It was a very cold December in 2012 when my life changed forever, I had just started to recover from a deep depression which had left me unhealthy, exhausted and completely depleted. I felt there was something was missing, I was suffering from a deficiency of some kind, I couldn’t work out what.
I’ve been a vegetarian since I was about fifteen years old. One evening, I felt so weak I needed to take action. I picked up my phone bought chicken from the local chicken shop, thinking it might be animal protein I needed to fill the dull emptiness.
I woke up the next day feeling awful. I looked at the box of chicken bones and let out deep sobs into my pillow, not for the remains of the bird, for what little remained of me. I took the box and, still in my pyjamas, I walked the short distance to the sea. Dawn had just broken, a heavy salty mist hung over the pebbles. I threw the box of bones into the sea and watched it float back and forth in waves for a while. I saw the misty outline of someone walking in my direction along the shore, so I left the beach and slept until the evening.
When I woke up, I tidied my bedroom, made a large cup of tea and brushed my hair. I decided it wasn’t meat I needed, it was self care, patience and time. I considered I might be lacking in protein too, I wanted to do vegetarianism better. I opened my laptop and became a member of a vegetarian forum, eager to learn more about getting the right nutrition on a vegetarian diet. Minutes after signing up, I received a message.
I wasn’t the person who spoke to strangers online, it was something I found odd and unnecessary. Usually I would completely ignore any messages from unknown senders, but for some unknown reason, I replied.
My heart started to beat faster as in no time we were discussing everything about our lives in uncensored detail. It was unbelievable how intense the conversation became with this faceless person within minutes. Trying to come with an explaination, I wondered whether we had a past life connection. As this thought crossed my mind the words, “we must have known each other in previous lives” popped up onto my screen.
These moments of synchronicity continued, it was as if we could read each other’s minds. I couldn’t believe it. Within hours we started to imagine our a life together. Had I gone mad? I realised I loved him, but, how could this be? We hadn’t met, we hadn’t even seen each other.
He was in New Jersey and I was in England. He had gone to America from India to gain his masters degree and stayed there for work. After just a week of instant messaging, he had asked me to marry him. One week after that, he had quit his job and booked a flight back to India so he could tell his family that he had met the woman he wanted to marry. The flight was via London with a long layover.
I stood as still as stone, my gaze fixed on the arrivals board. The moment came and when I saw him I was filled with joy, I can still see him coming through those double doors. We had ten beautiful hours together before he had to catch his connecting flight to Mumbai.
We took the underground to central London and walked around the street lamp lit city under soft rain, we saw the sights and talked all night. We seemed to be the only people in London. Those hours past in a heartbeat and soon it was time for us to separate. I cried hysterically when it was time for him to leave. I could feel my heart telling me to never let go of him.
Life was hard during the months after London, but he kept me going throughout. I completed my masters degree, and now it was my turn to catch that flight to Mumbai.
In June 2013, I arrived in India for the first time, only six months after our first online conversation. We had a secret marriage ceremony in a temple, just the two of us, one week later. I had found what I had been looking for.