What can you say about a 25 year old girl

…who died? That she was beautiful and brilliant? That she loved Mozart and Bach, the Beatles, and me?”

The writer of these immortal lines died on Sunday night at the age of 72.  He made thousands of us curl into shrimp like balls and sob as we turned the last page of Love Story.  And taught us all that love means never saying sorry. RIP Erich Segal.


Life often imitates art and Amir Khan’s 3 idiots seems to have had the exact opposite effect that it was meant to. The suicide toll in Mumbai is up at 13 in the last 2 weeks. We really are a country of idiots. And yes, the education system does need reforms. So what do you think of Kapil Sibal’s latest?


63 thoughts on “What can you say about a 25 year old girl

  1. “What can you say about a 25-year old girl who died? That she was beautiful and brilliant? That she loved Mozart and Bach, the Beatles, and me?”

    I had always always loved those lines.

  2. I second Anjali.
    It’s like, you know from the very darn beginning that she died. From the very first sentence. And yet… in the end, you’re still crying like a baby.
    RIP Erich Segal. Hope you had a wonderful life!

  3. oh dear you brought the goosies on with those lines… There can never be another LoveStory. Its sequel was no good either. I liked lots of his others as well. RIP, Erich Segal.:-( You made a lot of people wonderfully happy and sad.

      • LOL do I really?? 😀 I comment on most of your newsy stuff, tho I read all….
        I commented on your review of PoI :-p Particularly remember that, cos I went out and bought the book after that, and I’ve LOVED it too!! 😀

  4. I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t read Love Story and howled and wished they’d find love like that. I read it as a 13 year old, watched the movie even earlier and cried and fell in love with the story and character on both occasions.

    RIP Erich Segal, and thank you for one of the greatest love stories!

  5. Re Kapil Sibal. I assume that we cannot make an omlette without breaking an egg.

    Correcting the mistakes of the past cannot be without pain.

    Hope the move to create a competitive landscape in education gathers force quickly.

    • Yay to Sibal’s latest.. I have seen how these ‘Deemed’ universities work.. It would be great to do away with them..

      • I hope it is not a blanket decision as the performance depends on the university. I graduated from BITS Pilani which has consistently ranked amongst the top ten engineering universities in the country and it is a ‘deemed university’. And I feel this gave the university a lot more latitude with coming up with more rigorous syllabus and better grading schemes. It also freed the university from constant government interference regarding reservations, admission tests etc. Ultimately the government should look out for fraud and bad practices, but shouldn’t get into the business of deciding how universities should be run. Let the consumer judge the quality of the university.

        • Ajay Shah (a noted economist) has listed the following features which cater to excellence in universities.

          1.No government approval required for budget; budget-making happens at the university and university alone.

          2. Reduced government role in the core funding of the university.

          3. High inequality of wages: two academics of the same seniority and rank should get different wages.

          4. Full flexibility in recruitment of students.

          5. A big role for competitive processes for gaining funding for research.

          6. It helps if the university president has strong scientific accomplishments.


      • Well, I thought MM will block this. But, she’s way too cool 😉

        Cambridge university has a group called Cambridge Women’s Pornography Cooperative: http://www.wannasnuggle.com

        And the say “CWPC members have opted to keep their membership roster unpublished, out of concern that our colleagues in academia, medicine, and the media may still have underdeveloped senses of humor”

        Wonder how I can be a part of this secret community!

  6. “Doctors” is one of my favorite books as well as Love story and Oliver’s Story. The first one made me laugh and made me think about becoming a doctor (I didn’t) and the other two made me cry. RIP Eric Segal.

  7. … except well ask a Man who tried those very lines on a girl only to blow up in smoke. Ok so she was not exactly 25 and more like 24 going on 16 , brainy but not in a “Do you think it is air you are breathing?” way, beautiful sans the make up , didn’t know her Beethoven from Mozart if they came and nibbled her toes ( not an imagery you would want to have) , was alive and kicking (literally sometimes ).

    And O she did love the Man apparently. Until she went and married someone else.

    Reality continues to ruin many a romantic man’s life 😛 So he can be excused if he quotes more Woody Allen than Eric Segal.

      • Close but no cigar 😛 She went and got married because I wasn’t looking at a long term relationship then 🙂

        What do you mean “done the job on me?” 😛
        Why? am I not a catch?
        ( Err…hello? What’s with the silece? that WASN’T rhetorical!! Oh well.. )

        Ah come on I am not jaded..some are romantically cynic…and others are cynically romantic. I lie somewhere in between.

        • no no, you’re a catch i am sure (although i dont know you from Adam!) but all the cynicism and I knew some woman had something to do with it. men dont get wise until they’ve broken their hearts a coupla times.

