Joined: 05 May 2010
They say you never forget your first love. To all those who believe that, I say, 'Try forgetting your first best friend.'
Ranveer and I are the classic example of 'Opposites Attract'. He is an outgoing fun loving person who is secretly hurt on the inside. I am a quiet, bookish person who is actually pretty fun loving on the inside. You could say we've always drawn out the best in each other.
Ranveer has always been incredibly possessive about sharing me with anyone else. And for a long time, I was actually pretty okay with that. When you have spent half your life simultaneously juggling with your weight and your self-esteem, its nice to have somebody you can take for granted. Somebody who you know will never judge you by the amount of chips you eat in a day. Somebody who will love you, regardless of your flaws.
I've always been half in awe of Ranveer to be honest. The girls in my school are either too dumb or too wicked. I don't know the first thing about dressing up-the dresses have to fit me first, and nor do I know how to respond when they pass disparaging remarks on my waistline, which expands at twice the rate the universe does. But Ranveer is always there to jump to my rescue and tell everybody to go take a hike. Its because of him that I can come up with witty one-liners when anybody teases me now. My social life is pretty okay-but its tons better compared to what it was when I hadn't met him yet.
But when you grow up admiring a person, you find it difficult to digest it when their Pandora's box of insecurities and mistakes opens. I was so comfortable finding my identity in Ranveer's dynamic aura, that I failed to recognize him for what he truly was-a life sucking parasite.
Okay. Maybe I should correct that. But my feelings keep elevating between anger and guilt. So let's get out the anger first. Its easier.
Maybe its the fact that he always had an Ayesha, a Sara, a Tanya to fulfill his ever-lasting need of female attention and appreciation. He liked to have people fawning over him-which was why KD pissed him off so much.
"I really don't understand him," Ranveer had complained. "He's anti-social, he's a rebel, he almost went to jail-but that Piddi keeps following him the whole day round. Even the great Kiya Gujral seems to be infatuated with him. Whats the big deal?"
"The big deal is that he doesn't look upto you the way others do" is what I should have said. Instead what came out of my mouth was, "Yeah, he's irritating."
One day, our Personality Development Coach Mr. Jaitley suggested we switch partners for a day during class. Ranveer easily sauntered off to Samar's side. I was left in a conundrum-Bobby had gone to KD(I could see Kiya muttering curse words under her breath) and Piddi was left with Juhi. So I had no choice but to sit down next to Kiya, who looked at me like I was the lowest level in the food chain. The only thing stopping her from running away was KD. She was always nicer when he was around.
We were made to work on an arts and craft project together, and to my surprise Kiya and I actually enjoyed it. Even though she still had an 'Ugh, I'm barely tolerating you' look on her face, she smiled and encouraged me frequently when it was clear I was doing a messy job. However in the end, thanks to her aesthetics and a few sneaky moves on my part, the project ended up turning out decent.
"What do you see in Kiya Gujral?" Ranveer asked, with an irritated look on his face, one week later.
"She's nice," I said. After that class, Kiya had suddenly become really friendly. Maybe it was the fact that I was the first person who hadn't asked her for her pop star sister's autograph.
"Nice?" he choked. "She's stupid. Have you ever seen how much she spends on clothes and gadgets? And she doesn't get very high marks either."
"I've never seen you doing the same either," I should have retorted. Instead, what came out was, "Well, I'm sure she has more to her than that."
In hindsight, the reason why I flattered him and stroked his ego to the point of having no self-respect was because I didn't want to lose him. What irony, considering I lost him anyway.
Inspite of Ranveer's obvious dislike for her, I continued going out with Kiya to parties and on other outings. Kiya even invited me to her lodge in Lonavala. We were often joined by her on-off boyfriend KD. Though KD was nice, I often felt like a bone of contention between the couple.
I happened to share this with Ranveer. "Why do you hang out with them anyway," he sneered, his hand curled around his latest girl toy. "You could be having so much of a better time with me." I did have a very nice time-watching Ranveer stick his tongue down the girls' throat.
The funny part is, when I stopped talking to Kiya and KD-once again a deliberate move so as to not piss Ranveer off, Ranveer came and apologized for his behaviour, sans Sasha, or whatever her name was.
