It was a usual pre-diwali fun with college friends at Dehradun, just before everyone started packing their bags for a few days diwali hiatus. Prashant, was constantly over the phone. This got me pissed, and I snatched his mobile, in order to scare the Venus disciple on the other side. The voice was sweet and innocent, and I just ended up wishing her Diwali greetings, and requested her call Prashant sometime later. After the jittery talk, I hung up. We packed our bags, and bade each other goodbye.
Diwali is always at its usual best in Nainital, my home town. I was enjoying with my family and friends. Prashant called me and after our boy’s talk I poked him, to share that girl’s number I talked to that day over phone, just in order to annoy Prashant. Instead, he shared some verbal volleys with me but unknowingly told me the girl’s name. Her name was Arti. I hung up and joined my family at the celebrations. A few days later I called Prashant. He told me that Arti was wishing me Diwali greetings, but was not willing to share her number. A smile came across my face and my cheeks were puffed.
We were back to college, and the usual routine followed. One day, when I was at Prashant’s room, I started pestering him about Arti, just as all the usual topics were over. He told me that she is a good girl, and he have known her from his school days. Good girls are hard to find, and so I climbed up the almirah, rested my soft back on its door, and opened up Prashant’s bulky suitcase to get Arti’s photographs. The suitcase had every insignificant memoirs from Prashant’s childhood days but not the photographs. I climbed down. But then he insisted that it has to be in there. I considered giving another chance. I climbed again like a well trained monkey. The other friends, Vedant, Mukul and Manish started cheering me. In there excitement, they were constantly hitting me at my torso. In their words, they were encouraging me, and I was bound to take it as a motivation. The photograph was worth the try. The photograph was clicked almost 4 years back at their school farewell. Arti was looking splendid in her green salwar-suit, with her long, curly hair draping her shoulders. The innocence in her voice the other day, could have been associated to a face like her’s only. Though she was standing in a corner, but possessed the magic to draw every eyeball towards that secluded corner. I insisted Prashant to give me the number. After much persuasion, and several weeks of his talking to Arti, and finally getting her approval, Prashant gave me her number.
It was her birthday and I called her up for the first time. We had more of a formal conversation but I was sure that she was eagerly waiting for my call. After more such formal conversations, we finally decide to meet. Prashant arranged for the meeting at CCD, Rajpur road, and was supposed to be present there himself. But some work turned up, or it was deliberate on his part, and it was just Arti and me ending up at CCD. When I entered, she was already seated there. I had thought of playing some pranks on her, as she had not seen me earlier, but her beauty got me perplexed and I just ended up stammering infront of her. Inside I was cursing myself as I could have performed much better. Gradually I came back to normal self and we talked over a cup of coffee. Later we strolled around the city, to which we agree today, that no other thing or person could have motivated us to walk that long distance from CCD to clock tower. There was something building between us.
A series of short meetings and late night conversations over the phone followed. We were getting to know each other, when one day Mukul ended up with what I would say added spark to our relationship. It was Valentines day. I had not called Arti since morning. I was at my room in the evening, when Arti called me. What I could hear at the other end was just sobs. She was crying like a little child. It was Valentines day and anytime I was expecting some emotional outburst from her end. Inside my mind I was constructing some intimate replies from my end. Denying her proposal – No way, I was no hunk. I tried to console her, and to my surprise got to hear the new side of the story. After having some leisure drinks with friends, Mukul had called Arti and abused her. This was because the other day, he had dropped Arti to her home, on my request as I was engaged with some other work. For this I had annoyed him irritably. His anger blew after a few drinks upon Arti. Hearing the whole episode, I called up Mukul, and there was an intense argument between the two of us. My love story, which I had thought would take a step further on that valentines day, took a different direction. But that day, I could sense some intimate and true feelings for Arti. All courtesy to Mukul for making me realize that I truly and deeply needed Arti.
From that day onwards our conversation involved some serious topics related to life and other such somber stuff. Finally, after 5 months of knowing each other on 24 March 2007, I proposed Arti to which she gladly accepted, as if waiting for that very day. It was a real task for me and took me two continuous screenings of Namaste London to gather courage to propose her. Finally all is well that ends well.
Today, we have spent 5 years of love and togetherness and our commitment for each other has resulted in our marriage on 24 Feb 2012.
Dated: 2nd August 2012