Last month (September 7) was the seventh anniversary of my first day in engineering. The moment I started college, I decided that I would have an epic romance on which movies would be made later, and of which paeans would be sung by the KJo loving public. So I went about trying out some of the methods shown in Bollywood and soaps to fall in love. I’m afraid none of them worked very well, but who knows, someday you also might feel romantic enough (did I say desperate? Why you’re assuming?) to give these a try, so here goes.
Method 1: Attend a wedding (preferably relative’s, so you can catch the eye of a same-caste person and thus get your parents’ blessings without having to run away and Khap) or any ceremony, really, where you carry a brass plate full of rose petals and go running along with it (gracefully, remember, nobody likes to see elephants trumpeting along in sarees). Don’t stop this one-man marathon till you bump into a handsome fellow and send the plate flying (do not forget to throw the plate in the air, otherwise whole thing is spoilt), fall into said fellow’s arms, and then have eye-lock while the rose petals fall on you both. Yes, romance, thrill, love, over! Next scene: your wedding.
So, at my cousin’s wedding, I wore a saree, applied some makeup, and, brass plate in hand, eyes over shoulder, started running. A few seconds later, I bumped into someone, and feeling rather pleased, fell into their arms, sent the plate flying, and turned to face the co-star of my grand romance. To my abject horror, it was Chummi Aunty. Before she could do much more than look disgusted and glower at me, however, the brass plate returned into orbit and fell on Chummi Aunty’s head, showering her with rose petals in the process, although she simply refused to look on this bright side when I visited her in the hospital later.
Moral: This method is useless.
Method 2: Wear salwar-kameez or chudidar, along with dupatta. Make sure the dupatta is at least as pretty as you, because that is the star of the show. Now walk gracefully within eye-lock distance of handsome man and let the dupatta flutter like a flag behind you (what do you mean ‘I don’t have table fan to make it flutter?’ That is not my problem). So, make the dupatta flutter so much that it goes and gets stuck on his shirt button or watch (what do you mean ‘how?’ You are not fit for romance at all) and have deep eye-lock while he tries to free your dupatta. Preferably it should not be freed at all, you can drop the dupatta with an anguished look at him and come running away. Then he will come and find you and marry you with the help of the dupatta, or give it to his girlfriend to wipe her nose.
I decided to try this out on traditional day in college, and carefully wore a long dupatta and let it flutter behind me as much as possible. Unfortunately, I hadn’t worn it for ten minutes when the breeze died down suddenly and took the wind out of my dupatta sails, and that piece of silly cloth promptly fell into a patch of wet mud. You can still see the college gardener using a blue diaphanous cloth with golden border to wipe his hands.
Moral. This method is also useless.
Method 3: Get stuck in washing machine. Eh, what? No, of course it’s not a joke, where’s your sense of romance? This actually happened in one Hindi serial. All you have to do is climb into a gigantic washing machine and shut the door, then sit and pray that the handsome man will somehow know (by ehsaas) that you went to an LG showroom and climbed into a washing machine thinking it was a bathtub, and will come running to rescue you and carry you out while having eye-lock all the time (what ‘How did he know where to come?’ This is all internal love GPS, you practical donkey).
So I went to this electronics showroom and tried to get into a nice big machine. Imagine my shock when a shop-assistant told me I couldn’t go inside. “But I have to go inside, how will I get rescued otherwise?” I asked him. But no, he wouldn’t unbend. Really, I’m going to complain to Arnab Loveswami about this, this is sexism, chauvinism, cupidism, I want to know, how I’m going to conduct any romance if people keep shooing me away from washing machines?
Moral: This method is useless, unless you have an industrial grade washing machine. If you really have, please call me also.
Method 4: Hang clothes out to dry on terrace or balcony clothesline and have Romeo-Juliet balcony scene. For this, handsome fellow has to be standing below on the road, so you can have nice eye-lock while hanging or taking clothes off from the line (remember Alaipayuthey scene? Like that only). Remember, you have to do this every day until love is established, otherwise fellow might fall in love with your sister (or whoever else goes to the terrace) by mistake.
So off I went to the terrace of my building, having haggled for the keys with the watchman, who was surprisingly reluctant to part with them and kept giving me deeply suspicious glances. Imagine my happiness when I espied a prey good-looking fellow standing on the road looking up and smiling back at me. Yes! I had finally found love! Unfortunately, in my enthusiasm, I leaned over a bit too far, and ended up pushing the bucket full of wet clothes onto said fellow. Draped in a dripping orange saree and one of my father’s trousers, the fellow glared at me and gnashed his teeth rather violently. That was the last time I saw him, and also the last time my mother let me go anywhere with a bucketful of wet clothes.
Moral: Always do bird-watching after you’ve hung the clothes to dry.
As you can see, none of my forays into the land of hearts and flowers ended well, and I’m still as single as I was when I was 18. But don’t let that deter you, dear reader, from trying out these pearls of wisdom in your own life. So I wish you luck, and please write back if you are successful.
P.S. If you have tried these methods and failed, don’t worry, by now your mummy has understood that you want to fall in love and is in the process of fixing you up with Pammi aunty’s brother’s son.