“We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.”

It was early years of the last decade. The era of mobiles and smart communication had not yet dawned in and there was still a lot of freshness in the sort of communiqué between individuals. It was not an easy time to be an aficionado of someone, as there was a lot of log jam in the way of correspondence. It was an age where there were a lot of views could not be spoken out and were suppressed in the hearts eternally.

It was in the midst of this wonderful environment, in a journey that was strong-willed by entwine of destiny, that I met her first.

I was good in academics, but it was never good enough to get into the flagship events at inter collegiate competitions. So I was always reduced to representing my team at not so important proceedings like quiz, essay writing etc, which required neither glamour nor special talents to be a campaigner. Hence I was always an outsider in the gang that travelled around. It was very difficult to gel into the team, especially when there were quite a few who held their heads high due to the marvellous talent they possessed.

We were set to travel once again for the next set of competitions. As usual, I was supposed to represent the team for quiz and essay writing competition, and although I was one of the better ones who could handle the role, I always was quite incredulous of my triumph. Since it was the non-stage events on the day, I was not expecting a glamorous crowd in the team that was accompanying me. What I felt was that a team of nerds who were interested in nothing but studies would be there to do essay, poetry and other insignificant stuff.

I reached early morning at the bus stand to make the journey. Most of the team had assembled there by then, and just had a run through the faces of the entire lot. It was still the same old boring faces. We were waiting for a couple of more people to join in, and then make our move to the destination. Since I was not quite interested in the faces that were there, I decided to move myself to the bus, so that at least enjoy one of the better seats in the journey.

The coordinator was taking the attendance, and only one was missing to come. I was least bothered who it was, and did not pay much attention to the discussion. There was no way we could talk to the person whom we were waiting for as cell phones were not in common use, and only option left was to wait, wait and wait. I was getting really impatient waiting for someone who could not really keep up punctuality, and was mumbling with a few others to show my pinnacle of tediousness.

Just then, I heard someone saying – “Here she comes!!!”

I happened to turn my head slowly, and there, I could see a girl scamper towards us…..

I was awestruck for a moment. The cool dew in the morning, the subtle sunlight, the tweeting of birds all gave a special feel to this moment. Yes… it was the moment when I first saw the girl of my dreams… It was almost like… “Love at first sight”. I felt like I was at the Alps enjoying the purest rupture of fresh air on earth.

This was not the first time that cupid had tried to strike me. I had tried to woo a few characters unsuccessfully, and had to end up as utter failures. But this time, the sense was different and as soon as my eyes struck upon her, the entire galaxy around me moved to a different universe. Suddenly the journey had a purpose for me, and I felt like I had a mission to accomplish.

I was dumbstruck for a few moments and little did I realise that all the others had boarded the bus by then. My hope of getting the best seat in the bus was suddenly dashed and as I entered, I noticed that there was only one seat vacant. I went closer, and realised that it was my dream girl who was in the adjacent seat.

“Mone, manassil oru ladoo potti!!!”

Well, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk shots ad was not in circulation at that time, but there is no better words than these in which I can describe the feelings I had in mind at the moment.

It took no time for me to take the place next to her, and after exchanging a lovely smile between each other; I started off the formalities to get myself introduced to her…

“Hi J

Hello!!! You are from B.Com…. right???” Came the reply.

I was in awe once again –

“Mone, manassil mattoru ladoo potti!!!”

This was just the kind of intro I required, and I just took off from there. The rest of the journey, which lasted two hours, was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. She talked a lot. I made out that she was an artist with exceptional talents and even drew a wonderful portrait of me while in the bus. We talked, talked and talked non-stop – about nature, movies, art, poems – all topics which I was least familiar with and suddenly realised I had developed an interest in. I did not even realise that the destination was reached. I regretted that the journey which I was expecting to be so boring could end so fast.

All I could gather around after this was a quote from Cassandra Clare –

“I could not tell you if I loved you the first moment I saw you, or if it was the second or third or fourth. But I remember the first moment I looked at you walking toward me and realized that somehow the rest of the world seemed to vanish when I was with you.”

Back to college, days became vibrant again. We met quite frequently and even though there were no phones or SMS in those times, we managed the link-up very well.

But it was not to last long. After college, we moved on to different directions and slowly the bond ended over a period of time.

Now almost a decade after this happened, looking back at the reminiscences and reliving the moment gives me a feeling of poignant memoirs. It was not the last time that I had fallen in love, but nothing influences us like el primer amor.

“Trip over love, you can get up.  Fall in love and you fall forever”