If you have read this post you might be aware of the first love of my life. Naramadha is her name. The apple of my eye. I loved her so much that even after so many years she still remains my first love. So many girls have crossed my path after her and I have fallen head over heels in love with almost everyone, but none could dethrone her from her numero uno position.
We were in third standard when I first saw her. It was love at first sight. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen (as of June 1993). Her twinkling eyes that had a tinge of impishness made mine goggle.I went weak in the knees everytime she smiled at me revealing a hole that was once occupied by her teeth. Her running nose made me run after her.
For the next two years, I turned every chance I got into an oppurtunity to impress her and win her heart. I became the fasterst sprinter in the class. I learnt to spin notebook on my index finger. Nobody in the class could blow a bigger bubble in chewing-gum than me. She too seemed impressed by it all. By the time we entered fith grade, I was pretty sure that she had been swept off her feet and she was madly in love with me too. All that I needed was to make a formal proposal and a yes in return. Taylor Swift’s Love Story pretty much summarises our story..
Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone
I’ll be waiting all there’s left to do is run
You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess
It’s a love story baby just say yes
Like almost every love story, this one had a villain too. Enter class 5, villain made his entry into the story. He was the new student Sriram. From being referred to as “new student” he was soon conferred the sobriquet of “topper”. He not only aced all the exams but also exhibited superior skills in other activities too. He eliminated me as the fastest sprinter; his spinning of notebook was so majestic that it could be bettered only by Rajnikanth. He became the most sought after boy in the class as girls fell for him just like how Indian wickets would after Sachin’s during that era. What made me a little anxious was the fact that Narmadha was sitting next to him.
But I was not bothered much by Sriram because I believed Narmadha still loved me with all her heart. I was proved wrong on the day when Sriram brought crackers to the class. A gaggle of girls came to witness what was considered to be an act of bravery. And Narmadha was one of them. Sriram tore open a Bijili cracker packet and took out two pieces. He held one in each hand between index finger and thumb. He then asked another chap to light both the crackers. He stood holding them as sparkles flew out from them. Just a couple of seconds before they burst, he threw them, one by one, as high as possible, and the girls, craning their neck, watched in amazement as the crackers burst in the air. It was not only bijili crackers but also love that was in the air, for Narmadha fell in instant love with him. She smiled a blushing smile at him. Sriram who looked as if he was all set to receive the Nobel Prize for Bravery returned her smile with a wink that was tantamount to giving a peck on the cheek, leaving me heart-broken.
Since I was so young I could not grow beard. And at that time I thought “boozing” was another bad word like sex(i mean gender.. you perverts!) . So that too was ruled out. The only way I could vent out my frustration was by tearing out his hair with my bare hands. He was not only brainy but also brawny. So I dismissed that thought too.
I was on the verge of letting it slip. I badly needed to get a step ahead of Sriram and win back Narmadha’s love. But we Balajis are made of iron and do not quail in the moments of crisis. We thrive instead. I gave the matter the best of my brain and soon an idea struck me. The next day I challenged Sriram to beat me in dart game. This was my last resort. I believed I could regain her love if I thrashed him. It was widely believed that, if ever dart game and spoon-and-lemon race made their way into Olympics, I could easily bring home a couple of gold medals. Sriram, not being aware of my skills, agreed to the challenge. But I was confident that I would have the last laugh.
Many students, including Narmadha, gathered to witness the battle. It was decided that I must shoot the dart first. I glanced at Sriram. He smirked. Out of the corner of my eyes I glanced at Narmadha. She turned her face away from me. Disappointed, I took position and fixed my gaze intently at the center of the circle drawn on a wooden door. Having subjected the target to an immense scrutiny, I shot the dart and the next moment it hit the center of…. the temple of a girl who was standing beside the door.
The dart might have missed that girl’s eyes only by a few centimeters, but I failed to create a good impression with Narmadha by miles. It was not only my hope of winning back Narmadha’s heart that came crashing down but also the faith my classmates had in my Darting Dexterity that one day I’d win gold medals for my country.
Trivia: The girl who became the target of my dart looked so cute when cried and at that instant I fell in love with her. But that love lasted only for a few minutes until she ran to the Maths miss (with whom I would fall in love at a later stage) to complain about my escapades.
What ensued after that is something I would want to keep it under wraps. For one would not want to reveal in a public forum like this that he was canned mercilessly at all wrong places so much that he had to listen to the class for the next few days lying on his tummy.
That was the last time Narmadha spoke to me that year. That following summer vacation I came to Chennai and never returned to that school again
P.S: I recently heard from a mutual friend that Narmadha is happily married now. :P
P.S 1: Her husband’s name is not Sriram :P Wooo hoo! :D
P.S 2: Given my frequency of posts, it is highly unlikely that I will next update my blog before Diwali. So here’s wishing you all a very happy, colourful and safe Diwali. Be good and don’t try any silly tricks like Sriram :D