You still make my heart skip a beat!!

01

Isn’t it very human to have a crush on someone? And somewhere, we reminisce our old attractions, which bring back those memories from the pages of bygone years. I saw many crushes land and take off, but a limited few reserved their seats in my heart forever and every time I spot them in media, I still say, Oouch!!!! 😉

02

Ranbir Kapoor

‘Oouch’ Reason – His appearance

My heart skipped a beat when – I saw him in the movie ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno

Ranbir doesn’t have those typical tall, dark masculine traits. Yet, he looks attractive. This Rishi-Neetu product has his own charm. He is a brilliant actor and I have seen the female fan following of this chocolaty star. There is something that makes me fall for him. I remember falling in love with this Kapoor son when I saw him dance to ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ title track. To me, he is irreplaceable. He looked his best in ‘Rockstar’.. O Jordon, you took my heart away.

Any memory attached? Please pardon me my then manager, if you are reading this. But I took an off only to be present at Ranbir’s promotional event for Rockstar at Pune. I was so sure of reserving the best spot for me to stand that I reached the venue four hours before the scheduled time. I screamed ‘Love you Ranbir’ with the crowd for his striking look in dark green kurta and black Patiala was so arresting. Girls were all uncontrollable and the bouncers had tough time managing the crowd. It was a crazy day when I was fasting, was all hungry yet so energetic only to catch a glimpse of my favorite actor.

03.1

Rahul Dravid

‘Oouch’ Reason – His simplicity

My heart skipped a beat when – I saw him in real in 2006

This cricketer has a heart of gold with a million dollar smile. He is so grounded that at times I wonder how any celebrity can be like this. He displayed his caliber time and again, faced criticism and yet stood like a pillar for Indian cricket team. He has won so many hearts and priceless respect. The innocence on his face makes me admire him more. Rahul Dravid, is undoubtedly one of my all-time crushes and will always be.

Any memory attached? I was in Noida in 2006 when I spotted him in a promotional event. I was lucky to have shook hands with him and I wanted that sense to stay for days. I was bowled over. He looked stunning. He looked like a prince charming that every girl would want to have. Ever since then, he has become my all-time favorites. I am fortunate to have seen him a couple of times on Delhi and Mumbai airports. His simplicity is an absolute killer.

03

John Abraham

‘Oouch’ Reason – His dimple cheeked smile

My heart skipped a beat when – His appearance in song ‘Awaarapan’ left an impact. He definitely looked something in white trousers and blue open shirt with unkempt hair.

I am no one to even have a hint about his personal life, but whatever media appearances I have seen, I like him more as a person than barely as a dimple cheeked guy. He looks honest and someone trustworthy. He generally looks good, acts bad. But as a complete package, I would rate his best as ‘Manya Surve’ in ‘Shootout at Wadala‘. That tilak complimented his dense beard and Kurta style shirts well.

Any memory attached? Those were my college years when digital cameras and smart phones had not started ruling our lives. We still lived in a time when camera rolls had to be washed and prepared. So, after I saw Dhoom, I was so carried away that all my photo albums had John’s postcard as the first picture. I still have one such album alive.

04

Hugh Grant

‘Oouch’ Reason – His hair

My heart skipped a beat when – I watched ‘Notting Hill’

Oh my God. I remember how I was swept away by this actor when I watched ‘Notting Hill’ in my teens. Wasn’t he spectacular? He surely was. His fine acting skills, his hair and appearance left an impact to the extent that he became matchless to me. His long height, cute smile and splendid hair always gave me a reason to admire him. His roles in ‘Bridget Jones Diary’ only added to my appreciation and ever since then he has been into my unsurpassed favorites list. 🙂

05

Abhay Deol

‘Oouch’ Reason – His plainness

My heart skipped a beat when – his debut ‘Socha Na tha’ was released.

Abhay Deol’s simplicity and the ease with which he acts always makes me ponder how cute and adorable this actor is. His voice penetrates deep into my heart and his smile is always heartwarming. His non-glamorous attitude and acting skills make me appreciate him even more. He looks so much down to earth and the fact that he is not seen in media often says a lot about him. He looked his best in … Um…I think in every movie. But still, ‘Ranjhana’ has a slight edge over others. 🙂

06

Arijit Singh

‘Oouch’ Reason – His smile

My heart skipped a beat when – I attended his concert in Pune

I have always been an Arijit Singh’s fan even before he came to limelight for the song ‘tum hi ho‘. There is so much honesty in his voice, so much passion. His effortless singing does justice to the lyrics of each song. I was lucky to have attended his concert in Pune and I was flattered by the way he smiled while he sang. So much simplicity, so much composure. His heartwarming smile took my heart away and ever since then, he has registered himself as one of my all-time affections.

