The Love Trip – Part 8: This is for you, Adrian Booth.
I'd just had the perfect summer British romance, and I was all set to come back home to Mumbai. `Forever and always’, we said to each other at the airport. Aidy cried more than I did. I had a bad feeling about this parting. It just didn’t feel right to part ways. Not this time. We were excited because we were going to get married in May – on the same date we first met.
I had enrolled at a Yoga school and he was going to start his software course for which he had already started getting `home assignments’. We would Facetime every few hours and constantly keep texting or sending pics.
Keeping the love alive
Long distance is difficult.
My parents called all the relatives to tell them to `save the date’. We had decided to keep the wedding intimate because Aidy might not be able to handle a million family members. I negotiated it down to 500 people with my parents.
“Do you mean 50?” he spit out his coffee over the phone screen.
The more I tried to convince him, the more upset he got. What's worse is, the next day my parents increased the guest list to 700. I didn't have the heart to tell him. It's not like he would count every guest, right?
A few days later he called and apologised and said he'd deal with a 1000 guests just so we can start our lives together. Phew! Because the guest list was a 1000 at this point.
Absence makes the heart fonder?
Meanwhile our love for each other grew stronger. We couldn’t bear to live apart and it was very hard. He would rush home after meeting his friends because of the time difference, which later became a pressure because he felt it was becoming an obligation to speak everyday. One time he excitedly narrated how one of his close girl friends got drunk and sat on his lap and kissed him. He got turned on, but couldn’t wait to come back and tell me about it. I felt immense love for him at that moment... we truly were best friends. I sent him pictures of the rings I got for both of us and he had tears in his eyes.
Soon Aidy started his course and became incredibly busy, while I was jobless and shopping and making arrangements for the wedding before my Yoga School. We got into arguments about people and time and other cultural differences.
One time Aidy didn’t reply to my messages for two days straight and I got paranoid and called his mum to ask her to check up on him. He called me back and told me he had gone out partying, did drugs and passed out. He got really mad about the fact that I had called his mother and got her worried. I told him I didn't want to be with a guy who was irresponsible and clearly too young for serious commitment.
We broke up.
A day later he called and we cried and patched up.
His software course started full time. We got into arguments about his insensitivity and lack of time. He just couldn’t afford to speak to me at all during his course. Our calls and loving texts became less and less. He tried, he really did.
He started taking relationship advice from people he met in his course – 20 year olds with a very different world view. “Maybe she's a gold digger from a poor country, looking to have a life in beautiful Europe,” was the consensus. I knew I was his best friend and we shared everything. But some things are better left unsaid. This one statement made me question everything.
Seeing the world through a fresh perspective
We weren't going to give up though. Maybe just go on a small break for a month – from my first day of Yoga School till his graduation. It was hard but going to a yoga school completely changed my perception towards life and relationships. Yoga school felt like home. That is where I felt I belonged rather than in his arms.
I started doing very well in yoga school and Aidy graduated. The break was over. Even though I had second thoughts, I didn't want us to end. But the break had given him time and space to think. He didn't want to be with me anymore. He said going on a break made him feel free again, and that maybe he wasn't ready for a relationship like this. No ball and chain. No me. We ended things. We called off the wedding. The Love Trip was over.
I was devastated. But yoga helped. I was surrounded by empathetic souls. It completely changed my life. I came out happier, hotter and ready to get back in action. I have quit film production and started teaching yoga, which makes me feel a lot better. I feel like I'm making a difference. And this has led me to be a lot less angry.
Aidy has started working and we have decided to still be friends. I will still be the best man at the wedding.
“But if we ever meet before that, and we're single, we bang right?”
The Love Trip that wasn’t
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity and do not in any way represent or reflect the views of 101India.com.
By Meetali Meshram
Photographs by Meetali Meshram