Tuesday, December 28, 2004
The Many Loves of Atticus - Vol I of CCXXI
Did I really love her? Was I loved in return? Were we too young? Are we ever old enough or young enough? How would the purists classify this one - a crush? an infatuation? just another inconsequential bend in arduous road to adulthood? I know not and I care not!! With no further ado, here's the story of my first love - of a girl with big dreamy eyes, beautiful hair, a smile to die for and a slender brown hand that felt pleasantly cold like the morning dew when I held it gently in mine...
In the labyrinthine alleyways of co-education primary school masculine social circles, it is fashionable to "hate" girls... To call them nasty names, leave them out of games, categorically declare that they excelled in whatever they did only thanks to unfair rules and partial adults, and pretend not to notice them. All this had to be done with an exaggerated swagger and the desperate hope that the said girls would notice. Given such a status quo, a crush can only complicate things. Unluckily for a certain Master Atticus Finch in Class Four, a crush it was! And the said worthy was forced to go through the above rigmarole with the rather asinine smile of the hopelessly infatuated!
She was N.... - she haunted every corner of my twelve-year-old heart like a little angel robed in school uniform. I would have done anything to hold those fragile shoulders, look into those magical eyes and tell her how I loved her... Anything on earth if only I can hoodwink "friends" who had now become irksome boulders in the garden-paths of the lovelorn. But when you had taken all the trouble to ascend the Class-Four social ladder - traded numerous goodies, top-scored in cricket, hidden away the fact that you top-scored in math, beaten up class-mates, shrugged off canings, etc. etc. - you just can't throw it all away. Not even for a dreamy-eyed girl who killed you every time she brushed aside a cusp of hair from her forehead. But the writing was on the wall - I was obsessed with her. So I once called N.... a "stick-insect", told our mutual friend that she was totally stupid and dutifully added her name in the "most talkative students" lists I gave to Ms.Virginia. And thus passed fourth grade with neither chilly winter mornings nor piercing pre-summer rays bringing solace to the lovestruck...
It was in June that year that Cupid decided to push for a more central chair in my pantheon... School reopened after summer to welcome 50-odd sun-tanned young things into the hallowed halls of Class-V. And guess who would sit between me and my old buddy Saravanan??!! And as they say, one thing led to another and soon N.... and I were inseparable (and Saravanan made a fortune in "hush-money" only to continue to take my trip even a good 15 years later).
Those were simpler times and love was a simpler affair. We prayed for each other during exams, cursed teachers when they beat us, wrote little notes though we sat right next to each other and regaled each other with exaggerated tales of our childhood. I also tried unsuccessfully to write with my left hand while holding her hand with my right and attended a couple of Catechism classes, surprising Sister Celestine with my new found interest in Our Holy Father (N.... was Christian). And I would walk home with her everyday though it meant braving another solitary kilometer through the wide windswept territories of my sworn enemies - Mssrs. Rover, Tiger, Jimmy & Co.
The high points were our frequent quarrels which started on a Monday or Tuesday, went through numerous conferences that our friends conducted with the solemnity of UN Councils and ended on Friday with profuse apologies and promises to never fight again. Things went well till one such petty quarrel was left unresolved for too long. And as we ended up in different classes in Junior School - and in different schools a year later - I drifted permanently apart from the first girl I ever loved. I never met N.... after 1993. If I ever do, we'll probably have a good laugh about those quaint old days.
Love knocks on our doors in different ways. It storms through our being leaving destruction in its wake. It flows past us like a soothing scented breeze. But when we sit to turn back pages on chilly winter mornings, it falls on us like the autumn leaves - touching us one sweet little moment at a time. That is how I fondly remember the story of my first love - of a girl with big dreamy eyes and beautiful hair... of a slender brown hand that felt pleasantly cold like morning dew when you held it...Of an uncomplicated love that didn't have to be professed and didn't seek to possess...
October 28, 2007 01:04 PM PDT
reminds me of ma yesterdays.. awesome post it is!!
May 5, 2006 02:42 PM PDT
Thanks again Maria
|Maria Nevis |
May 3, 2006 11:04 PM PDT
Lovely....I really like it
December 30, 2004 08:49 PM PST
Yahoo Messenger - is tht some tribal smoke-signal???? >:)
Am online now, ol' lady!!! :D
December 30, 2004 07:41 PM PST
you online kid? heard of YM :D
December 30, 2004 11:06 AM PST
@Rhea: Yessir, it is original Calvin. Only his shock of yellow-hair is hidden.
Also, this one appeared on Valentine's Day '86. Still early days for Calvin.
December 30, 2004 11:03 AM PST
@Beatrice: Thanx buddy!
December 30, 2004 12:02 AM PST
is tht a genuine Calvin? looks different...
but hey, cute story.
December 30, 2004 12:01 AM PST
thats a great post!
keep it coming
December 29, 2004 01:02 PM PST
December 29, 2004 01:45 AM PST
@Lakesidey: More "skeletons" shall tumble out of the attic soon... Till then, how 'bout posting a few Lakesidey escapades - be it spoken or unspoken? ;)
December 29, 2004 01:40 AM PST
Hiya there, Ashwin!
How've you been?
December 28, 2004 07:24 PM PST
Waiting for them....dust out the old memories from that attic(us)!!
My first crush I never spoke to. It was just adoration from a distance. Alas, things have changed very little since.....
December 28, 2004 04:18 PM PST
Welcome back sire!!!
December 28, 2004 01:48 PM PST
Well, there aren't exactly CCXXI volumes (thankfully)! :D
But volumes II, III and perhaps IV will make their appearance in due course :)