Sunday, October 14, 2007

Our song tag

Our song tag….

Kurai Onrum Illai

The times - they are a-changin

B and I don’t have one particular “our song”. But these two songs are part of the story that is “us” now. Moppet’s mom – this partly goes into the engagement story you told me to write about…
B and I had known each other for a while – I met him on my birthday at my close friend’s (his cousin) wedding in Chennai. I was visiting from the US at that time and he was finishing his undergrad and was about to start graduate school in the US that fall. Since my friend and her parents were busy since they were in the wedding, I spent time chatting with her cousins – especially this one (B) who I had not met earlier at my friend’s place somehow. We hit it off really well and ended up giving each other company (being gracious that’s all you know!) while the wedding was happening. He attended all the events at her wedding and we had a lot of time to chat. Not to mention that I was of course dressed my best since I was at a wedding - brocade sari, nearly knee length hair with mallipoo, high heels (he still towered over me since I am a shorty), the works.
He gave me his phone no at his hostel and told me to visit before I left the country. I dropped in when I went to visit another friend and gave him my US phone no and told him to say hello after he came to the US. And that’s how it started.
We remained friends for a few years – met a couple of times, but mainly connected over the phone. In the meanwhile, my parents, especially my mother was very keen that I get married. Plenty of side stories there. Leaving those aside, it came to a point of high pressure at my end when the said friend decided there was no time to travel across coasts (as he would have liked to do this in person) and conveyed his interest in a hand written letter to me!

The mind plays games with you really. I knew him well and this did not come as too much of a surprise. Yet I felt like we were only friends, had only been friends and nothing more and it will never be anything more. And I told him so. But he was the only friend I would consistently keep in touch with regularly. It was like calling my family. I could tell him anything. I did not know how close we had become over the years. Just took it for granted.

Like in the movies, we had the good fortune of our respective close friends who married each other with some role played by us in the matter of their meeting each other. And they, I suppose wanted to spread the joy and played cupid. They tried to pry open my shut mind and see that I actually cared about this guy and that it would work out if only I gave it a chance and saw that it wasn’t just another friendship. I was stuck on the fact that we were on opposite coasts and we had only mainly known each other over the phone. One fine summer day, when B was visiting me and my friends, he took me out to dinner and later that night, we walked by the river with the balmy breeze blowing, the city lights sparkling in the distance, house boats anchored by the board walk. Few others enjoying the summer were sitting around or jogging. B finally got to the point of his visit and told me that I simply had* to give this a chance and come and visit him a few times before deciding on it. In a feel good mood,I agreed to.

I visited him without telling any one in my family other than my sister (while two other siblings and my cousin lived very close to where he was – I could have been caught any time!) because I did not want my parents or my older brother to cloud my decision by pressuring me into saying a yes just because they really liked him. After a few visits, I was still afraid – I was studying in the east coast and he was working in the west coast. We could not meet casually over a cup of coffee or every day. A few visits and I had to decide on something that I had thought would never be. I was afraid of my own decision.

As an aside to the main story – since this is about the song tag – B was heavily into western music – had a huge collection of CDs – especially Rock and Jazz music. I was into western music until I came to the US. Although I had been trained in classical music while I was in India, I had no real interest in it until I came to the US. I became very interested in carnatic music and would listen to it all the time. And M.S.Subbulakshmi was my all time favorite. Especially this song – “kurai onrum illai” - sung by her. And B had this CD, the only carnatic music CD he had purchased! I love/d this song – you can get lost in the reverberation of her voice and feel entranced by the lyrics and the melody in this song.

After a few visits to the west coast to spend time with B – the last one (exactly six years back, Oct.13 weekend) was particularly memorable. We had a great time visiting the vine yards in the west coast, went to a play, got stuck outside the theater because the guard at the parking garage had disappeared and it started raining! So we walked to an Italian restaurant and had dinner that turned out to be quite lousy. We went home and chatted some more. Finally it was time for me to leave the next morning by an early flight. No decision yet. The tension behind the conversation was mounting. Unsaid but palpable. Neither of us could bring it up. My thoughts were clouded. I could not shake myself out of “I have only known him as a friend, what if I am doing the wrong thing?”. Things were left unsaid, B wished me good night and went to bed (awake all the time) and I lay down on the living room couch pretending to watch a movie while thinking about all this all the while. Dawn came, we got into the car to drive to the airport. I knew this would be it – I would have to cut off all contact with him after this visit. We simply could not be just friends after this. My heart felt incredibly heavy. As we got into the highway, with a few cars zooming by, in the quiet of the early morning wondering what the other person was thinking…he turned on the music. To this song. It made me feel melancholic. Nostalgic. Stirred. Full in the heart.

