The first time that I met T, I was coming out of my chemistry tuition classes. A lean fellow then, he looked way more arrogant than his seventeen years. Our twelfth board exams were due to begin in three months and he joined my tuition batch for joint entrance examinations. I had already lost my heart to chemistry and the only reason I was part of that group was that I wanted to pursue higher studies in the subject from a premier institute. I don’t remember ever interacting with him while he always nurtured an irritation towards me for consistently topping the class tests. I got through my dream college in Kolkata for pursuing Chemistry Hons. He got through the most coveted medical college there for pursuing M.B.B.S. The funny co-incidence was that our colleges were adjacent. The day we went to bid adieu to our Professor was the only time we spoke wishing each other luck for the future.
Moving from a small town to a metro city in a hostel meant a lot of adjustments. There were relatives who never visited and friends who I mostly lost touch with. Often I would wonder how he might be coping up. After all, he was just next door. But the fact that we hardly knew each other stopped me from even trying to contact him. Eventually, I was in a relationship. After finishing graduation, I moved to Delhi to pursue my Masters. Sometimes I wondered if T was a doctor yet. I shifted to Bangalore next and started working. A few years later, I was left heartbroken in my relationship. I was in the first year of my MBA then. I was campus recruited for a Banking job with the country’s top private bank in Mysore. I had not really kept track about T’s life until then.
It was the August of 2010 when I found a friend request pending from someone who looked vaguely similar to T on Orkut. Just to reconfirm it was him; I sent him a scrap first. In a moment, he replied. In no time, we started talking like long-lost friends ending up exchanging numbers. When he called that night, I ended up talking to him for two hours straight. Soon enough, I was surprised to know the number of attempts T had made to contact me through a common senior and by randomly visiting the college. Finally, when he had come to know of my relationship status, he had given up on me. He and I shared the same history of a sour relationship but what was strange was the similarity in the duration and timing.
We grew thick as friends. Even if he had an emergency night shift; our day always began and ended with a call. Having grown up in the same town, we had a lot of common things to speak about. We realized that we had grown up with the same middle-class values and had a similar outlook on life. T hated traveling. Yet in November 2010, he took a flight to Bangalore and four hours road trip to Mysore to pay me a surprise visit. After the initial moment of awkwardness, it felt like we had known each other forever. A day later, he proposed. It happened so naturally that I wouldn’t have expected it to be any different. My parents were on a break in Mysore then. T was so sure of out relation that he met my parents.
In less than a month, I was clueless about how T had arranged the alliance. His parents spoke to me first and then my parents. Soon the families met and we were engaged in April 2011. In June 2011, T and I got married in our home town amidst friends and family. T took up an M.D. assignment in Mysore since my transfer to Kolkata looked impossible. Born and brought up in a nuclear family, it was a great deal of adjustment initially to be married into a joint family even the stay was just for a few weeks. T turned out to be great support for me to sail through this. Five months into the marriage; we lost my mother to an undiagnosed disease. T was my rock of Gibraltar. On the morning of our engagement, he had confessed to being in love with me ever since we had spoken for the first time. Deep down, I had always known but lived in denial. It took three cities, a failed relation each and more than a decade to realize that we were always destined to be together.