07

Arjun Rampal

‘Oouch’ Reason – His physique

My heart skipped a beat when – he looked spectacular and acted well in ‘Rock On’

I have always liked Arjun Rampal for two reasons – his physique and his intense voice. Girls, you would agree that he looks handsome, isn’t it? In his initial years of career, I admired him only as a model. But gradually he fixed a decent place for himself as an actor. The look he carried in ‘Rock On‘ brushed me away. But still, he looked his best in ‘Roy’. Actually, he is like wine that becomes better with each year. His fine looks and aura compliments him so well. He truly makes my heart skip a beat.

08

Gerald Butler

‘Oouch’ Reason – The combination of his voice and looks

My heart skipped a beat when – I saw him for the first time in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’

This Scottish actor has an awe-inspiring aura. What masculinity. His voice has that strength and deepness. His smile is so stylish. Didn’t he act and look like an actual king in the movie ‘300′? ‘King Leonidas‘… Wow. His appearance in ‘P.S I Love you’ left me in a hangover for many days. He is a style icon, an extremely good actor and a tremendously handsome guy. I doubt if he will ever be out of this list of my unparalleled affections.

09

Raghu Ram

‘Oouch’ Reason – His ‘rough guy’ image

My heart skipped a beat when – I saw him conduct ‘Roadies’ auditions on MTV.

The attitude he carries is not easy. His witty smile washes away the ostentatious roughness that he displays. He looks smart, sometimes cunning. But the fact is that what he does is for the show. I don’t think anyone else can draw, paint and carry a look, image and attitude like him. Raghu’s bald looks makes him look strikingly handsome and his clever smile is only an add-on to his personality. ‘Roadies’ is definitely incomplete without him. I would also agree that movies (Jhootha hi sahi) is not his cup of tea.

10

Farhan Akhtar

‘Oouch’ Reason – His talent

My heart skipped a beat when – I saw him act and sing in ‘Rock On

Farhan Akhtar’s uncompromising talents stand him apart among the B-town actors. I at times ask myself whether it’s his acting or singing or directorial capability that touches me. His voice is something I can never get exhausted of. His smile, again, is very gratifying. I found him best in ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara‘, though ‘Dil Chahta hai‘ is his flawless piece of direction. He seems to have inherited grace and composure from his parents. I can never get enough of him. 🙂

11

Rahul Bose

‘Oouch’ Reason – His ‘guy next door’ look

My heart skipped a beat when – I saw him play Rishi in ‘Jhankar Beats’.

This actor has an ‘I know this guy’ kind of a look. What makes him win my heart is his non glamorous appearance and smile. There is absolutely no element of stardom. His comicality and acting in ‘Pyaar ke side effects’ was exceptionally appreciated. Does he not look like someone you already know or can gel up well with? This short height-ed actor, who also seems to have a good heart, has always made me admire him for everything.

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So, all you people out there…If you have any chain of connections leading to any of these ‘killers’, you know whom to contact, for there is someone who would just love to meet any of these ‘affections’ of her 🙂

An Omen Misread

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She sat in the Starbucks cafe, sipping her coffee and staring out of the window. The blood stained knife lay next to her handbag, covered with her blue silk scarf, reminding her of how sometimes honesty becomes the heaviest baggage to carry along. It’s true that we all carry these things inside that no one else can see. They hold us down, they make the journey tougher. They take us back in time to question why and how. We all seek answers for our baggage as she did that evening.

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….. This is my story, which began in cubicle 6209 of a multinational company in Pune. Yes, that’s when my life began, that’s when this story took birth. I landed in the city with three suitcases, immeasurable hopes and countless dreams. The city welcomed me with heavy rain and I saw that as an omen of something wonderful coming along my way. Yes, I was ready to embrace this new life that I decided to tread alone.

I was a fresher and had spent only a week accustoming myself to the new atmosphere. I had already painted dreams of being awarded employee of the year in just 18 months, leaving an everlasting impression on the team, proving my worth in all challenging situations and everything around being the best. Like everyone else, I entered the industry with zeal. I wanted to be different.

That morning while I was adjusting my bag in the drawer…

Hi, you must be Tanya’, said a voice from behind.

Hi, yes, I am. And you..

