I was jealous of the girls who had boyfriends. I was in college. It was supposed to be all cool, and fun, and happening. Umm, hello? How can it be all that if I’m as single as the day is long. (Never quite understood that phrase, but using it anyway.) I had made a few new friends recently. I was chatting on MSN with this cool and super funny guy from my BMM entrance classes (who is now famous; true story!). He was telling me about being confused between two girls. I remember vividly, not knowing what to say in return. Besides, I didn’t know him well enough. This could all be just a ploy to test how cool or with it I was. I stayed safe with my answer…ever so slightly changing the topic to myself. To be precise, I typed “Oh, that’s a cool problem to have! You’re spoilt for choice. It’s better than my situation; at least you know some interesting girls. There are no boys only in my life” *Sad emoticon*
YASSS! I had nailed it. I sounded so smart, plus I paid him a compliment. Or not, you know, whatever.
To this date, I don’t know what prompted him to do what he did next. It was so random, and so improbable – that I am forced to wonder whether my brain is making this up. (It isn’t, FYI.)
He added Karan to our conversation. Yes, MSN was cool and you could join a chat between two people. Take that, today’s websites and apps!
Karan was my friend’s building friend growing up. He had randomly been added to this chat with the following explanation; “Meet Smriti. She claims she doesn’t know any interesting boys. She’s kinda smart and talks about feminist stuff in class”.
I’m panicking now! ‘Another boy to talk to? I can’t do this. Maybe I’m too shy, maybe I’m not straight. This is hard! Wait…did my smart friend from class call me smart! This is awesome. Focus Smriti, you have to reply!’
Since I didn’t know what to say, I acted aloof. “Err, Hi Karan.” Because, SWAG. Also, my slow thinking/typing wasn’t helping. These boys were being boys and were now talking some crap about their building watchman and accusing each other of having affairs with animals. Yeah, too scandalous for me – for sure. The rest of this conversation is a blur. My takeaway was that Karan was doing his engineering hence he must be smart. Logical conclusions 101. He was also funny. That was cool. I liked funny. He lived in Pune. He also seemed dedicated because he left the chat to go write in his journal or something. So that was that.
Now kids, you’re legit about to judge me for what I’m going to reveal. THIS WAS PRE FACEBOOK.
So no, I didn’t quite do what we would have done in today’s day and age. I had no option of stalking. I asked my smart friend later to tell me a little more about Karan. He answered pretty randomly, something about Karan being cool but not being into dating and all.
Err? What does that mean?
Anyhoo, we added each other on MSN. Can’t remember who sent the request. Must’ve been me. I’m almost certain.
Next thing you know we are chatting away to glory. Almost all the time. For almost a whole year, we just kept chatting. The chats moved to SMS (yup, there was no Whatsapp) and eventually phone calls. Lucky for us, we had one more friend in common. She knew I was interested and she helped the cause to the best of her ability.
Of course by this point, I had seen his pictures. But I just couldn’t figure what I thought. Besides, we vibe on the interwebs but it may not be so in person. I was nervous. He had started to form an integral part of my life. Was I being crazy? HELL YA! I hadn’t even met the guy. That’s right…I was in love with someone I had never met. (Minor detail; at this point he doesn’t have a clue!)
We eventually did meet, all thanks to the efforts of aforementioned darling friend. It was awkward…I won’t lie. I thought it went well, but we were friends. That was that. No chemistry. Or is it?
Karan’s messages got warmer. His demeanour now leaning towards that of an interested party. What the hell was happening? I was trying to wean myself off (to avoid getting hurt) and he was trying to hook me in!
It would never work? Right?
After a few (in retrospect) ‘dates’ later, I knew it wasn’t normal. He was making trips to Bombay to see me. We would talk all the time. And we clearly vibed. Why wasn’t he making a move? Or rather THE move?
To this day, we argue about the course of events that followed. But it’s my blog so you get to read my version. He made me do all the hard work and come out with the cold hard facts. He made me say the words, “I like you”. He just swooped in with some super random (sorry, Karan) speech about what kind of guy he is. One who doesn’t take relationships lightly. And who doesn’t get all this typical dating nonsense. Honestly, I thought the speech was a ruse to let me down gently. But it was (apparently) him saying, he wanted this for the long haul. To this day I rag him about this “great speech”. He ended the monologue by calling me his girlfriend.
That was that.
This day, exactly 10 years ago.
It’s been a decade of loving a random person I met on the internet. It’s been the most joyful, fulfilling journey of my life and I’d do it all again, in a heartbeat.
Since then, he moved to Bombay. Took me on a bazillion more dates. Had infinite firsts with me. Had even more fights with me. Did an MBA. Found a job. Married me. Moved homes with me. And read and shared way too many articles I wrote for the internet.
Did I mention I love Karan? Smart, funny, speech-giving Karan is the best thing to have happened to me. Ever. 🙂
Thank you, INTERNET! I owe you one.