Oh, the day calls for a walk down memory lane, so shoot me! 
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At 4, I was quite the well behaved kid. Kudos to my mom for that. However, I had one huge problem. I was a very fussy eater. I literally survived on love and fresh air. Yes, I know you got the air bit and are dying for the ‘love’ part. Well, in the good ol’ days of Doordarshan, Chayageet and Chitrahaar were two favourite family programs. And I loved it even more because Shashi Kapoor featured in at least one song every week. Two, if I was lucky. So Mom used that as a bait to ensure I had some nutrition, lest she be called a ‘bad mother’. Dad worked in close quarters with the Kapoor family. In fact they were responsible for him migrating to Bombay. So, he took me to Film City one day along with my cousins. I met him. I was all so shy. I loved him. He was so sweet to talk to. I even have a picture of me in his arms. He remains one of the most well mannered and well spoken actors we have. People talk about Amitabh Bachchan in Dewaar, but I think ‘Ravi’ eternized ‘Mere pass maa hai’. Shashi Kapoor will always remain my first love……..sigh!

I was 8. He was 28. We met every Thursday. He was my dance teacher and I can swear Bharat Natyam has never been taught better. A snug pair of blue denims, a crisp white shirt and the ‘taal’ to match. All I remember was that he had a commanding posture and was the epitome of grace when he moved. When he danced, it made me happy to watch. I was the youngest student he had and so was his favourite too. I loved the attention he showered on me and hence my interest in the dance form only grew. I graduated to my Senior’s Diploma. One day, he eloped with our fellow teacher. I was heartbroken. I quit the class and never completed my Arangetram. But the art form had taken deep roots. Somehow, over the years, if a man had two left feet, I did not want that man!

I was headed to my teens and was now introduced to George Michael. I could swear he sang only for me. The other girls in my class believed otherwise. But then when you have a crush like him, girls are bound to be jealous, no? Georgie boy got me through many nights where I wondered what I’d do if I met him. Would I ask him to sing for me or ask him for his autograph? Maybe he’d bring me on stage and announce to the world, I was his muse. Without me, he was nothing. Oh, the announcement of a different kind came and yet again I was left nursing a broken heart. That day I understood, a woman’s true competition is another man! Since then, I keep the guy friends a whole lot closer than their female counterparts.

The best way to heal a broken heart is to latch on to a diversion. Mel Gibson proved to be more than just that. He gave direction to my thoughts and words. I became a poet. I wrote every time I dreamed he was near. Moreover he was a Capricorn, born a day after me. So it was destined we get married on January 1st. And then every year, he’d whisk me away to an exotic location for our anniversary. That he was a married man did not deter me. Mistakes happen. It was not his fault that we lived in separate continents. Ok, maybe partly it was. Well, Mel Gibson soon had stiff competition. I had discovered some new fans. Good news, they all lived within the vicinity. 

It wasn’t until Ricky Martin and his bonbons made an appearance did I realize, I had been away too long. God, that boy could make me salivate and how! Here was a man who could get me to orgasm with the sheer brilliance of his dance moves. He was salsa, I was the dip, everything was in perfect sync. Until his song ‘Livin la vida loca’ proved to be the Trojan horse.  A certain man in question realized I was too dangerous an ammunition to be let loose like that. So in the greater interest of society, the country and the world perhaps, he gave the ultimate sacrifice. I got noticed, dated briefly and got hitched permanently.

And so, to all the men I’ve loved before well, have a drink on me, will ya? And oh yeah, before people march out as to ‘why do we need Valentine’s day’ and ‘every day ought to be a day for love’, let me just add…….Bitch, please? So every waking day you live in a TV commercial amidst candy floss clouds? You are conjoined at the hips and inseparable as you whisper sweet nothings to one another? How diabetic and claustrophobic that must be?

This day is a boon to all those who forget anniversaries, birthdays, first dates, last kiss, promised vacations et al. The umpteen reminders across various platforms and the zillion choices help your auto pilot mode. This is the day of redemption, where a hole in your pocket safeguards you from the sword of words. This day is an official reminder that today, for once, you can be nice and civil under the garb of romance.  Kyunki tedha hai……. par mera hai!



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