Warning: This post contains stuff which may not exactly be kids’ material. I guess I am crossing a line here. But you decide that. You may also want to read this before you read further. And just so everyone knows, I am NOT married.
Neeraj began to reflect on his life so far. 28 years. That was how long it had taken him to get to where he was right now. He knew that number was far less in other countries. In a few moments time, it would begin. He thought about all the times he had fantasized this very moment. About what he would do. About whom he would be with. And there he was. His marriage had taken place a few hours earlier. This was his First Night.
It had been about 3 months since he said Yes to his parents regarding the girl. And now he was waiting for her. He had no idea when she was expected to enter the room, carrying that clichéd glass of milk in her hands. So he just sat there and looked at himself in the mirror. Donning a dhothi and a shirt purchased specifically for this occasion, he was told by his friends that he was looking smart. One of them had even gone further and told him that he was looking sexy. It had made him blush. But that was then. Right now, looking at himself in the mirror, it was hard to miss the nervousness in his eyes, and he immediately looked away. All the short time that he had been waiting, there were a million thoughts that had gone through his head.
This was definitely NOT the way his fantasies had panned out. Excitement, desire, lust, love and satisfaction – these had made their presence felt in his fantasies in varying degrees. But right now, in that room, he could only sense them on the periphery of his emotion. He tried to deny it, but he knew what he was feeling all along. He had felt it before – before every examination he had written and before every presentation he had given. It was Fear. Fear and nervousness. And he was about to panic.
The past week, Neeraj was frequently involved in a few specific activities, which during any other time, he would have considered lame. It was embarrassing but he had realized that he did not really have any other option. Studying in an engineering college where the male to female ratio was a fact worth ignoring had made it practically impossible for him to get a girl friend. Growing up in a society that had looked upon sex as a taboo had not really helped matters either. Simply put, one week prior to his marriage, Neeraj was worried that he would be an embarrassment during his first night.
Neeraj was no monk. He was well aware of all the things his raging hormones had led him to do over the years. He had watched his fair share of pornography during his college years. So he felt he had a decent idea what to expect. All the conversations he had had with his guy friends over the years came back to him while he was sitting on that bed. But the problem with all those discussions, he realized, was that everybody involved were inevitably virgins themselves and nobody had a clue what to expect when it actually happened.
So in the week prior to his wedding, Neeraj had been forced to scour the internet for ‘educative’ videos and articles about the human female anatomy and about the very act itself. All that effort had left him fuming with embarrassment at his own situation. “This is not the way it is supposed to be” he thought. “The first night experience is supposed to be a memorable one, filled with passion and intensity. Instead I am just trying to make sure that I don’t screw it up! There has got to be something terribly wrong somewhere here.”
After 2 days of ‘educating’ himself about everything that he could possibly expect on that night, Neeraj thought about his friend Kiran. Kiran had been the only guy he knew personally who was a bachelor and who had done it. Well at least that’s what he had claimed. He vividly remembered that day when Kiran revealed that fact to his friends. Everyone of his friends was more excited than the other to hear the news! And Kiran was more than happy to describe in detail about his encounter. Neeraj remembered feeling sick as he watched all his friends vicariously feeding off of Kiran’s experience, fantasizing their own experiences in the process no doubt. But for some reason, Kiran never really mentioned her name, and after a couple of weeks, had totally refused to talk about the girl or the experience. This created strong suspicion among his friends and especially in Neeraj that Kiran had been spinning a yarn all the way.
But during that week before his marriage, in an act of total desperation, Neeraj called upon Kiran to ‘help him out’ as a friend. Kiran flatly refused to hold any conversation in that regard. “You got to figure it out for yourself man” was his only advice.
So the only thing left to do, Neeraj realized, was to get more ‘educated’. And so he had spent the remaining few days on the internet reading and watching. There were a few specific things that were repeatedly drilled into his brain. Foremost among them was what one article euphemistically called ‘arriving too soon.’ But sitting there on that bed draped with flowers and adorned with perfumes, there was something even more fundamental that he was worried about.
He was so damn nervous that he was worried if he would even be able to respond to her in the first place. What if he lost it when it mattered most? What if he was not doing the right thing? What if the Melty Man attacked?
He had the pack of condoms lying under the pillow. It was only the previous day that he had seen how a condom looked like for the first time. And it had taken him 4 trials before he figured out how NOT to wear it inside out.
“How the fuck did it all get so damn lame?” he had asked himself then.
He wished he had simply blown part of one of his paychecks on a hooker. At least that way he would know what he was supposed to be doing tonight. As long as he kept it safe, it could only have a positive impact. All this talk about the first night being memorable, sacred and the morally right thing to do was getting on his nerves. If anything, not having any experience prior to the wedding night was a recipe for disaster. He really wondered how many couples actually ended up doing it that night. The marriage ceremony is usually a pretty tiring affair. It would be no surprise if the couples simply went to sleep after that long day. Instead he was being expected to put in sufficient effort to lose his virginity while not embarrassing himself at the same time. (Or maybe the guy takes Red Bull before doing it, he wondered). Whoever made up those rules clearly died a frustrated and sadistic virgin, Neeraj concluded in frustration. He completely sympathized with all those people in the yesteryears who had no access to internet or any ‘educative’ material. At least he was better off than them.
