*Harsha is a software engineer with an IT firm in Bangalore.
The innocent beginnings
I met Udit through common friends when I had come home to Pune on a Diwali break. The memory of our first meeting is still very vivid and fresh in my mind. We had a very general conversation on food, friends, studies and I did not even pay any special attention to him. Udit too did not shower me with any compliments or made me feel special in any way. In fact, Udit left early to attend to some business at home.
We exchanged numbers just like everybody else but I had no real intention of calling him back. Udit was from Pune and I lived in Bangalore. I didn't see a future but fate had its own plans.
Bike rides and more
The very next morning as I lay sleeping peacefully in my bed, my phone buzzed. It was Udit. ‘Do you want to go on a bike ride?’, he had texted. I replied yes and there he was in five minutes, his Harley Davidson tearing through the early morning calm of my neighbourhood.
He looked very cool on his bike. I was in a dilemma if I should hold him from the waist or the shoulders. It was all new to me. I went for the shoulder but the bumpy ride ensured I was much closer to him than I would have allowed my timid self. We rode down to the outskirts of Pune to a beautiful lake. It was a calm October morning and we kept chatting enroute.
We both connected well on a lot of common things – our love for dogs was the biggest talking point! I had no idea where time flew but I ended up spending the whole day with him and he dropped me back home after a nice dinner.
My first kiss and confession
I was now getting a message every morning. Every day we would do something fun together and I was beginning to get quite fond of him, even holding on to his waist during bike rides without any hesitation. One day, while returning home, he stopped the bike under a beautiful tree, drew me close and kissed me on my lips. It felt amazing and I reciprocated with equal passion. I went back to my room and kept thinking about Udit all night.
The next morning, my mind was buzzing with a million questions. I was only in Pune for a week. Could I really handle a long distance relationship? I had heard the phrase that love is blind but for the very first time that I felt how true it was! In no time, he said the three words, I was waiting to hear from him. The words did their magic and we were now in a committed relationship.
The long-distance pain
After saying a million of ‘I Love You’s' and how horrible it would be to live without each other, I went back to Bangalore. The first two months were a breeze. Udit would call me up every night and we would have long video chats. At the same time, we gave each other enough space and spoke on it was convenient for both of us. We made it a point to not push one another and give each other time.
It was just perfect until January but then my workload increased. Given my hectic deadlines and late night work hours, I had no time and we went on without talking to each other for days. Before I knew what was happening, things started to fall apart. Udit failed to understand how could I be so busy! The frequency of our calls dropped and whenever we did call, it ended up in fights.
As fate would have it, Udit too got busy with his projects and our relationship came to a bit of a dead end. There was absolutely no conversation at all between us for days. He would message me and ask me to talk at a time I was not free and I would do the same. We both felt very frustrated.
I couldn’t play this game anymore. I just felt trapped in our situation and did not know what to do next. I spoke to him with a calm mind and asked if we should take some time off from our relationship. He was totally against it and said ‘relationship don’t work this way, we will make it work by talking and not by taking a break from it’.
But I was adamant. I needed a break to clear my head and to decide if I wanted to continue with this relationship. I knew myself and felt I wasn’t ready to for a really serious commitment. We took days but the decision was on in my favour. I told him that we won’t be talking for a week or until we both felt ready.
My one night stand - well almost
What I did next was quite unexpected. I went to my friend Karan’s place just to hang out with other friends and to divert my mind from what was going on with my relationship. We all stayed up late, talking and drinking. I had put my phone to charge in Karan’s room. As my friends continued to talk, I went to the room to check if Udit had messaged me.
At that moment, Karan too walked into the room and smiled at me. We both were too drunk to realise what was happening. He switched off the light and my drunk mind thought he wanted to sleep. He asked me if I wanted to hear some music.
I said yes and lay down on his bed. Slowly he leaned onto my shoulder and I did not protest. Our lips touched next and we started kissing madly!
I told Karan to not go any further and he readily agreed. But he still kept kissing me and I was so comfortable, even more than I was ever with Udit, that I let him. I don't remember when we both fell asleep on his bed.
The ‘no regrets’ morning
Karan woke me up next morning with a coffee and a smile. I tried to understand what happened the night before and the only thing on my mind was – should I tell Udit?
I left Karan’s place and strangely felt very happy and content. But then I saw Udit’s name pop on my phone screen and my heart skipped a beat. Why was he calling me on a break? I picked his call after much hesitation.
Without letting me say much, Udit went on a ranting spree. My mind was buzzing so the details are a bit hazy but I recollect him saying that he couldn't take this break thing anymore and wanted me back.
I just managed to tell him that I needed some time to think. He persisted for a while, trying to get me to agree immediately but then ended the call with an ‘I love you’ and that he will wait for my message.
I spent a whole day and a night mulling over pros and cons of my relationship. I didn’t want to lose Udit but I had my doubts about the relationship.
Sunny side up
The next morning I woke up with a surprisingly clear head. There was something that had stopped me when I was with Karan. I realized I did care for Udit and it was just the physical intimacy and long conversations what I was really missing. We both loved each other but since were not able to spend time, it had really started impacting on how we behaved with each other - in short not nicely.
I decided to reply to Udit. I knew he would have been waiting so I typed ‘I love you too’ with quivering fingers and sent it to him. He called back immediately and I told him that we needed to talk. Udit went silent on the other end dreading I was going to break up with him. I reassured him quickly and then had a long discussion with him on what we needed to do make our relationship work - the ability to see, touch and feel him regularly was on top of my list. He felt the same and we drew out a plan of action. We now make time to call each other at a particular time everyday and compensate if either is unable to make it at that time. Udit travels regularly to Bangalore to meet me and I too visit Pune more often. And it’s been going well so far.
What happened to Karan? Well, Karan wasn’t ever meant to be anything, other than perhaps giving me what I needed the most during the tumultuous phase of my relationship. A strong sense of what I was missing - my man’s touch.
Would I ever tell Udit about Karan? No, because what we have now is so much better than what it was previously. Relationships do have a weird way of working out. That one night with Karan brought me closer to Udit but I don't think telling him about it would have quite the same impact.
The person in the picture is a model.
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