“When you long with all your heart for someone to love you, a madness grows there that shakes all sense from the trees and the water and the earth. And nothing lives for you, except the long bitter want. And this is what everyone feels from birth to death” – Denton Welch
It was the first day of the new year and I was on an island on the southernmost tip of the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. Aboard a rustic glass bottom boat, surrounded by a vast expanse of the deep blue green waters around me, a brilliantly lit up sky blue sky and fish in almost all the colours of the rainbow below, I felt heady. Here I was, at 30, a reasonably successful doctor earning decently enough to be able to sneak two fancy vacations a year and buy a Gucci bag or two. I had a fabulous set of friends and fellow doctors at work. Life was good.
And most importantly I was in love. And it didn’t hurt that the twenty five year old object of my affection (lets call her “the Girl”) was the most fabulous person I had ever known. Beautiful, charming, witty and level headed, she was everything I could have ever asked for and more. We had been dating for a little less than a year and while we did have our regular share of ups and downs and teething problems that any relationship goes through, we were in a happy place. The parents were well informed of my relationship with the Girl and I felt as though finally everything had fallen into place.
Lost in my thoughts, I picked up my phone, and called the Girl, across the other ocean. She picked up instantly and in her heavily accented highly flirty voice said the two words I had grown to love “Hey Doc!” Feeling overwhelmed with love, I sighed. “How’s Sri Lanka and you in it?”. “Gosh, I am missing you so much baby. I mean Rhea and Kanika are such good fun to hang out with and I love them to bits but I still miss having you around”, I keep thinking of all the adventures we had planned and I can’t believe your office made you cancel this vacation last minute”, I said pouting. “Awwww, its okie, I miss you too Doc. But no stress, I have already decided that we are heading to Maldives next. And our only agenda for that trip is to be complete beach bums. We shall also finally do that scuba diving course you’ve been going on and on about. And not to forget Multiple Maldive Martinis, the huge four poster bed in the hotel and just you and me. Think of how much fun that is going to be. So, now stop pouting”, said the Girl in her usual pretending to be bossy voice. I laughed and then went to on to tell her our plans for that evening and the little things I had picked up for her from the local markets, deliberately omitting the two carat diamond ring, which I had impulsively picked up for her the previous night. It was a surprise for her birthday later that summer. The fisherman was in no hurry to go back and I was only too happy to be chatting with the Girl in the middle of the ocean. I was so content with life and it was only going to be up-hill from here. Or so I thought.
It all began in the next two weeks. The Girl went on a work trip to Bangalore where she informed me that she was catching up with Kandy, this old friend of hers. I had never met K before but had heard that she was super cute, very girl next door-isqué with a kick-ass cool job as a criminal defence attorney and also had a brown belt in karate. I had also heard that she had made a killing from all the high profile cases she had won. When she returned, the Girl regaled me with stories about meeting K and informed me in jest that she had a mini-crush on her. We laughed it off and went to bed. I was so secure in our relationship that the thought of anyone coming between was unimaginable.
However, K soon became a regular fixture in the Girl’s life. They would chat endlessly on the phone. And when the Girl wasn’t talking, she was constantly messaging who I only assumed was K. The Girl was also travelling a lot to Bangalore those days so we hardly got to spend any time together during that time. Before I knew it, the Girl and K had become really close. And suddenly, I noticed the Girl withdrawing from me. I started feeling quite jealous of K. Its uncanny how insecurity and jealously creeps up into the securest of relationships and with that began the fights. We started fighting over anything and everything. I was convinced this was because of the Girl’s obvious interest in K. Two weeks later, I had just returned home from the hospital, when the Girl sat me down and said “Hey Doc, I’ve tried and unfortunately, this cannot go any further. I can’t handle the constant fighting. It’s worn me out. You mean the world to me but I don’t think we are meant to be together.” Crushed and heartbroken, I snapped back, “It’s all because of her isn’t it? You want her now so obviously we have to end.” She hugged me tight and said “I don’t wish to discuss her again with you, Doc but the truth is that you are I were independent of her and me. She has nothing to do with this. We are just incompatible and that is something you have to learn to accept. I am sorry, I really tried to make this relationship work, but it just couldn’t take flight”. And with that she left the apartment. Fifteen minutes later, I heard my blackberry vibrating. I prayed it was the Girl calling to say that she had a change of heart. Only it wasn’t. It was a reminder from the bank that my alarmingly large credit card bill of the last month was due for payment shortly. I remembered the diamond solitaire, which was hidden safely, forgotten on account of all the recent fighting and burst into tears. It was ironic.
The next few months marked the darkest time in my life. I was dejected and disillusioned. At first I couldn’t accept that the relationship was over. So I tried every trick in the book I knew. I argued, fought and when that didn’t work either, I begged and pleaded with the Girl for us to get back together. I was so lost and angry. I felt as if I was performing the most important surgery of my life but had no control of the outcome, no matter how valiantly I tried. The Girl was adamant that we were not suited for each other and that she only wanted to be platonic friends. Naturally I transferred all my anger, hurt, humiliation to K. Reason did dawn that may be she had nothing to do with the situation but it helped to have a scapegoat to vent on. I blamed K for everything and even though I didn’t know her, I began hating her with a vengeance.
However, I knew being negative and constantly depressed was not going to get me anywhere. I had to pick myself up and move on and what better way than to immerse myself into work at the hospital and focus on my career. So alongside my regular surgical work, I also got inducted into the board of the Medico Legal Cell at the hospital to work with a team of external legal advisors to help defend medical negligence cases against the hospital.
My first board meeting was supposed to be a regular introductory meeting with the management as well as our defence attorneys to discuss cases that were up for hearing. I walked in a little late, only to witness this rather cute looking lawyer chick making a presentation before the board. She was wearing a trendy grey pinstriped skirt suit and designer pumps. She wasn’t very tall but she was extremely attractive. But apart from her cute looks, what I noticed almost instantly about her, she had big brown puppy dog eyes. The kind that made instantly trust someone for some strange reason. “Hmm…must be an awesome trait to have in a lawyer”, I thought to myself. Her presentation was extremely impressive and she outlined the legal strategy fairly lucidly to us. I also noted that she had this slightly husky undertone to her voice (the one that some smokers have) which I found quite sexy. Having taken a liking to her almost instantly, almost as if I had a mini-crush on her, I was trying to get someone to introduce her to me, when I saw her walking up to me smiling warmly. She came to my side, extended her hand and said “Hey doc, been looking forward to finally meeting you. Am Kandy Kapoor.”