Online Brand Building, Photography and Art by Naina Redhu 2009 #40and10in2020

This photograph is probably our first selfie together.

B wasn’t interested in talking with me, let alone seeing me in-person. I got his number from his brother, who told me never to disclose this piece of information – unless of course things worked out.

In late 2008, I called up B and told him he had to see me. Once. To let me explain / clarify. For Hood knows what reason, he agreed. We met at what used to be the “Wave” Mall (?) in Noida. Till the day I die, I will remember the looks on the faces of bystanders as B paced the grassy lawn, talking to himself angrily. He probably wanted to listen to me and agree with me but he was mad at himself for wanting to do that! ( This is my guess – I haven’t asked him – the “why” is inconsequential at this point. )

We sat down, eventually. Got a cold coffee and talked some more. WE went back to our respective homes. I had done my part, now it was upto him. At some point, we started exchanging text messages.

We were at an amusement park once – in Noida. And I recall that I was walking around like a zombie – I might have been depressed, I don’t know. B has always been far more enthusiastic about things like roller coasters. He was positively bubbling with energy. I was moping around, not participating in anything. He caught me by both my shoulders and literally shook me out of my trance. In a nice way. I snapped out of my misery a little bit. He was my friend and he wanted to help. I don’t think either of us was “in love” but we wanted to be there for each other.

In February, in the parking lot of a Noida Mall, I was in the passenger seat, B was getting ready to drive out of the parking lot, when he leaned in and kissed me – on the lips – and I completely freaked out but just for a couple of seconds.

All I recall from the rest of the evening is the smell of his leather jacket, on a rooftop somewhere in Noida.

A few months later, B’s Dadi (grandma), at a family friend’s wedding – remember, we were childhood family friends – told me that since I was such a good friend of B’s, I should look for a girl for him. I still laugh about that one from time to time.

2009, Still from a video I recorded – I sang the Nickleback Song “Savin’ Me”, dedicated it to B and sent him a link.

We were dating and these things happen.

We were figuring out what we wanted from thr relationship. I was definitely in no hurry to get married again. In fact, B and I talked about it and we didn’t even want to get married. We wanted to be with each other but we didn’t NEED to be with each other. We were doing fine. In retrospect this sounds like a commitment issue but then in August, there was a small get together and the “roka” happened. ( A “roka” is like a “reservation”, which signifies that the couple is, currently, reserved for each other – a formalization but not a big one. )

Invariably, wedding prep had started in everyone’s head except ours.

We were spending weekends together at B’s home – the same one from 1993. His Dadi ( grandma ) had obviously figured out that the girl I had found for him was me. 😁

Lots of driving back and forth between Noida & Gurgaon. B would come to Gurgaon sometimes but mostly it was me driving to Noida.

Less drinking & smoking. More happy. More boring even. Who knew that “boring” was something to aspire to!

I don’t remember a lot from this time – life was getting less interesting as it was getting more stable. ♥️

I had been planning to do a series of small pieces accompanied with photographs from each year of my life and publish them till the final post on my birthday. But due to the SARS-CoV-2 Lockdown, I’m not sure I will be celebrating my birthday anyway. So, I decided that I would start from photographs from around the time I started working. Previous years can be seen here : 1993, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008. Photographs prior to these years will need to be scanned and I do not have access to those albums right now. I might get around to scanning eventually. I turn 40 years old in 2020.

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