Tuesday, May 24, 2011

BUSINESS NETWORK Library recommends Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas!!

Books are best buddies

Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas

Written by Madhuri Banerjee, this book belongs to the popular chick lit genre which has seen a remarkable growth in India in recent times. The book tells the tale of 30-year-old and single Kaveri who has been eluded by love and who is desperate to join the ranks of non-virgins. A funny yet engaging account, it makes for a perfect light and candy floss read. So, for those of you who are not exactly bookworms but are looking for a few laughs, this book should be a great pick.


Mumbai Mirror : STRICTLY FOR SINGLES - My article.


Strictly for Singles

Madhuri Banerjee, author of the book Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas, lists the top 10 things a girl should do before she finds a man 
Date Blindly

Go on an online dating site and register yourself. Blind dates are fun. They are a great reminder to why you waited. You don't need to lose your virginity to any of those men. Ask your friends to fix you up with people.
The more you're out there with different folks, the more your confidence increases. When the time comes to lose your virginity, you will know it is for the right reason with the right man. Invest in variety and choose wisely.Travel wisely

Be it alone or with your girlfriends, travel to a place you’ve never been to, but always desired to visit. Let the place be tourist friendly, safe, and filled with men who can speak your language and find you `exotic’.

There’s nothing like a foreign man who has a crush on you to make you feel divine. A good book or the photos, which you’ve taken, will make for good conversation starters.Fall Madly

Try an adventure sport like bungee jumping or river rafting. The scare and the confidence later will help when it’s time to lose your virginity. Nothing could be that bad, that exhilarating, or that memorable. The big moment becomes a piece of cake!

Shop Profusely

Don’t go off and buy things that you "need" and things that are "useful" like towels and soap dispensers. You need to go shopping for that sexy lingerie, satin nighties, plunging dresses, and high heels.

To get into the correct mood, you need to feel it. Every day. Wear the lingerie at night, even if you have no one in your life. Strut around in your dresses and heels in the day. You need to feel sexy. Once you know you’re in the groove, things will be effortless.House Sensibly

You need to stay with a roommate or alone. You need to come home to a painting you bought and hung up, to a cook who has made food that you craved for and not to a mother who asks how your day was.

While parents are perfectly fine as caregivers, they’re not going to approve of you losing your virginity. Moreover, if you plan to do it in their house, it becomes even shadier. Is that what you really want to remember, because you will remember it! Advice: If you build it, it will happen.

Converse Sexily

Memorising the morning papers, surfing the net for quantum physics and speaking the language of the geek is not going to help. While you might love to be an intellectual person, understand the nuances of the superficial topics as well.

Conversation might not always be about nano technology and you need to be prepared for a lighter question like "Were you scared while watching Ragini MMS?" Instead of "Is Apple finlly ending the dominance of Microsoft ?"

Be hygeinic regularly

Get your teeth done. Check for fresh breath. Most of the time, people forget basic things in life. If you smoke, or do not floss regularly, it is best to get your teeth a makeover. Shiny white teeth are a turn on. Bathing regularly and wearing fresh clothes are ‘bare’ necessities.

Turn on body language

Stand up straight,  tummy in, feel taller. If you’re going to slouch and run around looking sweaty, you’re not going to get laid anytime soon. Learn how to make eye contact, toss your hair, twirl the curls, perfect the softest smile, and cross your legs demurely.

Now not all this will probably lead to the exact moment, but if you’re interested in a person, it might help in the future.

Gaze besottedly

Learn to switch off from alternative lives (read: social networks) and have meaningful conversations with the person in front of you. If you don’t know how to laugh at another person’s joke without looking at your mobile, or secretly pray the evening will end so you can upload the photo of yourself on Facebook, you are in serious trouble.

It is the age of technology but a human being in front of you who is interested in you is a rare find. That person has taken time out to spend it with you and if both of you are on a mobile, it would be better if you went home and “bbm’d” him.

Harvard psychologist Zick Rubin began recording the amount of time lovers spent staring at each other and discovered that those deeply in love look at each other 75 percent of the time when talking and are slower to look away when someone else intrudes.

Larning to look at someone instead of being distracted helps in connecting with another person. Tweet another day!