We went to the airport, I told him goodbye. Nothing had been said. Everything was assumed. That this was it. I called my sister as soon as his face disappeared from the crowd by the gate and talked to her. I cried. I could not bear it. I could not articulate it. I could not loose him. I was imprisoned by my own refusal to let go of my fear and see it for what it is. He was my best friend. I trusted him like I did no other person. I admired him for so many things. I respected him more than anyone I knew. He had the kindest smile and I loved that I had him in my life. Yet…I could not get the words out. I hung up with my sister and got into the plane. Somewhere up in the sky, it just clicked. Truly divine intervention I would say. I just felt absolutely sure of my decision. I wanted to marry him. I wanted him to be a part of my life forever. I could not imagine a life without him. And I was not just going to tell him that but was going to tell him that in those very words. Clarity of that nature is a powerful and liberating feeling.

That night, I borrowed my house mate’s laptop and emailed him. I told him in no uncertain terms that if he was still willing, I wanted to marry him. And soon. As soon as we could both go to India. We had never talked about marriage until then – it was obvious that that was the end point – but still we had never talked about it in those terms. He had been exhausted from the intensity of the weekend. He had had a long day at work that Monday. During a break from an official meeting on Tuesday morning, he checked his mail to see this* mail from me. All those years of friendship and the roller coaster ride we had been through…he was simply dazed. Just when he had thought it was all really over.

Rest is history. I could write a whole new post on the celebration that followed in my family when I announced the decision. Every one’s reaction…the million phone calls. Pure joy when I think about it even now. Three months later we were married. We had a commuter marriage living across coasts, for over a year. That Valentine’s day he had flowers delivered to my house. I came home late at night, in the cold and entered my warm room. My housemate had accepted the package from the florist and put it on my desk. It had a little printed note. He had borrowed from Dylan. It said, “The times, they are a-changin”. With love.

I tag - Mnamma, Ca.Amma, Madmomma,Boo, DDmom, Poppin, Orchid, Ranjani,Dotmom,Kodi's mom,Chitra,Shobana,Aryan's mom, Rohini, Kiran, Squiggles. (Song with engagement story please!).
Some of you have done the "our song" tag but not the engagement story. I love (and am sure the others here so as well, I mean who doesn't love a good story!) engagement stories - so am hoping all of you tagged here will do a post on both - song plus engagement story or just engagement story (if you don't mind that is).

41 comments:

Tharini said...

Noon! That was the most intense love story I have ever read. I felt sooo involved while reading it...gosh. I just felt so bad for him to have gone through that little period of utter uncertainty. I wonder what was in that instant in the skies, when it all just came together for you. I mean how? Its certainly amazing how these things happen.

Happy that there was a happily ever after attached to this story. :)

Moppet's Mom said...

Noon, you silly, silly thing! You think this was not romantic?! I had goosebumps reading it!!

I'm so glad you decided to post this. It's a beautiful story.

Aryan's Mom said...

What a beautiful story yaar..happy ending. The song kurai ondrum illai is my son's favorite sleep time song.(sung by Chitra)

noon said...

Tharini - Really? (most intense story). I can't even believe it! Yes, I do feel bad about it - the uncertainty I put him through. But he is living in absolutely certainty now looks like - I fight with him now saying he takes me for granted and is all to happy reading his book rather than giving me company! :)

Moppet's mom - Goosebumps - wow - I can't even believe this reaction. When I read other people's engagement stories, I felt so J - it was all so romantic - I felt like going back in time and doing it all differently...

noon said...

Aryan's mom - thanks..
Oh Chitra has sung that song? What a lovely song for your son for his night time llullaby...

noon said...

BTW - Aryan's mom - why doesn't your link show up along with your name in the comments?

Poppins said...

Oh my, you have layers and layers noon. Everytime I feel like I know you, you go and say something that completely shakes my image of you, I will say this - you are deep. And that was an awesome story !

Will do the tag pronto !

Aryan's Mom said...

Hi Noon,

Hi noon,
BTW—Sometimes I am lazy to enter my webpage url. That should be the reason the link is not active. Anyway I was very happy to read your post about this song.Everyday my first thing before work is to read yours and tharin's posts. Another good song I can say is "ododi vandeyan kanna"..by Chitra. That is very good..may be apt for your story :-)(Kidding)

noon said...

Hi Poppins - so good to see you back. How is Poppin? Post updates soon.
And layers? A friend once told me (I remember it because the line sounded so fancy) "You are an enigma wrapped in a mystery". SOmehow your comment reminded me of that fancy line from a long lost friend! Took me back to those days when we used to hang out and have late night chai/chats :)
Also reminds me of a funny comment (digressing majorly here!) - three of us friends were chatting in the cafeteria one aftn when one friend said "he is a nice guy you know" (about someone known to be quite annoying) for which the other person said "deeeeeeeep down, he is nice!" :)
Chumma sharing the fun thoughts that came to my mind when I read your comment.
Thanks!

noon said...

