In the late 13th century, when the French Mathematician Pierre De Maricourt discovered that opposite magnetic poles attract each other, little did he envision that the “opposites attract” phenomenon would be re-characterized by Big Cinema to sell a bunch of popcorn and romance. In much of the same spirit, little did we realize that our snobby teenager selves would each fall for a person so unlike ourselves and end up rooting for this cinematic cliche with all our heart and wit. As Madhuri Dixit would say, K Sera Sera. But this is not just a story about whatever will life and love be - it is about how that makes you feel everything between “joie de vivre” and “majjaa aa gaya”.
It started out innocently with a shy teenaged boy sharing some candies on his birthday with his class and a blissfully boisterous girl demanding she get two. But this young adult romance only truly materialized when this quiet kid sent a verbose email which the blithe girl found lurking in her inbox several months later. Cut to circa 2020, cue Google chat, and fast forward through several nights spent blasting IMs through cranky dial up internet, we found ourselves on the side of a hill in Araku, overlooking a pristine valley, thrilled by the discovery of how much we cared for each other and the prospect of spending our lives together.
We’re Jasmine + Shasank, and this is Jashan, our life, our love, our story!
There’s a little known Hindi song by Mohit Chauhan and Shreya Goshal where the guy is all waxing lyrical about love while the girl asks him to stop beating around the bush and come straight to the point. That’s us!
I am the early bird that wakes up at dawn even on the weekends to catch the sunrise while she is the night owl that can stay up long into the night discussing life and dissing everything senseless in it. He will bore you with the slowest moving western movie while I can’t stand it if the DJ doesn’t mix it up every few minutes. I am the constantly scrambling action-item fiend while she has all the patience in the world that has been the bedrock of our relationship. He is the sentimentalist who gets all crumpled by romance while I can devour a weekend full of true crime documentaries without as much as a squint in the eye. I am all about trying out new cuisines and facing culinary failures while she prefers a trusted, simple home cooked meal. He will plonk himself with his camera outside a vista while you will find me climbing rocks and sand dunes inside that very vista.
More so, in life, I have the opportunistic naïveté to his cautious cynicism. I have the careful optimism to her pragmatic pessimism. I am all about the “desi masala tadka” while he favors subtleties. I prefer artful curation while she relies on abject minimalism*. I bring the compassion while he brings the color.* I bring the energy while she brings the solidarity. He brings thoughtful togetherness. She brings unconditional love.
Early on into our relationship, we started discovering that this is more than the need for companionship and what Shahrukh Khan promised romance would be; and certainly more than what each of us is bringing to the mixtape. It started evolving into a paradigm that not only meant something profound but also one that gave our lives a striking new compass. One that would knock us out of our personality comfort zones like that first cold surge of ocean water on your feet at the beach; or a finely brewed masala chai.
Being with someone cut from a very different fabric is an experience that catches you off-guard in the best possible ways. On one level, it questions your notions and challenges your biases. Then, it brings you newfound respect for things unconsidered. Above all, it makes you question what it means to be human - in both life’s daily dalliances and noteworthy phases. It’s like an early morning sunrise hike into the mountains - you grind through the alarm and the ascent - but the reward is transcendence. We’ve been fortunate enough to have had 12 years of this quest.
As we turn the page into the 13th year of this relationship, we wanted to take a step back and celebrate with the people that have given us many moments to embrace over this time - you. And we wanted to do it through the one way that we are completely on the same page on - dance. So dust off your dancing shoes and we hope to see you at Jashan on the 23rd of July!
P.S.: Jasmine here, extensive googling may or may not have been involved in writing my end of the dialogue in this piece (wink wink)