His love letters survived longer than their relationship. He never quite mastered the art of sleeping during lectures, and hence subjected their tender love to mundane analogies, breathlessly articulated in his letters. He once used the word soliloquy. She had to go home and look it up in the dictionary.
But it wasn’t the sheer rant-like nature of his letters that put her off. It was this strange habit of aspiring lovers in the Hindi Heartland. That of suddenly quoting verses from ghazals. In the first few letters, it was slightly endearing. That a man was so overwhelmed that he turned to his mother tongue. By the third letter thought, it tired her. She pretended she couldn’t quite read the script. Diligent as he was, he proceeded to transliterate. She then explained that her linguistic skills didn’t allow her to appreciate his delicate offerings. He then insisted on paraphrasing the verses.
In another setting, had they been passionately in love, these ghazals may have made sense. But in an already lukewarm relationship, they managed to add a high dose of irony. In his paraphrasing, he used phrases like “burning with desire” and “the incredible, long night of separation”. As such, it was summer. The hot weather evoked no empathy in this “burning with desire” business. Better still, they saw each other everyday in class. What separation? Jobless fellow.
They broke up. Finally. She was filled with relief. She began doing all the things that lovers cannot. Like eating a proper meal or going for a walk without having to keep pace with someone. She even tried listening to ghazals. But she couldn’t. She would collapse with laughter. Once tinged with irony, passion can sound so ridiculously funny. And so it was, that she always thought of him as The Man Who Murdered The Ghazal.