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My First Date by: PRASUN ROY

I still remember the first date I ever went on in my life. Usually first dates are memorable to everyone but for me it was something that I can never forget. I went out for my first date with my high school crush when I was in class eleven. It was a day that I planned for weeks and finally she, Rachna, agreed to come out with me, Prasun Roy! In school who was
famous for being a person with a cool attitude with no constraints from the family end, whose parents were more of buddies than dominating guardians!
However the fact remained that I too was from a middle class family with core values and principles like all others.

Back home I lied to my parents that I was going out for a school excursion and managed to get the approval of my parents and finally the day arrived.
After a short lunch at a funky restaurant, Rachna and I went hand in hand for a romantic movie.

Even in the darkness of the theatre hall I went lost in her blue eyes, glossy lips and hair that could drown ships bigger than the Titanic, maybe! She was the princess who was the incarnate of Diana, the goddess of love, for me and I hardly concentrated in the movie. Getting lost in her presence was more lucrative than the stars gleaming in the wide screen of the theatre.

We enjoyed the day in each other's presence and time seemed to pass with flights of fantasy for me. As the evening was drawing to a close we were roaming in the streets of "New Market" talking to each other, about each other. Life suddenly seemed so beautiful.

All of a sudden out of the forgotten multitude that was also walking in the same street I could see a familiar face quite distinct, why I didn't know.
As realization embraced my consciousness I comprehended that the face of the person approaching me from the other side was of none other than but my FATHER!

Within a fraction of a second all romanticism vanished from my heart and a fear engrossed it instead. I could interpret in that short time the amount of humility and shame I would face suddenly as my father would recognize me, scold me after we meet, and that was inevitable! Apart from the scorn that I would face at home, I could also feel the embarrassment I would face
in front of Rachna, who recognized as the cool guy in school as well as back home!

Crippled with the fear I only prayed that the earth would open up and I would hide there from all the humility. However there seemed no practical escape from it. Then some thing happened.

My father came near me, along with the now not-so-forgotten multitude, looked into my eyes as a stranger and passed by me rubbing his shoulder against mine and passed by without even recognizing me. It was the biggest shock and relief of my life. I still don't know which emotion was predominant at that moment.

After sometime, Rachna went away to her home oblivious of the fact what ever I just revealed, and I came back to mine.

At home that night, life seemed to me like a prison. I went for dinner with a fearful heart and a lost appetite. To my surprise, everything was so very normal. My mother served dinner and we all ate the usual way. This made my life more miserable. I quickly finished my food and went back to my room.
Questions crowded my mind and I couldn't figure out what might have happened after my father came back home and revealed about my forged romantic rendezvous. Why everything was still so normal pained my mind even more!

Presently my father calmly came into my room and sat beside me. I looked into his eyes with fear in mine but discovered a smooth comfort in his! He soothingly asked, "So Sunny Boy, how was your date, I must say she was a pretty and sweet lady!"

Like somewhat mesmerized I revealed everything to him about my first date and added, "Dad, it was simply out of this world, but the day passed away life a few minutes only!"

He smiled and said, "You know what, Albert Einstein once said ... Put your hand on a hot oven for a minute and it would seem like and hour; put your hand upon those of a pretty lady for an hour and it would seem like a minute! Now that's relativity. Its all relative, the fact is how much you cherish what you gained RIGHT! This is the biggest lesson of life my son"

I had never seen my father being like this before; he was more of a buddy than my guardian actually. I could feel within me that I would never ever be able to hide anything else from him, he actually understood me much more than my own self.

We talked for an hour and I would remember those words forever perhaps! I couldn't interpret whether it was my First Date with my dream girl or the First Date of knowing my father actually. However I knew that I realized how much I loved and respected my father after that. Just as he was leaving my room I called him and said "Thank You daddy! Thank you so much!"

Both of us knew what I was thankful for and required no mentioning. He turned towards me with his dreamy eyes and said these words

"Hey son, how could I ever let you down my child, never! I would just say, whatever happens in life and whomever you love in your life and to whatever degree, you only remember one thing that your Daddy has loved you 18 years more than that. 18 years more than that dear!"

He switched off the light and went to his room. In the mild blue and gray of the moonlight ushering into my room through the window I too could feel one thing Yes, its truly 18 more years of Love, I, or any child, can never ever cover up! It was in fact my First Date, the first one of actually realizing the Love I had taken for granted for all those Eighteen Years perhaps! It truly was so.