Sometimes I wonder if there is any way to explain this at all. Long after stars gave way to overpowering sunlight, a hot sunny afternoon. There is nothing whimsical; sweaty palms and nervous small talk about nothing. No arms around my waist or foot-popping, but just pounding anticipation.
As you drew me closer, my heart gambled on a beat for I knew that this was the day I would reminisce about. Your lips brushed against mine quickly, the drum-roll, the excruciating pause as I stood there like a girl in front of her crush, waiting to be asked to prom.
And then your lips met mine again; this time longer, as if they had a life of their own. For most parts, a sweet long innocent kiss, but lines and boundaries dissolved in heat and passion as tongues met and hands slid. A soft breath near the neck and a nibble on the ears, you returned to my lips with frosty lust. As you pulled away, a sharp sting and mounting pain, just knowing that this flash cannot freeze in time.
Not every tiny detail is etched in my mind but an irrelevant nothing runs around relentlessly. Salted caramel popcorn camouflaged in mint and a little bit of you. The taste of our first kiss. Bittersweet.
The first time you start a full-time job or enter the corporate world, there is a good chance that you will feel like an idiot. You will think that everyone except you knows exactly what is going on.
Give it time. You will eventually realize that nobody knows too much anyway.
Play along and if you still think you are lost, use words like “Strategy”, “Learning curve”, and “Performance”, A LOT!.
You need to get used to it.
Imagine walking up to your professor and saying “In order to streamline ourselves with the vision of the college, I suggest you give me more exciting assignments that help develop my learning curve and enhance performance”.
Remember to use words like “Opportunities” “Team” “Values” and “Feedback” if you want to get out of trouble.
You will keep hearing about how your company values “young people”. Being a twenty something old in the corporate world is kind of hot because they love you, pamper you and believe in your potential.
This is mostly a great thing except when they get into the “You are twenty and you are supposed to conquer the world” mode.
It is hard to explain to older people that you are just a young person and not an octopus on weed.
Respect experience and remember that people who have been around longer than you have can teach you a lot of things.
Generation gap is very real which is why when someone asks you where they can find “The Drop-box”, rolling your eyes is not a good idea.
Stay humble and try not to complain too much. Respect your job, your pay-checks and all the perks it brings along.
You will meet lots of people who think that they are over-qualified to be doing the job they currently do, but that is probably because they are angrier at the situation than at the job itself.
There will be days when you feel that the espresso machine at work should have vodka instead of coffee,but it is on those days that you should remind yourself to stay patient.
Nobody will give you their biggest clients or a million dollar deal on the first day of your work.Or the first month.Or the first year.
If you know otherwise,call me.
And if you still think that you are only making photocopies, there is always a choice.
The greatest irony of work-life is that nobody will be there to watch you work hard and leave late. Leaving early from work on the other hand is the high-school equivalent of dating your best friend’s boyfriend. If they find out, you are bound to get dirty stares.
I like my job, but I cannot suppress the reflex need to stick my tongue out at people who always claim to work late and look down on those who don’t clock long hours.
It is mostly because harsh reality is that, no matter how good you are, it takes less than two weeks to replace you at work. On the other hand, you are irreplaceable as a son, a daughter, a best friend or a girlfriend. Never let yourself lose sight of this simple truth.
I could tell you that dating at work is not the greatest idea, but trust me when I tell you that all it takes is a handsome boy with a charming smile to make financial statements read like a Jane Austen novel and to make my statement completely irrelevant.
Don’t ask me how I know.
“Never date at work” is a cliche that you will hear a lot.
Good advice for life should read “No footsies during conferences” and as much as I believe in the healing powers of healthy flirting, DO NOT flirt in front of your boss.
Or with your boss, for that matter.
Stepping into the corporate world or starting your first job is scary but it is also one of those things that will shape your future to a great extent.
The only real advice I can give you when it comes to being prepared for the corporate world is that core competency has nothing to do with your abs and it is not okay to giggle when someone says “touch-base”.