I am Rohan, your colleague who arranged the training sessions for you from Singapore, remember?’ said the dimple cheeked guy before I could finish. His appearance was like the ones you immediately become friends with. He was not tall, dark or strikingly handsome but someone who had a warmth and innocence on his face. I stood up to greet him.

Of course, I know you. Pleased to meet you, Rohan. So how was your Singapore trip?’ I asked

It was awesome, thanks. I wish I worked a bit there’ he winked.

… And this is how Rohan and I were introduced to each other. I was still an amateur who was getting used to the corporate environment. I had made a few friends by then. OK, I should rephrase it to say I acquainted myself with some of the colleagues who became my lunch and tea time buddies. The latest addition to the group was Rohan.

Life, immediately after college became full of corporate jargons, independence, late night movies, never ending weekend siestas and responsibility. The flat mates and office colleagues gave a ‘home away from home’ kind of a feeling. Whatsapp and facebook became the way of life. My blackberry became my best friend, Starbucks cafe my hangout and colleagues my only social circle. Life had changed, time was flying and I gained some extra kilos if nothing else in just eight months of my professional life. Ironically, I was still a fresher.

By now, I was friends with everyone in the team, Rohan being my closest buddy. His texts on whatsapp became a routine and he was pictured in almost all of my facebook updates. Yes, he became a friend with whom I comfortably shared even my personal life and he reciprocated the same feelings of trust and comfort.

That day, it was an unusual Rohan that I saw, not akin to the casual him. Yes, I knew him well by then. We had spent enough time during shopping, movies, lunch, dinners and weekends. His plastic smile conveyed that he wasn’t fine. We were sitting in Starbucks cafe after office when I asked him what the matter was.

Are you upset with me for something” I asked

Of course, not. In fact your presence turns things brighter for me” he said, though was still uncomfortable.

Then what’s wrong with you? Is it work or something personal?” I questioned.

I never asked him anything about his personal life. He always opened the chapters he wanted me to read and if there was anything more, it never aroused the curiosity in me. I respected the fact that some people open up like onion, one layer at a time and it’s truly their choice. All I knew about him was that he was closest to his best friend, Romel, who became a part of Rohan’s life only after Zylo passed away a couple of years ago. I daily heard the stories about their walks, cuddling, sharing and understanding. There is something miraculous about the dogs that sweep you away. Is it the fact that they love you irrespective of your class and status or is it their faithfulness? I think they understand you more than we can interpret, they are the selfless givers.

It’s just that … I want to tell you something” he said

Go on” I comforted myself on the couch.

I met you almost a year ago and got attracted like a bee to a hive. Initially, I named that feeling as infatuation but later realized that it stayed beyond its duration. I started thinking a lot of you. I want to be with you whenever you are not around. Checking your ‘last seen’ on the whatsapp is the most pleasant activity for me. I admit I got carried away and drifted myself from the reality, where there is no scope for anyone to enter into my life, for I got married two years ago. I know this comes as a shock to you and I am sorry for hiding it all through this time. I was forced into a marriage with Amruta who is in the States these days for her onsite assignment. It was a marriage for the society, not for me. I had to be wedded because I was settled and was approaching mid-twenties. My parent’s embarrassment multiplied each time someone asked about my marital status. ‘Oh, is he still not married’, ‘he earns well, looks good, then what is the problem’ All such questions from the relatives and neighbors became intolerant to an extent that my parents found a suitable girl and made me tie the knot before I could think about it. What about love then? Oh, who cares about love anyway? Soon after our marriage, precisely in four months to be honest, Amruta flew to Boston for her long term project. By the time I could know her, she was gone too far. Ever since then, we have maintained the ‘marriage’ over skype and phone calls. And then I met you and understood that you are what I want. You mean love. You give me the comfort. I love you, Tanya.”

I sat in front of him in complete awe with my mouth wide open. I didn’t know what to say. Should I have handled the situation – How? Did I unknowingly just distort a marriage? I believe yes. I calmly explained that I was not in love with him. I never was. Yes, he was one of my best friends like I had a few more, but nothing more than that. I felt ashamed of myself. I felt cheated. I left the café as I wanted to be alone. I wanted to run away somewhere.

That night, I received several calls and messages from Rohan trying to explain his feelings and situations. He wanted to end his marriage for me and I didn’t want to lose a friend, but I just lost him that night.