"I'm sorry. I was just so...jealous. I mean, we are best friends Panchi. I don't think you should give that tag to anybody else." An apology and a lecture in the same message-typical Ranveer.
"It's okay," I said honestly, because really it was. The very reason I had given up my new friendship was so that I could preserve my old one.
But Ranveer continued to show casual disregard for my feelings, for he never had any problems telling me about his exploits with girls he had met online and in real life, through the Great Samar. I tried to tell him about my struggles with my weight, only to be met with a disdainful response-"Why the hell do you care about thin or fat? I've accepted myself the way I am-and you should too, Moti." I felt on the verge of tears. Why was it that when he broke up with any of his s**tty girlfriends, I was supposed to act like Romeo and Juliet had been reborn and died again, but he could never be supportive about my weight loss problems?
But then, he was Ranveer, with the voice of an angel and the charming eyes and the 'poor little lost guy' tag with him. "Don't leave me Panchi," he'd said in a strangled voice, while we were sitting at the beach one day, for once untouched by his harem. "My parents...I couldn't control that, so I'm here and I'm having fun. But if you leave me, I'll die."
And I felt for him. I felt for that jerk, because I knew what it was like to have somebody leave me too. And that somebody was sitting right next to me.
You know what the funniest part is? That when, thanks to Jaitley sir, the group of misfits in Personality Dev finally came together, the first person Ranveer became best friends with was KD and his now-permanent girlfriend Kiya. I stood there and watched open-mouthed as he invited them to his 18th birthday party. When I asked him what that was about, he was like "Oh well, you can be friends with them now Moti. You see, I misunderstood them. They're actually pretty nice." So now that Ranveer had given them his Seal of Approval, I was expected to hang out with them. I had left them for him, and now he expected me to mend that friendship for him. What a joke.
The only thing that brightened up the year was the fact that I'd been accepted to Oxford. Ranveer was going to MIT for engineering. I should have been sad, somewhere at the bottom of the galaxy. There should have been a black hole in my heart because of Ranveer's absence. But suddenly I felt...light. I felt like I'd been unshackled from one of those heavy iron chains they used in medieval dungeons, and let out into the outside. For the first time, Ranveer was not there to show me the way or defend me if somebody attacked me for my weight. Ranveer was not there to dictate what should I do, where should I go, whom I should make friends with. I was all on my own. It was as scary as it was enthralling.
Ranveer didn't like it one bit. He was bogged down by his studies and he would often compare my Literature course to the various ones he had at MIT and make me feel down just because I was reading books while he was studying thermodynamics. He found my friends 'boring' because they discussed Keats and Dostoevsky, not 'Bedroom Tips' and 'Best Make-Out positions'. I was determined not to make the same mistakes. I had phoned Ranveer on the first day, telling him how nervous I was because I'd heard the stories about discrimination against Asian students. "Don't be stupid Panchi. You know, I lost my luggage at the airport? All my books and clothes are gone. Its so humiliating. You've reached there in one piece. Can't you just freaking enjoy instead of complaining? You're in Oxford dude." And then he'd slammed the phone down. And just like that, my problems were once again made to look inferior and stupid compared to the Great Ranveers.
I had reached my saturation point with him. The guy might have been there when I'd cried, and he might have made me laugh, but there was no ignoring the fact that for some reason, his problems were always bigger than mine and I wasn't allowed to make any friends unless he happened to like them too, but he could sleep with as many high school bimbos as he wanted.
I could have tried doing the same thing he did-tried to emotionally blackmail him and coerce him into giving up flirting and listening only to me for twenty four hours. But I didn't want to. I didn't want to change him. I respected him the way he was-I was the one who was going to pull away. I didn't want our relationship to become a power struggle, with each of us constantly trying to gain an upper hand with the other. But I didn't want to listen to him either.
So I did the unthinkable-I left him. I explicitly told him on the phone that I hated him and that I did not wish to be friends with him. I tried to be nice, but in the end, all the resentment and anger I'd built up over the years came rushing out. It was my fault really. I should have told him earlier. Maybe he would have exploded and stopped being friends with me right then. Or maybe he would have changed himself to accomodate me-which would have made me feel worse. The basic aspect of Ranveer was that he was a dominating person. I wasn't really interested in emasculating him.
