My parents were in Delhi for a short short while before moving out again. Till I was a day scholar, life was pretty circumspect, the only friends one made were on the U-Special that one had to catch at an unearthly hour to get to college. And parents, feeling scared with their young daughter in Big Bad Delhi imposed curfew hours that had me in mental hysteria. I mean …. when do I live? I was ripe for rebellion. There were no hills on which I could jog my angst away.
Notoriety to ho hi gayi thee. As usual, I had cousins in DU, even in Hindu. My mother’s family comprised of 3 brothers and 3 sisters, my father’s family was 5 brothers and god-knows-how-many sisters. (They were the pre-family planning era), now if each of those siblings had a couple of kids, can you imagine how many of us there are? I am reasonably sure that I can land up anywhere on earth and meet clansmen and clanswomen. My main pre-occupation in college was to get into mischief and avoid clans people. I succeeded pretty well in both.
One day, while coming back home on the U Special, the boy I was sitting next to got into a fight with two others. It was pretty scary. I thought they would fall on me. A boy standing next to them asked if he could sit on that seat. I quickly assented. We got talking and hit it off ….. I married him.
The fight turned out to be pretty major. During the next week the two boys who were fighting called their various back-up of friends and lawless elements. In fact one of them actually shot the other one with a katta (home made pistol). Unfortunately the katta backfired and took away the earlobe of the person doing the shooting. Just desserts!!
Here comes the kicker! The fight was about the honor of sitting next to yours truly. And yours truly was having blonde bimbette moments – I was actually unaware of being the bone in contention. It was much later that one person asked me, “Who is this Ritu from Hindu College? I want to meet this girl who caused a shoot out and cost a young man his ear.”
I saw, for the first time in my life, a couple of girls smoking. Well, I was fascinated. To me they looked sophisticated and cool. I told you, I have bad attitude and bad taste. So I decided I wanted to be like them and went and bought my first packet of cigarettes … Four Square.
Then I marched up to the only sane senior student I knew (ex) and asked him to teach me how to smoke. He looked at me in horror. He told me that they would blacken my lips, spoil my teeth and even make me dark. I yawned!
He told me that he would throw away the packet. I put it in my breast pocket and challenged him to try and do that.
He told me, “Tere brothers ko bol dunga”
I told him, “Tere life ki ulti ginti shuru ho gayi boss!”
He caved in. I smiled and thanked him. I even fell in love with him. The rest is history.
Both were bad decisions. No my skin did not darken, neither did my lips. I ruined my teeth though. And I learnt one lesson in life – do not marry a guy you can successfully bully at first. Just pause and consider why he let you bully him 😉
P.S. As a teacher he sucked