My first crush reminded me of what butterflies feel like
I was in a hostel when I first got introduced to the song called “There She Goes.” I had a friend write the lyrics for me in a book so that I could sing aloud whenever I heard the song. Of course, back then English did not come naturally to me. I had to put in some extra effort to learn one song. I did not realise this song was going to become an exclusive song which would reverberate in my head all my life. Even after 15 years, this song remains exclusively for her. Before I go any further, I would like you to hear the song. I am sure you will love it too.
The first time I saw her, I had butterflies in my stomach. I did not know what that meant, but whatever it was, it felt good. I had seen her many times before, but this was the first time I noticed her walking graciously in the amphitheatre. It was probably a Sunday, and she was with her elder sister if I remember correctly. It was a slow revelation to me, I was walking up the amphitheatre, and there she stood laughing with her sister. Out of nowhere, this song popped in my head, and from that moment, it became her song. Whenever she went past time slowed down, and this song played continuously. The memory of my first experience with her was far stronger than my experience of being bullied in the same amphitheatre.
You can see what I am talking about in this video from Tare Zameen Par, except that I was moving up the steps while she stood there laughing. A little later in this video, Ishaan picks my favourite spot for painting. It’s where I used to daydream a lot and spent a lot of time.
Much like my effort to learn English, it was difficult to articulate this experience. I had to see multiple movies before I could describe what I liked about her. It came down to one thing — her laugh was contagious. The moment this dawned on me, I always wished I could be around whenever she laughed.
The more movies I saw with “dating” stuff, I learned to describe her. I felt her laugh was natural and she had the perfect hair to compliment her while she laughed. The hair band she wore sometimes made her even cuter. Her cheeks had no spots as much as I recall, which made her glow whenever she laughed. Whenever I got the chance and remembered a girl like her existed, I went to class early and waited for her to enter, of course by now you might have guessed “There She Goes” was on full volume. But everything changed when a film called Kuch Kuch Hota Hai released during out year-end vacation.
When we returned to school after vacation, I saw many girls with the mushroom haircut Kajol had in the movie. I did not see the film, and I got to know this much later when some of my friends told me how this tomboyish hairstyle became a fad. Secretly, I hoped she hadn’t got this hairdo, but to my horror, she had the haircut too! My heart sank, but not for long. She laughed, and all was ok. I gave it some thought, and it was the first time I learned to appreciate others’ choices. And I felt, perhaps a one-sided messy braid would have complimented her personality better.
Her sister was all prim and proper, but somehow I felt my crush had a beauty which I would like to describe as Messy Beauty. It may sound odd at first instance but it is more a figurative way of calling someone beautiful because they were not too conscious about how they looked. Also, they have a fantastically peculiar personality to follow their passion. I felt she is one such person. She stood out because of this somehow, and I felt this desire was visible and it felt like no matter what happens no one can take that away from her.
Messy Beauty — Someone who is unapologetically true to self and knows what is true freedom.
Having her around just made me happy. I felt dating was such a funny option. I wished I could get to know her better and talk to her. But it never occurred to me that I could also attempt. I was usually shy and lost in my world most of the times. Confidence was low. I could not even think of talking to her. How I wish I could muster a little bit of confidence and know her a little more.
I am glad I got the courage to write this about her and hoping it reaches her with good intentions.