For our 16 year old guest blogger, the promise of a summer romance came with challenges from an unlikely quarter. Her own family! After a series of embarrassing mishaps, just when things were about to bloom, comes an unexpected twist! Read on, laugh with her and sympathize.

Troy Bolton. My first crush not only stole Gabriella’s heart in High School Musical, he also lodged the idea of a summer romance in my 11 year old heart firmly. “Start of something new” played on my ipod on repeat all through the rides we took every year from Pune to Goa.

Alas, nothing new ever started.  I mean, how could it, with my mother’s hawk eyes following sternly every move the skinny teens in their beach volley ball game made or my dad insisting that my little brother accompanied me wherever I went.

They may have well relaxed. The awkward hormonal teenage boys with pimples, growing stubble and voices that sometime croaked and other times squeaked were a far cry from Troy (Zac Efron), my idea of a perfect summer romance.

After several sweaty summers in Goa, came winters of 2015 and an exotic beach trip to Phuket, Thailand. Summers were a fail but what stopped my heart from believing that the winters would not bring that special person along?

Water slide funLove Bubble Bursts at the Pool

The person came by as I sat on a deck chair by the resort pool. I was tasked to oversee my little brother who wouldn’t stop sliding down the water slide. That was when I saw a pair of blue Ray-Bans reflecting the sunlight right back at me. Blushing, I sat up straight. (“Don’t slouch,” my mum’s repeated warning rang in my ears)

He was a part of a large entourage that included two bullying sisters, parents and some uncles and aunts. He probably understood my plight when we all heard my brother call out from across the pool. “You have got to see how many bubbles my fart can make inside the water!!” The embarrassing statement was followed by two huge bubbles emerging to the surface and bursting with a plop. “I think I need to run”, he said with a mischievous grin on his face as he climbed out and rushed to our chalet leaving droplets on the dry footpath. I looked back at Mr Sunglasses whose sisters could barely stifle their laughter over his object of interest whose brother had just sent stench of Pad Thai and prawn salad hanging ominously over the still air of pool.

I was not giving up.

Snorkeling at Phi PhiDeadly Splash Dampens All Hopes

My next encounter with Mr Sunglasses was on the motorboat to Phi Phi Island. The stars were clearly favoring me….what a pleasant coincidence it was to go snorkeling together! From here on, things would only proceed favorably, I was certain. I was past my motion sickness stage in life, looked a million bucks in my new swimwear and sarong. The setting was perfect as I boarded the boat last and landed up sandwiched between an elderly Asian gentleman and Mr Sunglasses himself (a co-incidence, I promise!) As he busied himself tying GoPro to his wrist, I decided to help myself to a glass of water that the snorkeling team had handed us. It was a weak plastic glass with a thin plastic cover, pretty much the same type we get at weddings in India. The boat staff had just demonstrated a way to open the glass by tapping the top with force. Being extremely fascinated with that and on a mission to impress, I tried the same thing. Failing at the first attempt, I tried the second time with greater force.  The water spurted out, soaking Mr Sunglasses and his GoPro.

Arghhhh! Had I just missed another chance?

Snorkeling: An Adventure of a different kind

The Mom Falls“Act cool. Pretend he isn’t around”, I repeated as I struggled to wear the life-jacket I was forced to wear. The hideous oversized fluorescent life-jacket was cramping my style, whereas Mr. Sunglasses got to go without it. All was forgotten as I entered the crystal clear waters teeming with radiant tropical fish swirling all around me.  Eager to share the beauty of the water with my family, I looked up to find my brother had carefully entered the water and was hovering close to the boat. My mom was precariously dangling from the foot rail, preparing for her jump.

And what a jump it was!  Losing her footing, she fell unceremoniously on top of my brother who was still gathering his wits around the deep ocean. A chaos ensued, with the boat staff rescuing my family from the waters.

For me, I hastily beat the retreat from the scene disowning them all.

Back on the boat, my brother couldn’t stop sharing his ordeal, while I kept telling to speak in Hindi without announcing the travails to the entire world and their sons.

Cupid Strikes over Cupcakes

After a disastrous day, the only thing that could calm my nerves was buffet. I skimmed through the counters and Feelings soar like those thai lanternsheaded straight to the desserts. Loading my plate with chocolate mousse, lemon tart and a small portion of tiramisu, I charged towards the last chocolate cupcake with abandon. Alas, someone with longer strides and hands had won the cupcake race. There he was…Mr Sunglasses sans sunglasses, looking down at me with a lopsided grin and raised eyebrows. Unsure of what to do, I smiled back.

“Oh, you can have this, ” said he offering the cake.

“No, its fine, I will wait.” said I.

“How was snorkeling?” he questioned… those dreamy blue-grey eyes piercing my brownish-black ones.

“It was cool. Were you able to get good underwater videos?”

“Yeap, do you wanna see ‘em?”

“Yah, sure”

As we stood waiting for the cupcakes to come, million possibilities cooked and my hopes  soared like those Thai lanterns children were lighting at the beach.

This was the moment I had been waiting for since Troy Bolton came singing into my life. It was finally the ‘start of something new’. We stood next to each other waiting for cupcakes to come from the kitchen in what seemed like an eternity. It was as though no one except us else existed until a loud clearing of throat snapped us back into reality.

Back to Reality

“Beta, the cupcake hae been here for the past 5 minutes. Take it before it goes.”, said my father wickedly.

“I’ll see you around”, I said and returned to a table that was oblivious to the fantasy I had just lived.

PS: Mr Sunglasses and his family returned to Australia the next day while I returned to my lucky deck chair by the pool.

Aditi TuliAbout Aditi Tuli:

Aditi is a sixteen year old living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She loves to travel and hopes that someday she will find Troy Bolton of her dreams on her vacations.


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