Just Because I Made Love to You Doesn’t Mean I Love You

Mukesh Kumar
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People half her age knew the difference between sleeping with someone and actually
marrying them. Mitali didn’t, she never did, and maybe she never would. She’d try hard not
to mix sex with emotions but, in the end, would mess up both.
I met Mitali via Aditya who was my colleague when we worked together with UTV.
Aditya headed an animation project with the company and Mitali was into film marketing.
Mitali hailed from Kolkata. Not many knew she was divorced and had moved to Mumbai in
search of a new life after separating from her husband. She didn’t socialize much with her
team, once out of office. She made fewer new friends and spent more time with her existing
ones. Her dusky complexion and brown eyes attracted a lot of male attention at work; but
otherwise she looked very average. She was like an obedient child who arrived on time,
left on time, did as directed and never opposed her bosses. A simple and straightforward
girl, she didn’t want any complications in her life, which is why she never took up any
competitive role in her team. She ate and slept on time with no demands and no regrets. She
earned enough to feed herself in the harsh city, never asked for increments and never desired
a lavish lifestyle. She seemed content in her one-woman kingdom.
Aditya and Mitali often worked on projects together but Mitali’s reclusive behaviour
never gave Aditya a chance to speak about anything other than work. He wondered why she
was so unfriendly with him. Aditya Krishnan was doing exceptionally well in his career. He
earned a fat salary, lived in a plush house in Bandra, worked only a few hours a week and
went on holiday every three months. There was nothing average in his life. He did things in
extremes—worked hard, partied harder, took on the most competitive tasks at work and
accomplished them before deadlines. He was never alone; his evenings were full of women
and wine. He felt drawn towards Mitali perhaps because she was the only woman who
repelled him.
It was quite late that night when Aditya packed his stuff and was about to leave. He
passed Mitali’s desk and saw she was fiddling with an Excel sheet on her computer. He
thought of stopping by to ask if she needed help but then recalled how rude she had been
each time he offered help in the past, so he carried on. Just when he exited the gate, he
realized she was the only one sitting in office at that hour. He somehow gathered the courage
to go back and stand behind her. Astonished, she raised her eyebrows suspiciously.
‘Isn’t it quite late?’ he said. ‘How will you go home?’
Continuing to add formulae to her Excel sheet, Mitali said, ‘I have work to do. Will
manage, thanks!’
Aditya wasn’t surprised at her answer. He was wondering what to ask her next. At the
moment, she seemed very puzzled while calculating the payment to be released to an artist
who had raised an invoice of Rs 21,90,000, with an added service charge of 10.3 per cent.
Ideally, the total amount raised would be Rs 24,15,570, against which she was supposed to
deduct TDS at 10 per cent. But for some unexplained reason, the results on the computer
screen were different from her own calculations on paper.
Aditya prompted, ‘Rs 21,74,013.’
Mitali looked back and he repeated the digits. She was neither angry nor surprised. She
knew he was sharp with numbers, but why he was helping her was her concern. Unwillingly,
she went with his calculation and corrected the figures on the sheet. For the next ten minutes,
Aditya helped her with all the calculations without actually having a conversation with her.
He continued to stand behind with his heavy laptop bag hung on his right shoulder, leaning
towards the computer screen and prompting the digits. He used the computer’s calculator
only when Mitali’s hand freed the cursor. Finally, they were done. Mitali heaved a sigh of
relief and Aditya had a chance to stand straight. He wondered at her discourteous behaviour
—she didn’t even ask him to sit all this while.
Then, looking into Aditya’s eyes for the first time, she thanked him. Aditya felt honoured.
Swelling with some confidence, he asked if he could drop her home. For the first time ever
in her stint with this company, she agreed to be dropped home. She held a record of not
letting anyone do her a favour at work or in general. That’s how she was, disciplined and
firm. While in the car, Aditya made constant efforts to probe more into her personal life—
for instance, whether she lived with a boyfriend, roommates, family, etc.—but Mitali chose
selective listening and selective answering. The only time she spoke was when she had to
guide him to her house. When they finally reached her old, worn-out, about-to-collapse
building, she simply looked away, muttered, ‘Thanks’ and went inside the building. Aditya
said to himself, ‘The building compliments her personality so much and vice-versa’. He
drove back to his house.
Next morning at work, he again stopped by to see if Mitali remembered that he had
dropped her home the night before. Maybe she did, but that was it—she didn’t think it was
important to smile at him just because he dropped her home. She was indifferent, so Aditya
went straight to his cabin and followed his routine. Aditya’s colourful life had suddenly
become ensnared by Mitali’s sadness. The more she avoided him, the further his interest
grew in her. He stayed back till late to see how puzzled she remained with numbers. He also
visited her Facebook profile to see who she was committed to, who her friends were, or
whether she socialized at all, but he found nothing to his avail. She was just as introverted
online as offline. One fine evening, Aditya was struggling with a presentation on his laptop
when Mitali noticed that his cabin lights were on. She thought to herself, ‘This guy never
stays back so late, especially on a Friday.’ It was 7 p.m. Aditya’s usual timings were 11.30
a.m. to 5 p.m.