          • To quote Allen , “Well no one has asked for their money back ” :p

            ( Note to self: You should stop quoting Allen )

            Though lets be fair to Eve..it was either Adam or Lucifer. Sometimes I wonder whether Eve made the right choice..

            *stereotype alert *
            It would help the poor m. of the s. if you women folk know what you want before inextricably drawing the men folk into the vortex of romantic hell. Considering most men lie on the border of desperateville 🙂

            Sigh! Women..

          • No wonder he had some sane advice way back when I was going through a bad patch. Damn, i should have acted on the dinner invite you extended, Nowhere man 🙂

            • Ha ha well you know unlike marriage proposals, a dinner invitation is something which can be open in perpetuity :p

              Unless you are in queen’s own land now, it can be done virtually..look at the bright side. You dont have to have a “wing woman” to call you in the middle of the dinner , make frequent visits to the rest room, fake a heart attack, fake lack of appetite, kill a relative etc :p
              ( Not that any of the above has happened to my dinner dates 😛 )

              All you have to do is fake a bad connection and viola! we will be done 🙂

    • Mr. Nowhere man, you weren’t ready for a relationship, she moved on. don’t be cynical now! what did you expect her to do? grow a beard and become a drunk? na na! that’s what Men do! 😛

      • There is a bit more to it than me merely having cold feet ( I wasn’t ) 🙂 I can give or take the beard but wouldn’t mind her drunk 😛

        This quote just reminded me of her and I went into one of those “It could have been..” moments. Wait you dont go into that? Married? Spouse reading next to you, dear Bharathiya Naari ? ?:P

        And o my cynicism and empathy is more grandiose..a deep concern for la conditione humaine. And if I ever admit that not only will MM kick me out of here but I will inevitably throw a spanner into Nature’s plans of propagating my genes ( “Darling next time you get all existential you will be relegated to the couch till Camus comes back from the grave ” )

        Such are the travails of straight men,mice and finicky women..

        • Moi???! married, bharatiya naari?! lol! You’ve judged too soon!
          I’m 28,single, just getting used to the fact that my ex is now married to someone his parents chose cos they didn’t want a girl “from the south” and wondering what the rest of my life will be like. My life is full of what-ifs! 😐 Eg: what if i had chosen someone with balls?! 😛

          • Oh.. i ve a friend who had the same predicament.. She now feels sorry for that one woman who did not have the fortune to have escaped this spineless guy coz she was NOT from the south!!!:)

          • Ah mea culpa. I was obviously kidding. Ya well when you women folk look north of Vindhyas to contribute your genes for national integration, you forget there are pretty good ones south of Vindhyas as well 😛

            • This is turning into a north south debate. 🙂 But yea. personally i prefer the ones to the south..

              I kinda am partial to the brainy ones you know 😛

          • Haha, Sonia, that reads like my story, only i am 2 yrs younger and the ex is on the verge of marrying the punjabi thing his mommy darling has chosen – not the chocolate skinned, christian south indian that i am(Heaven forbid!!:P)

            You made up for it with your last sentence tho -the next one i choose, it will be someone with balls 🙂

  8. On another note, reading Erich Segal when I was 13, I was Laura Castellano, out to rid the world of all its physical ills…I was the Jew in an Israeli settlement, discovering all things kosher..and now, more than a decade later, still capable of curling up with my copy of the Love story on pms-sy nights, crying buckets at the story… Sigh…RIP, Erich Segal.

  9. MM : “oh come on. all men know that women want marriage. now if you can work with that as a given, you’ll be a more peaceful lot
    sigh. men! ”

    I smell an argument brewing here…:) Ok I know I know we should all be mourning Eric Segal’s death with the “Where do I begin” by Francis Lai in repeat loop , but bear with me when I pick bones with the statement that,”All women want marriage” .

    I would heartily agree if you had said ,”Most homosapiens need companionship” but extending it to “marriage” which is a social contract at best and self fulfilling restrictive social Wrist lock at worst, aren’t we perpetuating an outmoded social phenomenon here?

    Do you mean to say a Man who says, “Look I am with you because I want to be with you – and I dont mean it in the sappy Jerry Maguire “you complete me” way – and not because we are “married” and society mandates it is less expensive to stick rather than call it quits, also not because you are the only one who is willing to sleep with me but because I like the way you are ( except when you are PMSing then you become a real..you know ) .” ? 😛

    O FSM! 😛

      • Of course I am. Why would you think I wasn’t ? Seriously what’s the fixation about marriage ? Am I going about it the wrong way ? Why didn’t I get the memo ?

        • you did. now sit down and write 100 times. the average woman is looking at marriage. not all of them, granted, but obviously the one that got away – and a whole other bunch too!

