Little did Nick know when he woke up that the day is going to be so wonderful as it unfolds.
Lazily, I woke up. Dragged myself to the door to pick the newspaper from the balcony. Indian Express. The aroma of the newspaper, fresh newsprint, is intoxicating. I am one of those who loved new books in childhood because they smelled great. Old habits die hard. I inhaled a deep fresh breath. As I turned from the first page to the third, there was a colorful advertisement pamphlet inside the paper. I started reading.
It read – ” Express your love to your loved ones with Archies collection “. Just the logo of Archies Gallery on some new retail outlet in Navi Mumbai made me go thinking. I had seen the Archies and Hallmark ways of life sometime in my childhood.
School days. Tiffin boxes neatly packed by mom, black shoes polished by dad. The amazing bicycle with a straight handle. Riding the bicycle with both hands in the air just near the place where the girls got down from the school bus. The classrooms where boys sat in 3 rows and girls sat in one row near the windows. And then someone very special. Everyone would have some or the other memories. For me it is a little more vivid. Just because for me there were a lot of those girls in my classroom and in junior classes in school who were special. I still stocked all those images, cards, letters and teddies! So I remembered the so called girl friends in school who brought their lunch boxes for me, their madness in gifting me teddy bears. And just the fact that I had multiple people who I felt are my girlfriends <I bet, they would never have thought me as their boyfriend!>, I could know this is infatuation. Because, like Alok, a very good friend of mine, always said “When everything comes in your way you’re in the wrong lane“. So somehow since then I had never looked back but then I had not thrown away those Archies cards either.
I had grown. I had grown out of this Archies and Hallmark way of life. I had grown older. 28. But I always missed the girl who wore 2 pony tails, sang loudly in the lunch break and wore a pink hairband. She was Minal. Minal was very talkative and she never stopped blabbering. Her voice was so sweet and cute but the class monitor always had her name up on the blackboard. I loved it anyway. I mean I loved the lunch which her mother prepared for both of us. I loved it when she gifted me anything and I just gave her small cadbury’s! She waited for me in lunch break to eat together, after I finish playing. When she sang Antakshari in the class, she looked at me. It was a great feeling when sometimes I would turn my head in the class when teacher was teaching to look at her and find her looking at me. Then she would smile and I would smile too. But then that does not mean we love each other right. For my curious readers , No, I never proposed. And She never did too. We just were good friends. Dont wink at me now.
In my journey from 16 years of age to 28, there had been things which I saw and which made me what I am today. I was alone in my apartment and my apartment had a great view outside from the 20th floor. But I cooked for myself, bai did the dishes, dhobi pressed my clothes, I drove myself, I partied with friends, went to malls with friends, went to movies with friends and did all that a bachelor should or could do. But somehow I felt lone. And I was looking at Bharat Matrimony advertisement on the 7th page in the Express, since long, sub-consciously. The message was too tempting – ” Join Bharat Matrimony now to meet your perfect partner”. I was amazed by the correlation between the two business models. MBA teaches you all this – to split apart sentences and think why the heck the guy who wrote this line actually wrote it. It actually does not need an MBA to understand that the target market of Bharat Matrimony and similar sites are for those who actually are not convinced by Archies way of life. (I would not dare to say which one is the best. That is irrelevant anyway. It is like telling which is best – Air or water).
I logged in.
Amazing Site. As anyone of you would have done, I did the same. Started searching! Quest to find a partner. There are 975 profiles of brides in my own caste, speaking my mother tounge! Amazing! I am going to have a wonderful day and equally hectic, I told myself as I clicked on the Signup button. I did not care to strike off another day to say 7 more days left to leave Mumbai. I just wanted to make my loneliness of the apartment vanish. And I just felt, this is another beginning. Am I falling in Love with multiple search results? I just cant. I am no longer infatuated. I started browsing the profiles… I was searching for Minal..
It is the start to a new journey. Nick told himself.