I still remember the date crystal clear – 13th March, 2007; Location – Cunningham Road office, Bangalore; Occasion – Last working day at my company, last chance to try and get to talk to PS (name not disclosed due to confidentiality reasons).
So there I was, having put in my papers 30 days ago and having served my notice period with my employer, but still not having been able to muster up enough courage to actually go and tell PS what I felt about her. I couldn’t bring myself to tell her that she was the most pleasant breeze that my tumultuous life so far had ever experienced, she was the most sweet smelling flower in my dirt and rubble ridden life so far, she was the oasis of sweet drinking water in the dry, hot, arid desert of my life so far; I couldn’t tell her that I loved her so much and that she meant everything to me.
For the past four years now I had gone to her cubicle on the pretext of visiting another close friend of mine who was her team-mate and this daily routine meant that I was kept aware of almost every happening in her life, given that she was friends with him too. I knew where she stayed, I knew how she travelled to office, I knew how often she took public transport to office, I knew what she ate, I knew what she wore, I knew what brand of perfume she used, I knew what brand of mobile phone she used, I knew it all; except that I didn’t know how to tell her what she meant to me.
But today, on 13th March, 2007, I had my last and final chance. I was going to relocate to Mumbai permanently as I had managed to get a job in my dream company after having applied there several times over the last five years. The only flipside of this job was the fact that I was having to move to Mumbai while PS would stay back in Bangalore. I just had to let her know what I felt about her and what she meant to me before I moved to Mumbai. I didn’t even bother to think about how she would react and things like that. I just had to let her know how I felt, that’s all.
In fact, I was so tense and worked up about meeting her and talking to her on that day that I hadn’t even shaved over the past week or so. Almost all my day was either spent in providing Knowledge Transition to the person who was taking over my role after I left the team or pondering about various approaches and strategies as to how to approach PS and talk to her, confess about my feelings for her. Little did I know that this would make all the difference in the world.
I still remember her last words to me – You know JM, it’s not like I haven’t noticed you looking at me and taking an unusual interest in me over the past three odd years. But the fact remains that you are a little too careless and that is something I cannot live with. Just look at you, with that week old stubble. Now someone who cannot take care of his own grooming and shave everyday, how is that man going to take good care of his love, his woman – as she walked off.
Little did I know that something as simple as a stubble would be the deciding factor in a girl rejecting me. I had learnt my lesson, and I had learnt it the hard way.