Today, the world's greatest love story gets told- you know, how Nikhil and I met. Why do I feel a sudden, unprovoked urge to tell this tale? Because the next major holiday to look forward to (after Lohri, Republic Day, Wetland's Day, and Sarojini Naidu's birthday) is Valentine's Day, and everyone needs a disgustingly adorable love story. Because I haven't seen a cheezy Bollywood movie in a long time (a whopping week) and need to satiate my craving for dramatic narrative. Because, I must admit, the thought of embarrassing the hubby is already making me look forward to it even more. Mwahaha. My evilness knows no bounds.
It all began on...I don't remember exactly when, but let's make do with the day, a lovely sun-filled autumn Saturday of 2007. As usual, I showed up early to the Association for India's Development's (AID) weekly meeting. As usual, my nose was buried in a book while I waited for the other volunteers to show up. The door opened. I looked up. A scruffy, unshaven, kurta-clad newbie walked inside. The door closed. I continued reading.
"Is this AID's CSH?" I looked up. It was the newbie. I half-smiled at the guy. "Yes, it is." I resumed reading, feeling quite frustrated. These newbies. Of course he's in CSH, where else would he be? I mean, he read about AID somewhere and looked up the room number. He showed up, and now he's asking me if he's showed up in the right place? It's like being on a plane and asking your neighbor if we're going to Florida. He's just trying to make conversation. I don't feel like making conversation, this book is way too interesting.
CSH began, it ended, I left, and went on with my life. A few days later, I received an email from a fellow AID volunteer. It read, Hi Pragya, Nikhil is a new volunteer and wants to get involved in a campaign. I told him about your involvement in the Bhopal campaign and he seems interested. He's cc-ed on this mail, do get in touch with him. Thanks.
Nikhil.....who's Nikhil? The name didn't ring a bell. Have I met him? Did he introduce himself in a meeting? Why does he want to get involved in the Bhopal campaign? Who is he? I'm going to feel so bad asking this guy who he is, so I'll just pretend to know who he is and hopefully he'll introduce himself.
At the next meeting, he did introduce himself, much to my relief. While preparing for a Bhopal event, Nikhil did all I asked him to, going above and beyond what was often necessary. He was so gung-ho about wanting to help, and I was so excited I didn't have to do everything myself! As I was wringing as much volunteerism out of him as possible, we started talking. We spoke about ourselves, our dreams, our past, and what we wanted in our future. Slowly, we became quite obsessed with each other. And one day, a few months later, it struck me. This was the guy I could spend the rest of my life with. Yikes.
So now you know. Not that you really cared. Or maybe you did. Nevertheless, it's not the craziest, nor the funniest, nor the most dramatic of love stories out there. But it's true, and that should count for something, yes? Happy Valentine's Day- five weeks in advance.
Photo Credit: http://www.artfulheirlooms.com/silh_sample7.html