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This is a romantic story about love on Quora. The man has been in love with the girl for a long time. Unfortunately, they cannot be together. The man always kept the image of that woman in his heart until he grew old.
I recently signed up for Facebook, and to be honest I don’t like it much. It’s not very recreational and I haven’t been able to connect with many old friends. Then I guess that they didn’t make Facebook keeping a 62 years-old man who lives in a quiet place like Nanital in mind. When I saw this page, I was left dumbstruck for a while. The photo at the top of both schools which played such an important role in my life made me shamelessly nostalgic. When I look back and compare this page with today, I feel bitter, unabashedly bitter. Things were very tough when I was in school (1969).
There I was a young Bihari boy with a hint of a mustache, rather skinny but let me tell you very handsomely. My dad used to teach in the Regional Institute of Technology. In the evenings he used to teach Maths and Physics to school-going students. There was where I first met her.
I still remember it, she was wearing a Peacock salwar and a white kameez. A little dark-complexioned (very slight), and she had the prettiest eyes you will ever see. I fell for her right there. It took me quite a few months to talk to her. She used to study in Convent. She was a very simple girl and I was shivering head to toe when I first approached her with a red rose. Surprisingly she said yes the first time itself.
I used to write a letter to her every second day and give it to her when she came for tuition. She used to give me the reply letter for the last one. It continued for almost 3 years until it was finally time for us to leave for college. I met her before leaving for IIT Bombay in front of the Beldih Lake. That was the first time I kissed her. Though I don’t remember much of it, our hearts were racing in fear of getting caught. We knew it wouldn’t talk for a long time rather we couldn’t, there were no means.
But somehow we both were sure that whatever we had between us would last, and last very long. She was going to a local college and I was off to Bombay.
That first year was the most difficult of my entire life. I had the constant worry when I would see her again, and that she would have moved to another city or changed her mind about me. The rains of happiness showered when she was there at Platform 3, Tatanagar Junction waiting for me. We sat together in the Auto on our way back, first dropping me at my place than hers. Those were the first best 15 minutes of my life. We would sneak and meet every day in Jubilee park or Sakchi during the semester breaks.
This happened every year until the end of college. I was the only one in my wing who used to long the entire year going home. College ended and I got a job in BHEL. It was a good job and they gave me a house in Delhi to work there. I knew it was time.
The first thing I did when I came back was meet her, and show her the appointment letter. And before I was going to do it, she said it, ʺwe don’t want to get marriedʺ That was the last time, I remember being so happy. However, we both knew this was not as easy as simply deciding it.
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She was South Indian and I was a Bihari. Family issues were bound to happen. However, I thought my good job and a pretty neat income would do the trick. I left for Delhi to join my new job. I would come back a month later and we would approach our parents together. She didn’t do that. She had approached her parents about me and they shipped her off to Chennai. When I returned and I came to know about this, I rushed to Chennai against my parents’ wishes. It took me three days to get there. Those were the worst 72 hours in my life.
Not knowing what would happen next, I didn’t eat or sleep. When I reached it, it took me a while to find her. I finally did, in T.T.M Mandapam.
She was getting married to an engineer from her hometown. The way she looked at me when I entered their house. I knew I had lost. Amidst all her uncles and relatives and her father shouting and threatening me, the only thing that convinced me that I had lost, was when she folded her hands and cried for me to leave. And I left…
Today she has 2 kids, one son married and the other son in the States. She also has a grandchild, a girl. She lives in Hyderabad. Every year for the 39 years, I have gone to see her. I don’t meet her or make her even aware that I am there. I don’t want her to feel ashamed. I guess I live my life through her. I never knew why she didn’t have the incentive to fight that I had. I guess I will never know.
I am 62, unmarried, retired, live alone in a three-bedroom cottage, and today reading through this confession page, I wonder whether I made the right choice? After that day when I returned from Chennai, I decided I will never let anyone take her place. Was I arrogant and foolish? Today I see couples ʺbreaking upʺ and ʺgetting committedʺ now and then. But I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t even imagine anyone else in her place. I guess people have forgotten what commitment truly is and how loud is the sound of a breaking heart.
But in a way it is good, people remain happier these days, they don’t give up entirely on love after losing it once. It’s good to see society has changed and evolved. Wish it would have done so sooner.
There is a quote that says:
“A great love is not one who loves many, but one who loves one woman for life”.
Perhaps it was to write about the man’s love for the only woman in his life.
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