“Am I seeing things?” asked my mother in surprise.
“Yes, you are, dear Mummy,” I answered sweetly, as I pinched her cheeks and danced out of the room.
I didn’t blame her for being so surprised. After all it was the first time in years that she had seen me in a skirt.
I was a typical tomboy, preferring to have imaginary swordfights and galloping on imaginary horses to playing with dolls and kitchen sets.
As I grew older too, most of my friends were still guys and my favourite books were the “Count of Monte Cristo” and the adventures of the knights of old. I never saw myself as the princess they rescued. Nay, I was always a knight galloping off on my charger, saving the world.
Jeans, shorts, tees were my standard clothes and getting me to wear anything else was a battle. “When will you learn to dress up and behave like a girl?” lamented my mom ever so often.
“Why?” I would cheekily ask her, “Would you love me more if I did?” And in any case, there was always my younger sister, Sabrina, who was every thing a lady should be.
So when mom saw me in a skirt and blouse, “shocked” would be a mild word to describe her reaction. And when this trend continued, she was even more flabbergasted.
How could she know that my whole world had changed over night?
I still remember that day so clearly. I did not want to accompany my aunt, but she insisted. “You have to come with me and there are no two things about it.”
“But, Aunty, I want to finish my book.”
“You can always do that later. Now go on. Wear something decent if you own it and come along. We can’t be late.”
Grumbling as much as I could, I went with her. There were a million things I‘d rather be doing, but when my Aatya (dad’s sister) got a bee in her bonnet there was no dissuading her.
So there I was, slouching in my seat, pretending I was not there and suddenly my heart stopped. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There in front of me was the handsomest guy I had ever seen. My heart thudded and I forgot to breathe. I sat up straighter and my aunt nudged me. “Glad you came?” she asked my slyly. I couldn’t answer even if I wanted to. All I could do was gaze at him. The hours passed in a daze.
Every waking hour was filled with thoughts of him. He occupied every dream of mine. Only now I was not the one dashing to save the world. I was the one being rescued.
I became conscious of my looks and when I asked my mother if I could buy some nail polish, she almost had a heart attack.
I took every opportunity to see him again and since going alone was not an option, I troubled everyone at home till they were all fed up with me.
Ah, yes! I remember that day so well. The day I went to watch the movie Bobby and fell in love with Rishi Kapoor on my 10th birthday.
Ah! First Love!