Apart from that, the rest is for you to figure out!
And this is why we will never be ready for love.
There will be that promotion we have been waiting for, the interview that scares us or maybe he already has a girlfriend. Love could be in another city while we are backpacking across the globe in wanderlust. We think we are too young to settle down or we are too old to fall in love.
“Right person, Wrong Time” we say quite often because timing is our asylum. We don’t have time for love right now because we have to be ambitious pursuing the job which we hope to give up “someday” for our passion.
We meditate saying that if Karma has not screwed us enough, her hasty sister timing will.
For a generation which calls love complicated and claims to hate definitions, we have come up with way too many tags. From flirt buddy to friends with benefits we secretly crave for an identity no matter how temporary it is.
And this is why we will never be ready for love.
We live in a world where the only tangible distance between two people is a smartphone yet we are more often than not disconnected. We crib about how love can never survive distance because it is too much to handle. And if we have love at arm’s length, we think it is suffocating and crave for some distance again.
We are the selfie generation and we don’t need another person even to take a photograph. Yet, we are also the generation who insta- freezes every moment of our life to seek validation from familiar strangers.
Our generation does not have to look for choice because it is at the tip of our fingernails. Falling in love for us is synonymous with giving up this very choice without which we don’t know how to live.
Even though we belong to the generation where toilet paper comes in five different fragrances, we still think that choice is always empowering.
And this is why we will never be ready for love.
Maybe your terribly tiny tales are just two sentences long and you can make profound movies in less than three minutes, but believe me when I tell you that love is difficult for people like us who have the attention span of a drunk monkey and think that twenty minutes is a long time to wait for a pizza.
And this is why we will never be ready for love.
Sometimes signing up for love means signing up for days when you have nothing to say to each other. Love is neither an amusement park nor is your partner a trained circus elephant to constantly keep you entertained.
Love will sometimes be like having the latest gadget in your hand but having to play minesweeper over and over again because there is no Wi-Fi
It takes more than 140 characters to pen-down our real emotions and a sad smiley is not a grown-up apology. We belong to a generation where even a watch that represents something as timeless as time fancies the tagline “Move on”
And this is why we will never really be ready for love.
Maybe we should not be ready for love.
Maybe the greatest love stories of our generation will not have bloodshed, drama, long monologues and endless pining.
Maybe they will tell stories where someone sweeps us off our feet when we are glued to our tablets and rescues us burn-free from a Wi-fi hot spot.
But, that is just a chance we have to take.
It could be in a quaint cafe, a breezy afternoon at the beach or right in the middle of nowhere. You will spot a girl with wrinkled clothes, loosely tied up hair and an air of indifference. She is oblivious to the fact that her coffee is getting cold as she furiously types away.
And if you ever meet such a girl, there is just one thing that I can tell you.
Never date a girl who writes.
Never date a girl who writes because she does not have the knack to spot the line that divides reality from fantasy. She exists in a state of rapture persistently trying to fathom which is what. Never date a girl who writes because she falls in love very easily. She is not in love with you as much as she is in love with the very idea of “falling in love”.
She will love you with passion, let you inspire her and even write about you. She will kiss you in a way that it seems like it is right out of a third-rate best seller but write about you with such eloquence that it could as well be the next greatest literature.
As you lose yourself in this dream, remember that she knows best that every good story must come to an end.
Never date a girl who writes because she will always write about you, the good, the bad and the downright ugly. You will be her hero, her villain, her muse and you will wonder if you could mean so much to anyone else. She just cannot grasp emotions that have not been spoken in a voice familiar to her. And that voice, more often than not, is words.
Never date a girl who writes because she is not as resilient as her words. It will frustrate you because it seems like she is emotionally available only to her journal.
There may be layers of fear and insecurity hiding behind the shrewdest of her words. Sit her down and hold her close to you. She may tell you the stories behind her stories, but I cannot promise that the writer won’t take over mid-way!