"You've changed Panchi," he cried. "Tell me, what did I do wrong? You had Kiya, KD, all those other screwed up people-lie-I cared more about you than I did about any of my girlfriends-lie-I know I can make this work-yes, by making me feel like the guilty one again-my parents left me-and now you too?"
And that really broke my heart. The idea that I was the first person who had cared, and now I was leaving. That he was already an emotionally unstable person-now thanks to me, he might just not believe in true friendship again. But despite being so bogged down by guilt, there was an incredibly selfish part of me that said, "Enough is enough."
My mother chided me for having a fight with him just when he was getting adjusted to a foreign country. Actually, I was upset with myself for doing something like this when I knew he'd expected me to be the one person who would always put up with his idiosyncrasies. I decided to call him up to find out how he was doing, despite my promise to myself to never contact him again.
"I'm losing it here," he said sullenly. "I haven't been able to sleep for days." Once again I felt a violent upsurge of guilt. "I'm sorry Panchi. But really, you've become pathetic. You've played such a big game with me. Adam and I were talking about you, and this is what he told me."I wanted to puke. Adam? He was discussing me with somebody who'd barely known him for two weeks! This was actually the effect Ranveer had on all people-whether you loved him or hated him, you couldn't ignore him. I was still struggling to make friends while Ranveer had found a new Samar already. I'd never resented him more until then.
I guess it's because I'd gotten so used to Ranveer being my confidante that I'd never really thought about a Plan B if we happened to go separate ways. But he'd always had substitutes to fall back upon.
After that Ranveer didn't bother to phone back. I kept tossing and turning in guilt. I even phoned him again, only to hear that "He'd had an emotional breakdown" because of me. But the resentment persisted. If a person was really having an emotional breakdown, if they were really missing someone, wouldn't they fight for them? Wouldn't they continuously chide them and ask them to come back? Suddenly it hit me-I could swallow my ego for Ranveer, but he would never do the same thing for me. Our relationship had never been one of equals. Apart from our first argument where he'd said, "Please don't go Panchi. Why are you doing this? God, you're so horrible. You have a heart of steel you know that?" Once again and insult and an apology in the same sentence.
People always told me that Ranveer controlled my life. I always told myself, "Yes, but he's the best friend you'll ever have." But there was something toxic in our friendship now. I loved him, but I wanted to hurt him. I hated it that he would chase after all his ex-girlfriends to get them back, but despite his so-called 'emotional breakdown', he couldn't bother to phone me yet. It occurred to me that even if Ranveer was feeling as horrible as I was, even though he was feeling abandoned and let down, the one thing he definitely wasn't feeling was guilty. He sounded sorry, but he sure wasn't behaving like it.
"You know Panchi, because of you I'll never trust anybody again. In fact I broke up with my girlfriend because of you," he'd said during our last conversation. I'm your best friend Ranveer. I've just told you that I don't want to be friends with you anymore. And still all you can think about is how you stopped talking to your girlfriend? Are your girlfriends really that important for you? That was the last straw. I had handled Ranveer at his immature worst, but apparently he wasn't willing to spare that much patience for me. Apart from being unequal, our relationship had also been one-sided.
I'm a bit lonely now. I have formed a clique of my own, but I still don't feel comfortable enough with them to tell them about what just happened. To be honest, I'm scared that they will pity Ranveer more than me, and I'll end up losing a whole lot of friendships at once. Surprisingly enough, I got an e-mail from Sama recently. He definitely seems to think of me as something more than the biatch who ignored him for the Popular Guy like KD and Kiya did. He was the only person who never really judged me for my friendship with Ranveer. He was still attached to Juhi's hip, and I supposed it was her ditzy influence that had clouded his judgement enough to contact me again.
My entire story is full of 'Its' and 'Buts' and 'Despites'. You might say I used Ranveer, the spineless little wallflower I was, looking for a God to give me guidance. You might say Ranveer was a jerk who got what was coming to him. Even after ten years of friendship, I don't know where I stood with that guy. I think I failed to understand and accept a basic part of him. I guess we were never really destined for permanent friendship. Looking at the kind of influence Ranveer enjoys, I'm pretty sure he'll make a good leader someday. In some sick, twisted way, I guess I was jealous of him.