Speak positively
You need to be a positive person first. Look at life with rose-tinted glasses instead of those sharp, horn- rimmed, sceptical ones. Stop being critical, gossipy and cantankerous. Instead, be more bright, bubbly and cheerful.

Being a whiner about your stress issues is not going to help bring in the man or get him turned on. People like being around happy people. Positive is sexy.

Monday, May 23, 2011

LIKE A VIRGIN : My article printed in the May issue of Marie Claire

In an era of sexual prowess, promiscuity and pomp, to find women who have chosen to remain virgins well after their third decade is a rarity. But in India, there are many women who still believe that virginity is a non-issue. They mock the land of the Kamasutra, and  the sexual urban jungle of the metros  where people are discovering themselves and new positions. They scoff at the idea of having fun for the sake of it. They are even immune to the pressures of their peers who have told them the wonderful stories, the great revelation of finding the big “O” or even the perfect man and time for losing their virginity. These women are unfazed. Sex is a no show. And even if they are 30 and above, they do not care.
Vasudha’s Story:
Vasudha was a walking paradox. She earned a 5 figure salary, had lived in New York, London and Honk Kong, owned her own luxury car and had bought her mother a house in Delhi. She was slim, pretty and uber successful. Yet she was a virgin. I had never met a woman like that. She didn’t care what people thought about. She lived on her own terms and was extremely corporate. None of her friends discussed their sex lives with her and she never mentioned her love life to them.
But I always wondered why she would be so rigid about her sexuality at the ripe old age of 33.
She told me the reason one day when we had a few glasses of wine and were listening to Harry Belafonte. She said it very quietly, “I think it’s cheap.”
“What is?” I asked.
“Sex.” She said softly. She couldn’t even say it clearly. We had never spoken about it. But I prodded with the opportunity, “But don’t you feel the urge sometimes?”
“No.” she answered adamantly, “ I have never felt the urge. There was a boy once when I was 17…we kissed and all but then, I thought I was too young and wanted to be the legal age before doing anything. Then there was Bharat when I was 24 but as soon as I said I’m not ready to sleep with him, he left me. As if that was the only thing, he wanted from me. I figured all men were the same.”
I could see now where Vasudha came from. She was scared of being rejected. But that wasn’t the only problem. There was more. A lot more.
She continued, “No there is no urge. If you’ve never tasted caviar, how do you know if you want it?” She asked hypothetically. I remained quiet. “I’m conservative. Very conservative. I think I’m the only one in this country who believes in morals and traditions.” She said emphatically. “What is it with all these women who want to go sleeping around? I think even holding hands is abominable. Public display of affection has taken on a completely new meaning. It never used to happen earlier. And now you see people kissing at airports, making out in movie halls, having sex before marriage. Doesn’t anyone have any self respect anymore?”
I could not argue. She was old fashioned I thought. She told her mother everything about her relationships and her feelings. Everything! And her mother believed she was doing the right thing. Her mother thought she should wait.
Vasudha was very judgmental. Here I was judging her for being this weird woman in the 21st century who was 33 and still a virgin and she was judging me on being the opposite. According to me, a modern woman was supposed to be completely sexually evolved by the time she hit her third decade. She could take on men and the world because she knew everything. But Vasudha was a successful modern woman who held on to her values, and her conviction and  decided she would wait until she got married to lose her virginity. And no amount of cajoling would change her mind. I could see that this was not a good thing though. She was getting frustrated, angry, and cynical. She needed some emotional support. And she was scared. She was frightened into giving her heart to a man who might ask for something she wasn’t ready to give to him. Vasudha’s morality had become her biggest dilemma.
Adya’s Story:
“I’ve never had a boyfriend.” said Adya most languorously. She sat with her elbow on the table munching on a muffin. Adya was 31 and a Virgin. She was intelligent and successful but she had one slight problem. She was 20 kilos overweight. And no matter how many people said it wasn’t a problem to find a man, she thought it was a problem.
Besides the weight issue, Adya had been stuck in the same bank job since she graduated from an MBA school. She had moved up the ranks and had achieved almost the highest degree at her international bank job. But since she went to the same place for the last ten years, she never met anyone apart from work. And she never found anyone at work to have a romance with. She could not move her job since at such a high position there was a dearth of good jobs available and there were no “good” men in her office.
“Why don’t you join yoga,” I suggested lightly.
She looked at me as if I was an alien, “Who has the time? I leave at eight in the morning and come back at ten at night. I work most weekends and travel every alternate week. There’s no time for yoga or anything else.” We remained quiet until she spoke again, “Look I know about my weight. I know that I have body issues. I can’t strip in front of a man. So even if I’ve gone out in groups with people, I can’t make myself to get any further. I don’t know if a man really likes me.”
“Why wouldn’t any man like you Adya?” I implored at her illogical self.
“Because I don’t know if he wants me as pity thing or if he really likes me.” I was going to say that’s absurd but I didn’t. Adya was fixed in her thinking. She was not going to lose weight so easily and she wasn’t going to sleep with a man until she did. She was stuck in a predicament that she had made for herself. Until she lost either her weight or her issues with being fat, I didn’t think that Adya would be losing her virginity any time soon.