Never date a girl who writes because her greatest gift and not weakness lies in how susceptible she is to the world around her. She is vulnerable and not weak because she has mastered the art of conquering through surrender.
She will intimidate you with blind trust, partly because she knows that you will never break her heart but mostly because she knows that there is nothing more inspiring than pain. Nothing and not even heartbreak can scare her as much as not finding her next story.
Never date a girl who writes because it just won’t be the same again when you date a girl who does not write.
She may never forget what you said but she is quick to forgive as good stories come from imperfections. You will miss her simplicity and the way just a book or a letter can become the most perfect gifts for her. Even a copy of a book she already owns is enough to make her smile.
Never date a girl who writes because they have this rare ability to make any other kind of commitment and devotion pale in comparison to theirs!
But, date a girl who writes. No one else can hold your hands, move you through the smallest of gestures and show you infinite possibilities that this lifetime could bring, just through words.
And if you think that your love can be the one thing that leaves her searching for words, then, definitely date a girl who writes!
“Because love is not instagram to always show you in the best possible light. It is messy and ugly like the unfiltered snap chats you send your best friend”
The first thing you should know about the second time you fall in love is that it will be very different.
The first time you fell in love, you were innocent, untouched and hopelessly optimistic. When you got your heart broken, you decided that you would never fall in love again. You now know that “forever” is a gamble and that “promises” are more often than not made to be broken.
The second time you fall in love, your heart will beat a little faster. There is bubbling apprehension, restless guilt, unmasked fear, unresolved emotions and all of this is still delicately laced with the most basic need to be loved.
You will surprise yourself because the day you believed will never come, has finally arrived.
It is not easy to let someone else in. It was effortless the first time because love just gilded into a place which you never knew existed. Now it just feels like you are pushing someone else out to let another one in and killing yourself in the process.
Second love could be more voluntary and less vivid because you are determined to not let your emotions get the better of you. First love may have taught you how to love and fly, but second love will help you unlearn and humble you in a very earthy way.
Second first times are always complicated. First dates are not first dates in the real sense, but they are first dates nevertheless.You are torn in between the butterflies in your stomach moment when you are getting to know someone new while at the same time missing the comfort of eating out of a jar in your night clothes
The second time you fall in love, you foolishly try to surpass imperceptible benchmarks. You remember that his forehead didn’t crinkle like that. He used to hold hands a lot more. He never wore bright colors.
Remind yourself that it will never be the same. And it most certainly should not be. You are trying to find love, not a replacement.
The second time you fall in love, you will hear a voice in your head that repeatedly asks you to “RUN”.
It is natural because we are taught to survive based on acquired learning. Even a child knows not to play with fire twice.
The second time you fall in love, no matter how hard it tries to sweep you off your feet, you will be adamant to keep your feet on the ground. You are passionate about how much love can give but scared stiff of how much it can take back when it wants to.
The second time you fall in love it might be more accepting and selfless. Second love wants to write pages and pages of your life together but it lacks the ugly selfishness of first love which expects the whole book to be about it. You deal with the fact that everyone has songs that remind them of someone else and places where they made some unblemished memories.
You know that poets lied when they said that every kiss will be like your first kiss. You are mature enough to accept that burning lust always comes with an expiry date.
Second love is difficult. Tearing down the walls that you built around yourself is not easy when you constantly question the effort involved. When you eventually find someone who is willing to accept the mess that you are, don’t be afraid.
Fall in love for the second time. Life mostly begins here.
I don’t want a fairy tale ending with you.
I grew up listening to Cinderella, Rapunzel and many other tales of happily ever after and believed that life would be perfect if I could wear a pretty dress and hold your gaze forever. These stories never told me that there will be misunderstandings, arguments, pain, tears and sometimes even goodbyes.
When I grew up, I realized that glass slippers can in fact bruise your feet. I also realized that men don’t give you stars in your eyes. That’s what Vodka is for.
