Monday, May 20, 2013

The Stranger : Undefined Relationships- Prelude

You know there are those moments in your life you look back at and wonder at times how things would have turned out had you chosen the other path. It was one of those moments. I don’t remember sharing this with any one before in particular . I was in class 9th and it was at one of those boring marriage reception dinner parties where people try their level best to look busy and avoid being looked upon as an out of sync idiot. Well, I certainly have never been that good at doing that and it certainly showed. Then about an hour into the party I was introduced by my father to the kid (same age luckily) of one of his co-workers. He seemed to have been at some of these parties before and I, not sharing his experience in any way, happily let him lead the way.

It was just then that I met him, that guy who was a perfect stranger to me. I had never seen him before and I would never see him again. I don’t even remember his name or where he was from. I honestly didn't care enough to register him when we had started chatting. But I remember his face to an extent, not because he sparkled in the night sky (pun totally intended Edward-lovers) but because it had a certain gloom about him which struck me even as the naive kid which I was back then. Then why am I telling you all this? Well, I am because of his story which I didn't care about enough that day would come to haunt me after some very interesting teenage years.

Let me provide a background check on that guy first. He was probably 22 or 23 or something. He had one of those kinds of faces which looked like it had at one point of time been inscribed with pain. He was the son one high-ranked official and probably was well of for his life-time without him needing to work much if at all. But he was dressed as plainly as one could and sat in a relaxed manner at one of the corner table sipping away at his cola.

He seemed to be an acquaintance of the guy with me so when we went and sat over at his table he started chatting. It was just normal chit-chat in the beginning. Then he asked me if I had a girlfriend. It seemed odd at first that he asked me that but it was pretty normal back then, at least when asked by people my age. So shaking off the initial hesitation I answered,” Yeah, kind of… maybe.” He surely was more confident of what he wanted to say and he continued,” Do you love her?” I somehow was innocent enough (in plain words stupid) or maybe unsuspecting and I continued to answer. “Yes, I love her”
He then looked at my face as if he was studying it or maybe wanted to remember something. The guy who had introduced me to him just sat there and listened as if he knew what was to follow. And then he smiled and closed his eyes. He seemed to give a strange feeling, as if he knew something which I didn't  And then he started telling me something which I remember even today.

“I was like you kid. I had just passed my 10th board examination. I was my school topper, one of the district toppers, high merit in the state list even. 70+% in UP board, big deal then. People expected something good from me. My parents, they expected something great from me. I expected it too. I had it planned out, had a great future in front of me.  And then I met her.”

The other guy with me interrupted and told me that he had heard about this “bhaiya” from his father and was told that he was “real good at studies”

The stranger smiled and continued, “I had been a studious one, not much of contact with the ladies. She was like a breath of fresh air. I became friends with her. We started hanging out during the lunch time, then after school hours. It grew and slowly the focus of my life shifted. I didn’t want the glory or anything. I believed that love would take me through. I stopped studying, mingling with friends. I thought we were meant to be. One year passed. And then…”
He broke off. He didn't tell me anymore. It all seemed a little too dramatic at that time. Interesting but dramatic nevertheless. I gathered my courage and went on to ask him, “What do you do now?” He told me he had spent his years after his school doing a meaningless polytechnic degree and was now preparing for MBA. I asked him, “Where is she now?” He told me,” That is the point kid. I don’t know

After that we didn't talk about it. Some useless chit-chat and then I was called on by my parents to leave. He just told me one thing before leaving, “Sambhalke rehna ye pyaar se. Abhi chote ho, nahi samjhoge.”

I shrugged the guy off and continued to live with my notion of love and relationships, trying to find the perfect companion. My priority list was extremely different you see from most of those at my age. Luckily for me, I still had time to tinker before it was too late.

I don’t know if this story means anything to you. It didn't to me too until recently. In fact I had all but forgotten about the incident but looks like it was stored in some tiny fragment of my frail, little brain.
This story is one the reasons for the upcoming article of mine. How you will understand soon enough. We need to understand the difference between love and madness in these times of

Live young, wild and free but be careful when need to be. Life is all about prioritizing. Prioritize soon and prioritize well.