All about my first love. If you are a mallu (a malayalee), you need to have these qualities in you
1. Drink like a fish
2. Have a paunch
3. Work in Gelf (Gulf, middle east to be precise)
These precious words of wisdom were spouted by a colleague of mine when i first came to Singapore. He himself is a mallu. We had gone for our for dinner and seeing me refuse a drink, he commented. I dont drink. In fact the only alcoholic drink (if you agree it is one) is maybe a mug of beer. I would really struggle to finish it too. They say, peer pressure is what makes you get into all vices. I say, its all bull crap. Almost all my friends drink like a fish and smoke like a chimney. But, I dont.
Its not that i never indulged in all these pleasures. I started smoking when i was 14 or 15. And i quit about 5 years later when someone very special (my first love) told me that she didnt like to see me smoke. That special someone was my lecturer in my computer’s class. I was head over heels in love with her. Cant blame it. I was just 21 then. She must have been at least 4-5 years elder to me and was my first love.
She must have been more concerned about the sacred ‘teacher-student’ relationship. As for me, i was a rebel on the loose wanting to make a statement. I was just an average student and spent time day dreaming. Dunno why, she took special interest in me. And if i didnt take the necessary interest in class, she would be really mad at me. A few exchanges between us went something like this…
Her – Philip, if you don’t pay attention in class, i will kill you.
Me – (all misty eyed with a hand on my heart), Oh…you have already killed me
Her – Sigh, you will never change
Me – Honestly, i don’t want to. I love it this way.
She might have been really concerned about my future. But, i took her concern as genuine love for me. I dreamt of marrying her someday. Ya, ya, ya i was only 21 then and she was very much elder to me. But strangely, i have always had some sort of soft corner for older women (will write more about my relation with a much older divorcee in another post). She just went ahead with her life and got married. I was hurt and broken hearted. I couldnt believe that someone could do this to me. She just laughed whenever i told her that i liked her a lot. Maybe she took my liking for her as crush or infatuation of a boy in his youth.
And then, she just disappeared from my life. 2 years on, when i met her again at a shopping complex, she was carrying lots of shopping bags. I was as usual ‘bird watching’. She came up, and said “Philip, you haven’t changed a bit…still ogling at the girls?” and laughed out heartily.
The woman i loved so much was now standing in front of me with a heavily pregnant tummy. I just mumbled something. That was the last time i saw her. I hope never to bump into her again. She was my first love.