Zara’s Tale:
Zara was not successful. She didn’t come from a conservative background. And she wasn’t fat. She was just scared. Zara was an ordinary looking woman who had many male admirers since she presented herself well. She wore bright clothes that went with her exuberant personality and she had a beautiful smile. She was not overly witty or intelligent. She was a secretary at a television channel that meant that most days she had a ten to seven job. Unlike Vasudha who lived in Delhi with her mother, and Adya who lived alone, Zara lived with her best friend in a one-room apartment in Mumbai and had plenty of opportunity to lose her virginity. But at 30, she was still a virgin.
Zara had an older sister who was married and lived in USA. She however had lost her virginity at a very young age and it was this experience that had scarred Zara. Zara would have been thirteen when her elder sister came back home and told her all about it. The pain, the blood, and the hype that was called sex. Zara was sworn to silence. But over the next few days the sensitive girl realized that if her sister who had been so excited about it once upon a time could not really care so much about sex, why should she? And this thought remained. It remained for the next seventeen years.
Over the years whenever Zara asked her friends to describe their “first time” it was always with words that said “pain” or “blood” or “no big deal” and Zara soon got to thinking that she need not lose her virginity unless it was absolutely imperative to do so. She was not prudish. She had no qualms about her friends making love over the countryside. She just did not believe that she had that much courage to do so herself.
She was attracted to men and vice versa but she kept her distance,
One day I asked her, “Wouldn’t you have to lose it once you get married? Don’t you want to have kids?”
She said very rationally, “Yes I have no problems with that. But I’m in no hurry to get married or have kids. I can wait it out a few more years.”
Zara was so frightened about the act itself that she hid behind the excuse of not finding the right man. And no matter how much I tried to show her the beautiful side of losing one’s virginity she was convinced that when it would happen, she would think it was no big deal anyway.
I realized that losing virginity was not just an Indian phenomenon. Women across the globe were having the same issues. Age didn’t matter anymore. The search for the true love, a perfect man or the correct time was most important to the women. And even if they were lonely at the end of the day, they would rather hold on to their belief than be impulsive with their principles.

Dial a Book did an interview with me on Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas..and other probing stuff!!

Let’s Talk About Virginity Baby: An Interview with Madhuri Banerjee

Hi Guys,
It’s been some time since we updated our blog but we’ll try to make up for it in the next few days. For today we have for you a candid  interview with Madhuri Banerjee the author of Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas by our in house book geek Arundati. Hope you’ll enjoy it.

Dial-a-Book: What do you think is the perfect age to lose one’s virginity?
Madhuri: 30. Like my character Kaveri.

Dial-a-Book: What happens after virgins lose their virginity? Do they transform into completely different beings?
Madhuri: YES. Have you seen The Lord of the Rings when Frodo wears the ring? It’s like that!

Dial-a-Book: According to you, is sex the only difference between man and woman?
Madhuri:NO. Women’s brains are more evolved.

Dial-a-Book: Do you believe in certain sex etiquette. Or even a gender etiquette? Explain…
Madhuri: Yes. Etiquette: Please ask before you want to have sex.

Dial-a-Book: What aspect of sex is most exciting? What aspect most dumbing?
Exciting: The better half going and getting you a glass of wine post coitus!
Dumbing: When people confuse porn for real life.

