First Love

45 and not very romantically inclined these days, I had a first love too, which you may not believe by looking at me. I lived in a small town middle class home with big windows. I loved sitting in the window and reading, spent years at it- from Grimm’s to Enid Blyton to Sidney Sheldon.  There were a number of low end shops right in front of the lane the windows overlooked and there was always a crowd of rowdy looking people there. One day I particularly happened to notice a guy in a shop staring at me. Like a well-bred daughter, I immediately looked away and concentrated on my book. But the age, the time and the desire, my eyes went back to him again, and so began the “आँखों ही आँखों मे”.

He was nothing great to look at (neither was I, for that matter) – from a distance of about 80ft across the lane, he appeared short, bespectacled, dark with a nice smile. The looks emboldened over weeks and graduated to smiles. And of course then the teenager starts dreaming of fairy tales and castles and the prince charming.  It became a ritual (except for school days, you know), get up and open the window and wait for the shop to open, wait for the smile, (when his Dad was not around). My gullible mom noticed it soon enough to come and ask why I spent all the time on the window sill and I cooked some reasonable explanation.  After a while the looks started to grow monotonous and there was a  urge to go to the next logical step.

A few weeks later, I was walking down to my friend’s house, and the hero of my story followed me on a bicycle ( it was the 80’s phase and bicycle was in) and stopped me by the side of the road. I looked at him, my heart beating really fast. Giving someone the eye from a safe zone is one thing, and facing the challenge is quite another. He looked even darker and shorter close-up. He asked me something trivial- How are you kind of stuff. And me likewise and then we suddenly did not have anything more to talk about. So he said-in his-perfect-Marwari accent – I love you, ok and cycled on. And with that, trust me, the spell shattered.

The quick end of the mute love story as a result of the 3 magic words spoken because you have nothing else in common. Sigh, why did you have to open your mouth?  Well, I did the next logical thing next day- closed the window on him slowly and deliberately (under the heavy influence of movies of that era) and stopped looking at him thereafter, and  waited for my next love to come along. I don’t know his name till date.