I get asked this a lot. There is a post on this somewhere on the 1st blog… Or maybe there isn’t. I don’t remember now. But I want to document it again.
In short, he was a summer trainee with the company where I was a management trainee and we were both in Chennai and sparks flew. In reality, it wasn’t as simple as that.
I was working as an executive in the company during this stint. That meant living on a tiny budget. By tiny, I mean in a hotel for Rs 350 in Chennai. Impossible. The HR female gave me a couple of addresses of hotels and KC’s contact number. He had been living on that budget for over a month in the city. I boarded the late night bus from Bangalore after meeting Tangy. I still remember he gifted me green bangles for my b’day which had been a few days earlier. In fact Tangy- I still have one; the other one broke.
I reached Chennai at 4 am instead of 6 am because the driver drove like a total maniac. Great!!! It was dark and raining. I hailed an auto, called KC and he gave directions for the hotel. JJS Guesthouse at T Nagar. He was waiting outside the hotel for me. I looked at him and thought “Too young”. He had booked a room for me in the nearby hotel because his hotel cost Rs 375. We went to that hotel and the hotel guys asked us to come after 7 am. I had 3 hours to kill and nowhere to go. KC invited me to his room to kill time. But there was no way I was going to a random stranger’s room. I decided to check out the other hotels that the HR had given. That is the moment I realised how useless HR is. All the hotels were priced Rs 500 and above. Finally, I went to the place I had stayed at for Rs 300/day during my summers with Taj Coromandel. Now, it looked shabby and unsafe but was well within the budget. I was outside the hotel wondering if I should take the room or not when 2 guys approached me asking if I was looking for a room. I freaked and decided to take up KC’s offer. He had been calling me asking me to give up on the fool hardy mission. We spent the next 1-2 hours in his room talking and watching TV. All I wanted to do was sleep. At 7 am, I got a room in the hotel where he was staying.
After work, I knocked on his door. He had mentioned a Sarvana Bhawan close by and I wanted to check it out because that would be my b’fast place everyday. We started having dinner together every night. Few days later, RT was also in Chennai looking for a budget hotel and she stayed here. 3 of us would meet up for dinner. KC and I became friends on Orkut and he got to know about my blog through that. I got to know about his a few months later.
2 moments are significant during this 2 weeks stay. I met K for dinner at Pizza Hut. I messaged KC asking him if he wanted a pizza. I went to his room to handover the pizza and take the money. He didn’t even offer to share or invite me in. Sure, I had just eaten a pizza for dinner. That’s a standing joke between us. Where I pull his leg that he didn’t even offer the pizza while his defence is that he didn’t even think about it.
On our last day in Chennai, we were very happy. I was off to Trichy while he was going to Bangalore and then to Gurgaon for the final presentation. During the 2 weeks he had not flirted with me once or made a pass or anything. Not even as a formality. I didn’t even feel like a female around him. So finally, I asked him out for a movie and lunch since it was the last day. We had lunch on the rooftop of Hotel Ranjeet… Don’t remember which movie we watched.
Next time we spoke I was in Bangalore for my independent executive stint while he was in Gurgaon for his final presentation. After a few months in Bangalore and Gurgaon, I moved to Kolkata which I hated. I started drinking wine every evening because work wrapped up by 6 pm and I had nothing to do. I had taken to calling everyone on my address book and KC was one of them. After a month in the city, I was sent to Mumbai from where I would go to Nasik for a project but as luck would have it, I stayed in Mumbai for 2 months. I met KC on the weekend at Marine Drive. It was sort of a first date because I had a great time. Since he was not working with the company anymore I didn’t have to choose my words carefully. I was very, very impressed when I got to know he had funded his b school education because his father didn’t want him to pursue MBA. There are very few self made men in the country. It is rare to find people who do something because they want to do it and not because their parents want them to. I respect people who stand up to their parents and live life on their own terms. Come to think of it, my closest friends are all like that.
We started dating. For me, it was all fun and games. I had time to kill. My parents were after my life for marriage and I had agreed to atleast meet guys. I thought I was trying do the right thing. I had tried to convince myself that this is just another way to meeting the right guy- getting introduced through parents. But in reality, it wasn’t like that. I was naturally one step below these guys in the arranged marriage system. Nobody cared what I wanted… Every guy wanted to know how I would blend into his life. Refusing to live with the guy’s parents was blasphemous and I didn’t even broach the topic of affairs, relationships and one night stands.
And then I moved to Gurgaon for my final posting. And that is that, I thought. I had expected the affair to die a natural death over the long distance. But it didn’t. I missed KC a lot. That’s when I knew this is more than an affair or fun and games. It is love… And at the right time so we could plan our life together. I asked him over the phone if he was serious about me. He said “yes”.
If someone asks me, and I did get asked that a lot by my family, what is it that makes me think he is the right partner? I didn’t have an answer. Now I do because I have had plenty of time to evaluate. Then I didn’t. It’s like this- you don’t evaluate people before you become friends with them. You feel it. I stood up to my entire family and it wasn’t easy at all over a feeling I had. Because I knew that if I didn’t, I would regret it everyday of my life. The most important decisions in life are – what you do for a living and who you spend your life with. Nobody can make these decisions for you. If you have to step on people’s hearts for these, I think it’s fair.
If I had to turn back time, I would still choose KC over my family. I have never regretted it once. I think it’s my family’s loss, not mine. It’s been worth it.
We know so little about a person before we commit our life to them. It is just a gut feel and an instinct. And instincts are rarely wrong. That does not mean people don’t change or instincts are not wrong or people don’t drift apart. This is sort of a disclaimer because my friend is going through a divorce and it’s hard. She blames herself for choosing the wrong guy.