I took a couple of days off from work and started to ignore Rohan’s messages and calls. I could sense his restlessness but I had to be the devil. I didn’t want a marriage to break because of me. I understand that there was no element of love and compatibility in his wedding. Why do parents and society force us to get married like this? Why spoil two lives at one shot? Why don’t they understand that life is not a straight line? Life is not a set timeline of milestones. It is okay if you don’t get married by 25 or 30 until you find compatibility and love. You are allowed to backtrack. You are allowed to figure out what inspires you. What is it with society’s need to fast-track relationships? A love bred out of convenience, a love that blossoms from the need to sleep beside someone, a love that caters to our need for attention rather than passion, is a love that will never inspire you. Why don’t parents and society let us strive to discover foundational love, the kind of relationship that motivates us to be a better person. Why aren’t we allowed to just wait to meet the person who makes our cells dance? I felt bad for Rohan, but I was helpless. I believe in second chances but I could not be his as I didn’t love him. Life suddenly seemed so complicated.

Rohan’s growing possessiveness was an indication for me to deliberately distance myself from him. I was being honest. I wanted to be clam and soft with my friend, yet stay assertive in my voice. Things at work started getting hampered as everything was visible to everyone’s eyes. With no other option left, I requested for a release from my project so that Rohan could mend his shattered self.

A month had already passed by and I found a new assignment. The fact that I will work from another floor made me all the more gratified. I had cut off myself from Rohan and was not a party to his calls and messages anymore.

One fateful morning first email I saw in my inbox was from Rohan, which read –

Hi Tanya,

I am sorry for the turbulence I caused to you. Trust me; I never wanted you to land into a situation like this. More than anything, it hurts to lose a friend like you. I am not at peace with myself. I feel guilty and liberated at the same time. If I have to be with someone, it has to be you. But then the guilt of spoiling Amruta’s life kills me daily. I don’t know whether to try to achieve your love or live with her hatred forever. I have fallen into my own eyes. I never loved Amruta. She was not what I wanted. I love you, but can never win you. In either case, I lose.

So, this is to tell you that I am going away from Amruta’s and your life forever. It is probably not the best, but the only route available for me at the moment. I know I am being unfair and I do understand the amount of pain this decision will bring to everyone, but this is what it is.

Take good care and stay blessed.

Rohan

My mind couldn’t comprehend the email well and I started painting my own assumptions about his decision. It was disturbing. I couldn’t concentrate on the tasks in hand. I was still engrossed in thinking about this situation when a colleague from the previous project called.

Tanya, we are rushing to Rohan’s apartment. Do you want to join us?” she said terrified.

The world stopped for the moment, my senses were numb, and I was immovable. I was in a shock. I didn’t know what to do. My colleague told that Rohan had committed suicide that morning. He had already bid a bye to us.

I was at Rohan’s place in next hour and the domestic helper opened the door. He had called his parents and they were on their way from Nasik. Romel sat in the corner, completely aware of the tragedy that took place. I am sure even he wondered, why? There was blood on the floor and all around. Romel displayed some red stains as well. Next to Rohan’s body lay the blood stained knife that was used as a self-destruction weapon by him. The police was not informed as instructed by Rohan’s parents. Amruta was on her way to India. There were noises around but I could barely hear. I silently picked up the knife and walked out of Rohan’s apartment. The incessant flow of tears could be well seen in my eyes. I called the auto and headed straight to the Starbucks cafe. I didn’t know where else to go.

What made him do this? What made his family pressurize him to get married? What made him fall in love with me? What about Amruta? There were so many Whys and Whats running through my mind but answer to none. He had a whole life ahead of him that could have offered him a second chance as well.

This is not done Rohan, just not done. Suicide is not a solution to any problem but facing life is. You left behind so much without caring for your loved ones. You left many scars for your family, Romel and me. You have left all of us shattered. Life is full of opportunities & probabilities; all that was needed is a little patience, courage & wisdom” I spoke to him in silence.

His smiling face kept flashing in front of my eyes as I sipped my coffee, staring outside the window with the blood stained knife covered with blue silk scarf in my handbag. The heavy downpour outside reminded me of how I misinterpreted rain as a good omen when I first landed in Pune.

A month later, I left the city for I could not bear this loss. One year was enough to teach me about corporate life, independence, love, friendship and life. I wrapped my ambition with the same knife in the blue scarf to start on a new journey, something of my own maybe. This knife will always question me if I should have saved a life or destroyed a marriage. I don’t know whether what I did was right or not, I was just truthful. I am sure with all that is left unsaid between Rohan and me, I will meet him someday… somewhere…in some ways.

RIP Rohan, will miss you.