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Memories of a Valentine

There's a song by the title,"My Funny Valentine," though it's not one of my favorites. But it's not music on my mind as I type this post.

I was a student of Fergusson College in those days. Kaushik was my affable roommate and BM was, in a way, our common interest. Not that we were rivals but some healthy competition between Kaushik and me for BM's attention was always on. I was of the opinion that no relationship is entirely romantic or platonic; there's always a mix of the two contrasting emotions. It's only the proportion that defines the overall facet. With that sort of philosophy, it was unlikely that our subtle overtures pertaining to BM would ever turn acrid...and it never did. One event accentuates this.

It was the eve to Valentine's day. I was, as usual, strolling down FC Road when it suddenly became impossible to beat being allured by the blooming roses that had become too ubiquitous for my liking. An excruciatingly sweet smell literally hung in the air. Thinking of BM and and dithering about the roses, I decided to take the plunge and buy the reddest of roses for the pretty lady. I was sure the lady wouldn't mind my audacity.

So a rose was bought, though not with alacrity. I decided to spring a surprise on my Kaushik too by keeping my adventure under wraps. It was getting dark. Kaushik came home and began to fret. He realized that St.Valentine's day was about to strike and he was ill-prepared to welcome its advent. Now it so happened that Nayantara was endowed with a botanical garden of sorts. There were flowers of all shapes and sizes although the rose was conspicuously absent. What a night to feel the void!

Kaushik, the ambidextrous guy that he was, set upon crafting a makeshift flower vase. He, covertly from the landlord under the veil of darkness, plucked a few white flowers and neatly placed them in the beautiful vase that had by now got a facelift on account of its otherwise ugly body being covered by gift wrapping. The transformation was stunning, to put it mildly. Poor soul, we didn't have red flowers in our garden and Kaushik rued this treacherous fact as he went in search of more flowers to add volume to our bouquet. I began to feel a tad guilty for my hidden red rose. So when Kaushik was out once again to hunt for more flowers, I quickly uncovered my prized possession and placed it right at the center of our burgeoning bouquet.

In came Kaushik with a few more white flowers in tow only to experience the shock of his life! I explained and we exchanged mischievous glances! And the great iirony of it all: our lady was completely oblivious of the conspiracy!

So early next morning Kaushik and I sped off on his scooter carrying our priceless bouquet. The innocent lady lady was summoned, she emerged from the comfort of her house and was presented with, what must have been to her, the scoopiest bouquet she had ever received! She was obviously startled and asked us for an explanation. We narrated all the romantic pains and flowery gains, to which BM could only help a big smile. Mission accomplished! I can't recall now if we wished her a happy Valentine's day. Probably we didn't since we thought we had gone far enough for the day.

There was more to follow. We headed for Fergusson College (all of us studied there), only to be stumped when one of Kaushik's female acquaintances wished him,"Hello Bhaiya! Happy Valentine's Day!" BM and I somehow managed to keep a straight face then, but couldn't contain ourselves and started rolling on the floor with laughter at the irony of it all. Kaushik was red-faced with embarrassment!

Months later, BM fondly alluded to our audacious and shameless adventure involving the bouquet. Years have now gone by, but I'm sure the memory of that special Valentine's day remains as fresh in her heart as it is in ours. We remain great pals to this day although we can't afford to be all that adventurous.


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