Happy Anniversary, darling child! Your salivary glands are inflamed and you’re in agony, and you don’t think I’m a very sympathetic person -- I confuse submandibular with subliminal -- but look at me, writing you an ode and wracking my brains for a handful of spectacular moments that must exist in the two years we’ve been dating.
Just so you don't think I'm a cow who's forgotten, these are just a few instances of your brilliant nature that've stayed with me
- You made me a snowman on your trip to Germany in November 2008 and emailed me a photo of you standing next to it. That was sweet. You stuffed orange roses in the snowman’s hand. That was sweet too. Your corduroy pants weren’t sweet but it would’ve been wrong to tell you that then, especially since you fell sick right after being out in the snow and putting some twigs in hot water. That was stupid. But thank you for the snowman.
- You got me mushroom soup when I was sick before the office party and drank it with me even though I know vegetables aren’t really your thing. That was sweet. I got well, too. And the office party was fun enough. I looked hot. But I didn’t tell you I wore shorts. You wouldn’t have liked that because you're a somewhat medieval-minded
- You touched my grandparents’ feet on Diwali last year when you met them. That was very sweet. My mother and I were so impressed with you. You felt indignant and thought we were idiots to be surprised. What did you expect, you asked? I don’t know. But I’d never seen you do the good Indian boy act, executing feet touching rituals so ‘normally’! If you were wearing a kurta and had a red tika on your forehead, I might’ve fainted. Thankfully, in the linen shirt and familiar paunch, I knew you at once.
- You offered to teach me syntactic theory and embedded clauses so that I might pass my Linguistics papers and get my masters degree. Never happened, but you’re a gentle soul for offering to teach -- and not at all arrogant for thinking that you, with no prior knowledge of the subject, could, in fact, teach me, and get me to pass. But we weren’t dating then so I should hit backspace.
- On your birthday this year, Jan 2010, bizarrely enough, you downloaded cheapy Hindi film songs like “teri or, teri o” for me. I don’t mind Katrina and Akshay. They look hot, but the song -- I don't mind it either, but it was never a favourite! I was confused, but your mother was singing along happily and it gave everybody a break from all that jazz!
- For my mother’s 60th birthday, you turned up, with a banoffee pie, even though we were fighting bitterly. This is why I will marry you.
- Buying me a pepper spray that you keep telling me you paid a bomb for. I’ve never used it. This is why you should ask me before buying crap.
- I told you I wanted a watering can for my birthday. You painted a spray gun. To every normal person, I had the sweetest boyfriend. But it was not what I wanted. Still, thank you, I guess, foolish.
Like I was telling a friend yesterday, I must be bloody sensible to rank trust and reliability and down to earth goodness over fun and compatibility and an intuitive understanding of me. But maybe I'm too harsh.
I asked you in the car on Sunday to break the silence when we were fighting, Is Billie Holiday a man?, and you said, “You’re kidding, right?” And then you laughed. Why would I kid? I don’t know anything about jazz except that those songs don’t usually get stuck in my head which frankly, for me, is a yardstick of catchy. And don’t use ‘kidding’. Don’t use ‘kickass’. Don’t use ‘douche’ and for god’s sake, sort your Hindi out. Life isn’t an episode of Southpark. American slang shall not set you free! It is not cool to sit next to me in a movie hall, watching Kameenay, sulking because I got annoyed at being asked what is naiiya? Naiyya, my pretty little white boy, is a boat. Naiyya par kara de is a prayer to god to make your boat cross the river -- figure of speech. Learn it. If you forget, I’ll break your nose.
We don’t have common interests. Rarely are we on the same tangent. We get excited when we both love something the same. So, till date, on our list of commons, we have stationery, mango, and canned laughter. We love office supplies, mangoes and because of me, now, you can’t deal with laughter tracks. I still don’t get the big deal about How I Met Your Mother. The jokes are staid, it’s a Friends rip off, and that Barney should retire.
I’m sorry you get hurt because I feel so strongly about third rate sit com characters. You should lighten up. I’m a mean girl but if people say nasty things about you, I’ll take your side. If the nasty things are funny, I might first laugh, but I’ll still defend you. True love, baby. See – I’m not just with you because I’ve invested so much time and effort in this relationship. Also, you and I both don’t like orange-flavoured chocolates. Soul mates, or what?
I owe you a lot of love. Thank you for downloading Grey’s Anatomy for me. And thank you for watching it with me.
You thought Ruskin Bond (!) wrote Satanic Verses. I can’t get over it. I guess I know how you feel about my mistaking Billie for a man. You read Sc-Fi. I don’t know who Robert Jordan is. Isaac Asimov is the one author I skipped entirely when cramming for my undergrad lit exams. You find this blasphemy.
You don’t like hanging with people. I seem to be enough for you. I like meeting people. Your company doesn’t always enthrall.
You think I have a fun aura. I think you have a zzz aura. And when someone asks me so how are things with you, I play it down. And yet, you should believe me when I say it’s okay to be around you.
I can’t find the diary in which I’ve recorded, step by step, how we started going out. I have no idea where it is. But you must know that I remember everything. Except maybe what you were wearing. I remember what I was wearing – back and khaki. I remember what you were saying. I remember the dinner. I remember the strained talk. I remember the wine. The food was a very dry spinach and corn bake. I left it halfway. I remember texting Y from under the table telling him to bugger off for a few minutes because I needed to talk to you. He made up the name Nivedita and said he had to go talk to her. Bless him.
When he left, I pouted, said mean things, got teary and you pecked my cheek and said some not so mean things. Y paid, his treat, we walked out. It was raining. I remember holding your hand. You had a beard. We went for ice cream. Your skin looked like shit. I didn’t say much. You told me to drive carefully. There was a hug and an awkward kiss. We said bye. You followed me for a bit. You were angry I was texting and driving.
When I got home, we had a marathon bout of abuses and apologies and explanations on text and then I told you to shut up and quit beating around the bush. After a few minutes that lasted forever, you told me alright, here’s the deal. You didn’t want to be another one of my toy boys or social experiments. You said you knew if we get into something it’s bound to be serious. I was flattered and amused and relieved and on the same page.
This was two years ago to the date. You credited me with too little and too much in the same breath. I had to assure you that you wouldn’t be a hamster. No experiments. No toy boys. Now what? I liked that awkward phase. It worked well, all the firsts.
Now we are shoes. We wear each other out. And yet we persist. There are plans. We talk of the future and speak of where we will live. And after all this time, and knowing you are my dust-settler, all I really want is to be with you.
So when your gland gets better, and you can eat again, and talk again, and the MRI shows nothing, and all your autoimmune scares are put to rest, you need to quit playing on my sympathies, and get me something nice. I deserve it, don't you think?