They say that every childhood crush is first true love. If not for Steve Jobs, I would have married mine.

October 2003

I grew up in a small town in North Karnataka. Folks from my place had plenty of time to sit on front porches and discuss topics ranging from letting Sonia Gandhi rule our country to the textures of Pedha. Everyone knew everyone. There was comfort in knowing everyone around you, Neighbors became Kaka-Kaki, and their kids became your Anna-Tangi. All was well until the arrival of Sanju.

Sanjana joined our school during the second semester of 5th standard, her father worked at Dharwad University. I always tried to escape his proximity, I was scared that he would make Sanju call me as Anna. The fact that they were our neighbors made my life difficult.

Everything changed that day, both our families went to watch Koi Mil Gaya. Once the movie was over, we started our long walk towards home. Dads being Dads started discussing the fate of our nation and Moms started discussing …umm…erm…I don’t know, I was busy controlling my blushes. The only thing on my mind was Sanju and the only thing on her mind was its magic, her favorite song, Later I got to know that every time the song came on TV, she danced. That’s when I decided what to gift her on her birthday.

One month later…

The cost of original song cassette was 40 rupees. With a single goal in mind, things looked clear. Nothing was spared, from saving every paisa of pocket money to occasional adventures involving Dad’s wallet and Mom’s purse, even Saturdays’ breakfast money was sacrificed. Hitherto, only 16 rupees were saved. With her birthday fast approaching, there was a sense of hara-kiri and the only solution to my problem was Ajja, He was our soft target in times of tragedies.

Ajja, how dare you forget my birthday?’ I questioned.

He looked confused.

It was my fifth birthday in as many months, Ajja’s amnesia made my job easy. With a total of 26 rupees in hand, I ran towards my best friend, Ganpya’s house. Due to the lack of adequate funds, we devised a plan. We bought an empty cassette worth 25 rupees. We would use his brother’s Walkman to secretly record its magic from a record store.

Ganpya was tasked with distracting the record store owner with one of his gimmicks. He took the owner outside the store. Needless to say, our mission was successful.

Finally, the fateful day arrived. In a white frock, she was looking like that Nirma soap girl. I shook her hands and wished her happy birthday. Little did I know about the impending doom. Just when I thought of giving her my present, Her Uncle knocked on the door. He had come all the way from Delhi to celebrate her birthday. He gifted her an iPod. Which had hundreds of songs prefilled, including Its magic.

Damn You, Uncle!

Damn You, Steve Jobs!



Anna – Brother
Tangi- Sister
Kaka – Uncle
Kaki – Aunt
Ajja – Grand father.
Koi Mil Gaya – A science fiction fantasy film starring Hrithik Roshan released in 2003.
It’s Magic – A song from Koi Mil Gaya

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