I don’t want you to sweep me off my feet under the starlit skies. Just hold my hand every now and then without me asking. You don’t have to cross mountains, lakes and sail the seven seas to hold my hand.
Once in a while, take a few steps from where you sit just to walk up to me and see if I am doing OK.
I don’t want to be rescued by you every time life is a bitch to me, because frankly, I can handle it. But, listen to me when I painfully describe every problem and forgive me if I don’t stop to ask for your opinion.
I don’t want a fairy tale ending with you because my life is already complete.
I am over the days when Disney made me stay awake with stars in my eyes waiting for a man to complete my life.
And life has taught me that first kisses don’t happen under a sparkling sky with firecrackers, but they are beautiful nevertheless. Just stay next to me, and I promise you will be a priority, just not my whole world.
I don’t want us to ride off together in the sunset, because I have a blackberry that beeps as much as yours does. When work is calling and life is nothing but a routine, let’s never forget to remind each other, there is still magic left.
I don’t want a fairy tale ending with you because even though I have kissed a few frogs and pigs before I met you, it is not the entire story. I have also kissed some very charming men before you and because memories are like untainted photographs that cannot be changed no matter what, they will always remain a very happy part of my life.
So, just don’t ask me too many questions about my past. At least, I am not Snow White and you don’t have to deal with me living in with seven dwarfs.
I don’t want a fairy tale ending with you because I am not a girl straight out of a fairy tale. My hair is not always perfect, I don’t sing to birds unless I am drunk and on the occasional times that I do hang out with my family/brother, I don’t set old women on fire.
But, once in a while, don’t forget to throw your arms around me and call me your princess because the truth is I am not completely over the Disney dream yet.
I don’t want a fairy tale ending with you because I don’t want you under my spell for the rest of our lives.
But as long as we are together, look into my eyes and give me your time, trust and love because that would be more powerful than any spell anyone ever cast.
I don’t want a fairy tale ending with you because I know i am not Rapunzel, The sleeping beauty or Cinderella
But remember that I brush my hair a little more when I step out to see you and nothing would be as magical as waking up to a kiss from you. And well, if you own a castle, we can probably do happily ever after.
I don’t want a fairy tale ending with you because I am a big girl and I know that nobody can and should ever be made to promise forever.
I don’t want a fairy tale ending with you because in the world that we live in it is unlikely that our love is broken by stepmothers, curses or witches.
However, look into my eyes once , hold my hands gently and tell me that even many years from now our love story will never be reduced to a mere “We fell apart!”
I know you are intimidated by me. And, guess what?
It is OK to feel that way.
I know that it bothers you when you know that I am part of almost every memory he has, both good and bad. I know that he tells you stories from his life that always seem to involve me. I also know that you wonder if he is not telling you the entire story.
You wonder if we kissed and you wonder if there was a weak moment after a few drinks.
I will not tell you that you are being completely delusional because he is an attractive guy.
Believe me when I say that it takes a lot for me to call him attractive considering we’ve had “who can eat the most pizza and burp loudly” competitions which are a sure shot way to destroy sex appeal at its very roots.
But then again, he could break up with you but he is stuck with me for life.
It scares you because we have seen each other grow up. I am present in the most important pictures of his life long before he knew how you looked like.
I will try my best not to act with that arrogance but forgive me if sometimes the smugness creeps in.
I know that you fell for his confidence and charisma and the way he walked up to you with an air of sophistication around him.
But I was there when he rehearsed this a hundred times and failed miserably.
I love how you frown a little bit when you discover that he smoked because I know that good girlfriends are supposed to do such things or whatever.
However, it makes me laugh because it takes me back to the time when he coughed his way through his first cigarette after which he fanned the smoke away with animated hands and cried like a little girl while I patiently got through my third one.
Sometimes we will burst out laughing without meaning to at the most random things. We will always have our inside jokes and inappropriate quirks but these are not meant to offend you.
As much as you want to believe otherwise, these jokes are not always my subtle way of showing you that I know him better.
