Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Courting Pratibha (1999-2000)
Pratibha (or Sonu as she's called at home) joined our lab group in the 4th semester. She was a feisty character. Jolly good fun to have around but what really attracted me to her was her lunch box. She was a north Indian and there's no food like authentic north Indian food. Sadly I wasn't the only enlightened one. Every day, at lunch time, there used to be a mad scramble for pratibha's lunch box. Sampath, Neena and I were the usual culprits but very often there were others. Everyone but pratibha used to get a fair share of the spoils (what!! Have you ever heard of the victim getting anything?).
Very soon I realized that half a roti and curry wouldn't do. I had to find
a way to get more. Also I had gotten to know her very well (subtle way of saying I had fallen in love with her .. heh heh). First I tried to impress her in the lab. But that retarded moron of a showstopper, Anish, who was also her friend, showed her the source of my lab wisdom. The next thing I did was morph into the chivalrous 'do gooder' guy that society could never do without. Couple of weeks later, standing in pouring rain, looking quite the fool, changing a flat tyre for her scooter, I realized that that was going to be quite hard to sustain. Desperate times required desperate measures. Moreover all is fair in love and war. The time had come for the underhanded route. I solicited the help of all our common friends (including Anish .. told him it was his sole chance at redemption). Day in and day out they sang paeans to me into her ears until I was sure she had a picture of me next to the gods and goddesses in her house. Finally I proposed .. and got rejected, was lucky to get away in one piece. Dang .. She was smarter than I expected. Why should girls be smart anyway .. what will boys do?
I gave up .. resigned myself to half a roti and curry. It was the end of the semester, time for lab exams. As was the usual practice, I brought out my trusted old PDA watch into which I stored all the inductance and capacitance values for all experiments. Following the pattern of my rotten luck all semester I got the toughest experiment. Fortunately I could remember the diagram. I drew it and copied down the values from my watch. And went to my table. As luck would have it, Pratibha was in the table right next to mine. There is a certain higher power upstairs. I believe he (male chauvinist me .. I'll call him a he) was touched by my sincere efforts to win pratibha and was sorry to see me fail. He decided to step in and help me out a little. Usually one to look only at her table and nowhere else, this time Pratibha glanced at my diagram. "psst .. Nishant .. you've put 20uF it is 20mF" .. Little whisper coming from my left. I couldn't believe it. I knew she was wrong, my trusted watch couldn't fail me. But here was my chance. Screw the output, I told myself .. Get some sympathy. Eyes gleaming wickedly I changed the value, messed up the whole lab and stepped out.
There she was, my sweet little sonu, looking all horrified and sorry. I put on my most forlorn face, said bravely "It's ok ... You only tried to help" and walked off. That was the turning point. I grabbed onto that thread and pulled, and pulled .. until one fine day she fell into my lap. She's my wife now and we have a sweet little daughter. Every single day I eat 10 rotis and loads of curry.