The sixth novel from Chetan Bhagat has its movie adaptation all set to release on 19th of May 2017, and the social media has been talking about it all the time. What it has done to our world is to provide the idea of a “half girlfriend”, or “half relationship”, which is expected to become an even more common term with the release of the movie starring Arjun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor. Even though the term feels new, the basic idea of being more than friends, but not a girlfriend is not something new in an Indian scenario with the lack of clarity over the relationships between boys and girls.
It is even possible with the love stories that stand the test of time, as the same begins as something insignificant, becomes a relationship which can’t be named, and then goes on to become something more interesting. It is during this phase during which it becomes something that can’t be named, that we have the case of a half relationship, and it was always there with no name attributed to it. I remember more than one case with such a situation, related to friends, cousins, neighbours and from parts of those tales from schools and colleges which are told by someone we know.
Long ago, there were these two people, this boy and girl who competed for the first rank in the class. These two have been so strong with the evil subjects like Mathematics that one case of full marks in it pushed me directly to the third. I had always found them united in Mathematics, a quality which they had carried over to the higher classes. For me, Mathematics was a dangerous thing, and being united in it felt strange; there was no Romeo and Juliet in Mathematics, I had thought. But the way in which they competed and helped each other in the subject meant that they were so good in the subject and complimented one another.
I wished that I could score better in the languages, but the highest one could score for English was about five marks less than hundred, and a higher level of marks was not yet invented for Malayalam – my Hindi was only at the developing stage with new Bollywood movies being watched; so they held the top two positions for very long. By the time we were about to leave the school, all the students in the class were certain that there was something between them, a force which couldn’t be named, as the term “half relationship” was not invented yet – but the news just spread across the school, and everyone seemed to be confident that they were more than just friends.
Both of them found it quite easy to deny the same, and the girl could actually deny such an allegation with more ease – maybe the boy would have accepted it as truth if forced to, but the exams were approaching quickly and people went on with it. The two possible half lovers were not seen together much after that though, and some other girl who had half love for Physics and Chemistry had topped the class. There was not much heard about the Mathematics couple after that, and they finished further down in the ranks; most people blamed it on the tough Mathematics paper and the rest on a half relationship which was rumoured to be there.
Then, many years later, one day, while having Vegetable Puffs and Blackcurrant Shake at Navya Bakers which has been my favourite bakers for quite some time, someone called me by my name. The stranger told me that I hadn’t changed a bit from school, and I said to him that it is because I had shaved, and otherwise he would have to search for my face inside the beard. I also told him that whoever he is, has really changed, and I won’t be recognizing him without help. He introduced himself with a Mathematics problem, and even though I wanted to run away with the evil subject beginning to attacking me again, recognized him easily.
He was talking a lot about balancing the equation, and when the girl with him joined the conversation, I understood the fact – the Mathematical couple was together again; what was a half a relationship had become full in marriage. Well, that would solve their life’s equations with ease, I thought. They had found each other again while doing MTech again, and with her repeating for engineering twice, he had two extra years to get settled in life and ask for her and in marriage; the community and religion being the same, and the half equation had become full. I ordered one pista shake as his treat and wished them best of luck, and hoped that all which were half, would become full again – half girlfriend to full girlfriend, half lover to full lover, and all things finally complete with marriage. Even now, when I see the equations of Mathematics, I remember two special equations which went on to solve the problem themselves.