Sunday, 28 May 2017

Kadhal; Kaalam; Kannamoochi: Part 1

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"Pa, was Amma your first love?" Asked my little girl.

This question from my daughter caught me completely off guard. Why would a five year old girl ask me this question? In fact what worried me more was how does a five year old girl knows about love. That got me even worried to be honest.

"Why are you asking this question ma? How do you know about love?" I asked with a curious tone.

"No pa, just now at the swing, a boy came and told me that he loves me." she said with her head held down.

"He always gives me sweet when he sees me at the playground pa. I think I love him also pa. If Amma was your first love, does that mean I also have to marry him." she asked curiously with a smile on her face.

That is not something every father who has a daughter wants to hear from his five year old daughter. I do know that she still doesn't understand what love is and wants to know if there is some rule that you must marry the first person you fall in love.

Seeing her being so naive was definitely adorable, but nevertheless the defensive father side of me kicked in.

"No ma, Amma was not my first love and no you don't have to marry this boy just because he gives you sweet and tells you that he loves you. In fact you shouldn't tell him you love him yet. When you become a big girl, then you can fall in love. Not now Okey." I said.

"Okey pa, I won't love him." she said.

I blew a huge sigh of relief as I watched her running away to play with other kids at the playground. Yet I still couldn't digest the fact how kids today are so brave to propose at such a young age.

Looking at this boy, I couldn't help but to compare him to my self. The first time I ever loved a girl was when I was sixteen and here is this boy proposing at the age of five.

The first time I met her was when I went to tuition and she was a Chinese girl. She is a sweet looking girl, humble and a class topper. I couldn't help but to adore her from her.

She was my first love or maybe puppy love you might say and yet I was never brave enough to even speak to her yet alone propose to her like this little boy. Eventually she got together with another guy from my school and it would take nearly two years later before I met someone amazing who would take my breath away.

I'll have to turn back the clock 20 years to 1997 to relive the moments when I finally found some special in my life. I was eighteen years old that year and had just started my diploma in a university far from home. 

It has always been my dream to be a chemical engineer and this diploma is my first step towards pursuing my dream. It was a new environment and I was beginning to adapt well despite my introvert shy character. 

Despite my quite nature, I still had a good circle of friends and they were really supportive bunch of people. It was during this time when I saw her for the very first time. I saw the girl who would steal my heart at first sight. I remember that moment just like it was yesterday.

It was 12 p.m. on a Tuesday, the 16th of September 1997. This was back at a time where I had long hair and I would attend classes dressed up looking simple. I had worn a round neck blue t-shirt and jeans with slippers. As always my hair wasn't combed properly and I had dragged myself throughout the class until it finished.

I was having a small chat with my friends just outside the class, which was also nearby the staircase which leads to the path towards the library. Then came a group of girls walking out from the library towards the staircase near my class. There were five of them and they were all Indian girls.

As they walked pass me with books in their hands hugged to their chest, one of the girl from that group caught my attention. A short, sweet looking petite girl. She was wearing a blue colour blouse with long pants and had her hair tied into a pony tail.

I didn't know why but during that three seconds which she crossed past me, I felt a sense of happiness like I never felt before. She had a smile on her while talking to her friends and it was perhaps the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life.

I was a never a believer of love at first sight and thought it was something that happens only in the movies. Having that immense happiness feeling of seeing her for that brief three seconds and knowing that I want to see her again, I didn't know what exactly I was feeling. Maybe, love at first sight does exist.

For the next coming days, I would ditch my ditch my friends to walk around the campus when I don't have classes in an effort to see her again, but I could never find her around campus. Then came the following Tuesday. That same 12 p.m. at the same staircase after my class, I saw her again for the same 3 seconds with the same group of friends.

I was jumping in joy in my heart after seeing her again. It was perhaps the longest 1 week I ever had. One thing for sure, I knew that on every Tuesday at 12 p.m. she will walk pass this way just outside my class.

So I made an effort to never miss that Tuesday class even if I was sick and always made sure I was well dress for the 3 seconds she will cross pass me. I went on doing this for the next 2 months!

