June 13, 2006

2006: A Love/Hate Story

It was about seven years ago that I first met him. I was a bright-eyed teenager and he was this mysterious stranger who spoke in riddles and bid me close my eyes and believe in things that I could never have imagined to be true. Who was I to keep such company, when I did not know my nose from my toes? My awkward attempts at an interaction were half-hearted and futile, and were soon given up.

I had forgotten all about him till I landed in London, where I was introduced to him again. He's more often in London than he's in India, probably because his home in France is just across the channel. I blushed to remember the gawky teenager who'd dared to strike up a conversation many years ago, and vowed to steer clear of him. He still talked in riddles, it is not for the French to talk straight in any case, and he is not quite straight himself. I was deft of foot, and turned a corner or merged into the background when I saw him coming. But he was smarter. He showed up everywhere I went. Soon, there was no place I could hide. When I feigned indifference, he got me through my friend. He sent me messages through wendigo, and, after a while, I started responding to them. Why would this mysterious man want me, I wondered. What good is one half-baked soul to a man who has wooed and wedded many, much nobler ones? But he continued.

Today was the day of reckoning for this uneasy relationship. I thought about him for the last few days on the sly, pretending all the while I was doing something else. And when I met three of his friends today (no friends of mine, these, I assure you), all I could do was blabber incoherently about how besotted I was with him.

I am disciplined and punished. Foucault got me in the end.

Aside: We had three hours to write three essays in today's exam. Pretty lenient for Delhi University examination monkeys like me. But my Norwegian classmate is used to answering one question based on everything she's studied through the whole course in an 8-hour exam! Anybody wanting to be funding a PhD on international examination systems?

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