Of the several gaffes I have committed over the last twenty six years in my life (which have included two excruciatingly painful, cacophonic years of forced classical singing), the one that makes all others look ludicrous, transpired on the 5th of October, 2013 – the day I kissed my then crush, and now girlfriend, Sampriti.
Four months had gone by, since the most beautiful girl on the planet had walked in and asked for my notes – throwing both our MBA aspirations out of the coaching class window, and sparking a geeky romance that involved arithmetic (in my defence, I was using school level mathematics to impress a gold medallist in Statistics), fine vocabulary, beef steak and warm, disappointing Kingfisher at Olypub. Until one day, it was the beginning of Durga Puja and I found myself kissing her in the back of Olypub – where drunk couples who couldn’t find their coordinates often came down for a smoke. As our minds exploded into molten vanilla for a while, and the whole world grew obscure – my inner academic asshole kicked into overdrive.
I broke off the kiss midway, held her in my arms (in full view of a gawking child who’d been watching us from below) and said, “We are getting late for class.”
The Gods stopped doing whatever they were doing, and looked down at us with their heads in their hands. The classic face-palm moment.
I noticed those beautiful eyes widen in incredulity, before they narrowed and she slowly muttered, “Are you fucking serious?”
And before I realised my life-altering mistake, she broke off from my arms and shot back sarcastically, “Hey, we are getting late for Logical Reasoning. Let’s go.”
Even today, sometimes in the middle of nasty arguments, when we are lying in bed, she mutters in disgust, “I still can’t believe you said that.”
“You look stunning! I wish time would stop right now, and I could spend my entire life gazing into your eyes.”
“Thank you, for making me feel so special, love.”
Three and a half years back, I was seated across the most beautiful woman on earth. The lambent glow of the candle, the frosted bottles of bubbling Corona and the silently sizzling grilled turkey had vanished into the spate of emotions that gushed through our veins. She had just travelled across two cities, and I had sold the jersey of my favourite football team to garner enough funds for an expensive lunch, an overnight stay at a cheap hotel (that reeked of cigarettes), and a two way ticket between my hometown and hers.
Like the celebrated British spy, Mr Bond (who had questionable taste in weaponry and excellent taste in women) at the casino table, with Ms Vesper Lynd by his side – I had gone all in. This was it – the metaphorical point of no return. It was either to be the comfort of a permanent domicile in her heart, or the choking, chafing bleakness of the noose around my neck (again, metaphorically. My bouts of depression involve long hours of staring at the wall in front of me, interspersed with deep sighs and wallowing in self-pity.) With bated breath and under the relentless condemnatory stares of my forefathers (and their ludicrously failed attempts at romance), I gathered my strewn around wits and asked her the all-important question:
“So, you like pork?”
A long pause followed, during which I recounted all the prayers that I had learnt during my childhood – now rolling in the dirt of my scepticism and perversion.
My confidence restored, I probed further: “Will you spend the rest of your life with me?”
“Of course. Why would I travel this far, otherwise?”
I felt the wind knocked out of me. For the first time, a beautiful, rational woman had affirmed her love to my favourite culinary animal, and had decided to rest her faith in a fickle man of questionable character and wit.
I rose from my seat, took her hand in mine and thanked her and God for her short-sightedness.