I was sitting by the window, sipping my tea and thinking of all the good times I had. Cold winds were blowing outside and the weather made me happy. The door of my room was pushed open and inside came both my sons. 16-year-old Tarun and 14 years old Varun.

‘Dad, dad tell us one story today please’ begged Varun. This practice of storytelling began when Varun was five years old. I told them stories on various topics sometimes about martyrs and at other times some stories based on my own experiences. Both my sons enjoyed such story sessions and these sessions continued even after my sons grew up. The young boys were looking at me anxiously and I decided to tell them something which I never thought of telling them before.

I wanted to tell them something about my romantic life. ‘Ok kids, so today I am going to tell you about the love story of your mother and father.’ I could clearly make out the joy on my kids’ faces as soon as I made this announcement. ‘Dad we always wanted to know this story but never expressed our desire openly. We are so happy that you are going to share this story with us finally’ said Tarun. I was excited to narrate this story today because meeting Anu was one of the greatest moments of my life. I was on top of the world and felt like I was the luckiest person on this planet when I married her. With a big smile on my face I began my story:

‘I was neither the topper of my class nor a failure. I was an average student. I was average at everything I did, be it sports, music, studies or any other activity. Maybe this was the reason I was always single whereas all my other friends were in a relationship. Everybody liked me and talked to me but I never had a girlfriend because I was ‘bro-zoned’ by all the girls. Almost everyone in my class was in a relationship when we were in the 6th grade and I came under the rare category of single people. My classmates talked about love at first sight and also about how our world changes when that special someone enters our life. I turned a deaf ear to such talks and never believed in the concept of love.

It was in class eighth when I started to get a vague idea about love. The world around me changed completely with Anu’s entry into our school and also in my life.

In October (when half of the academic year was over) Anu took admission in my school. She was skinny, had fair skin, a cute face and big innocent eyes. She recently shifted to Delhi and took late admission because of her father’s transfer. She………’

Varun interrupted suddenly and said,’ Dad I can never imagine mom as a slim girl. Look at her now she is as fat as an elephant.’  The boys burst out laughing. I was in a really good mood today. Talking of Anu always made me happy. I was lost in my own happy world. I did not scold them and decided to continue with my story:

‘She was a simple girl. I always found something different in her from the very first day I saw her. Time went by. Anu was excellent at everything- sports, dance, music, arts and she was the one who always topped the class. She was extremely kind and had a very good nature. In no time she became everyone’s favourite. But strangely I never talked to her. It wasn’t like I hated her or something but I never got an opportunity to interact with her. It was in class eighth that I failed in my exams for the first time. I failed not only in one but in three papers. All my teachers were disappointed. They started scolding me on a daily basis. Their remarks made me unhappy. I was happy when Anu came to my rescue. She promised to help me pass all my exams with flying colours. We started to meet every day after school. She cleared my concepts and taught me everything in the best way possible. I started liking her more with every passing day. I eagerly waited to meet her every day. Finally, our results were declared and surprisingly both of us topped the class. She was evidently happier than me. She hugged me and congratulated me. At that moment I was certain that I loved her. I loved her more than anything in this world. I wanted to hold her tight and always be by her side.

After that realization dawned upon me I tried to spend more and more time with her. I looked at her continuously in class (I guess the word stare will be more suitable here isn’t it?) and we exchanged smiles sometimes. In short, my day was not complete when I did not see her.’  

Varun and Tarun were deeply engrossed in the story. They wanted to know how their parents met. Tarun was curious about his mother’s feelings and he asked ‘Dad did mom love you back then?’ His question made me realize that I had never asked Anu what she felt for me when she was young. Maybe today once she comes back from shopping we could talk about her feelings for me when we were young.

‘I have no idea about this son. But I am sure she enjoyed my company and considered me a good friend. Five years passed by. I still liked her but I never gathered the courage to express my feelings. Class twelfth results came out. Luckily both of us got into the same college. Even now I wasn’t able to tell Anu how much I loved her. My heart skipped a beat every time a boy proposed her. But to my relief, she rejected all of them. It was finally in the second year of college, I proposed to her (with a lot of fear). To my surprise, she immediately said yes and we got married soon after the college got over. And kids, that’s how I met your mother, that’s how we got married and had wonderful kids like you.’ Varun and Tarun hugged me. I closed my eyes and held them tightly in my arms.

Something hit my forehead. I opened my eyes and found the teacher staring at me. Everybody in the class was staring at me. It was my second year in college now and I was caught sleeping in between the lectures. ‘We don’t appreciate one of our bright students sleeping in the class.’ yelled my teacher. I apologized and sat down. I thought of the wonderful dream I had. Anu was sitting on the first bench. She smiled at me. I smiled back. I was sure than ever before then I had to propose to her. I was in the second year of my college and this was my chance of converting my dream into reality. I wanted her with me till I die. Who knows maybe one day I might narrate my love story( exactly the way I dreamt) to Varun and Tarun in reality.

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