Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.
It could have been an Awww! story, but instead it’s an Awww No! tale. A young man and a young woman meet on an online chat forum. They chat. They become friends. They fall in love. They arrange to meet outside a shop, each holding a single rose as a sign.
Then they turn up at an appointed hour and find out that they’ve been married to each other for years.
“Awww!,” you’d think, they’ll fall into each other’s arms and rediscover their love for each other. But “Awww! No!,” they’re both filing for divorce, accusing the other of being unfaithful. (I can imagine the judge asking the husband, “So who was she with when she was cheating on you?” and he’d say, “Er, me!”)
She: I thought I had found the love of my life. The way this Prince of Joy spoke to me, the things he wrote, the tenderness in every expression was something I had never had in my marriage. It was amazing, we seemed to be stuck in the same kind of miserable marriages - and how right that turned out to be.
He: I was so happy to have found a woman who finally understood me. Then it turned out that I hadn’t found anyone new at all. To be honest I still find it hard to believe that the person, Sweetie, who wrote such wonderful things to me on the internet, is actually the same woman I married and who has not said a nice word to me for years.
I think we fall in love, always, with an idealization of a person, even if we do grow to love the real person later. These two preferred the fantasy to the real thing. Such it goes…
Also see: An old post of mine from the aftermath of the tsunami: Love Story By The River.
(Link via Silk-list.)
Update (September 20): Reader Shrinath Nagarajan writes in and points me to Pina Colada. Now that’s Awww!
Sita Sings the Blues: The Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told
Dev.D doesn't flinch from depicting the individual’s downward spiral
9 across: Van Morrison classic from Moondance (7)
6 down: Order beginning with ‘A’ (12)