Hi AM - thanks, am so flattered! :)
I will put your URL in my links - so I can go to your posts even if you don't enter your URL in comments.
Ododi is a lovely song as well. Hee hee - should tell B about this song!
BTW - which album of Chitra's has all these songs?

Aryan's Mom said...

Hi Noon,

BTW—The name is "KrishnaPriya by Chitra". It has a combination of both Tamil and Malayalam songs. It also has "Krishan nee Vegame..."(Again another song for you and B)

Tharini said...

Oh yes. Most definitely intense. Youknow why...that last wknd u spent together...the tension mounting towards the end. The drive to the airport. Your wretchedness. Everything was so palpable, so real and sooo... grounded, which is what makes it all the more romantic, imo.

You neeed to do a follow up on how your family reacted and how were those 3 months following your acceptance.

Orchid said...

Beautiful and intense! Enjoyed reading this but now that you have put me in the spot..I am getting cold feet..will do it, I have another one to do before this, so please bear with me.

chitra said...

Noon, one thing I want to tell you after reading this post of yours is that 'I am sooo soo happy and surprised!' yes happy and filled with joy as i loved ur exp and surprised coz believe me or not, this morning 15th Oct @ 9.40 GMT, it hit me to listen to "Kurai onrum..". (I hadnt read this post then trust me, it is just now that I read) I put on my ear fones and listened to the song. All the while I was thinking about my husband and how God chose him to be my life partner, how much I love him and how much he means to me. Now, as ur blog is like a cup of chai for me, I read it and "thaaaad" I see Kurai onrum...and of course ur beautiful story. I love the song to the core. Such coincidences make u feel soo happy. Thanks for posting this dear, simply loved it.

ddmom said...

Beautiful and intense love story indeed! I have to echo poppin. Layers and layers of you. And each one of them brings out a new and caring noon :)
Have one more tag to finish, will do this after that.

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

Wow ... you have such a romantic story to tell ! Loved reading this post !!

Pls check my blog ... took up the tag :)

Squiggles Mom said...

What a story! And you wrote about it so well that you had me shaking my head at you on your drive to the airport "Say yes, Say yes". So romantic. Sigh. A love story with a beautiful ending (or beginning)is always a good start to the day.

mnamma said...

Noon,
That was very very romantic!!!! The way you described "kurai onrum illai" playing in the car and the change of your mind later - wow it was like watching intense romantic movie with the audience (us) pining for the hero and heroine (You and B) to get together :) "Kurai onrum illai" - is such a beautiful song - It really must have been a divine intervention causing the change of your mind. Will surely do the tag this weekend. And Madam you have been awarded the 'Power to schmooze!"

noon said...

Hi Tharini - grounded yes...a little too much so I would so. But yeah - I guess that's what I miss when I read other stories - that "cloud 9" excitement that most people seem to have had. Our story was different that way...but of course everything has it's plusses - the trust I had in him going in...because we knew each other so well.
Ok, will do a follow up sometimes. Will be nice for me to try and recap that day - it was so much fun - one of the best days of my life. Sharing that excitement with family.


Orchid - no problem - don't have cold feet pl. Do it when you can!

Chitra - Thanks, I know such coincidences make me feel v happy too. Loved your "Thaad"! :)

DDmom - thanks! Will eagerly wait to read your post! I really enjoy these stories. Am going to add a few more people to the tag - it's so much fun - to listen to engagement stories...

CA - thanks! And thanks for doing the tag - left you a comment...

noon said...

Squiggles - thanks! :) Was so cute, your comment - shaking your head in disapproval over my silence in the car etc ! :))
Oh by the way - am tagging you too. Want to hear your story too! Please!

noon said...

Mnamma - "with the audience (us) pining for the hero and heroine (You and B) to get together" :)) Was laughing so much while reading this! :) So cute!
All of you have left such interesting comments!
And boy - my first ever award in blogdom! Thanks so much! Will post about it later! Thanks!

Rohini said...

What? You didn't convince the pilot to turn around the plane and go right back?! That's the only element missing to make this a complete filmy plot ;)

Anitha said...

That was a wonderful wonderful love/engagement story. It sure is romantic! Poor B, feel bad for him to have gone through that period of uncertainty. I know how torturous uncertainty will be, especially in matters of love. And please please write a follow up on how your family reacted and what happened in those 3 months.

DotMom said...

wow. so beautiful. i almost cried at the end. i was sitting on the edge of my seat. so glad you guys are together, WOW. awsome story and will do your tag.

B o o said...

