I might have been 10.Raju mama used to visit us at least once a week.His arrival among many other things was very eagerly awaited by me.He used to buy a packet of orange cream biscuits.Dont remember the make but the taste used to stmulate the taste buds so much that the very thought of it even now makes me swallow saliva.
A very handsome person ,smartly dressed and having a PUFF hairstyle which he used to be very proud of.A comb in the pocket used to be his constant companion.In his mid twenties he was an eligible bachelor.
One day i found his visits to the bathroom was increasing and so was his visits to our house.I simply enjoyed it for the biscuits too kept coming.I asked my chitti as to why Raju mama had to use bath room so many times and with smile on her face she said he went there to comb his hair.Me ,being brilliant ,suggested to Raju mama that instead of visiting bathroom to comb his hair,we could locate a small mirror outside.He literally applauded me and in his next visit remembered to buy a small mirror(of course along with my orange biscuits)and hung it on the window near the bath room.
After that his time in front of the mirror was more than the time spent talking to us.None in the house bothered neither did I since my quota was regular.One day raju mama was talking to himself and his hands were showing some mudras!I ran back to my chitti and told her something was wrong with him since he has started talking to himself.Still my chitti reacted only with a smile.One day i saw Raju mama talking softly to some one across the window ,the neibouring house.Standing there was swathi, my friend sandeeps sister.Raju mama was talking to her and still combing his hair.
Then suddenly my quota of biscuits went dry since raju mama stopped coming home.Nobody talked about him too at home.Six months later I eaves dropped and understood that Raju mama had married our marwari neighbour and RAN AWAY..a terminology used for love marriage of yester years.
It all dawned on me ,the secret of combing hair and mudras in front of neighbours window.They must have planned. The meaning Love was not in my dictionary since ,unlike these days exposure to reality for us was close to zero.Today even a 5 year old knows whats love !
Of course as I grew up I also stood in front of mirrors and combed my hair.Results mostly were disastrous.But my AAsAAN on art of love was definitely Raju mama.!
Many years later ,after the traditional patch up, I met Raju mama who by now was a well settled business man,courtesy his wifes side.His PUFF in the hair had given way to baldness,but he had a comb in the pocket.I thought he must be gaurding it from his son,lest history repeated itself