Smell of hookah, lots of smoke, navel rings, ear deafening Trans and Metal music, beautiful faces, smooches and sensual touches…..this was Hawaiian shack, a pub. Neha was dancing and swirling across the 3rd floor, tracing out arcs of energetic rhythm. Shakira and her hips were not lying…and neither was the mood, 5 friends in upbeat mood, cheering each other and dancing their heart out. They proceeded to bar, salt in one hand and lemon in another and bottoms up tequila shots, 5 each. Some more music, some more drinks….after that they needed some support to dance, Avinash readily supported her by placing hands on waist. When you are having best time of your life with people whom you like….hand is known to slide, while dancing on INGRID MICHAELSON “The Way I Am”. She was losing herself, when suddenly she saw the guy and he was Avinash not Madan.

Neha, Avinash, Manish, Mushin and Pooja, all were colleagues from Voltas India and were celebrating FFO i.e. First Friday Outside.

Neha Madan, Female, 23 years in official records, Kuhu by family & friends, heartless by public; these were the few adjectives, she was always known as. Neha drives a Maruti Zen, dates a simpleton called Madan Gulati and works as PRO in Voltas India.

Neha was born and brought up in Bombay and was always kind of bindaas. Bombay brings a lot of insanity along with the upbringing and bombayittes always love this long lost charm of small towns & simplicity. Madan was a simple guy who wore slippers and specs to college; when a gang of guys comes in fancy cloths and lot of cologne, just to impress you…you get used to it but you also miss the natural ones. And Neha was used to all the big talks but she was not used to simple talks and all the respect, which Madan used to carry. Madan was above average in studies, gave her notes to copy, never complimented her on beauty and always looked at her through corner of his eyes… he was “take him to mamma” kind of boy. There was an air of ‘simplicity-meets-boyishness-meets-different’ and she loved it. She knew he was smitten by her but also knew he will never be able to give words to his feelings so she took the lead and made him confess.

Time passed by, they graduated, joined different companies but always found some time for each other and they were enjoying it. Avinash was the one to take lead and inform his family about Neha and both the families agreed for the alliance, condition to their settling down professionally.

Come Feb’2010; they have completed 8 years of courtship and are just 4 months away from marriage. Now things have changed a bit, Madan behaves more like a husband and Neha like any other girlfriend.

Madan works in a semi-government bank as a manager, where 70% of the population was under ‘you blink and I die’ category and rest 29% are after going home early types. His public bank organizes early going to home opportunity and right to strike. Neha works in a young company where average employee age is 25 years. As part of her job profile; her company offers a lot of lunches, dinners and social do’s.

Both had a different level of exposure in their after love life, Madan remained a small town boy whereas Neha experienced a higher level of exposure unintentionally.

Albeit she liked the simpleton behavior of Madan but she has grown up listening to MLTR, Venga boys & all the English bands and Madan was simply not interested in pop, rock or metal music. She liked being in his arms but she also liked dancing in a club…for her it was a way of living life to the fullest.

Neha and Madan both has experienced same type of feelings with different level of intensity…from last 1 year, there were differences cropping up and they felt things have changed a bit from the day they started dating. Sometimes Madan found Payal more understanding than Neha whereas Neha thought Avinash is of her type. However things were still not lost, they still loved each other; sometimes just because they were together for 8 years, sometimes because they were getting married in few months and sometimes because their families were meeting …….. they had stopped loving each other but they loved each other for the reasons and the reason was not love.

2 months to marriage and Madan started spending some more time at office and with Payal whereas visits to CCD, McDonalds and Hard rock café by Neha & friends increased too. They both knew their limits; both knew they are getting married but still laying their hands on fire.

They were aware of happenings but it was simply uncontrollable…or maybe they dint wanted to control it.

Come 7th May, 1 month to go…. Things were approaching make or break but unaware of the changes…families were busy preparing for marriage, marriage invitations were being sent to relatives.

Madan took Payal out for lunch and came back unimpressed with her manners, social etiquettes. He remembered Neha and he knew what he was missing; she had made him a man he is.

Avinash took Neha spinning out on the bike and then for a small do; what Neha saw there was not something she liked…Avinash took grass, shared exhaustive details of his prior affairs and playboy days. Neha knew inside her heart, she is getting a firsthand man but was running behind a second hand loser.

8th May, 30 days to go…Neha and Madan met, lost in each other but found themselves… was not a date but it was a meeting of 2 souls, who were meant to be together for life.

originally written at 6. March 2010 08:45