Mr Almost Perfect


I always thought 27 will be the perfect age to get married. I’d be complete almost 8 years of work and I’d be with someone long enough to start this next phase of life with. But life had other plans.

I was recovering from ‘the one that hurt’ when I met someone new. He wasn’t that new as he’d been the ex of one of my closest friends. We had chatted of and on. He was in Bombay and I was in Delhi and one day we chatted longer than usual. That turned to chatting everyday, which turned to phone calls. I had a good feeling about him. He was a few years older to me. A young entrepreneur with an inspiring story, a musician and someone with a very positive vibe. I was attracted to him but didn’t know how to tell him.

He once visited Delhi and we spent the day together, looking at books and just walking around. He didn’t say anything about the obvious attraction. That night I wrote him a letter about how I was feeling and thought I’d hand it to him before he took his flight the next morning. I did and he left. But to my surprise he came back saying he missed his flight. I was nervous about what he’s going to say about the letter when he comes back but he didn’t say anything. He left again to catch an evening flight.

He sent me a letter the old fashioned way a couple of days later. He said he’s attracted to me too. It was a very special feeling. I couldn’t stop smiling.

We met in a different city afterwards for a short trip. We held hands and kissed. It was sweet but never spoke about our feelings. My friend whose ex he was also approved of this. She felt I’d fix him and his impulsive ways, which had broken them apart. We went on short trips but were dealing with the pains of a long distance relationship. I was happy again.

A year later I was 27 and asked him about marriage. He took off the ring he wore and slipped it on my finger. I didn’t need an answer after that. It was decided that I’d quit my job in Delhi, we’d get engaged formally, I’d move to Bombay, we’d find our own place to live in, I’d find a new job and then we’d get married. Everything was going according to plan.

Except, I had a few doubts. One, he was an extremely busy man running his business and travelling constantly for work. I was okay with it as long as I knew he was around and I could at least speak with him once a day. Two, my family wasn’t too happy about this decision. In my head I felt it was right and I tried to convince them, they eventually gave in and agreed. They were happy as long as I was. Three, I noticed that his family wasn’t very communicative. This was very unlike the environment I’d grown up in. They would talk to each other but I never saw an expression of love or affection. No hugging each other, no smiling at times, very short bits on conversation. It was a bit odd for me but I felt I’d adjust. Despite these three issues I still felt this would work.

I left my job and moved to Bombay. He’d found the perfect house. It was huge but empty and I was looking forward to making it a home along with my fiance. We had got engaged and I was excited.


Then life threw its curve balls.

First, I searched for months, went for a dozen interviews, made calls and met people but I just couldn’t find a job. This was frustrating. I was qualified and had potential but probably just bad luck when it came to finding suitable work. I missed my financial freedom of earning my own money and being able to spend it where I wanted to.

Second, My fiance got very busy. So much so that we barely saw each other. He’d leave in the mornings and be back very late at night. Most of the time he had to travel internationally which meant he’d not be home for days at a stretch.

Third, I was alone in a huge empty house. I would clean it all day. Wash clothes, utensils, water plants, watch television and then sit online all day long. I’ve never enjoyed cooking so making myself lunch or dinner was a task. So I’d mostly order in and I’d begun to feel sad.

I had friends in the city but everyone was busy with their lives and jobs. I couldn’t expect them to come spend days with me because I was lonely. I’d go meet them whenever an opportunity presented itself but this was not frequent.

This is when I realized I needed love and comfort. I looked for this in my fiance. But things began to change. He said he didn’t feel well, when it came to sex. He didn’t want to hug or kiss me. Our conversation reduced to what’s for dinner, did you pay the rent or why he’s running late because of work.

Most people love the monsoons in Bombay but I hate them. They came pouring and I was trapped in this house, alone, with no work, no partner, no money to go out and just no life. I began to cry. I wanted to go back home.

I did try and visit Delhi as often as I could, either doing freelance work for my old employers or to visit my family but I never let anyone know how I was hating life in Bombay.

Then he surprised me one day. He said we were going to go on a holiday together to Egypt. But my mind was playing tricks. I wasn’t excited about going but showed otherwise. We did go with another couple who were friends of his but I just hated being there. We were running around the country, trying to check as many places of our list rather than spending quality time together or relaxing. This wasn’t a holiday. At least not for me. I had even splurged my savings to go on this trip and yet I just wasn’t happy.

Then I came to Delhi and thought things through. Was this what I wanted my life to be?  Mrs CEO crying alone at home, waiting for work in a city where everyone’s in a rat race? I had begun feeling depressed. I began opening up to some friends and since my fiance was so busy I wrote him an email about how I was feeling.

“I’ve been meaning to have this conversation with you but everyday it’s getting increasingly difficult for me to communicate with you. I find it difficult to express myself so I’m writing it down. I’m uncomfortable and I’m upset. You might think that this is happening because I have too much time on my hands and nothing to do, but even so you still need to know how I feel. I came to Bombay to start a life with you and to have a relationship with you. I know you are a busy man but I feel you don’t want to make time for me. You say you made a big move for me by moving out of your parents’ house. I also left my job, my family for a new city and a new life. I know you have had to travel and so have I, but do you call or message me even once during the day especially when you know I’m all alone with nothing to do. I used to but I stopped because I felt it was one sided. Even if I start working and I would want to come home to someone who I can spend alone time with, someone I can unwind with and not just mechanically eat and sleep. You need your space I understand, but I really don’t think I intrude that in any way. I want a companion who knows how I feel, who wants to spend time with me. Why do you think I don’t feel like cooking or dressing up or doing anything because I have no one who appreciates or acknowledges it. I feel what’s the point. What is there to feel positive about? In any relationship people spend time together, there is romance and intimacy. I don’t feel anything. This is a basic need and right now I feel unattractive and very irritated and bitter. I never came here to just be a social figure for you. In front of people I’m your wife or fiancé but when we are alone its nothing. I don’t see or feel any love. There is no communication or want to be together. If this is what life ahead is going to be like I don’t know if I want it. I think you also need to figure out what you want from this relationship, before we step into marriage. We can put in on hold. If you feel we need to distance ourselves for some time lets do that. “

He replied saying I was in an extremely negative frame of mind. I didn’t motivate or inspire him and I taunted him. He said I was disillusioned and that maybe I should be with someone else.

I decided to come back home. I explained to my family that I didn’t want to get married. They had to deal with a lot of questions and I’m sure he and his family had to as well. After thinking it through I feel, he was a great guy, a great friend but not a great companion for me. We’re still friends and talk once in a while. Mostly about his work. But he lacks the communication and expression needed in a relationship. This was probably like a business partnership or deal. For me I was looking for something, rushed into the ‘almost perfect’ thinking it was perfect and got hurt in the bargain.

But again, life had other plans.



The first love


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

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.