20 Minutes...!!!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: March 01, 2017

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Submitted: March 01, 2017

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The title of this story will remind some of you of the very famous "11 minutes" adult fiction by Paulo Coelho! "11 minutes" is the story of a young, insightful girl who willingly chooses prostitution to fulfill her dreams of travelling the world, seeing the new exotic places and may be meeting love of her life on one of her travelling journeys and in the end saving enough money to set up a nice farm when she eventually gets back to her village.

The girl refuses the conventional life set for her. she could have married some rich man in her village very easily, with the good looks she is blessed with. But she refuses the life of convention. The book is about this unconventional girl and her realization that all the fuss is about the '11 minutes' of sex and her reflection on life throughout her journey.

Whereas this article, this article is a short story of a very conventional Indian girl from a middle class family who believes she is going to find love of her life in a glorified arranged marriage system in India. It is just a story, a really short story that happens in 20 minutes. There are no conclusions to this story, no motive behind writing this story. It is just a story without any purpose or a moral.

"So there he is! In a small pink room of her house. She has gone through the ritual of 'meeting' his parents, her family is pleased with a very traditional attire she is carrying herself in, she is not very comfortable in it though!

In a small pink room of her house, while she waits for him to come and talk to her, she recalls the trembling of her hands when she talked to his parents, fidgeting of her fingers, her surprising inability to look up at him! She is embarrassed of her behavior and apparent show of lack of confidence although she is not this girl, she has debated on stage, she has given speeches in front of knowledgeable crowd, she is confident enough to live and survive alone in the big cities, she is confident enough to talk to her European colleagues and make it to big MNCs but not today. Today she is anything but confident. She is confused, miserable, embarrassed and feeling all other sister feelings of the mentioned ones!

So here he comes, she has expected him to be terribly, abnormally tall for her wrong notions of height that is measured in feet and inches, but he is not. He is just tall, not abnormally tall. She says to him that she is feeling a little awkward and he replies by saying it is his first time too. She remembers saying this to the first guy she had met and whom she had rejected. And she laughs a little inside. She knows how he does not have an idea how important this first time of his is. Irrespective of the conclusion of this funny meeting of theirs reaches to, he will remember her forever, she will be the first girl he met in the arranged marriage, she has become the part of his life already. May be he will say the big NO in the end, but he will still remember awkward fidgeting of her fingers, may be forever, because she still remembers the first guy absent-mindedly digging the floor with his toes. But the guy sitting in front of hers does not understand this yet. It is his First time.

Just one minute has passed. 19 More to go. He starts telling about himself, everything about him. He sure has an impressive academic profile. If she would have been an employer, she would have hired him immediately. Truly impressive profile. She forgets to look at him while listening to him intently, she would later on doubt if he really wore a Green shirt or it was not really Green. She would just remember his eyes a little, as that is where she looked at , all the time. And may be his wristwatch as he showed it to her while referring to something. He looks surprisingly calm and composed but then that is what they teach people at B-schools right? she still feels funny. She knows his personality type, it is advanced version of her own but appearantly unlike her he does not realise this. He seems to be good at heart, sometimes telling really minute details of the marathons he arranged or took part in or when he tells which movies exactly he watched a day before and a day after a very important exam or what exactly he can and can not cook. She finds it charmingly innocent. He can be good for her. He seems good at heart. And he is really talkative.

When she starts talking, she wonders if she is talking in a monotonous tone, the tone for which her friends tease her! and she hopes that she is not. She tells him that she likes reading a lot, surprisingly they have a same favorite book but then it is not a real surprise, the book is favorite of all those who consider themselve intellactuals and geeks and nerds although he finds this fact doubtfully amusing! He asks her when exactly she read that book, she does not understand the releavance of the question, neverthless she answers and adds she finished it in two days which also he seems not to believe. She also likes giving technical presentations on various subjects and she likes debating on stage too and car driving, but it skips her mind to mention this. Not that it is too significant!

He says he does not want someone to compromise for a relation and she feels helpless. This is the way relations work, she thinks. There would be lots of mistakes she would be making in 20 minutes for which he would not forgive her, the way she did not forgive the first guy for not knowing what fictional books exactly mean. She was too immature to understand that people who dont read at all can be intelligent and awesome too.

20 Minutes are almost over, he seemed to have covered almost all traits of his personality, put forth in a really good and organised way. This time she wont give credit to his B-school, may be he has a really desciplined, organised intellect. Whereas she! she could not cover 70% of her personality. 20 minutes are not enough for her.

20 Minutes are not enough, she will not reach to a conclusion, she will gamble, she will take risk of knowing hidden sides of his personality, arranged marriage is gamble after all, isn't it. But surprisingly 20 minutes would be enough for him and he would decide that she is not the one.

And the 20 minutes will pass. His face has given nothing away the whole time, she would have liked to know what he thought of her but she will never know. The affection she had for him will drain after 20 minutes, the affection is after all for an image, for an image of her would be partner, not for him in particular. At the end of 20 minutes, she would say that whatever happens of this, it was pleasure meeting him, and she means it, On that , he would say 'same here' as a gesture of modesty. She remembers, this is the fourth time he is saying 'same here'. There must have been at least Three things common in them, her thoughts wander absently as she doesn't recall those things clearly. But then, are common things enough, is his impressive academic profile enough, is her comparitively not so impressive existence inadequate for two people to spend life together or their extremely different family backgrounds would cause trouble later on. She does not know, seemingly he knows for he has chosen not to gamble.

Hence the short story that happened in 20 minutes is over. No moral drawn, no purpose served by telling the story. Several versions of this story could be found in India, like several versions of some mythological story. People's lives are formed or scattered based on this 20 minutes. She feels helpless with the power 20 minutes hold, so will he.

All she wishes in the end for him to forget her, all she wishes for him not to remember fidgeting of her fingers the way she remembers the floor digging of First guy. These are the memories that haunt, if you are not very practical, but then young girls who grow up watching romantic movies, whose hearts lie half in fairy tale with their mortal bodies on this fanatic earth should not be expected to be very practical, nor the boys! The last thing she wants is to haunt someone's memories.

She feels numb as the realization strikes her that her life will be all about '20 minutes' for she once chose to please her parents by following the every rule and ritual the phony society had set for her.

And so the story ends here."


© Copyright 2017 Utkarsha Thombal. All rights reserved.

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