He got up and began to pace the room impatiently. Where was she?
And then as if in response to his thought, he heard some loud giggling outside the door. The door opened and there she was. Roopa. Clad in a beautiful white sari, blushing with shyness AND carrying that redundant glass of milk. (Seriously, who in their right minds would even spare a thought to drinking that glass of milk? ) He gave her a weak smile and was surprised when it was returned with a weak and hesitant smile from her end too. And that’s when it hit him!
This was her first time too. And she was as scared and nervous as he was! Perhaps more.
And that helped him relax a bit. She came near him with her head bent down and slowly offered him the glass of milk. He promptly took it and kept it aside on the table. She then lifted her head and looked at him. And he could see the fear and nervousness in her eyes too. He helped her sit beside him and slowly wrapped his arm around her. It was then that he realized that he was actually shaking. He looked at her, smiled and said, “I maybe nervous. But I am glad I am the one who is going to see you like this the first time.” She blushed and smiled. Then, she appeared to muster up her courage and said, “But I need to let you know something before we do it. I hope you understand.” “What is it?” Neeraj asked, growing a little apprehensive. “Its nothing to worry. Its just that even though I have never been with anyone before, you may not find what you need that proves me to be a virgin.”
Neeraj knew what she was talking about. And he understood her completely. He had read about it online that women may not necessarily exhibit full signs of being a virgin even though they might be. So he immediately felt more relaxed and smiled at her. “Don’t worry. I understand.”
Roopa smiled, evidently relieved. She bent forward and gave him a kiss on his lips. Neeraj held that kiss for a while, with half his mind trying to fathom the significance of what was happening and the other half trying to judge how he was fairing at what he was doing. Then Neeraj knew what was going to happen and he switched off the lights.
It was Neeraj who first came down in the morning at about 830. Almost everyone in the marriage hall were up and having their coffee. As he walked down the stairs into the main ceremony area where everyone had gathered, he had a bad feeling about what was to come.
It was his aunt who first spotted him. And as soon as she saw him, it appeared that she was saving up all her energy and enthusiasm just for that one moment when she exclaimed loudly at the top of her voice, “Hey look everybody! Neeraj has come down from his room! Come down Neeraj. I hope everything went well for you last night! How are you feeling today?”
Can somebody shoot this bitch?
He gave a weak smile, said I am doing fine and headed straight to the coffee serving area and picked up a glass of coffee. He looked around and found that a bunch of aunties were gathering in a place, as if planning to attack him with all their numbers. He immediately sensed danger and looked around. He found Kiran and Manoj sitting a few rows of chairs behind him and headed straight to them. The plan seemed to work as the aunties association appeared to stay down until they could capture their prey alone.
“Hey guys! Whats up?”, Neeraj asked.
“You tell me! You are the man! Everything went good?”, Manoj asked.
“Yeah man. It went good.” Neeraj kept his lie terse and to the point.
“Glad to know that!” quipped in Kiran and gave him a thumbs up.
Presently, Roopa came down and was immediately thronged by the aunty association trying to ‘ensure’ that their preparations for the room were ultimately conducive and helpful for the first night. Roopa tried to keep a straight face and just nodded her head in response.
“I do not want to be in her shoes right now” quipped Neeraj.
“No shit” Manoj agreed.
Soon Neeraj realized he had to go and just simply hang around with his wife. Otherwise everyone around were bound to infer that something went terribly wrong the previous night. So he went to Roopa, put his arm around her and held her close while talking to her friends. He faked a good smile to everyone, making them believe that he had just woken up from the most memorable night of his life. His parents seemed very happy to see him smiling like that.
Only the both of them knew what had happened the previous night. And he was already looking forward to Take 2. While he was smiling and talking to people, he wondered, “If all this waiting and saving it up for the wedding night is supposed to amount to a truly memorable experience, then this is the most embarrassing lie that is being passed down from generation to generation over the past couple of thousands of years. And the fact that nobody is ready to admit that it happened to them is only going to ensure that this continues in the future too.” He looked around himself at all the married men and women of all ages and smiled. He knew that all of them were no exceptions to what had just happened to him. And the schadenfreude suddenly made him feel good!
Manoj was keenly observing the newly married couple. Seemingly impressed by what he was seeing, he said, “Isn’t it so nice that a couple get to save themselves for such a long time just so can be with each other on the wedding night? That just seems so right.”
Kiran gave a small laugh at Manoj’s naiveté. He was looking at Roopa as she was posing with her husband for a pic for all her friends. He seemed to be lost in thought for a moment and when he came back to, he saw that Roopa was glancing nervously towards him every now and then.
That’s when he said to Manoj, “Maybe him.” He then raised his glass towards Roopa as she looked at him once more. “Not her.” And then he smiled as he sipped his coffee.
“Sheeeeeiiiiiit!” Manoj exclaimed softly.
Later, whenever Roopa’s friends asked her where she was looking in all their photos, she never really gave them a convincing answer.