Dial-a-Book: Growing up into your twenties, who was your role model, a woman whose sexuality you admired and respected?
Madhuri: Madonna. But I was 9.

Dial-a-Book: What’s the most amazing sex literature you’ve read?
Madhuri: Penthouse letters.

Dial-a-Book: When did you first fall in true-love? Describe?
Madhuri: When I was 2. Since then we’ve understood each other till date. My true love is a Ferrero Rocher chocolate.

Dial-a-Book: It’s remarkable, the many roles you juggle at home and outside it, mother, wife, professional, writer, etc. But what if you were a spinster?
Madhuri: It would be harder.

Dial-a-Book:How do you think spinsters will take to your book?
Madhuri: I hope they like it. Especially since I’m not calling them spinsters

Dial-a-Book: When did you first start writing seriously? How easy/difficult was it to write a book and finding a publisher for it?
Madhuri: I wrote my first book at age 9. Many poems, songs, articles and decades later I wrote another book. Thank God for Penguin who picked it up immediately

 Dial-a-Book: What according to you is the future of Indian TV soap heroine?
Has her journey been a cause of excitement or concern for you? Enlighten us?
Madhuri: Indian TV Soap heroine should now be the single woman enjoying life, traveling and experiencing life for all its myriad ways. It’s been a concern since the repressive serials are making a wrong statement if we want to become a progressive society.

Dial-a-Book: Do you recommend erotica?
Madhuri:Yes. Reading enlightens.

Dial-a-Book: Does sex have anything to do with feminism?
Madhuri: All feminists still love sex.
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Friday, May 20, 2011

India Today Kaveree Bamzai reviews Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas

International Chick Lit of the Month. May is hot!


CLASS OF 11 Madhuri Banerjee

My First Time
by Madhuri Banerjee, the Mumbai-based author of Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas
I was talking to a friend of mine a few months after my child was born. I asked her how her love life was and she said very sarcastically, “What love life! I’m still a virgin!” And that became the germ of an idea for the book Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas. Here was a woman who was successful and pretty and she was still a virgin. So I wrote a story about a woman who had been waiting for her True Love to come so she could lose her virginity to him and maybe marry him.
I see that women all over the world are becoming more and more like my protagonist Kaveri who waits to lose her virginity to the right guy. Even though women are aware of their sexuality, they still believe that they want to lose their virginity only to the correct man. My book explains the quest for true love, the pitfalls of losing oneself to a bad relationship, the man’s point of view of being commitment phobic and the search for one’s identity. It’s a fun and breezy read that has layers if you want to read it again. I learnt a lot about myself while writing it. I hope people will learn something when they read it.

I’m hoping to make this book into a film and a play. And I’m optimistic that people will see me as a writer who can write screenplays, books, columns in magazines, agony aunt advice in newspapers and give me a chance to touch people’s lives in any way I can. I’m working on my second novel as well as short stories and the spin-off of Kaveri’s adventures in the sequel as well.

Verve magazine reviews Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas!!

Losing My Virginity And Other Dumb Ideas
Madhuri Banerjee
Penguin India
Laugh your wits off with this rollercoaster ride of sorts. It’s the story of an interpreter who after several attempts, gives up on love and, on her 30th birthday, decides to take matters in her hand. Love or no love, she resolves to lose her virginity. Life, however, has other plans! Packed with ideas and ethics, each new day competes with the last one to make her re-evaluate life, and love.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

BookChums reviews Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas

Madhuri Banerjee
Posted on: May 10th 2011,7:45 AM Tue
This, I won’t call a chick-lit but more of a, mirror of our society today is worth a read.
The story is about a 30-year old, single, intelligent, smart, urban girl – Kaveri, who unable to hitch with the “right guy” till now decides to go ahead and lose her virginity (with or without love). She is a freelance interpreter who knows seven languages (!!!) but the language of love. *sigh*
In her desperation to “do it” she is assisted/guided by her friend – Aditi.

