The Affair

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I was going on a month long shoot with an all male crew to travel the country. A dream project of sorts. There were two directors – me and him. He had a lot of work experience and I was supposed to report back on his performance and then see if he can continue the shoot on his own. My first impression was he’s lazy, didn’t show up for meetings and he was disorganized. But what the hell? I was going to travel the country and this really didn’t matter.

At this time I was not engaged but in a long distance relationship which was going well. My partner was happy for me and the fact that I was getting to travel like this. And we were off. Everything was going well but then the shoot hit a few roadblocks. This was beyond both our control so we asked to continue shooting together backing each other up when needed.

We reached the mountains and he began to open up. He had no inhibitions and a great sense of humor that kept the entire crew in good spirits. One night it was just to two of us talking, it lasted for hours. I told him about my life and he told me about his. He was a playboy and I was the nice girl. He was charming and mischievous and I was too simple. There was a weird connection that neither of us understood. But the very next day there was an instant pull towards each other. We were working together but wanted to spend all free time together as well. I don’t know whether it was being away from my boyfriend or just the new feeling and thrill that I went with the flow. We wanted to pursue that we knew we couldn’t have. He held my hand secretly in the car and I didn’t push it away. He hugged me tight one afternoon and I didn’t want him to pull back. This was just physical attraction. Right?

One evening we kissed. I felt very guilty. He knew about my relationship but I guess we were both of the mindset that after the project is over we won’t be seeing each other. One kiss lead to much more. The high you get when you do something wrong or risky is something I cannot explain. But despite the guilt you do it. This was a secret. No one was going to know.

But after the project ended it was difficult to stay apart. We always wanted to talk and spend time together. Now I was getting stressed. It was when I decided to move away. He was upset but knew this was going to happen one day. We moved apart but there were withdrawal symptoms. We missed spending time together but would talk when we could. I was missing the intimacy in my current relationship and looking for it in this affair. I didn’t want that. I tried very hard to make my relationship work but depression was getting to me. My relationship was supposed to be solid and this was just a fling, right? But things were going in the opposite direction. I didn’t know why.

The relationship ended because of other reasons and I wasn’t ready to start a new one. But then I found a friend. He helped me get out of my depression. He helped me develop my confidence. He helped me get back my voice and start working. He was there he had no reason to be there but he was. Given his past, he could have avoided me altogether he had got what he wanted at the time, but yet he was here now to support me. Why? We felt we were connected somehow. This wasn’t a fling anymore.

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With time, the relationship blossomed. We were both surprised. Neither of us expected that this would happen. A one time secret fling had turned into something much better. We spoke about how it was a weird connection that lead to a secret, that lead to a friendship and then to a relationship.I think this is love. It’s unexpected.

Everyone we meet in our lives is there for a purpose. To teach you something to help you grow. Nobody is a mistake.

Together we have grown. We have had our bad times and good times. He has been patient with my inexpressive ways and I with his craziness at times. I’ve seen him when he’s weak and when he’s strong. He’s seen me happy and sad. We travelled together, we’ve laughed and cried together and I think it’s time that we’re going to be partners for life.

As humans we’re bound to make bad choices, we’re bound to succumb to guilty pleasures but it’s the understanding we share as to individuals that keeps us going. I found an unlikely friend who turned out to be much more. I’m sure life will throw many more challenges at us. But it is how we overcome them that will prove the strength of this bond.

The first love

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During my school days I never had boyfriend. I always dreamed of having one though all thanks to stupid chick flicks and teenage drama films. He was going to handsome, charming and just so cool. He had to be a performer – a musician or sportsman or an actor, just someone who’d make me feel special. I saw many girls around me start their first relationships but I never met someone who fit the bill.

During one summer vacation, the colony friends circle expanded. There were boys and girls of different age groups. We’d play badminton, basketball, go swimming and just hang out all day everyday. There I met him – the first. He was two years younger to me but we got along really well. Some of the other girls in the group had a crush on him but I never thought of him as anyone who has more than a friend. We’d chat for hours, day and night, and he was a soccer player. Performer. Check.

One evening while talking on the phone (landline) he told me he liked someone from the group. I asked him who and he answered ‘you’. I didn’t know what to say at the time, it was confusing so I asked for some time to think about it. We were to go on a summer camp together in the next couple of days and I didn’t want anyone to think he was my ‘boyfriend’ so I avoided all conversation about it. In fact, I pretty much avoided him all through the camp. He was sweet though, would come and check on me occasionally but I’d be cold and unresponsive.

The evening we were returning home on the train, he held my hand and smiled. I don’t know what it was about this gesture but my heart gave in. I smiled back. At night when everyone around us was asleep, he kissed me. It was my first kiss and it has remained with me ever since.

After that it was puppy love for many months, he’d take me on dates, buy me presents, make wonderful music CD’s for me, we’d talk on the phone for hours, much to the dismay of our parents. I’d write him letters and he’d write back. He was wonderful. Then I started college and he was still in his last years at school. That’s when things began to get weird. I guess age and maturity had something to do with it. He started slacking, played less football, began smoking and drinking and wasn’t sure about what he wanted in life. I wanted to study further, I was enjoying the process of film making I had been learning in college.

I finished college and was all set to start my post grad. He had just started college. I was going to move to another city to a co-ed institute. He said he was sad that I was moving away, but it had been almost 4 years of us being together that we were confident we’d survive a long distance relationship.

I moved and discovered a whole new world at film school. It was amazing meeting new and interesting people from all over the world. It also gave me freedom to express myself. Living away from home, cleaning my own room, living on a budget without the privileges I was used to. I loved it. After being in an all girls college, film school had no boundaries or restrictions. Couples were living together, we’d drink, smoke or just spend hours into the night talking about films and our lives. I got my share of attention from many guys on campus too, but most were told that I had a boyfriend back home.

I asked him to come visit me during his vacation and he did. My roommates gave us the hostel room and I was looking forward to a weekend with my boyfriend. He seemed out of place when he got there, probably the same way I did when I first got there. He left his phone with me and went out to smoke a cigarette. I began snooping around without suspicion but stumbled upon text messages from a number that wasn’t mine. They said “I love you”, “Happy 2 month anniversary”, “I miss you” and  I was confused. I asked him and he said they were from his ‘cousin’. I mean how stupid can you be?

I didn’t know what to say after that. He apologized all through the night for cheating on me but I had made up my mind. I didn’t want to see him. He came back home, continued to say sorry but I didn’t want it anymore. His brother called me and said it was a stupid mistake, forgive him but I was stubborn. It was over.

Many drunken calls and text messages followed but were ignored. That’s where I learnt that we have a tendency to take things for granted, we take people for granted. That they’re there, they’ll never leave, he’ll never hurt me. But, you shouldn’t. I still see him from time to time, but the only communication we have it a polite “Hi”.

I relate my life to this article quite a bit

https://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/11/we-only-fall-in-love-with-3-people-in-our-lifetime-each-one-for-a-specific-reason/

Often our first is when we are young, in high school even. It’s the idealistic love—the one that seems like the fairytales we read as children. This is the love that appeals to what we should be doing for society’s sake—and probably our families. We enter into it with the belief that this will be our only love and it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t feel quite right, or if we find ourselves having to swallow down our personal truths to make it work because deep down we believe that this is what love is supposed to be. Because in this type of love, how others view us is more important than how we actually feel.It’s a love that looks right.

If nothing else, I thank him for helping me grow up.

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