Who does not want to fall head over heels in love and forget about everything and just let go? We all in a way are looking for people we can love and people that can love us, just human nature.
If you have any romances that you’ve experienced abroad when travelling please send us your story here. This Month’s Story – Sergei’s
“I was an international student studying in India. Being Russian, I stood out like sore thumb from the rest of the crowd, and people always asked me if I drank vodka every day or if we fight with bears like it’s a thing. While it was sometimes absurd and downright ignorant, the questions were always amusing.
However there was this Indian girl in class, who never asked me the types of questions that are simple, but she always dug deeper into more meaningful areas of my culture. Such as how the USSR affected the livelihood of the people now in Russia, and the relationship Russia has with former union countries. Her deep thought and genuine desire to learn more about Russia drew me towards her, and so did I about Indian culture and how everything worked here.
While I had my stupid questions about the caste system and why a lot of people were poor in India, she never got offended, but in a way it saddened her and she cared about making it a better place for the future generation. This made me like her even more, and before I knew it, I was head over heels in love with her.
The only problem with confessing my feelings and desires to be more than friends with Lakshmi (Not really her name, but for the story’s sake) was her religion and how strict her family was about dating someone from a different culture, specially a different country.
She never told her family about me and for the most part kept our friendship on a low profile. However, it was hard for me just see her as a friend, and one night I decided to invite her out to party a few of my friends were hosting, she happily agreed and told me she’d meet me at the place.
My friend Patel (not really his name), the host of the party, knew about the whole situation with Lakshmi and I. Little did I know he was going to tell the whole group of attendees about what was going on between Lakshmi and I.
However, I did not know at the time, but it became obvious when everyone started to give me that look of “I know who you like”. A few of Patel’s friends were giving me advice to dating Indian girls and what they like, etc haha, but it was as if time had stopped when Lakshmi walked into the party. She was wearing the most beautiful Sari that I had ever seen, and I found myself at a loss of words.
Nervous, I took a big shot of alcohol, and walked over to say hi. She looked even more beautiful up close and my heart was skipping a few beats here and there. I introduced Lakshmi to Patel and the rest of the few people who were at the party, but before we knew it, everyone else had moved to the next room. Patel gave me big thumbs up with a smile discreetly and excused himself to the other room.
A bit awkward… However, tipsy from the alcohol, I gazed into her deep brown eyes and reached over to kiss her. She seemed surprised and kind of pulled away, but slowly she leaned in to kiss me as well. Ohh the sparks and the magic! I still remember it like yesterday.
We talked and talked throughout the party about life, our childhood stories, the plan for the future, and after the party, I walked her over to her home. She gave me a quick peck on the lips and ran inside, before her family could see her with me.
The next 3 months, we were “dating” secretly. Her friends didn’t really know about me, nor did she mention it. Her family never knew I existed for the matter, but I wasn’t complaining as long as I was with her. She taught me a lot about India’s history, its culture, and everything was just perfect.
It was nearing the end of my exchange program, but as the date got closer and closer, Lakshmi seemed more and more distant. One day, she ended up not showing up for a class, and she seemed to be avoiding me altogether. She did not respond to my text messages, and she made it almost impossible to reach her. It was killing me! I had my finals in just a few days, but I could not sleep or focus because all I kept thinking about was her, and why she suddenly did not want to talk to me at all.
Despite my sleepless nights, I did finish my exams, and it was a month before I left home for Russia. I planned on spending the month travelling throughout India with Lakshmi, but there was a note in my dorm room when I got back. It was from Lakshmi, and as I opened the letter, it was what I had feared most.
The note said she could not see me anymore and that I should not try to reach out to her. I was confused, heartbroken, and blindsided. I tried to call her for several days, but she did not answer nor returned my messages. If only I knew her friends or had a way to reach them, but I never got the chance to be in her social circle.
I tried not to think about Lakshmi as much as humanly possible, but on the last day when I was packing up to leave for the month trip around India (now by myself), there she was standing at the door. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Smiling ear to ear, I walked towards to hug her, but she was almost crying. She embraced me with a long warm hug, but still tearful.
She helped me to finish packing up and suggested we get something to eat. As much as I tried, I could not be mad at her, I was just happy she was there with me. We sat at the school cafeteria, and Lakshmi started tearing up again. I told her I wasn’t mad at her and that I was just happy she was with me. The next few words she responded with destroyed me.
“I am engaged” she told me. It was an arranged marriage, and that there wasn’t anything she could do. Finally, everything made sense as to why she never introduced me to her friends and family. Lakshmi started crying and gave me a kiss before she walked off. Dumbfounded I sat there hoping she would turn around and come back, but she just kept on walking and walking until she disappeared.
That was the last I saw her and spoke to her. I still think about her to this day and it’s been more than 10 years. Although I am happy with where my life is now, it’s hard to not think about her from time to time and wonder what if. What if she did not have to be engaged to someone else? What if we weren’t students and met each other a different point in life?
However, I realize there’s no point in asking those questions, because it only brings further suffering. I am glad I met Lakshmi though, and cherish the moments with her very fondly. Sometimes life does not always have happy endings, if it did, she would have canceled her engagement to be with me, but life is life.”
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