Three occasions when Gautham Vasudev Menon challenged the ‘proposal’ routine….
When it comes to matters of the heart, some girls communicate loud and clear. They have a poetic way of getting it out. As their thoughts resonate within, everything else slowly recedes to the background. They make it sound so compelling that suddenly it seems to be the only meaningful way ahead.
Maya, a post-graduate in mathematics from IIT, probably owns this category.
Smart, sweetly obstinate and ambitious, she is not the girl you would casually ogle at, if you get to meet her randomly on the streets.“Probably, out of my league” would be a very normal reaction. Not that she is insanely beautiful, but it’s something beyond words that easily sets her apart from the rest. You could call it some aura; she had come to associate herself with. Right from taking guitar lessons to choosing mathematics over medicine and engineering, she had always been clear in what she wanted out of life. Impulsive choices weren’t for her. Never.
So, one day, when Maya realizes that she had fallen for someone, who seemed to be wearing a cloak of indifference, she knows she wouldn’t quit without a struggle.
Her first few encounters with Anbuselvan weren’t quite the stuff of ‘memories’, until she had come to know of the I.P.S tag behind his name. Not that this piece of information mattered, but it made her see his persona in a whole new light. Suddenly everything seemed to make sense. The scrupulous ways that had become a part of his routine. The no-nonsense attitude he wears to ward off his solitude-bursts. The kind of person he is, on the inside. Everything fit in, one evening, as she lay on his lap, injured and half-conscious, being rushed to the hospital. The distress on his face… the agony in his eyes… it was like nothing she had seen before from this detached man, who was hesitant to come out of his self-constructed world. And that moment, she knew she had fallen in love.
Anbu, citing fear of weakness, initially hesitates to let her into his personal space. But slowly, as Maya perseveres, he starts feeling the girl’s vibrations all around. And seeing the world transform before his eyes, he decides to let Maya convince him. Oh man, what a terrible mistake that proves to be. As Maya looks into his eyes and tells him how she wants to spend the rest of her life with him – the only man who makes her go all crazy – we know the girl has aced the moment. “Why me? Why willingly chose this world of danger?” And as if awaiting this question, as an excuse to end it all with a bloody masterstroke, Maya responds “It’s a girl thing. You would know if you were a girl!”
Priya must have also been tempted to say the same when Surya responds to her heartfelt confession by wondering if a guy and a girl could ever be just-friends! But she doesn’t.
For Priya, unlike Maya, is not the smooth talker.
Quiet, analytical and observant, she likes to keep everything in check, including complicated emotions and the words that they incite in her. If she were speaking out a hundred words, she would have a thousand more restrained at the level of her voice box. She might not converse with that magical quiver on her lips. She might not believe in stunning the listener with overwhelming figuratives. But nonetheless, she means what she says. Sometimes, even to a deeper extent than Maya.
How would it feel to have loved someone for years and then discover one day that they can never be yours? Would it have helped if you had expressed your feelings earlier? Is all love lost between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said? Priya had battled with these questions for two long years, before she had decided to come out clear with Surya.
Impulsive? Not quite, but something was gnawing at her mind for sure.
They say you never forget a childhood sweetheart. Certainly, there is something magical about the first person with whom you make that instant connection, however innocent and fleeting it turns out to be. For Priya, it had been Surya. She had nurtured a liking for him right through school up to the final years of college. He had been her close friend, her companion and confidante. Her fondest memories were the moments they had laughed together, without a care in the word.
But everything went tumbling down that fateful evening. The day, when Surya had dragged her out to talk about Meghna. Trembling with excitement from head to toe, he hadn’t cared to notice Priya’s response. Not that it mattered anyway. She hadn’t reacted at all. Actually, she couldn’t bring herself to. At first, it felt awful. She felt shattered. The whole world seemed to close in on her. Picking herself from that abyss wasn’t easy, but later when she finally managed to muster the guts; she had to answer only one question that was troubling her hurt ego “What would he have expected from me as a best friend?” Silencing every other voice from her inside questioning her masked silence, she had felt happy for the person she loved the most.
And now she is, seated beside Surya, a couple of years after destiny had played havoc in each of their dreams. Following Meghna’s shocking demise, it had taken Surya months of self-inflicted suffering, his parents’ help and Priya’s unflinching support to come around again. Now that he seemed visibly comfortable in her company, Priya decides to come out clean. There is no space for poetry here, but her clarity and straight-forwardness hit us hard.
She starts out by reflecting on the hypocrisy in her thoughts. Yes, no matter how hard she tries, he is going to be the person she can never get out of her mind. But she also understands that it would be tough for Surya to move on. After all, how could he just forget someone who gave him so much to remember? What then, is she supposed to do?
“I don’t even want you to react to what I am saying here. You know we are best friends, and I would want it to keep it that way”. She pauses and looks at his eyes “I am terrified that you might not feel the same way and it’ll ruin our friendship. That’s the last thing I want, but on the other hand, I don’t know if I could ever live with myself if I never got a chance to be brutally honest with you. I am in mad love with you, and that’s how it has always been” And as she finishes, she stares ahead, not having the heart to face his eyes.
Surya responds with a long silence. He then gets up and walks away. Priya had fully anticipated this, but she had also spotted something she hadn’t– a glimmer in his eyes, moments before he had looked away. She smiles. She knows that some bonds are worth a lifetime.
Just that it takes six years from here for Priya. But for the casual and outspoken Thenmozhi, all it takes is a single flight from Boston to Chennai and an ensuing evening to believe in it.
There are girls who would rather wait for their crush to approach them. There are girls who would somehow make their crush come out with their feelings. And then, there are girls who would take matters into their own hands, approach them at first opportunity and go ” I need to answer my instincts. I have this feel that you might make for an awesome friend. We would know it in a single date. If we can hit it off… a few more coffee dates would tell me if this relationship is worth pursuing. Would you come with me for a tall glass of coffee and some pointless banter?” Thenmozhi belongs to the the third kind.
Bold, beautiful and rational, she is what you would get if Maya decides to get a little more adventurous and fun. After being smitten with Sathyadev over a flight journey, she badly wants to know if his appeal is all shallow, or something worthy of a long term relationship.
It probably can’t get more candid than this. But if only, meeting with your dream partner, falling in love, hitting it off emotionally and finding true compatibility were all as simple as that? In an unexpected turn of events, Sathyadev tells her that he is married, but is living only with his daughter. “Separated? Divorced? She is shocked but she doesn’t get any of her answers till Sathya takes her home.
Thenmozhi is now in a daze. A little girl in the home of her first love. A couple of moments later, she realizes that the kid had made her loosen up and breathe easy. Still, a lot of doubts keep troubling her mind. But something is making her smile, and even blush a little. Something about that lovable household seems to be pulling at her heart-strings; with Sathyadev back at mesmerizing her, only this time in an entirely unexpected manner. When the little girl tells Thenmozhi about her mom’s tragic death, and Sathya not being her biological dad, she breaks down on the ‘inside’ for a few moments, but recovers quickly to conceal her mixed vibes. But she knows something now. She has fallen for Sathya irreversibly. Things are much clearer. It is, indeed, love.
Thenmozhi wouldn’t say it aloud to Sathya in the near future. The coffee-dates are still pending. But, she has realized the way love works. You don’t find it. It finds you. Every single time.