But sometimes, they are. I am just a bitch like that and I derive a little sadistic kick out of making you squirm with discomfort.
Handle it with grace and we might even become friends.
I will probably be the best man at his wedding and I will definitely be invited to his bachelor party.
Actually, scratch that. I would probably be the one throwing him a bachelor party.
I know that it is difficult for you to see a million happy pictures of us which serve as a constant reminder to the times which no matter what, you can never be a part of.
I wish I could console you but being the person I am, I am going to tell you something that would probably make you downright miserable.
Pictures can hardly capture the times we stood up for each other through failed diets, psycho relationships, teenage, puberty and failures.
I know you think that we flirt with each other because I always seem to laugh just a little louder and flip my hair just a little more when I am around him. I frankly don’t see why it should bother you because there are bigger things you should worry about.
Like the fact that I can eat an entire bowl of pasta with my hands and lick them while making slurp noises around him knowing fully well that he will never say “That is disgusting”, partly because I am his best friend and partly because, well, who are we kidding? I have seen him do worse.
I actually wrote this letter to make you feel better, but it has probably helped me climb on top of your hate list. Yeah right. Like that position was not offered to me on a silver platter the day you knew that I was your boyfriends best girl friend.
But, guess what?
I am never going to find out if he is a good kisser.
I am never going to hold his hand and count the stars.
I am always going to be the “other girl” who is just his best friend.
I am also the girl who has to deal with the fact that our hugs always become a little shorter when you are around.
Whether I like it or not, I am often the third wheel.
My story with him is already written, but I will patiently watch you write a story with him. A story in which he falls deeply in love with you, every single day.
I know that bad Bollywood movies and cheesy romantic comedies will tell you otherwise, but honestly, I am OK with it.
And judging by the way he looks at you, I can tell you that you don’t have much to worry about.
Which is why you should always remember one thing.
I am intimidated by you too.
When it was time to go home I searched for my shoes under your bed. I frowned a little when I knew that we had not exchanged numbers.
I always thought that we would connect in a conventional place. Like a music store or in between a dusty bookshelf where we both picked something we liked.
I am a clichéd girl like that which is why we hooked up at a crowded bar where you drown in a sea of sweaty people losing themselves to loud music.
Your eyes met mine after a couple of drinks, but you had no idea that you had caught my eye much earlier.
We both knew that having just “one” more drink is never a good idea.
The dream was to live the night and only the night for as long as it lasts. Breakfast was never part of the plan.
The dream would have been perfect if it wasn’t you because I was already a little smitten. And also, there is no way I can avoid you in the familiar corridors that we tread every day.
With you, it should have started with a cup of coffee where we would have politely exchanged irrelevant details about our lives. I should have ideally had to spend a few weeks pretending to be interested in whatever you were saying even if you were talking about random sci-fi movies. I should have had time to Google all those things you say about music and movies before our second date
However, thank you very much for fast-forwarding these conventional parts because I have to say that I enjoyed getting love bites when I was trying to recollect your last name.
I didn’t exactly expect us to have a conversation about Paulo Coelho before we had our first kiss, but it may have been nicer if you had known how to spell my name the day after.
If we had gone on that second date like most couples do, I am sure we would have hit it off. Although there is no rigid timeline, I would have started asking you polite questions about your past for which you would have replied with tact or the unabashed candor of a man falling in love.
But all I did was lay next to you in bed the night you took me home and wonder how many women you have known. I wanted to believe you when you said “You are special and I don’t really do this”.
And more than that, I wanted you to believe me when I said the same. But, who are we kidding? There is a reason why I returned your shirt the next morning. It is for the same reason I left behind a tinge of my perfume and a piece of my inexpensive jewelry in your apartment.
It may have not been my proudest night, but I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t fun.
I liked how I could taste just a little bit of the whiskey you had and the usually repulsive smell of smoke fit in just well with the rest of you. I liked what little I could see of your eyes and smile. I liked the passion and I liked the indifference with which you checked mail, right after.
