my dearest Anu. Needless to say, after this charming incident…and then some…Anu became my first ever official girlfriend. And as for idli-face…hmmm…I know this will sound cruel…but I seriously can’t remember what happened to her.