Kaveri makes a resolution on her 30th birthday to lose her virginity at least, if she can’t find her “love”. Enter Arjun – a smart, intelligent, art lover, well travelled, hot guy. Oh and married! But Kaveri believes that this is “true love” and she pursues it in the hope that Arjun will divorce his wife to be with her. But yes, the twist falls right in place and Arjun announces that his wife is pregnant and cannot leave her. Heartbroken Kaveri realizes her folly and tries to regain control of her life.

Following Aditi’s advice that to get over a man, she needs to get going with another man, in a systematic manner effortlessly, Kaveri ends up “doing it” in a hot air balloon with a younger guy; followed by another “no-strings-attached” adventure; and yet another “quickie” in a café; to finally stumble upon the possibility of a romance on the streets of Barcelona.

In her journey with a lot of highs and lows, Kaveri discovers her sensuality; gets her heart broken; becomes a minor celebrity of sorts after participating in a reality-based contest; and gets caught in the middle of the tough war of love vs. sex.

The story resonates with the lives of quite a few modern Indian women – who in the quest to make it big in their careers give no space to “love” as such and end up satisfying their mere sexual needs with different partners, only to realize sooner or later that “love” cannot be ruled out of life.

Kaveri’s principles and ideas are revamped and molded to suit her needs and desires.
This is no chick-lit with a deep, profound message. It just shows a part of life in the metros. But certain questions do pop up in my mind. Given the fact that Kaveri is living a good life in a metropolitan city with many male friends, why is that she hasn’t found a single guy to settle down with till now? Yes, I’m sure there is dearth of nice/good guys but come on…not one!?!
The premise of the plot sure is good, but the consistency wasn’t maintained. Some parts of the book felt lose while some were absolutely gripping.

The subject is a brave and a bold one and the author has done a fine work portraying the life of a 30-year old virgin in today’s time, who gives in to her needs/desires, though rampantly.
Overall a very enjoyable and entertaining read, given the freshness and the simplistic approach by the author.
Review Rating: Average Rating    Votes( 6

Interview in Helter Skelter Magazine: Probing Questions, Wisely Answered :)

On the Cover: Madhuri Bannerjee

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice?
Madhuri Banerjee’s bestselling debut novel Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas traces the journey of Kaveri—a 30-year-old virgin—as she struggles to find her calling in a land where love holds no value and where lust reigns supreme. The author took some time out to talk to us in an exclusive interview about her book, love, lust, and what losing one’s virginity might mean to people in India. Read on for excerpts—
Helter Skelter: Madhuri BannerjeeAuthor Madhuri Bannerjee.
Would you like to tell our readers more about yourself?
I’ve done English Literature Honours from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi, and a Master’s in Mass Communication from Jamia Millia Islamia, where I stood first in the university and my thesis film won a National Award for the best documentary for women’s issues. It was then [that] I realised that I wanted to get into directing films and headed to Mumbai where I worked as an Assistant Director on Subhash Ghai’s Yaadein and Rohan Sippy’s Kuch Na Kaho. A few films later, [after] a stint with an ad film company and making documentaries, I decided to start my own production house. I have a penchant for writing, reading, and travelling. I live in Mumbai with my husband and daughter. Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas is my first novel. I am working on my second book and a screenplay for a film.

What inspired you to write this book?
The search for love seems to be an eternal quest by all. Whether one loses their virginity early or late, everyone wants a special someone in their life. After many discussions with my friends about this topic, I had a vision of a woman in search for her True Love who was still a virgin. I wrote my first chapter on a notebook and read it to a friend of mine who bears resemblance to Kaveri. She said she wanted to hear more. I continued until I could read out my last chapter to her.
“Adolescents today are aware of the meaning of virginity as well as the consequences that comes with losing it.”
“There comes a time in one’s life when you really wonder what you were thinking because when you look back in life you realize that you obviously weren’t thinking straight”—this excerpt from your book talks about bad decisions. Are there any decisions that you regret making?
Love does not make people think straight. However, a decision to be in a relationship or out of it always makes you learn from it. I do not regret any decision in my life. I have learnt from all my mistakes!
Helter Skelter: Madhuri Bannerjee
“The ideal Indian woman is a strong, confident woman who knows what she wants and how to get it.”
What do you think losing one’s virginity means to youngsters today in India?
I think it’s overrated by an older generation who want to inflict their values on the younger one. Adolescents today are aware of the meaning of virginity as well as the consequences that comes with losing it. They are a far more informed and perceptive lot than people were even a decade ago. They know about the diseases that go hand in hand and understand far more than we ever did. So it’s no big deal for the youngsters today but they won’t do it so easily either.