I echo what tharini, poppin and others above have said. Totally intense and tension was mounting when I was reading this post. And you are J of others? Wait till you hear mine! ;) Mine is so grounded that its almost underground! May be, I should nt even attempt to write about that!

karmickids said...

Whew. One lucky girl with such a lovely story. Am being lazy and doing the tag here, since you all know life is crazy right now. No great story. Eyes met on crowded college corridor. We hung out the entire day we met for the first time. Friends shocked that this prissy stuck up girl was hanging out with the college lothario and ruining her reputation. On the second day he comes and stands outside my classroom as the lectures are going on for hours till they get over. And then when I come out tells me "My family is going to create a ruckus when I tell them I am going to marry you." And that was that. End of story.

Trishna said...

Ohh My god! Its just so beautiful! I second Moppet's mom..I am glad u decided to post this. Even though,I know you both are together now, my heart was beating fast as I read about the last night..and about you leaving without saying a word!..If I may say so,I think this is your best so far :)

noon said...

Rohini - yes, should have done that! Didn't know I would blog about it many years later!

Anitha - thanks.
And I do know how tortorous uncertainty can be - I went through it along with B! It is even more painful if you are causing it yourself! Trisanku sorgam - as my thatha would say - is the worst place to be! A decision in hand is easier to deal with.

Dotmom - thanks! Enjoying your story as well and waiting to read it fully.

Boo - laughed so much when I read your comment:
Mine is so grounded that its almost underground!
Now I really really want to read your story! :)

noon said...

Kiran - oh wow - how interesting - why do you have to be lazy about this - am sure if you had spent a little time on it - it would have made for an amazing post - considering how well you write! Please do expand! For fun!
And wow - one look and he knew! Love at first sight really!

Trishna - heart beating faster - actually happened then for us! To celebrate the anniversary of it (today was the day I told my family!) I suppose a lot of others have joined! :)
Thanks! (for best post comment).

Kodi's Mom said...

I was overwhelmed for words reading your account. I am very happy for both of you that it ended fine and that B kept his steady faith in you.

In some respects I kind of understood/could relate to some of the emotions from your end - read my take on your tag.

Sue said...

Doesn't it feel great looking back on all that?

I think it was waaaay more romantic than my own story.

utbtkids said...

That was romantic.Pray tell why you are so J of other engagment stories? Cos you didn't think that this was it the min you met your husband? Go read my engagement story in K's mom's space (http://thekronicles.wordpress.com/2007/10/17/the-story-of-amma-and-bapa/) - yes it was that small to fit in to a comment.
BTW, we have a club going on and you people with stories are not welcome :(

noon said...

KM - thanks for doing the tag. Loved your story as well!

Sue - I need to go and check out your story now..
Well the way we fight now - two kids later - my god - I feel like where is that person I met that day?! And I am sure he thinks that too! Over trivial things really!

UTBT - oh my god - how did I miss you in the tag! No no you and Kiran are cheating- not allowed to post abridged versions in people's comment space. Tell all please! Am sure it was heavy dose romance after the "yes"!

utbtkids said...

If you had tagged me, I would have pleaded/begged you to get out of it.
Yeah, very heavy dose of romance after the PPP(ponnu parkkum padalam), the engagement was 10 days after PPP. Our phone went dead, so there was absolutely no phone communication. when my father went to their house to work out logistics, he(meaning every one in their family) asked my father if I can come to watch the movie Jeans with his family(mom, three sis, three BILs, 6 children etc). My father beign the orthodox person he is, said no. The day after engagement our man flew back to US. Pretty heavy stuff. Now you know why I am sulking :(

Parul said...

First time here, noon. Bloghopped from dotmom's, I think. What a lovely introduction to your blog! I love love stories. Wow - all you girls have such amazing engagement tales to tell, I am truly overwhelmed. You tell your hubby he is one helluva lucky guy!

noon said...

UTBT - PPP -I like that! And your story is so much fun. Come on, you could have entertained us very well with all these stories about how you just could not meet him alone until ? the day of the marriage? what? You HAVE to write a sulk post! It will be a lot of fun!

Parul - Thanks for visiting. Hope to see you often. And will check out your site too.
Helluva lucky guy - I don't think I will tell him that - for he may beg to differ and I don't want to know! ;)

Anonymous said...

This is such a cute love story! Wish you both many many lovely years ahead.

Diya

bird's eye view said...

That was absolutely lovely. I can see it as a movie:)

Anonymous said...

T,
I loved your story -- It was so much more real reading it in print. I still remember when u made the trips to see B and the nice photos from your trips. So long ago, T !

Now u are MOM OF 2 KIDS--- and an awesome writer to boot !
Nice post !!

noon said...

Diya - thanks!

Bird's eye - thanks! :) Movie :))

I - thanks! :) You know how it all happened as and when it happened! It was great having you to share all that with...

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