The first time my body realized
That it could feel things beyond
Pain, fear, happiness,
I constantly made a fool of myself.
The first time I reacted to the
Long island iced tea (of hormones) that
Coursed my arteries was when I was in 6th grade.
I was in LOVE.
I don’t remember the how and the why and the when of it but
Boy! The guy made my cells tingle.
And hence began the one sided saga
Of love and other things of a
Uniform clad – twelve year old- rabbit teethed girl.
All my free time was taken over
By his thoughts. Well,
That’s what they did in the movies!
Songs that had his name were
Searched, saved and played in a loop;
Smiling at the mention of the name.
Just like those long lost lovers living
In the two corners of the world would do.
My lunch in school comprised of three things –
Cream biscuits, fryms / Kurkure and peeking.
Not the peeking-tom kind, but more like
The devotees outside Indian temples,
Standing for 3-4-5 hours
To catch a glimpse.
Just one tiny glimpse
For just one second,
A glimpse of my super – HOT – hero!
Now, let’s talk about the ‘HOT’ factor,
I have this tendency to
Fall for people who the crowd
Doesn’t find to be good enough.
HAHA yayy! My inner goddess always does her
Ritualistic topsy-turvy step when I say this.
“No competition there woman!’
So while my friends saw
His oiled hair;
All I saw was how beautifully they shone.
While they thought he
Was an average looking nobody,
He was my Zac Efron and my Brad Pitt!
While they laughed at
His middle partition which
Ran right from the forehead to beyond,
Well, sometimes even I laughed with them.
Just like that, my Mirror
Who otherwise was a good friend,
A friend who was usually supportive,
A friend who looked exactly like me,
Only sometimes a tad but thin and a tad bit not-so-thin
With the change in the weather
Had become my nemesis.
Chiding me for the bushy eyebrows I was born with,
Showing me a ZIT!
A freaking real ugly not-disappearing-for-fifteen-days zit!
She had the audacity to point out
At the tufts of hair that grew
Right above my lips. Yes.
I had a moustache!
Also, my dear mother made me
Live with that till I was sixteen.
At this point, I would take a moment to bow down
To all those boys who fell for me,
At a time when even I wouldn’t have.
Thank you, for feeding me with false pride
That made me smile at days
I otherwise would have spent
With zero self-esteem.
A couple of changes
Discreetly crept into my routine.
Instead of ten, twenty minutes were spent
To look presentable in school.
There was the hair that had to be done meticulously.
Nails kept, kohl applied and
Lip gloss smeared on a pair of lips
That had never seen anything beyond ghee and petroleum jelly.
But let me make something clear
I never really wanted him
To love me back.
The thought never even crossed my mind.
This pea-brain was happy running around,
But all she ever craved for was
I remember this one time
When our eyes met.
I have never wanted to be more
Invisible than that day!
I kept staring
With an inane pair of huge, wide, unblinking eyes
Glued to the spot.
A heart galloping faster than Arion!
He looked away; I ran
To take cover under my self-loathe.
Well, basically I went back to attend my social studied class.
And thus went on the days;
He – nonchalantly handsome
Me- Well do I need to say anymore?
Until that day.
That day when Him and I were
In the same room,
In the same space,
On the same table
With twenty something people.
He is sitting there.
Two chairs to his right, empty.
Let me just run and
Take the one beside him.
No wait! No no no no no.
I’ll make a fool of myself.
What if he sees the tiny zit on my left cheek?
What if he finds me ridiculous?
What if he finds me stupid?
What if he finds me absurd?
Wait, don’t they all mean the same?
I’ll just sit on the other chair.
Who will sit in between?
What if it’s the pretty senior?
What if it’s the guy who smells of fish?
What if nobody sits and he ends up
Terming me an imbecile.
What’s with the synonym woman!
Thus began the never ending clamor
Between my inner goddess and me,
Till only the chair beside him was empty.
My Inner Goddess did
Five flips and a split.
She was on fire!
I went and sat awkwardly
Beside him, aware!
Aware of every word that
Left his mouth.
Aware of his every breath.
He breathed and I
Consciously tried to breathe in a rhythm
Trying to match it to perfection.
Twenty five times, he clenched his palm,
Six times he shuffled his feet.
Concentrate Amrutha, concentrate.
There are others, look. Look at them.
Oh seven shuffles
Look the fan! It is swirling.
A spider web! But his voice.
Can I talk to him? No!
Yes! The spider isn’t in the web.
Where is it?
Our legs are two inches apart.
Chocolate! Yes. I have to learn to make them.
I have to ask Neeta Aunty to help me with..
His palm accidentally brushed my fingers.
Oh lord the butterflies!
Butterflies from all over the planet
Seemed to have disapperated right
Into my stomach and
The part if my skin
That layered my finger,
Which he accidentally touched became
The most prices possession of my body!
“Hey! What do you think?”
“Huh?” I looked up.
He is asking me!
ME. Oh my god!
ME and NOT the twenty something faces
That all seem to stare at me.
They seem to see right through me.
They know everything I was thinking.
I looked at him.
And at that moment it was just him, I see.
Just him, I feel.
I grinned sheepishly and in a voice replied,
“I think it is perfect.”
(I don’t know what I was calling perfect. It was mostly, him.)
“You think so?” he asked with
Eyes, wide and curious.
Eyes, black and questioning.
Eyes, beautiful and smiling.
Eyes that want a YES.
And that is what I gave him.
“YES, I think so.”
And hence on the
Nineteenth day of the ninth month in the year 2007,
I had the first conversation with my first crush.