Love or lust?
Love. Always. Lust dies. Love remains.

Do you really think that girls who sign up for reality T.V. shows end up meeting their soul mates?
Not in the first meeting. Nevertheless, I believe that new platforms are being explored to find your soul mate like social media platforms of Facebook and Twitter and even through internet chats. So maybe a reality show is not such a far-fetched idea.

Who do you think is the ideal Indian woman?
The ideal Indian woman is a strong, confident woman who knows what she wants and how to get it. There is no one person who defines it all. There are so many women in villages, towns, and cities that are the Ideal Indian Woman.

“It’s high time men grow up and realise that women are far superior and that they need to keep up.”
In the book, the character Aditi talks about how there is no perfect husband, no perfect marriage, and no perfect wife, and the only thing she can do is keep her parents happy even if she is not. According to you, should a woman stay in a loveless marriage just to keep the society at large happy?
Most of the time if women are not financially independent and they do not have the support of their family; they stay in a loveless marriage. However, divorce rates have increased and both parties are aware of their rights nowadays. I think one needs to realise the consequences of staying alone before one walks out of a marriage, but definitely do so if you’ve been unhappy for too long. You only have one life to live.

Do you think a woman is appreciated enough in today’s Indian society, whose attitude tends to turn hypocritical when it comes to a woman’s actions?
Indian society is extremely hypocritical about many things, most of all women. Women have never been appreciated enough as home makers or in the office scenario. If a woman is career driven and rises to the top, there is slander behind her growth, and if she chooses to stay at home and look after children, she is judged as non-ambitious. It’s high time men grow up and realise that women are far superior and that they need to keep up.

Is there any message you would like to pass on to women all over who are still searching for their true calling?
One’s true calling can vary. Just as you change as a person, your heart, your desires, and your career can change. Never limit yourself to something because you are comfortable with the idea. Let the unsettledness of your heart lead you in a direction that you need to grow.

Jiya is unassuming, subtle, and only looks naïve. She's a die hard romantic who enjoys gripping murder mysteries. Once you get her talking, it's really hard to get her to stop. She's a little mad, fiercely loyal, and often tends to break out into song and dance, wherever she might be.


Monday, May 9, 2011

TOP 10 BOOK LIST: Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas

My book made it to the TOP 10 List!!!
And I didn't even have to pay anyone or rig it! Honestly! There IS a GOD!

I had been working like a mad person trying to achieve something for so long; Trying to find a footing onto something that would give me happiness from the inside even if it didn't gave me any money..not that I was making any with any other job..but it was time I did something for myself and something for my daughter to be proud of me for. I wanted to leave a legacy for her. I didn't know what.

Sunday Hindustan Times paper found it for me. The legacy I could leave my daughter.

I know my 15 mins of fame will die out and people will forget me. I know I don't need to harp on this achievement and drag it out. I know there will be brickbats from so many..most of them friends...
But I also know that this gives me an incentive to do better, write better, be better. It makes me realise that I don't have to go to an ac office to work 20 hours a day to earn for my child. It makes me realise that the path not taken might be a better one....The dreams that took so long to be fulfilled will come true...And belief and patience are the virtues of a strong soul.

I'm happy for that little bit that I've got for now... 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

