I was new, and was just getting used to the school. Before enrolling me, my father had extolled the merits of the school. Not great in studies he wanted me to excel (aren`t all pops like that?).
I was in grade ten. Her name was Kavita Krishnamurthy. She was my classmate.
On my second day at school, this girl Kavita walks up to me and said, “I have a feeling I love you. Do you love me?”
I did not remember seeing her in the class. I said so. She gave me two days time to think and was gone.
Meanwhile, I had got a few friends and they convinced me that it would be a good idea to agree. “But I do not like her. And I do not even know her,” I protested. “Who cares man,” they shouted in unison.
“Think of all those greeting cards you will get at regular intervals,” Arun said.
“The tasty lunch she would bring from her house,” Rajah exclaimed.
“Those pastries she would buy you from Sundaram Iyengar bakery, Bhoopathy remarked.
“She could also draw paramecium for you on your biology practicals,” Sundaresan chipped in.
The deal was tempting, and when Kavita emerged from behind the shadows two days later, I said, I do. She was ecstatic.
Seeing her excited, I was a little worried. Probably she expected something from me. The same way I had fallen for the cards, lunch, pastries and the occasional help during biology practicals. I even questioned her, and she said it was enough if I was there for her.
I did not a sleep that night. Probably she was a canny lady, waiting to pounce on me with her demands when I least expected them. The demands never came.
We started coming to school a little earlier than usual, and spend time together. Her father was in the Merchant Navy and hence she had loads of stories to tell. As for me, it helped that my father was in the Indian Army. I passed on all those stories my father had told us a hundred times over.
In the evenings, we would go home together. She had a red BSA SLR (a popular model of the early nineties). I had to cross her house to reach mine, but was careful never to go too close to her house. She had said it could be a little dangerous, for her mother was protective of her daughter.
We lost count of days and weeks and later months in our blinded love for each other. I got to admit that the more time I spent with her the more in love I was. My guess is it stands true in any case. What else would explain 50-year-old marriages that we witness here in India?
Everything was hunky-dory till that day we went to a movie together. To tell you the truth, there were two other boys accompanying us. I was taking her out, and since she would not come alone, I had to arrange for two more friends to join us. They were happy to help me. I have a feeling it had something to do with the fact that I was paying for their tickets and would get them the customary popcorn too.
We were an hour into the movie and one of the boys whispered into my ears: “Did you hold her hand?”
“Did you touch her?” he rephrased his question for my convenience.
An indignant me asked, “No. Why?”
“Come on man. If you do not even hold her hand, she would never come out with you again,” he said confidently.
I lost track of the movie from then on. The next one-hour was spent in darkness…not knowing what to do. Being a man quite chaste, I did not even hold her hand. I wanted to hold her hand after we got married.
Eventually, the hormones won, and I placed my hand over her’s on the armrest. And that was the end of all. She left the movie in a huff, and refused to see me, leave alone talking.
Two days after the movie episode, I got a letter from Kavitha (we used to exchange quite a few), which said she could no longer be my girl friend. I was shattered. But as it is in such cases, I could not do anything.
Now you know the reason why at 25 (or is it 29?), I am still a virgin. Well, almost.