Unlike Aditya, she didn’t mull over whether she should offer him help or not; she simply
knocked at the glass door and entered without even giving him a chance to say ‘Come in.’
He thought he might have committed a crime, judging by the way she walked inside. He
went blank.
She asked, ‘Isn’t it quite late? Why aren’t you going home?’
Aditya was pleasantly surprised and had wanted to say, ‘I shall stay back every day if
you walk into my cabin the same way’ but he ended up looking at the presentation and said,
‘I’m supposed to mail this across today but my team has made it just as bland as pasta
without cheese. So, I’m adding the seasoning to it—my way, of course.’
‘Okay,’she said and tried to exit the cabin when he exclaimed, ‘Won’t you help me? I’m
stuck with these creatives just like you were stuck with numbers that evening.’
Mitali turned back to help the poor guy. She knew he was lying—he headed the animation
business, so he couldn’t not know his creatives. While she scrolled down the PPT, he
checked her out from top to bottom. Her stats seemed all right to him but this girl wasn’t
about her body, she was about something else, something Aditya hadn’t known himself. He
knew for a fact that he had dated one of the best chicks in town and Mitali was so ordinary
by contrast. However, he was drawn towards her, especially by her indifferent attitude. Her
hair was tied up with just a thin banana clip in several circular knots right above her neck.
Aditya was tempted to untie it. He wanted to see how she looked when her burgundy streaks
tumbled down. Mitali caught him looking at her hair.
‘What do you want me to help you with?’she asked.
‘A lot of things,’ was his quick reply. But Mitali’s hard stare made him change his
answer. He said, ‘I am yet to decide which of these slides go with text description … See,
ah … here … umm …’
And that evening, both spent time in that cabin shuffling slides around in that PPT,
resizing images, Googling new ones—basically not doing anything fruitful but making the
most of each other’s company. Aditya evidently liked having her around in his cabin. Mitali
seemed to feel at ease too, but she was careful with her expressions and tried being
indifferent, this time deliberately. Aditya dropped her home once again but this time she did
look into his eyes when she thanked him.
Things were clearly shaping up between them. Aditya really had to struggle a lot to look
inside Mitali’s hard shell. Only one out of ten times would his efforts make the dusky girl
smile, talk and flirt. Like a Hindi film hero, Aditya pleased her with something new every
day. For Mitali, tangible things didn’t matter, so Aditya couldn’t gratify her with expensive
wine-and-dine options, luxury watches and imported perfumes. He learnt that she really
enjoyed was spending ‘real’ time with each other—for instance, sitting on the shore together
and looking at the sea, whether or not they talked to each other. She liked keeping quiet most
of the time; her listening skills were great. It took Aditya almost three months to come close
to Mitali whereby she confided in him about her past and present.
Once it so happened that Mitali’s empty house and lonely evening were graced by
Aditya’s surprise visit. Mitali made a quick coffee and they began talking. When she was
reciting the incident of her broken marriage to him, he felt so shaken inside that he wanted to
hold her tight and say, ‘I’m here for you.’ Mitali wasn’t sobbing or crying; she had let go of
her past, she was out of it, but Aditya felt the need to comfort her. He was more heartbroken
than her on learning about her past. He saluted the spirit of womanhood, realizing how tough
women could be when they needed to be. He had till date only been with sexy, suave and
urban women who liked dancing, drinking and making out with him. Mitali was distinctively
different. He was now sure of his feelings for her. Just as Mitali finished reciting her story,
she said, ‘So … this is me, ordinary and average at my best.’
In response to this, Aditya came so close to her that she couldn’t repel him any more. He
kissed her before she could know what was happening. He held her tight, wrapped both his
arms around her, and she reciprocated by surrendering completely. That night, Mitali’s
gloomy house lit up with joy. Mitali hadn’t been loved like this in a long time. Things had
started to change thereafter. Mitali’s life was changing for the good—just as she always
Aditya’s happiness knew no bounds when he saw Mitali transform from a reserved and
uptight girl to a chirpy sparrow. She laughed and giggled more often these days. She met
people with glee and the radiance on her face said a lot about her new relationship. Even
her colleagues had started interacting with her freely, unlike before. With a new wardrobe, a
new smile every day and a new relationship, Mitali became a rockstar. Aditya took the
credit delightfully. Though no one talked about their affair in front of them, people discussed
it behind their backs.
