It was the beginning of a new relationship
By Lesley D. Biswas
I would like to meet you tomorrow,’ Rishab typed on the eve of St Valentine’s Day. He felt his heart thump inside him as he waited for Trisha to reply. Although Trisha had expected this for some time, when Rishab actually asked to meet her in person, she was stumped. She didn’t know what to reply.
Over their six-and-half month-long online friendship, Trisha had become very comfortable with Rishab. In fact, she longed to take their relationship to the next level. When she sensed that Rishab might be trying to do just that, she was numb. Not because she was unsure of what the outcome of their meeting would be. She was sure that like all the other boys who had met her, seen and rejected her, Rishab too would eventually do the same.
“Couple falling in Love”
“Trisha,” Rishab typed sensing that he might have made her uncomfortable. And since he was not someone who would do that to any woman, let Trisha who, to Rishab’s very own surprise, had made a place in his heart. “If you don’t want to meet me in person, it’s okay. But please don’t stay silent,” Rishab typed.
“It’s not that I don’t want to meet you, Rishab,” Trisha wrote back. “Just that I might not match up to the person you imagine me to be.”
Rishab wondered if that was the reason why at the very outset of their online friendship Trisha had suggested that they not share their pictures. It was her idea to have a friendship based on pure mental compatibility.
“I never had a faint image of you in my mind, Trisha. Not that it mattered all along until now, but since you have refused to meet me because of what your physical appearance holds, I am even more eager to meet you,” Rishab wrote again. “Not because who I might see, but because I hope that you will see the real Rishab who is your friend. The real me who isn’t like those other men who might have hurt you to the extent that today you don’t want to even meet me. Trisha, after all our conversations over the past months, you still think I could be so shallow to base my friendship on physical appearance, then there is no reason why we should continue this friendship.”
Part 2: At Millennium Park
Rishab hoped that his threat would work – that Trisha would accept his invitation. Trisha wasn’t unaware of this tactic used by men on online dating sites to lure women into meeting in real life. Instead of becoming wary of Rishab, Trisha became anxious.
“Okay, let’s meet at Millennium Park, tomorrow, at 5 o’clock,” Trisha typed after some thought. She decided that if their relationship had to come to an end, might as well give it a fair chance before they call it off. She knew otherwise she would never find out who he really was and would spend the rest of her life debating over what could have been the outcome of their meeting.
“Done,” Rishab typed and lay back on his bed. He scratched his head and a smile flashed across his handsome face in anticipation of the next day’s meeting. This was the first time Rishab was going to meet a girl whom he hadn’t seen. The thought was tantalising and he tossed in bed wondering how it would go. When he woke up early next morning and joined his dadi in her yoga practice in the garden, she sensed his unusual excitement.
“Rishu,” his dadi said, fondly caressing his blushing cheek, “what is the matter?”
“Yes. Trisha has agreed to meet me today and you are coming along, dadi.” Rishab said.
“Why me, Rishu? It’s Valentine’s Day and everyone will be with their beloved. What will an old woman like me do in the middle of two young people?” dadi gently resisted.
“For me, dadi. Please,” Rishab pleaded. “Dadi,” he said taking a deep long breath, “Trisha didn’t agree at first. She has some apprehensions that I might not like her appearance.” And all of a sudden he became sad. “I know it’s easy to say that looks don’t matter but we all know that they do.”
That evening being Valentine’s Day, the Millennium Park was overflowing with lovers walking hand in hand. With some difficulty Rishab found a vacant bench where his dadi could sit down. He seated her there and went to get her some tea from a tea stall outside the park.
Story so far: Rishab and Trisha are very good friends. Rishab wanted to take their friendship to next level. He planned to meet her in person but she was not willing to meet him. But after thinking a lot she said yes for a meeting. Let’s see what will happen next in the last part.
Part 3: Friendship turns into Relationship
“Are you here waiting for someone special?” a young couple teased Rishab’s dadi in the hope that she would vacate the bench and they could get cosy.
“Yes, she is,” came a reply from behind her. “She’s waiting for me. Do you have a problem?” a young lady interrupted the couple who quickly made off. Trisha walked up to Rishab’s dadi and folded her hands in a namaste. Grateful for her support, dadi beckoned her to sit down beside her. Trisha accepted.
“It’s very unfortunate that people have lost all manners,” she said.
“Yes. And thank you for what you just did for me,” dadi replied.
“If I had a grandmother I would have done the same thing. So, please don’t thank me. Don’t mind my asking if you are alone here because there would be many more like them around.”
“I’m with my grandson. He’s just gone to get me some tea,” dadi said as she observed Trisha closely. Trisha was dressed in simple attire with hardly any make-up, and she didn’t wear any jewellery. Unlike all those other girls who were decked out walking with someone or waiting for their partners in the park.
“Are you here with someone?” dadi asked.
“Yes. A friend,” Trisha’s eyes dazzled as the thought of their first meeting filled her mind.
“Oh look, who is here,” dadi said as Rishab approached with two cups of tea. “Meet my Rishu. And Rishu, this is the kind lady who rebuked a mindless couple who teased me.”
On hearing what the couple had said to his dadi, Rishab flared up. He looked around in an attempt to seek them out but they were nowhere. Then he turned to Trisha. “Ma’am, what you have done means a lot to me because my dadi is the most precious person I have in this world,” Rishab said and offered her his cup of tea.
Trisha declined, “I don’t like tea. And now that you are here with your dadi, I must go.”
As Trisha walked away from them she typed on her Smartphone, “I’m at the park. Where are you Rishab?”
“I’m here too. Beneath the first lamp post near the entrance,” Rishab replied, and Trisha turned around.
“What colour are you wearing?” she asked as her heart began to race.
“Maroon shirt, tie and faded blue jeans,” Rishab replied.
Trisha smiled as she walked back to the bench where dadi was seated.
“Did you forget something?” they asked her as Trisha looked at them.
“Yes. To tell you my name. Trisha,” she said and held out her hand to Rishab. Both Rishab and his dadi were speechless. Then all three of them burst into laughter. That evening, although it was the end of their friendship, it was the beginning of a relationship.