          • Ah ! So much for feminism 😛 I will quote this to her..especially the average part 😉 Be wary of a woman scorned and that sort of thing:P Considering most women I know “aver age” as not applicable to them :p

            On a serious note I don’t agree with you 🙂 Marriage is just a label. I wouldn’t want my partner to stick to me because she is “married” to me…I would want that because I am her best choice! 9 who can blame her? ) Sure if that means lesser taking of granted and more “actually working amicably “( read : “of course you are right, honey!” ) then so be it.

            Then again I am not settling for an average woman .No can do 😛

            • you sound like someone i knew. then the person matured. 🙂 and i dont mean this as a slight to you nm. am sure 10yrs down the line you will smile back with indulgence at yourself! mmmm *reminisces abt when she felt she knew all about relationships and exactly what she wanted from hers*.

            • LOL! not taken as one at all. i read my posts from three years ago and i can see the change. it would be terrible if i am the same person in ten years time and i mean that in the sense of evolving…

            • Ha.. ha ha.. do you have a blog Mr. Nowhere Man?

              I would really like to blogroll you!

              And yes.. the average.. “not so average” 😀 Indian woman.. is looking for marriage. Marriage translates to Commitment (right?!?!)

              I do agree with you though that marriage is but a contract, and that the people involved should want to be be with each other.. and that is the only thing that should bind them… but I think that we aren’t that matured as a society to do away with that contract yet 🙂

            • @librantoo :

              “Immature”? 😛 Really? Great! that’s what I need..:) Au contraire ten years back I used to smile with “indulgence” but now I pretty much know what I can offer and what I need in return. I am more than aware about the role of serendipity, compromise and ‘being at the right place at the right time’ for most things in life. I have no regrets exactly but doesn’t mean I cannot articulate what I “think” about many things which society thinks it is taboo to question.

              @sunshinesafar : Yup have a blog but not active. Lets not blame it on society..letsjust say the partners who come into the relationship need the certificate to work around things rather than throw in the towel. I “maybe” in the naive minority who believe that the actual work begins post marriage/livein where need to be more accommodative of each other’s interests and work towards sustaining it rather than take each other for granted because ,hey-, we have a marriage certificate and the spouse is not getting away that easy…:)

              You see “commitment”there..I see “safety net” ,”esteem issues” and diminishing sexual currency there.
              Both of us are not wholly incorrect.

        • Yaar.. you men.. how long are you gonna give this explanation on ‘does marriage bind?’ ‘do you women want a bond’..
          Gah.. stop calling a spade a tree.

          Yes.Women (most of them ) want marriage. And all these connotations associated with marriage are ‘Man’ made.

          It is like asking a cricketer.. do you really need that trophy to feel you ve won!!

    • I totally agree with you Nowhere Man. Marriage is a contract from my point of view. But for some it is a symbolic thingie…..and it’s a quaint little charming practice if kept that way.

      I’m an average married woman. But, if I could have gotten my way, I would be living in with my-now-hubbie. I did it in return for my parents accepting him to the family. They walk in my path for some…and then I walk in their path for some…

      I like to believe that people stay in a relationship because they want to – not because they are expected to. And it is easier to believe so if they are not married.

      • Why this need to have to prove that people will stay in a relationship only when they want to?

        there are dead marriages and dead relationships everywhere. why blame the celebration called marriage?

        • …this harks back to my original point. If people are staying in a “dead marriage” and a “dead relationship” there is something seriously wrong.

          I wouldn’t want mine to be for mere social validation. Sure there is more to it than meets the eye..gets complicated if children come into the picture. But there are better options than pretending everything is hunky dory or blaming it all on “fate”.

          But hey that’s just me. Different strokes..different people.

          • Which proves my point.. ‘Dead’ is the operational word here.. not ‘marriage’.

            Marriage, relationships, binding are all beautiful when alive.

            I hope men get the perspective to see the beauty in them when there is ‘life’ in it.Women.. who have that sense of perspective seek that celebration called ‘marriage’ and when we say we want marriage.. we saw we want ‘happy’ marriage.

            on hindsight.. that word is good for us folks.. it weeds out the weeds 🙂

  10. Oh yes I’ve cried my eyes out on that one, but I found it quite cliched. RIP Segal.
    The others which have made me equally weep are The notebook, P.S I love you, A walk to remember. One of them a book.

  11. I’ve actually been entertaining myself by watching Salman Khan’s “press conferences”. More like a hate fest. Gotta love it when the man starts dishing out advice to students who kill themselves.