FROM FLING TO RING : A true story

A break up is never easy. But when you’ve broken up with a billionaire it feels even worse. When Sumit left me, I was shattered. Not only had I lost out on the empire that was rightfully mine after dating him for four years, I was left man less at an age when I should have been planning a wedding and babies. It had not been easy to catch the billionaire. He came from a billionaire family and I came from a middle class background. So I nurtured him, and groomed him and made him chase me just enough for him to want me for a long time. I was so sure that he was wrapped around my little finger. So it came as a shock when he showed me another one and went with what his mother said and got married to another billionaire girl.
I was left in the lurch. Heartbroken and humiliated. It was then that I met another man. Kanishk was his name. He had just graduated from an MBA and had been placed in the same MNC I was working in. Now obviously having a romance with him was wrong on both counts. First, you never have an office fling and secondly you never date on the rebound. One is only supposed to have multiple flings on the rebound. Therefore, that is what I thought I would do. I would have a fling with this man and then move on to someone else.
But Kanishk was a persistent person. He would get us movie tickets even before I could make plans to go with anyone else and reserve seats at the newest bars even before I wanted to go. He was smitten by me and vice versa. We started having a wonderful time together and I could see that the fling that I had wanted was turning into a romance that would last a long time.
So I did what I thought was the only practical solution. “I think we should break up.”I said to him matter of factly one morning.
He was flummoxed, not knowing what he had done wrong.  I clarified it for him in the nicest way I could. “It’s not you. It’s me.” I knew it sounded clichéd as soon as I said it so I explained further, “I just got over a breakup. I was trying to find my bearings and I don’t know if I want to commit again so soon.”
He nodded his head in a very understanding manner and said, “Well do you want to see other people?”He asked.
“Yes!” I said too eagerly.
“Alright.” He replied with some patience, “But are there `other’ people you know you want to see?” he asked.
And I thought about it. How could there have been when he was breathing down my neck every minute of every day? We worked together, we travelled together, and we partied together. Where was the room for anyone else to come into my life?
“Not really Kanishk but maybe I need to explore a little more to know if this is what I want.” I said hesitantly.
He nodded and said he would give me two months to figure out what I wanted. Moreover, if he found someone else in the time period, he would have the choice to break up as well. I thought this was only fair.
So I called my girlfriends and asked them to fix me up with whomever they knew. Alankrita told me flat out, “Are you mad? You’ve got a nice, decent boy who loves you and you want to go find other jerks?”
“So does this mean you’re not going to help me?” I asked. I could only hear the dead receiver at the end of the line.
“Ya my cousin is available,” said Samantha, “But he’s a vegetarian and doesn’t drink and goes to Church every Sunday and expects his wife, if you choose to be her, to do the same.”
“Wife?” I asked incredulously, “Whoever said anything about a wife?” I had just wanted a few more flings.
“You obviously wouldn’t date someone if you didn’t want it to `go somewhere’ eventually would you Megs? And you wouldn’t play with my brother’s feeling now would you?” demanded Sam who’s tone went into a high pitch.
I finally went on a blind date. As soon as the man picked me up, he asked me a hundred times where I wanted to go. When I suggested something, he didn’t want to eat the cuisine. He was a Gemini who couldn’t make up his mind. All through the evening there seemed to be something wrong with him though I couldn’t put my finger on it. It wasn’t as if he wasn’t a nice guy but his jokes didn’t impress me, nor did his intelligence. It was as if I was playing a twenty- question game to get to know him better. By the end of the evening, I realized that maybe for all my gusto in having many flings, deep down I didn’t want them. I wanted just one man.
And to find the “Perfect Man” I would be flitting from one bar to another, a hobby class to another and pleading with girlfriends to find me a man who loved me and made me laugh when I already had one who was devoted to me. Just because I had a good relationship immediately after a break up didn’t mean it was only a fling.
So I went back to Kanishk well before the separation time was over in the hope that he had not found anyone. I met him for coffee after work. He seemed nonchalant and quiet so I started speaking, “Kanishk, I’m sorry. I have been a fool. Do you want to go out again?” I requested bluntly and earnestly.
He was quiet for a long time. Then he replied, “No Megs. I don’t want to go out again.”
I was crestfallen. My eyes welled up with tears. I knew my stupid, spontaneous behavior would make me do something that I would regret forever and that day had come.
Kanishk started smiling slowly and said with a twinkle in his eye, “I don’t want to go out with you…I want to marry you! I wanted you to have the space to realize what you wanted. However, I always knew what I wanted. And I know now that you’ve tried to find the different men and failed. So you won’t do it after we’re married!” he said cockily.
Kanishk and I have been married for over 8 years. I learnt later that my friends plotted not to find other men for me. And today I am so glad that they didn’t. Sometimes rebound relationships are the ones that give you the greatest happiness.

Reserved for One: A poem

We don't trust enough We don't pour out our hearts  Telling all our secrets, our fears and surrendering to each other. Comple...