“Kal nau baje tum chaand dekhana ,
main bhi dekhunga
aur yun dono ki nigaahe chaand par mil jaayengi”
People in long-distance relationships often do weird and cringe-filled things like support each other or talk to the other person about their emotional problems. The lines above are a testament to how they try to find random things to relate to, such as looking at a common celestial body. The DASA crowd at IIIT goes a step further in dealing with these issues, as generally, time zone differences mean they can’t look at the moon at the aforementioned 9 pm.
Long-distance relationships are tough, and frankly statistically have a bleak chance of having a future. Yet, students in throes of passion and dreams ask out the cute girl from Humanities a day after JEE Advanced, because college milne ke baad life set, amirite? These ill-thought summer relationships usually last as long as an Indian man in bed, as reality and the 8 pm deadline of Assignment 3 for that one subject you hate sets in.
If long distance relationships are bad, college relationships might seem to be a better option. Obviously, the sex ratio means a college relationship is not exactly something the males in the campus can simply choose, but for the few lucky ones who manage to upgrade from sitting beside girls in Lecture halls, to sitting beside them in the benches near the field, it has its own set of challenges. As a bonus, however, they now get to experience the aforementioned “LDR” thanks to the current pandemic.
There are several problems with dealing with a LDR when also dealing with quarantine. A IIIT student on average is currently suffering through some form of withdrawal or other, and whether one indulged in herbal remedies or some cozy times in the shady part of BBC in late evenings, everyone has something to miss. People also involved with an internship now have video calls on Microsoft Teams, instead of the HouseParty or other apps being used by their counterparts not suffering the existence of being an engineering student.
While the ince-, uh, people at Bajrang Dal might be celebrating at not being forced to watch couples holding hands, couples do miss the warmth of being near each other. Be it OBH Road, or labs which remain open after 10pm, there are always things to miss. “Alternative” forms of hooking up can simply not compare to the romantic nights at the roof of T-hub. This lack of closeness also leads to lack of trust.
Issues can rise out of the smallest of problems. You heart-react the new profile picture of her roommate and now there is an issue. She dreams of a breakup, and now it’s an issue. Your relationship starts feeling less like a rom-com and more like the psychotic ramblings of some IHS term paper. You watch other couples post statuses like “I can’t espresso how important you are to me” and you wonder (after having taken a reasonable amount of time to cringe) if they are doing better than you. Insecurities plague your mind. It was cute to argue over where to go for dinner after midsems end, but it’s not really cute when you’re expressing your angst at night and the person whom you depend on is but an entity in your phone.
There also comes the more stereotypical long distance problems. “What’s up?” can only have a limited number of responses when your day is filled with binging some show and sleeping. Surely, media content is a great topic of conversation but it’s probably a little concerning when you talk more about Jim’s relationship with Pam than your own. There are silver linings too, quarantine means the chad from her high-school can’t meet her any more than you can. Even then, things are a little concerning. With such distance, you tend to forget the face of the other person, and the heavily-filtered images on Instagram with the dog ears aren’t very helpful. You try to fill in the gaps in intimacy by other means. But the gap in the heart can’t be filled by such means. No amount of gear by the other person in Club Penguin fills the emptiness caused by missing out on weekend trips to the mall. So, you hope. You hope that the pandemic will soon be over, and you can finally hold hands and walk the long road to the mess. You hope that you can go back to PDA around your friends so they get mildly awkwarded out by it. Most of all, you just hope to be back.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents including any semblance of love or someone to care for the author are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Credits: Special mention to Jyoti Sunkara for the constant supply of ideas and help and emotional and mental support and motivation and advice and backing and effort