Following the events of a creep bothering my roommate, and a great story I had read in ‘Chicken Poop for the Soul’, I was inspired to tweak the original story to the following. This was published as a Valentine's days special in my University newspaper in 2003.

None of your typical V day mush though! The speaker is your average creep, and this story may help to justify why creeps are the way they are.

“All you need is love…love is all you need” said the Beatles.

People talk about love all the time, They discuss it, preach it, make movies on it, overrate it…but no one could possibly know what love really means, the way I do. I learnt the true meaning of love right here, in Hyderabad Central University.

It all started at the famed tea-shop that people lovingly call ‘Gops’. A few years ago, the most beautiful girl in the world came there to have a cup of tea. She was a regular visitor, and occasionally, our eyes would meet, and she would demurely look away. I was careful to only look at her and not become a tea-shop starer in the process. (You see I was quite concerned about women and their issues). This carried on for months, but I never dared to speak to her.

As those months sped by, toward the end of each day, I found myself looking at my watch, counting the moments until I might see my mystery woman again. I began bunking my classes so that I could reach Gops early. I would lounge around, see her approaching on her cycle, and only then proceed to order a cup of tea for myself. As this went on and on, I realised, to my amazement, that I was falling in love with her.

Finally one bright sunny day, I summoned the courage to speak to her, “Excuse me, what is your….” And that’s when I saw her roommate yell “You’re engaged?!!! Wow! Congrats!!”

She was engaged. I was shattered. Suddenly, everything seemed vague and endless. I stopped going to Gops; I even stopped going to class! My fantasy, my dreams, heck, even my reality had been destroyed!

But one day, one fine day, I saw a stray dog eating from a garbage bin and an epiphany happened! I realized how silly I had been. Just because she was not free to love me, I had stopped loving her. I had fallen into a terrible trap. I realised that my love for her had been so dependent on her returning those feelings.

On that day, I realized that true love is unconditional. I had spent too much time all my life refusing to love another person until I could be sure that my love was returned. That was not love, that was simply a form of narcissism. The real expression of true love does not need anything in return, and I was in love with her.

I shaved, freshened up, read a bit (all this after what seemed like ages) and rushed to Gops at 6 p.m. sharp. I saw her, and this time, without any second thoughts, I stared at her. I realised that mere glances were not enough to show my true love for her. And so I kept staring at her, continuously, without batting an eyelid.

I kept this up for a week. I had to let her know that I could never lose sight of her, she was so precious to me. She would understand. To reassure her, I followed her all the way to her hostel. Sometimes I even followed her to her classroom or to the library. I would then happily turn around and proceed with my other work.

A few days later, I managed to find out her room number. To my luck her window was right in front of the hostel gate. I then started standing in front of her window, and with every glance of her, my love for her just grew. Every time she lifted the phone and said “Hello…hello…who is this?”, my heart throbbed for her. It did not matter to me that she did not love me – anyone can love a person who loves them back. But I was experiencing a truer love.

Her roomie had yelled at me on a couple of occasions. Her classmates would shout at me and hurl streams of abuses everytime they saw me. Some stronger looking men in her class even threatened to beat me up, but that did not stop me.

One freezing cold day she saw me standing outside her window, and came rushing outside, adorably bundled in shawl with tears in her eyes, asking me to stop it and to leave forever.

That was when I realized how much she cared for me – she knew about my asthmatic condition and was genuinely concerned, else why did she decide to speak to me personally? I loved her even more than ever. I promptly returned the next day, and continued to stalk her and stare at her, day after day; winter turned to summer, and this went on.

I was summoned by my faculty, the students’ union, the women’s collective and his Excellency the Vice Chancellor. They warned me to stay away from her. Anonymous people starting pasting posters about me all around the campus. I only smiled. What kind of weak love, I wondered, could be so easily deterred by the cold hands of law? True love, I knew, could not surrender so easily.

A few days later a big man approached me at Gops. He must have been her fiancé, who was never around for her the way I was. He punched me several times, in front of everyone. This, I understood, was a true test of my love. Too often in life I had allowed embarrassment or discomfort to force me to hide my feelings. Not any more. Each blow on my face strengthened my love for her, as they served to prove the depth of my feelings.

Whoever thought that being rusticated from the University would keep me away from her? If a flimsy piece of paper could stop me, then my love for her could not possibly be true.

Many others would have stopped after the first arrest, but those people are the kinds who are dependant on the feelings of others to determine their own feelings. If my love could not survive a few months of separation, it was mere infatuation. Lust. So on the day of my release I returned to her hostel. (The security guard was always asleep.) I stood in front of her window, loving her even more than ever.

The toughest test of my love came when they shifted me to the asylum. It has been a year now, and often I’ve wondered if I still love her. But I know that that is what they want me to think. And then I remember that true love cannot be defeated by time or distance; true love is eternal. And no matter how long they keep me locked away, no matter how long they test my resolve, the hour I am free I will return to her side.

For that is the true meaning of love.

“Whatever you do, I’ll be two steps behind you,
Wherever you go, and I’ll be there to remind you
That it only takes a minute of your precious time
To turn around, I’ll be two steps behind.”