    • @ Amrita
      Oh yeah, he must say “why do you kill yourselves? Just go and sleep on a pavement in mumbai, I might come that way once in a while, you might get lucky!” LOL

  12. Speaking of life imitating art, did you know that the hero Oliver in Love Story was based mostly on Tommy Lee Jones (less on Al Gore) and when the movie came out, Oliver was played by Jones? 🙂

  13. Adding my two cents to the conversation between MM and Nowhere Man: No, not every woman wants marriage, but if we meet a man we really really want to be with, then what’s wrong in wanting to marry him and spend the rest of our lives with him. Sure marriage is only a social contract and all that, but any relationship is a contract (albeit a verbal or an implied contract but a contract nevertheless). I know there are women out there, who will marry the first guy that comes along, just because she (or most likely her parents, if they are Indian) wants to be someone’s wife, but for the majority of us, if we want to get married, we want to get married to the person whom we want to spend the rest of our lives with, the person we can’t imagine being without. Yes, sometimes we have to settle for less than that (like our ex, who married someone else, because she couldn’t marry YOU). I’m not married (I almost was, but the loser I was with, broke it off because his daddy said so.Like I said, loser), but if I do eventually get married it won’t be because its cheaper (I mean it is cheaper, what with the rent and tax breaks, bulk groceries are cheaper than the one person quantities that I buy and not to mention that anyone’s credit history is better than mine) or because my parents said so, or because I want stability in life (I don’t know who said marriage brings stability, having dealt with almost inlaws and their mercurial behaviour) but because I want to wake up every morning next to the man I love, because I want to spend every possible minute with him (not really, I don’t think I can spend that much time with anyone but myself), because I want him to be my family, my concience, my sounding board. All this is possible in a live in relationship as well, but no matter how committed we are to each other, there is always an easy exit. In a marriage, you work through your trouble together without thinking of divorce every other day. I don’t see any difference between a long term live in relationship and a marriage, so why not get married? Your kids would defn appreciate it. And yes most women want kids someday. Even a borderline committment phobic like me. Obviously you get a lot for 2 cents with me 😀

    • you put it better babe. every woman wants not maybe the social contract, but some sort of commitment from the man she loves. i see no harm in that. and frankly, i look at it this way – there’s no harm in marriage and if you do plan to stay with a woman for, well, ever… then why not go the whole hog?

      and its so good to see women get up and dust themselves off after being done with the ‘daddy said so’ type wimps

    • Yup great! You are almost there with the point am trying to make! I wasn’t arguing for a live in relationship vs marriage thingy. I was saying I wouldn’t my woman to stay with me because she “feels” obligated to by the social contract called marriage.

      “Working out differences” happens in every relationship..live in or marriage.

  14. Ok, I admit it! I did not like Love Story when I first read it. (Waits for all the horrified gasps and the “ What! You out of your mind?‼”s to die down. Waits some more while those discussing her taste in literature, or lack thereof reach a conclusion – it is that I have the literary taste of an orang-utan, if you must know).
    But I was 16, and had never had even a teensy weensy crush. And I though books like these were just building expectations that could never be met, not in real life anyway. I mean, love like that -it all seemed somewhat fairy tale–like to me and which “grownup and mature” girl of 16 believes in fairytales?
    That was till I met the one man I could love, at the grand old age of 24. And married, 11 months later. And went back to read the Love Story. And was howling, howling I tell you, by the last page.
    RIP, Eric Segal. And God bless you for making so many people so happy and dreamy eyed, if a little teary-eyed too!
    ( this became almost a post in itself, sorry! would understand if you did’nt publish it)

      • well, may be not appreciate the writing, but to really connect with the way these two just-out-of-college youngsters are willing to do anthing to build a life together.

        I wasn’t sure love like that is real, till, well, it was!

  15. I came by to post comments, feeling all mushy and full of sighs…. and then I read comments between you and the Nowhere Man! 😀

    So mood back to cheerful 🙂

    RIP Erich Segal… you filled our teenage with a lot of pleasant “what-ifs” 🙂

  16. Have found Mr. Nowhere Man’s observations funny!

    But Mr. No Where Man, don’t you think she did exactly what you had mentally signed up for. Except she left before you did 🙂

    • Babel Fish :
      Now it is such a bizarrely impossible coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the nonexistence of God. The arguement goes something like this:
      “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”
      “But,” say Man, “the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED.”
      “Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t though of that” and promply vanishes in a puff of logic .

      – 42

      Ouch! Mademoiselle Anjali reading your point I had the same feeling the first time I read the above from you-know-where. Something about it wasn’t right but I wasn’t right away able to point it out :P:)

      But I do realize that with such a mental outlook I am setting myself for a self fulfilling prophesy either way if the relationship works out or doesn’t! ouch! That’s no fun is it ?

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