Aditya was happy with Mitali. In the evenings, either he was at her house or she was at
his. They cooked and ate together. They made love like nobody’s business. Aditya had
disconnected himself from other women. He drank very little these days. He partied even
lesser and listened to soothing music with Mitali. He was quite okay with his changed
lifestyle. Mitali thanked God for her separation from her husband because she realized she
was destined to meet Aditya.
Nearly a year had passed. Mitali’s parents made a visit to Mumbai. Aditya and Mitali
both went to receive them at the airport. Aditya made her parents feel just as comfortable as
he would have made his own. They were happy with their daughter’s choice. They spoke to
her candidly in Aditya’s absence and asked her to take the relationship to the next level. She
was a little reluctant, considering what had happened in the past, but her parents explained
to her the difference between her earlier choice and Aditya. They said, ‘Your earlier choice
was someone whom you loved, cared for and wanted to marry. He had no career, no
dreams, no concern towards household responsibilities; but you still convinced him to
marry you. It didn’t work and hence you both fell apart. Aditya loves you, takes care of you
and does everything to make you happy. He is doing well in his career and can ensure a
healthy life for both of you in the future. If we were to find a match, it would’ve been him.’
Aditya undoubtedly made their stay a memorable one—he took them around the city in his
car, spent time with them speaking about his family and career and assured them that he
would take care of Mitali once they went back. After her parents left for Kolkata, Mitali and
Aditya were having a casual conversation about what kind of marriages lasted forever and
which ones fell apart soon. Mitali expressed a desire to remarry, to which Aditya gave a
blunt answer, ‘Marry? Once again? Are you mad, what’s wrong with you?’
Mitali was taken aback by his sudden reaction. She responded, ‘What’s so wrong about
remarrying? Just because it didn’t work in the past doesn’t mean it won’t work in the
Aditya: ‘Come on, Mitali, I thought you were out of this ceremonial nonsense—that you
had moved on … Why do you want to marry again?’
Mitali: ‘Ceremonial nonsense? Are you saying your parents and mine are putting up
together because of some ceremonial nonsense?’
Aditya: ‘Let’s not drag parents into this! Who do you plan to marry, or rather, who wants
to marry you this time?’
Mitali was stunned at his question. For the next one minute, she wasn’t sure if he had
actually said what she had just heard. She mumbled, ‘Don’t you?’
Aditya looked at her and asked, ‘Do you mind repeating your question?’
Mitali’s trembling lips managed to ask him, ‘Don’t you want to marry me?’
Aditya’s eyes were full of anger. He somehow modulated the tone of his voice and
answered, ‘When did I say that I wish to marry you?’
Mitali’s world went blank. She had no answer. She was looking at him and praying to
God that he was kidding.
He repeated his question, ‘When did I say I wish to marry you?’
After awaiting an answer for a minute or so, he continued, ‘Listen to me very carefully,
Mitali. I don’t recall an incident when I have expressed a desire to marry you. If you have
misunderstood my care and affection for love, then I’m very sorry for you. Just because I’m
not sleeping with other women doesn’t mean I’m committed to you. Even if I were
committed to you, where does marriage come into the picture?’
Mitali wasn’t shedding tears but her expressionless face clearly depicted that her heart
was crying aloud in distress. She chose to stay quiet and listen.
Aditya continued, ‘And please don’t tell me that you are so old-fashioned that just
because I met your parents and greeted them nicely, you assumed that I am pleasing them so
that they agree upon our match and some crap like that. Mitali, if it is so, then I regret
treating them so well; I would have done that for any friend’s parents.’
Mitali uttered her first word after a long pause, ‘Friend?’
Aditya: ‘Why, do you not know that we are friends? Do you not know how wonderful a
host I am for all my friends and their folks?’
Mitali: ‘Now I know … We were friends!’
Aditya was full of animosity by now. He got up and screamed at the top of his voice,
‘Mitali, don’t talk like a sixteen-year-old! If you were under the impression that you are my
girlfriend, that’s your fault, not mine.’
Mitali was very subtle and well behaved when she replied to his last comment, ‘Why did
you make love to me if you didn’t love me at all?’
Aditya was terribly perplexed at her useless questions. He said, ‘Have you lost it or
what? Just because having sex is called “making love” in your language, it doesn’t mean I
actually love you. Please Google some expert comments on sex so that you don’t talk like a
dumbo the next time.’
Mitali got up from the couch into which she had sunk all this while and proceeded
towards the door. Aditya asked, ‘Where are you going?’
Mitali opened the door and replied, ‘I’m showing you the way out. It’s my house, please
Aditya carried his shoes in his hands, picked up his wallet from the table and left in the
next thirty seconds.
Just as he approached the main gate, he received a call on his cellphone. It was Mitali.
He picked up and said ‘Hello’ in the most impolite manner, possibly thinking that she had
called to apologize. But instead she had called to say, ‘You forgot your car keys, come back
and collect them from the foot mat. The door will be shut.’

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