I was a bubbly girl who spent hours watching Bollywood movies DDLJ and RHTDM on a repeat. I often got drenched in the rains and dreamt of her prince charming.
On that sultry winter night, I attended my cousin’s wedding while he was there from the groom’s side. We exchanged a few stolen glances and the next moment I knew I was in love. At a time when all the Baraatis were busy in drinking and dancing, I noticed him sitting quietly at one corner and enjoying the scene. He seemed to enjoy all the noise around him but inside he was calm and silent. My brother-in-law introduced us and told me to take his advice on the upcoming CAT examination as he was a student at IIM Bangalore. I heard IIM-B and I was in complete awe of him. We spoke for sometime. He actually gave me some good tips to do well in entrance test and I took a note of his contact details.
Post wedding, we kept in touch. His short and sweet emails well complimented my long, light emails. After 3 months, he told me he was coming to Delhi and would like to meet me. I couldn’t be more rejoiced. We met. He took a day off from his assignment and I bunked college and we had a great time together.
Jan 01, 2008 was the best-est start of any year I had seen so far. I opened my eyes at 7 am when my phone beeped and I read his sms ‘Jas, I cant possibly tell you how happy I am to have met you. You have become the sunshine of my life’. I read the sms at least 10 times before I got dressed and stepped out to meet him. He was leaving the next day. I met him at a book shop in CP and in one corner of the shop, surrounded by the love tales of the legendary, we marked the beginning of our eternal love. He gently kissed me and I hugged him tight. He asked me, ‘btw why did your parents name you Jasmine? I mean why not rose if they had to pick a flower’s name for their single child?’. I almost punched him for his sad humor on my name and then replied, ‘Because Jasmine smells sweet and unlike rose, it doesn’t have thorns. So, you see, no matter how close you come to me, you wont be hurt’.
When he dropped me at my home in the evening, he said he would talk to his parents about our marriage but he still wanted me to study hard for my career. Within a few days, I got my CAT results and it was a meager 75. But I was still happy. Amit was the reason of my joys.
Next month I called my cousin to confide in her about my sweet love story but before I could let her know she casually mentioned ‘Amit’s dad got a paralysis attack’. My heart sank. He didn’t tell me about this. I called him at once and heard him sobbing. He was also worried about continuing his education as he belonged to a simple, single earning member family. I offered him a bit of financial help but he declined.
Along with his dad’s paralysis attack, our relationship also suffered. He called me one day announcing his placement in a reputed Asian firm. I was deliriously happy for him.He asked me to talk to my parents about my feelings for him. All excited I started the conversation at the dining table before we could finish our meals.
I couldn’t believe what destiny had in store for me. My dad was screaming ‘What? Have you gone crazy? Do you even know his caste? He belongs to a lower caste. Not possible at all’. I was aghast.
Sobbing, I called Amit. As expected and as usual, he was calm and composed on the phone. We didn’t speak much. He just said ‘It wont be possible Jas. You focus on your career and I need to focus on my family’.
Our telephonic conversations reduced. Emails shortened and even the intensity of voice on the phone jaded. I felt like a complete loser. He asked me to move on. I couldn’t feel proud of my dad any more. But one thing gave me strength. I decided to pursue CAT. I did and scored 99.7 percentile. I joined IIM-B.
My cousin told me about his wedding. I had got the invite too but decided to skip it. I focused on my career. Now I am in the USA, working for a reputed bank. He is married and is in China right now. How do I know? Because I got an email from him last month. A short, sweet email in the last two years. Here’s what he wrote:
Hope all’s fine with you. Moved to SF? It’s a great place. I was there last year for 5 months. I am in China right now for a long term assignment. Came here last week. Gitanjali (my wife) would come here soon, maybe in two months. She still feels a little weak. She just became a mother.
I decided not to read his email further and closed the browser. How could he move on so easily while I was still escaping the truth that we won’t be together?!
A few days later, I decided to archive my inbox. And his email was staring at me from there. I decided to read it in entirety.
“…I am a proud and happy father of a beautiful baby. She is very playful. Almost like a sunshine. We call her Jasmine. Because she smells so sweet and she doesn’t hurt people if they come close to her. Have a nice stay in SF.
I forgot to archive my inbox and instead went to the garden downstairs. I cried. I still don’t know the reason for crying, but I remember I cried hard for about 20 mins. And did not reply to his email. He knew my location. He knew my work. He understood my name.