I liked that we were able to crack a few jokes the next morning and even talk about the weather. In between the few jokes, I wanted to ask you if there was someone else, but I didn’t because feeling like you belong is not part of the package.
You walked me home, which was pretty nice, but when you mumbled a small “I’ll call you tomorrow”, I knew better.
I wondered the day after if it is strange to add someone on Facebook just after you spent the night with them. I guess it is strange, especially when you don’t know how to spell their name.
I like the cold resilience with which we can manage a diplomatic smile on the occasions that we do run into each other. I like that you will always be a favorite chapter in my book which I cannot re-read no matter how badly I want to.
But, I don’t have to re-read because I already know the words by-heart.
I like that our story will always be about the possibility of what could have been. I like that you will always be the one night stand that I fell for, just a little bit.
And if you read this sometime, go accept that friend request.
Maybe we can finish the rest of the story later.
Let yourself feel like a thirteen year old again. It takes you back to a time when “Flames” was a seal of compatibility.
Once in a while, have a crush on someone and don’t plan a wedding. Smile a lot when you see them, enjoy the cartwheels that your heart does and cherish the times when you are at a loss for words. It is healthy!
Listen to the butterflies in your stomach and silence your brain for a while. Odds are, you will make a fool of yourself, but what choice do we have in this troubled world?
Be vulnerable. Someone once told me that it is the only way out!
If life was a grocery store from which we could pick whatever we want, I know where I should go.However, life is more like a train that does not stop where you want to get down which is why you should throw that checklist away and look outside the window.
Let someone shatter your ego and watch it from a distance.Tell them something you cherished for a lifetime and hear them say “That is so…. stupid”. Find out that they do not like the same things as you do and realize that you love their quirks anyway.
Because the only way to know how much you love sunshine tingling against your skin is to experience bitter cold, don’t be afraid of frost bites.Live fearlessly and come to terms with the fact that every experience is merely relative.
The complex webs that you weave are the very ones in which you are entangled. A bunch of bankers told me that the biggest risk you can ever take is simply not taking any risk. So go ahead and find someone who is trouble.
Enjoy being with someone who you love listening to, but fall in love with someone who you want to kiss in between every sentence.
If you find yourself asking questions like “How long should I know someone before I fall in love or is this simply lust”?, do yourself a favor and stop thinking.
Remember that in comparison to this enormous universe and the millions of people who live on it, our lives (despite what self-help books tell us), are a mere anomaly. Be modest, humble yourself and these decisions become a lot easier.
In the long run, it is very insignificant, what one insignificant person thinks of another, so don’t look around too much because you are afraid someone is watching. Go ahead, hold hands, kiss someone, and fall in love with a glass of wine and a cozy book and maybe if they are still watching you, they will learn something.
Give people a chance over a cup of hot chocolate because everyone has a story to tell. You will probably hear only their favorite parts, but that’s good enough because life is too short to recite the difficult bits anyway.
If you are falling for someone, stalk them shamelessly, make sure you run into them in every corridor, be creepy and stare at them, memorize the story that their Facebook page tells you. Don’t think about the last time you got hurt, because this is a first time altogether.
Don’t be afraid to tell someone how you feel about them. The best that can happen is that you fall in love with them over each sip of coffee.Be prepared to know that it could be the worst that happened too. And so what if the worst happens?
If someone tells you that anything is okay as long as you learn something from it, laugh at them. You don’t have to learn something from everything. Most things are pointless, but it becomes beautiful when you savor the pointlessness.
So, what is the logic behind love?
Skeptics or scientists will name a hormone and artists will paint their canvas in colors only they understand.
If you ask me, I would say that there is no logic behind love as it is with most things. It’s an emotion that at one point makes you believe that gravity is a fallacy and if you crash at some point, you realize that Newton was a smart cookie.
And because I am a writer, I believe that if you have a story to tell, it means that it was not so bad after all..