There is only thing I'm sure of-Guilt. It keeps haunting me night and day. I don't regret my decision to severe my friendship-I cannot be friends with somebody I don't like. I loved Ranveer, but I don't really like or respect him anymore. The one proof I have of this is that after ten years, I couldn't remember the last time I'd really felt like I didn't want to let this person out of my life. Yet, I keep remembering those words-My parents left me. If you leave me, I'll die. I keep imagining him growing up to be a cold, emotionless person, because of the 'betrayal' I'd dealt him. I failed in being a true friend. Kiya Gujral was right in thinking of me as pond scum. But I couldn't go back to him. It would be like a vicious circle, and I was happy that I was out of it.
If you truly love someone, you never let them go. Then what do you call the mother who aborts her baby after the scan diagnoses it with some horrible genetic disorder? The family patriarch who asks the brood to stay away because he doesn't want them to see him die? The wife who walks out on her husband because she doesn't want him to know about her infertility? The father who commits suicide because he is unable to support his family? The daughter who sends an abusive father to jail?
The examples may sound clichd and too dramatic, but the world is full of people who love each other crazily but they leave each other anyway, thinking, "It's for the best." But how do you really know? The suspense kills me. Its only when you die that you get the chance to reflect back upon your life. I really don't want to wait two decades churning in guilt about Ranveer, only to see him walking down the street with a happy family. Nor do I want to move on, only to see him become "damaged goods". I don't want to go back to him either. So I'm stuck in limbo, waiting for one of us to make a move-on. Its like some kind of emotional chess game. The King is still surrounded by all his faithful pawns-I'm the lone Queen who has 'Checked' him but can't really bring herself to say 'Mate'.
I'm not as screwed up as you think. My life is great. I eat well, sleep well, surf the internet and study for my exams, though the last one is after much procrastination. Yet Ranveer lingers in my memory, as if he's clawed onto my brain. I keep thinking to myself that one day, fate will punish me for this. One day I will love somebody but annoy them into leaving me. And that Ranveer will come and laugh. And yet, isn't it the thought of finding somebody loving me more than he did that made me leave him in the first place?
I don't love you because of you but for who I am when I'm around you. A caterpillar may feel safe and warm in its cocoon, but it will eventually break free as a butterfly and fly away with its colorful wings. I was a caterpillar when I was with Ranveer-happy in my little, dark home, protected from the dangers of the outside world. Eventually, I had to break through and unfold my wings. I didn't know why I was doing it-I didn't want to leave the cocoon, and yet something inside my body said that was what I was supposed to do. I'm scared now-it's wet and warm and cold at the same time. There's a riot of colors that blinds me, and the predators outside look dangerous. But this is how nature has ordained it-and I'm going to find my way, find myself.
I know I'm going to get flames for this. It's incredibly twisted...and its based on a true life story. I mean they're one of the main couples of the show and eventually Ranveer and Panchi will kiss and make up no matter what happens...but I'm talking about real-life Ranveer and Panchis over here-the ones who don't makeup. The ones who continue to be egotistic, stupid, have arguments, but they share enough of that 'I'm so lost and lonely' feeling to stick together and then eventually one person breaks the other's heart. What's worse is, that this real-life Ranveer and Panchi are not neccesarily the fat girl and the hot guy kind of stereotypes-it could be any relationship where one person seems to chronically take the other for granted.
I just want to know-what do you think about the Panchi and Ranveer in my story? Do you think Panchi was right or was she just being stupid? Was Ranveer really a dominating jerk or was he somebody who genuinely cared?
I'm sorry, I know that my first RaHi OS should have been a bit more fluffy. And yes, I'm aware that I don't really sound like an OxLit student, (I'm studying for law after 12th though, I should know more writing skills)
Joined: 19 March 2011
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Joined: 27 August 2012
it was amazing. for the first time i read such a long os. the way the characters were put forth was totally different from show yet wonderfully portrayed. u have an eye for detailing things which is what i loved about this os. there are such people who abondon their loved ones for their betterment. i could relate Ranveer's character with what shown on the show.
above all i loved ur os and whenever you write something do pm me.
Joined: 05 May 2010
Joined: 05 May 2010
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