This is a tell-all. Of course, I will tell you everything.

This of course is one of many parts of my story, so I’m going to leave little something-somethings out sometimes… you know how it works.

So, first chapter… How I met my Wife, that sounds like a good one.

*

It was the usual lazy Sunday. The summer breeze would sometimes figure into the conversation, when we took a break from discussing pretty girls, bad grades and pretty girls.

It was on our fourth round around the campus that I saw her. She was dressed simply, in a form-fitting light brown salwar-kameez with embroidered sleeves. Even from far away, I could tell she was a looker…

I could hear the sudden silence that fell around me, and I knew everyone had their eyes trained at the same prize.

So now we had four reasonably charismatic and socially suave boys who would now pit their heads together and figure out a proper way to approach (that is, bask in the glow of) this unknown angel?

Well, maybe in the bio-pic they make of my life. We took a different movie as inspiration: a reprisal of Hindi movie shamelessness:

“Palat! Palat!”

In the excitement of fulfilling our baser tendencies, I realized that Ms. Looker was not alone. This girl (who was pretty plain-looking, to be perfectly honest) was also the one who caught us out, for salwar-beauty did not seem to have heard us. She nudged Ms. Looker in the arm, and cocked her head in our direction. Of course, before Ms. Looker took a gander at us, we made like true gentlemen, and ran and hid.

In time, however, we took another sneak peek from behind the stone-wall. Ms. Looker was now standing (she could as well as been floating, supported by sheer weightlessness) in profile, and I heard three sighs in rapid succession (I settled for a gulp). Her skin was radiant, it was white – not that wonderful dusky yellow or the charming brown (Other Girl was a shining example, I have to say), but pure, blinding white. Oh, to think of the children we could have…

I was now past breaking point, I needed to say something to me fellow sight-seers. But of course, I had to put on a filter, because who says these things aloud unless it’s a tell-all book…

Me: She’s so… graceful.

Akash: Yup, that’s the word – so graceful.

Arun: Oh, full of grace.

Raj: So… graceful.

Also, Me: Yup.

We had to get closer: I could see some senior guys in the distance getting closer, and we all know the girls dig the older guys. We stumbled a few steps down the cobbled road, discussing cricket a bit too loudly for it to be regarded as a ruse (The lingering, side-long glances weren’t helping much either, as I realized later). Other girl knew what was going on – a giggle betrayed her, and she would return each glance with a scathing one of her own – but we slouched on, bravely, for lack of better word.

Pretty Ms. Looker paid us no heed though. Then, suddenly, the game was up; the two girls continued to walk toward the exit gate, and our band of four were stoic in defeat.

That was when I had a brainwave. “I know her!”, I yelped.

All those times I accompanied Mom when she visited relatives I didn’t know nor care about, all those gifts of plates, and condescending advice, was all about to finally pay off! To cap things, the girl knew me too!

I could hear the bells of the temple. I could see cherubic babies, white as milk.

I waved my ‘friends’ away (they seemed vaguely hostile to the whole revelation), and braced myself. I walked approximately five steps a minute faster (these are shy boy things, take note) so I could get to them just beyond the exit gate.

I had just about got close enough to them so that they could hear my cough of greeting, when I stopped and took stock of myself, or specifically, my looks. My toenails were overlong and dirty, my shorts were greasy, for some reason, and there appeared to be significant crust around my eyes and nose from oversleeping.

Unfortunately, I could not abort mission, as my abrupt freeze had not been lost on the girls.

Me: Hi, you’re Kirti, right?

Kirti: Yup.

Me: Hi, we’ve met before, back in Udupi last November, at the Sangh…

Kirti: … oh, that’s right, you’re…

Me: Bhushan Baba, my name is Bhushan Baba.

While I was well and truly on the way to the gallows during this conversation, I had a few other things to contend with – for one, Renuka had a ceaseless giggle right through, which was as of-putting as it was, well, amusing.

What’s that? Oh yeah, Other Girl was Renuka. She introduced herself, a little further in the conversation… yes, I was lucky enough for it to continue!

She had a way about her that calmed me down. There was a mischievous glimmer in her eye, as she had correctly understood my intentions; yet, her smile was encouraging.

Oh my, though, Kirti was an absolute stunner. She had vivid round eyes, little ones though (Renuka’s were large, almost protuberant, and hazel), and hair flowing down to her shoulders with an almost artistic flair… I was too scared to lower my gaze any further, but the initial prognosis was highly positive…

But I still had to get past this conversation, without massacring every chance I had with her. There was an overly long pause, and then Renuka piped in: “So, you’re a senior, huh? What year?”

Truth be told, I think I did well after that. I might have talked a little more than I should have about my GPA (Kirti’s look of utter boredom and Renuka’s barely concealed snort were prime pieces of evidence), and yes, I did fall off the rails towards the end of my spiel, what with all the incessant sweating, the vibrational ecstasy of my phone, and overuse of the word ‘damn’.

But I was feeling like I’d made an impression, so I was just about to ask for that one date, just like in the movies; it works all the time, doesn’t it? But it wasn’t to be. The SUV parked around the corner issued an almighty honk.

Kirti: Ok, I’ve got to go, my friends are waiting for me.

Me: Oh. Oh.

Kirti: Yup.

Me: Oh, so you… have friends, huh?

Kirti: … yup.

I hauled myself back to the hostel mess, wondering what could have been. But I had to give myself props: Kirti was, no question, a stunner.

Renuka laughed at my joke about the nun and the unicycle, that felt so good…

So I made the conversation, with possibly the hottest girl on campus, I even got a goodbye… Oh wait, that was from Renuka.

*

Well, that’s all the time I have for you today, I’ll get right back to you when I’m done with the weekend! It’s going to be a busy week for the Babas, I fully expect to be a father around this time within the next three days! I hope the baby has protuberant hazel eyes, just like Mom.

Bhushan Baba’s Ticket to Fame – Chapter 1, by P. Shenvi

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