Just like knowing that she would walk pass this way every Tuesday, I also found out through some coincidence that on every Thursday evening, she would be in the library, doing some group study with her friends until about 7.30 p.m.

You guessed it right, I found myself being in the library every Thursday too until 7.30 p.m. sitting a couple of tables opposite of her just to watch her smile. I would even skip the evening football time just to be there to see her.

It has been nearly 3 months since I first saw her and I still don't know her name, but all I knew is that I liked this girl much and maybe I was in love with her too. On one of the Thursday, by some god's blessing, she was in the library all by herself. It was the first time I have seen her without her group of friends.

I knew that if I am ever going to talk to her, this would be my moment. If I didn't do it today, I might never get another chance to do it. I was sitting opposite of her as always and I was sweating in the library like crazy despite the strong cold air from the air conditioners. That was how nervous I was.

After 30 minutes of braving myself up, I finally approached her at her table.

"Hi there, I have seen you many times around the campus and I just wanted to say that you have a very beautiful smile. Don't take me wrongly. I just felt like telling it to you." I said.

"Ah hi. Thank you very much. Yeah I have actually seen you around many times too. Always near the staircase every Tuesday and here in the library every Thursday." She said.

"Haha you've seen me before too, that's nice." I said.

"Yeah you would always smile at me but never came and spoke to me. I always thought you would never come up and talk to me. I must say I am a little surprised that you did it today." She said with a little chuckle of laughter.

My breath was taken away by her smile and at the same time a little embarrassed that she actually knew I wasn't brave enough to talk to her.

"Haha well today is the only day I am seeing you alone. Usually you are with your group of friends and it is a little hard to approach you with them around." I said.

"Yeah the girls are not here today. They went for an early dinner but I didn't feel like joining. Anyways I've got to go now. It was nice talking to you. Hope to talk to you more after this." She said with a smile while pushing her hair back behind her ears.

"Yeah sure thing, will surely talk to you more after this when I see you, but hey before you leave do you mind if you gave me your ICQ ID. Maybe we can also chat when you are free." I said.

"Sure why not? Here you go." She said while writing down her ID on a piece of paper and gave it to me

I couldn't believe what just happened. I finally spoke to my dream girl after 3 months from the time I first saw her and now I've got her MSN ID. I knew for sure I was going to spend much time chatting with her. What started as short chats turned to long late night chats within a month.

I felt in love with her even more after every chat. She was everything I wanted in a girl and now I am totally in love with her. This time I knew it was no puppy love. She was here doing her foundation and this was her last semester in the university before flying abroad.

I felt I had to tell her I was in love with her before she leaves. My worry was that what if I didn't tell her how I felt and we lose touch after she fell. I didn't want to lose another girl in my life just because I wasn't brave enough to propose. I decided that I was going to ask her out for dinner before she leaves and I would propose to her that time.

During one of the chat days before I proposed to her, I was asking her some questions and one of them was does she has a boyfriend. As much as I was in love with her, I never really knew if she was actually single. That conversation never came up. I wanted to know that for sure before I proposed.

"Erm, yes I am in a relationship. He is my high school senior actually. We got together about a month ago." She typed.

That reply crushed my heart in pieces. "A month ago" she said.  A month. I have been seeing her from far for nearly 3 months and been chatting with her for another 3 months. If only I had made a move earlier in this 6 months, maybe she would be my girlfriend today.

We proceeded to chat a little more before I called it a night. It was the toughest and most emotional night I ever had. I just felt as if I had broken up in a relationship without even being in one. That was how painful it was.

Despite knowing she has a boyfriend, I still continued talking to her. She may not be my girlfriend but she was still an amazing friend and I didn't want to lose that friendship. This girl will always hold a special place in my heart.

One thing I knew for sure is that this isn't the end between me and her. She maybe in a relationship today but in some crazy way in my mind, I thought maybe and just maybe I still have some shot with her.

I was right, although it will take me another 7 years before another amazing opportunity to be with her will surface.

*To be continued*

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