A Blue Rose

It’s 20 years today — two decades of being with the love of my life. We “met ” each other online when there were no dating websites or apps, when long-distance relationships weren’t a thing. The iPhone hadn’t been invented yet and there was no Gmail. It was also the day and age when we read each email that went into our Spam folders – because getting email was just that exciting!

An unexpected e-mail from halfway across the world had made its way into my inbox in the wee hours of a winter night. He had read my Unicef-award-winning poem on sexual exploitation of girls and wanted to know what kind of a nut-job I was. Why was I not writing about fashion accessories or reviewing Bollywood heartthrobs like a “typical” girl (presumptuous much?).

He was moved (and curious enough) to write me. I responded, only because I was bad-ass and he was being unbearably stereotypical. Within a week of exchanging 50-odd e-mails and long IM conversations in different time zones, we knew we were meant to be.

Our debates were intellectual, our conversations philosophical, our desire to change the world palpable. It was a meeting of the minds halfway across the globe. We hadn’t exchanged photos, but we knew it wouldn’t matter. I don’t know how we knew. But we just did.

He loved the way I wrote. Encouraged me to speak my heart. Inspired me. Challenged me. Supported me. Was my worst critic. My best friend.

Still is. 20 years later.

So, today I painted him a bouquet of flowers with a blue rose highlighting our special kind of love: one that was characterized by friends and family as impossible and unattainable.

I like to think of it as being extraordinarily resilient, wonderful and unique.

I know it is.

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