My first crush

This post won an honorable mention from the judge Preeti Shenoy at the contest.

There is something about rains, the smell of wet mud and moisture laden winds that remind me of the very first time my heart behaved like a hammer for a boy. It was a long time ago … and times were simpler. I had already made an ass of myself over Amitabh Bacchan in Zanjeer and even written a love letter to him that got caught. Of course that did not discourage me. I moved on … to a real boy.

I must tell you that I was shy, bookish and had major self esteem issues those days. This was because after years of being bullied by being a valued sibling of my brothers, I was abandoned by them. They promptly dropped me like a hot potato the moment I hit puberty and had physical developments to show for it. I reacted by burying myself in books and not talking to them.

I was not popular with the girls (never knew how to deal with them) and I found them catty.  They found me totally “quaint” {translation : weird}.  There was this boy, he was fair, tall and had the most dreamy eyes.  His name was Anil Mathur.  He sang beautifully.  I never met a real boy who could sing till then, boys in my knowledge could fight, tease their sisters, kick ball, fly kites and drive vehicles at break neck speed.  Anil was different.  He would sing and how.  Our school was next to the river and our favorite pass-time was to sit on the steps at the river bank.  It was a rainy day and we were munching peanuts when Anil and his band of merry men came and sat slightly away from us, of course, facing us.  Anil sang “Laga chunri pe daag” , not an easy song by any means.  I was fascinated.  I kept staring at him and (ahem) so did he.  Of course the other girls of my class  noted this aankhon aankhon mein thing and decided to butt in.

I mean, if they had not butted in, it would have just been a memory of a perfect rainy afternoon with a beautiful song … but those cats decided otherwise.  This was school mind you, in the late 70s and early 80s.  You looked at a boy or even exchanged a pencil, you were going steady.  It spread like wildfire all over school that Anil and I were an item.  We had not even said “Hi” to each other.

My brothers advised his pals to keep him safe and teach him swimming.  I had thrown an idiot into the river for kissing me in the summers.  Anil never approached me or said “Hi” ever!!!  Girls with 8 brothers in the same school don’t get boy friends easily.  Perhaps that was the reason I freaked so much on the mental retard who surprised me by attempting to kiss me.  I simply pushed him and he fell into the river.  No my darling brothers, I know you lurk here, I did not try to drown him, ever.

The girls wanted drama.  I was too shy to give them any, Anil too scared.  The stoopid cats resorted to writing love letters in my name to him, and in his name to me.  This was stupid, but they wanted action you see.  All the action they got was Anil singing Mere Sapno Ki Rani Kab Ayegi Tu or another favorite of his, Humne Tumko Dekha, and me sitting quietly, nose in book, listening.

Love Letters

Love Letters
Love Letters

For a short period of time, I believed that Anil was sending me letters and I kept tearing them to bits.  My brothers may have found the song in the rain amusing, but would not have taken kindly to love letters being exchanged.  One day, after lunch, when I discovered yet another letter in my Physics Part II, I decided enough was enough.  As soon as I saw that he was alone, I slunk out to warn him.  But the class teacher saw me and gave me a pile of checked note books to distribute in the class.  I went back to the abandoned class, and then decided to leave a warning note in his note book.  I opened his note book and the truth was revealed.   The letters I got were written in quite a lovely hand, the guy had the most godawful handwriting.  That flummoxed me, but it hurt me too.  Part of me …. a huge part of me wanted Anil to write me those letters.  But all he could do was sing love songs.  Writing was not his forte.

I lashed out at the girls of my class.  I was harsh,  but it was my pain I was dealing with so no regrets there.  I told them to stop being sneaky bitches and get a life of their own.  That alienated me from the group even further.  The letters stopped.  Anil would look at me sadly and sing mournful dirges like Sapna Mera Toot Gaya no doubt wondering why I did not write any more.  It never occurred to him to even come and exchange a few words with me.  Of course I never had the guts to make the first move especially after all the hullabaloo my class girls had created.

By the end of monsoon, Anil got hitched with Aruna, the girl who I suspect wrote the love letters.  She got her real live romantic drama and I got my first crush and heartbreak.

This is my entry for Blogadda’s  Wednesday Competition “My First Crush”

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58 thoughts on “My first crush

  1. Teehee! 😀
    How cute Ritu! With 8 brothers its tough!

    It was tough for me too – I had over protective “rowdy” friends in school! 🙄
    No one said a word back then! not even fake love letters… Sigh!

    • 8 brothers means that you have a fantastic vocabulary of curses, do not turn a hair at porn, have working knowledge of all the rowdy games, (rules, cheats, tricks etc) nothing grosses you out … but there are no “real” men in your life.

  2. nicely written. while reading I felt I was reading some fiction/fantacy 🙂
    a very sweet crush although it didn’t work out for you, but being as young as you were it always fails..I don’t think anyones’ crush at such a young age has developed into love and togetherness 🙂

  3. Took me back to my B.Sc days,the scenes of India especially North during 70-80 has been nicely captured. I was conned by my friends too 🙂

    • School mates and college mates can be really mean! Especially to folk like me who dont try to fit in. I never knew what disaster would hit me next! I can quite sympathise with you Neeraj

  4. LOL Ritu Di, a truly commendable post..I thought such thngs happened only in themovies.. this is really a sweet enumaration of puppy love..I enjoyed peeking into your childhood, 8 brothers and a singing bard for a crush et all..:P Thanks..And another thanks to Blogadda for this prompt which got you bringing these memories out before us..:D

    • It was puppy love Vibz …. with all its highs and lows, heart beating like a pump, blushes, tongue tiedness, and of course my dearest brothers acting like thanedaars

  5. I can so relate to the ‘exchange a pencil and you are going steady’ thing. In my little town, so much as glancing at a boy more than once was equal to ‘carrying on’ with the boy and was likely to get you slapped.

    Loved reading this. God bless Anil Mathur, where ever he is now. 🙂

      • His parents probably told him to stop playing the fool and get serious with life. I wouldn’t be surprised if he were even beaten up to get the ‘singing disease’ out of his system. 😦

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