Sometime in March 2017, I met a girl via my friends Poornima and Aditya. She stuck out in many ways. She was six feet tall, attractive and an obvious foreigner. But, moreover, she had a wicked sense of humour, was personable and exuded chillness overall. After hanging out with her a few times, I started having that familiar feeling.
On our third hang-out, she invited me to McLeod Ganj
and I…dashed (to the place), because I had a crush on her. I later learnt that she did too (I had an inkling). We spent six days in Dharamkot, just above McLeod Ganj, and fell hard for each other. The Himalayas and its pristine air played wingmen. It was the furthest I had travelled from home, until then.
One thing led to another and we started dating. We had to go back and forth between America and India to make it all work, with tourist-visa restrictions and what not. It was not easy, to say the least. The worst was when COVID hit last year and we ended up being separated for a year and three months (465 days to be precise). After going through this long trying time, we ended up reuniting in Zipolite, Mexico only four months ago. (I wrote about that here.
Oddly enough, in the four and a half years of dating, there was no other external obstacle in our relationship but for our visa restrictions. We both were (are) lucky to have some of the most open-minded people as parents and siblings: accepting, caring, loving and unconditionally supporting. With all that support from our families, it was difficult not to have our hearts full. I like to believe that we would have happened no matter what.
Three nights before leaving on that trip to McLeod Ganj in 2017, I sat at a bar, drinking alone, considering whether or not I should go hangout with this random foreigner in the mountains. I didn’t quite know her. I worried that I would come across as desperate if I accepted her invitation so eagerly. I didn’t want to feel too excited by the prospect of her and me dating. I had no money for a romantic escapade. I had a deadline approaching to deliver a film project. And the whole ordeal seemed too romantic, too good to be true, hence, scary.
As I sat at this seedy bar (one that I often frequented
), penning my thoughts in an attempt to untangle them, amidst the cacophony that was both, around me and inside my own head, I kept knocking against one consideration: what is the worst that could happen if I went to McLeod Ganj?
I had some answers:-
The worst that could happen is this person may not be fun to hang out with and I may embarrass myself by having gone all the way. But what would happen if I didn’t go at all? I will never know what awaited me… and maybe this girl will leave the country before I get to know her even. I decided to risk feeling embarrassed. And I’m glad I did…
Three days ago, I married her.