Like all teenage girls I had dreams of how I would meet my love. I am totally against arranged marriage and I kept imagining how I would bump into him in the library or meet him in a train journey, etc. Thanks to all the books that I read and movies that watched!
As the only daughter of my parents they always pampered me. They never said no to anything that I wanted so I was sure I could find a guy of my choice and get away with it.
Unfortunately for me, right through my teens and early twenties I never found the “man of my dreams”! As my friends said probably my expectations were high.
And when I did meet him it was not like what I had imagined. One thing I enjoy most is going for my Dad’s office parties. The parties were generally family parties and most of the friends that I had grown up with would be there anyway, so I enjoyed going for those parties.
This particular party was rather boring. It was a summer two years back and I ended up being there, as I had nothing else interesting to do at home. Most of my friends were out on their annual vacation. My Mom and Dad had found their friends and were busy having a good time. I was looking out for someone of my age group when I saw this guy standing with a drink in his hand and a lost look on his face! I was sure I hadn’t seen him before and I was not sure if had come to the party as a guest.
I was sure he was not new to the colony as somebody would have told me anyway and there were no new entrants in the colony for the past two months. We live in a self-sufficient staff colony, there are about four hundred families and still most of us know each other. After all we bump into each other in the pool, tennis courts, library, club or even the cable walah’s cabin.
So me being the friendly self walked straight to him and introduced myself. Before he could open his mouth Uncle Phil walked in and even before I could say Hello to him he went on… “So there you are Anu, I was looking for you everywhere. I was sure you would be the best person to keep Aditya entertained. Adu this is Anu and she is the chatterbox I was telling you about earlier.” He finished talking and just walked off as someone else was looking out for him! Uncle Phil and Aunty Nancy his wonderful wife live two blocks away from us and is a wonderful couple.
So before I realized I was stuck with Aditya alias Adu for the evening. Adu had just landed in Bombay the day before and Uncle Phil being the only person he knew in Bombay decided to put him up in his house temporarily. Adu had been posted as a Manager in the Bombay branch of a construction company. Time flew that evening. And for once I did not talk a single word. I was listening to Adu talk all along. We enjoyed the food and had desert and even wandered off for a walk around the colony before joining the crowd again. It was time for us to go home and as luck would have it my parents invited Adu home for lunch the next day.
It was surely not love at first sight. All I felt that night was that I had found a good friend who shared my views on most of the things. The next day when we met we felt as though we had known each other for years.
He continued to stay with Uncle Phil. We met almost each evening and went for a game of badminton or just a swim had a drink in the club and he would walk me home. Six months passed like six minutes for me. And I am sure it did for him too.
The first time I realized I missed him was when he had to go to Pune for a month for some training! The first evening after he left I came back home from work picked up my badminton racquet and ran down the stairs when my Mom reminded me that Adu was not in town! I stopped for a moment and then thought I might as well go to the club, just in case I met any of my other friends I might go for a game with them. I did not want my Mom to know that I missed Adu. The second evening I came late back from work, the first time in six months! I had my dinner and went to bed.
For the next one month I spent my evenings reading books and listening to music. Each day I would send long mails to Adu telling him what was going on in Bombay, not that he was very far from there, but still I felt it was my duty to update him with what was going on! It was a very difficult task for me not to call him! I had his hotel number but I also knew that they had practical training during the day and evenings were filled with either parties or discussion on the day’s work! I did not want to disturb him… No, the truth is that I did not want him to know that I missed him.
Even then it did not strike to this stupid brain that I loved him! Adu came back and things were back to normal. A couple of months later Adu had heard about this little trekking expedition in the local hills through his friends and wanted to go. He wanted me to join him as well. As it was on a weekend I agreed to go with him. I was all excited as this would be the first time that we were going out of the colony gates alone, just the two of us together! All along the journey he was holding my hand. I did not talk a single word; I was there listening to him just like it happened on the first day when we met each other.
That was the first time I was wondering what was happening to me. I was still not sure of my feelings. And worst of all I was not sure what he felt about me. What if I had fallen head over heels in love with him and he had just thought of me as a friend. He was with me all along because I was one of the first people he met in this city and I lived close to him and we shared common interests. What if he had a girl friend? What if he was engaged? If he did not have a girlfriend and he was not engaged (he surely did not hint anything of that sort) was he interested in me? Will his family agree?
I had too many questions and no answers. Who could I possibly get all the details from? Not my parents, not Uncle Phil or Aunty Nancy. I did not want anybody to know about what was going on in my mind. The best person to ask was Adu himself, but then I should not make it obvious that I am interested in him. What if he was not interested? I would be making a fool of myself. With all these questions in my confused little brain I walked to Uncle Phil’s house to drag Adu out for a meal that day. I wanted to go shopping and was using that as an excuse to drag Adu out for a meal. What I did not know was that I had bad news waiting for me there.
Adu had been posted to Pune for a year. Adu was all thrilled. He was promoted and transferred to Pune. This meant he had to move out within a week. Seeing his happiness I felt that he did not feel the same way about me as I felt for him. I gave him a big hug, congratulated him and went off to do my shopping. I did not do any shopping that day. I went to my secret spot, a quiet beach in Madh Island and cried my heart out. I knew now that I was madly in love with him. I found the “Man of my dreams”, but then he was slipping away from me. How am I going to stop this?
Me being the person that I am, I refused to even ask him anything. I hated forcing anything on anybody. If he loved me he would have told me. Valentine’s day was just a week away and he wouldn’t be there! So I just decided to go and buy a nice and friendly card for him. I signed the card and dropped it in his mailbox on the way to work next morning.
I went to the airport to see him off. He promised me to visit Bombay once in a while when he gets free time. On Valentine’s Day I got a bunch of flowers delivered at work with a small note saying “To a wonderful friend who will be missed a lot– Love Adu”. The next year was very quiet for me. I did not go out much. I would work out in the gym in the mornings and spend the evenings locked up in my room reading and listening to music. I would wait for the regular mails and occasional calls from Adu. He did not come to Bombay at all. I felt he broke his promise. Probably he had met another Anu there. Who knows, anything could happen! He did not even mention a posting back to Bombay! I had lost my heart a year back and now I was nearly losing all hopes of getting Adu back.
Nearly after a year, Adu called me to tell me that he had some good news for me. I was hoping that he would not say that he was getting married. Even if he had said that I would go for his wedding, wish him good luck and go to my secret hideout and cry my heart out. What else could I do? But he did not say anything that day. All he told me was to take a week off and join him in Delhi. He was going to Delhi for a break with his friends and he wanted me to be there. He told me that he remembered how I had loved Delhi and was looking for a chance to go there again.
I agreed, took a week off and flew to Delhi the following day. He was at the airport to receive me. I was surprised when he told me that he was alone and staying with his cousin, his friends had to cancel the trip in the last minute but then he wanted to come along as he had invited me.
The next day we headed to Agra, to see the beautiful Taj! I was very happy, as that was a place where I could spend an entire lifetime without getting bored. We got out of the car walked to the entrance and I was standing there for the fourth time losing my heart to the Taj when I felt Adu sneak up from behind me and hold my hand. I turned with a confused look on my face when Adu took out a diamond ring and went down on his knees and said “Be mine Valentine”. How could I refuse?
All my dreams had come true and I had the man of my dreams propose to me in perfectly the way that I dreamt!