Sunday, January 26, 2014


Normally, when I feel strongly about a ponder that crosses my mind, I end up recording it the way it is. This particular ponder, more of a reflection, is of a sensitive nature. Just want to add a disclaimer that this is not being done in an egotistic standpoint nor does it intend to put down the person this ponder is about. When you detach yourself from a scene and look at it as a third person, the visual you see sometimes startles you with its simplicity, beauty or both! - This blog is going to record one such visuals - examined with a totally different pair of eyes and a brand new perspective almost two decades later. Please travel with me to my high school days, down the memory lane! Also, I refrain from taking names for obvious reasons - privacy and all that ;-)

My high school years were wonderful - They introduced me to some of the most valuable relationships I have in my life today - starting from my better half to a handful of friends who are now an integral part of who I am, who form my core group and support me no less than family. This ponder has to do nothing with all these relationships. Infact, this is a ponder about a person that never ever spoke to me in my life barring one questions that would be divulged later. For convenience I'll call him Jo - So, Jo was this quiet, brooding kid, lanky and dark complected with eyes as black as coal. He had lush and meticulously oiled hair matching his soulful eyes and a presence in the class that would not be noticed in his absence. He was as inconspicuous as it could get. So, I had never ever noticed him for anything more than his name being called for attendance. And then came our fun day Fete...This guy had talent, he could sing! I saw a bunch of classmates convincing him to perform on stage and I cheered him up alongside them and that was the only interaction I ever had with him in the two years we attended the same class.

It was time to bid adieu to all my friends once my high school was complete, I was about to pack my bags and leave to my native place, to join my parents and siblings. Emotions were high, we poured our heart out in each others' memory books and hugged and cried like little kids. The day came when a handful of us, outstation students were homeward bound - and on that night, in the railway station, came Jo - of all the people, to see us off! - He came to me, held out a note pad, and asked me for my mailing address (and that was the only sentence he spoke to me, ever!)  - It wasn't the time of social networking, heck - it wasn't even the time of cell phones and email addresses - it was mid nineties and only people who mattered to each other took the pains of writing actual letters and mailing actual cards. I took the pad, slightly surprised, and scribbled my mailing address - just to be polite.

Later on, I came to know - through a common friend, about Jo's feelings for me. When I first heard about it, I couldn't be more surprised than I was. This was a boy that never made eye contact with me, let alone talk - how could he 'fall in love' with me of all things? Doesn't falling in love take some 'knowing' a person? Slowly, the feelings came out of the woodwork. The first ever correspondence I received from him was a card with a playful monkey on the  outside - "Me, Like you?" the monkey asked the reader with a grin "Of course I do" was what read when I flipped it open. Jo mailed it to me, signed 'sincerely' by Book-Post - the card was not sealed. Well, in my household, my parents never read our letters - but this being an unsealed one, led to my dad opening it and reading the content - when I reached home that day, my dad casually handed it over to me and mumbled something under his breath. I could catch bits and pieces of "Why does this generation waste money on cards to convey random things?" Fortunately, that was the problem he had :-P

This was followed with a few letters - I opened one of Jo's letters in a room full of friends, not knowing it was from him, cause the outside of the envelope never disclosed who it was from. A cascade of rose petals fell out of the letter and onto me, almost like a blessing. It was an embarrassing moment then, but it gave me goose bumps and a big grin every time I'd reflected upon that experience. The cutest of the lot came one January afternoon when I was getting ready to go out. A telegram on my name was what the postman announced and I opened it rather confused and tense - "Sincere greetings for the republic day, long live the republic" was the content of the greeting, undersigned Jo. It was the 26th of January.  That piece remains a fond memory in the annals of my correspondence. It still makes my close circle laugh in memory of that telegram. But a few years later, when I grew out of my teens and life started settling, I reflected back on Jo and felt really glad for his presence in my life.

I never replied to any of his cards or letters notwithstanding his repeat and persistent attempts. I didn't have an answer he was looking for and I didn't have the heart to tell him to move on with his life and not waste his time on me. Like every young woman, I had my share of young men who vied for my attention and affection. Some stalked me, some made lewd remarks and blew whistles when I walked past and some threatened to beat up the guys who spoke to me. Jo was very different. His regard for me was evident in every word he wrote to me, his innocence shone in all his correspondence. Last time I checked, I heard he is happily married. I am sure Jo is a wonderful husband and father and puts the women in his life on a high pedestal like he did to me during the time he was smitten and called me his 'first love' - If nothing else, I owe him a huge 'thank you' - Thank you Jo, for all the regard and love, (which, I am not even sure, why I deserved), for the most sincere cards and words of pure admiration, for beating the day lights out of the guy who tried to bother me, for respecting me, never ever forcing your feelings on me and giving me the opportunity to experience all your untold feelings for me. Apologies for not being able to acknowledge them - rest assured, I smile my brightest when I think of your innocent telegram. Here's wishing you and yours a very happy Republic day - long live the republic :-)

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