By Pratik Bagaria (LT SL)
Waves of love in the ocean of thoughts amplify between dusk and midnight. Steady mizzle was insufficient to disturb the tranquillity of the state I was in – hot tea (with less sugar and extra ginger, exactly how I like it) and romantic melodies of Mohammed Rafi added to the enthralling ambience. My eyes were glued to the narrow road under my balcony. The pleasant fragrance of petrichor wafted up to where I was sitting in the balcony. I was trying to catch a glimpse of the faces underneath the umbrellas hoping to spot someone from the opposite sex.
This Saturday evening was the perfect antidote to my week long pain accrued due to the continuous emotional and verbal atyachaar of my new boss, Khanna. A smile was pasted on my face and my cheeks were leaving no space for the eyes to increase the field of vision for the beautiful girls passing by to fit into. I spotted a beautiful woman in a pink saree with an extra-large white dotted pink umbrella and the uncontrollable air in the lungs just gushed out in form of a whistle. I must add here that I am not a pervert but an honest admirer of everything and everyone beautiful.
She peeked up from under her umbrella and looked up towards my balcony. She was undeniably beautiful. It feels good when you are asked to hit one out of the park and you hit the one out of the stadium. Yes, you are gauging it right, cricket is my religion and I am in no mood to change it through a ghar wapsi. Never have I liked a moving object so much so myself being stationary (It’s all relativity, Physics happens to be my friend Anvesh’s favourite subject. Yes, it took him to IIT but limited his mind between 0 and 1, he is more binary now than ever!)
Save me! Save me!! The voice was so bad as if the female counterpart of Rafi in the song was shot with a bullet. Soon, I realized that the devilish voice was not from inside the stereo but from outside. I turned back to see that it was my Mom pointing at the same girl. This was enough to awaken the Sherlock in me. I was quick to discover that my Mom had shouted “Simmi! Simmi!!”, and not “Save me! Save me!!”. “Yes Aunty”, I heard in response, which was akin to violins playing in my heart. The two words were sweeter than sugarcane.
“Varun, can you go down and bring Simmi up?” Never have I obeyed my mother as much as I do my boss, but this was an exception. I sprang up from the bean bag and bolted down the stairs. At this point, there were plenty of questions in my mind. How does Mom know this woman, is she one of my distant cousins, did she hear the whistle, will she complain about my whistle to my mother, etc.
That day would go down in my life history! That day, I had accidentally worn my best casual outfit for no specific reason; not gone to the club as I do every Saturday to play Table Tennis with my friends; my Mom knew the same beautiful woman whom I was admiring; and out of the five keys, the first try of the keys clicked to unlock the door. After so many accidents in your life in quick succession, you definitely need a doctor. The door opens and the doctor was waiting to kill me with her beauty. I decided to live again only to die again and again. She was so beautiful that her beauty definitely is worthy of having a mention here,
More than ordinary was her face,
Altogether she was a different race.
Wet hair fell down past her ear,
She is the first in my blogosphere.
Her eyelashes had a feel of retro,
Its mascara gave some heal of metro.
Turquoise eyes and rosy cheeks,
Silence around as nobody speaks.
Gorgeous she looked, dressed in pink,
Eyes were supportive, as they didn’t blink.
She broke the silence with a “Hello”,
I followed with “Please come, Upar chalo“.
She had drawn not only my attention, but Mom’s as well as we seated ourselves in the drawing room. “What would you like to have, Simmi?” Mom asked. “Just a cup of tea with less sugar and extra ginger” was the hesitant reply. I giggled involuntarily. (The reason was known only to me and now you, the readers who paid attention to the first paragraph). I was unusually comfortable being left alone with a stranger. Well, she was a stranger to me although not to my mother, who asked her from the kitchen that whether she still remembered the peanut butter that she used to steal from our house. She smiled and replied yes, as if she were a child. I was happy and glowing, listening to the small talk between the two beautiful ladies.
Minutes passed and Mom asked me if I remembered Simmi. I nodded my head in response, yes I meant a “no”, but a nod suggested a “yes” so my mom never took a “no” and continued the conversation with her taking my “yes” which I never gave as it was a “no”. Here, I prove that I am a true Indian, at least in my head. My confused expressions during the conversation made Mom realize her mistake whereupon, she asked again to which I responded with an emphatic no.
“She is your classmate, you guys studied together till 5th grade after which Simmi left our town with her parents to Darjeeling. Now she has returned with her family” Mom explained. Goodness, she was my first crush! Memories of playing the clown in front of the whole class to see a smile on her face came to mind, and of getting a chance to play with her, I would request my mom to buy peanut butter, which nobody liked in my house including me.
I realized why I was unable to clear JEE, as the luck went with my Dar-ling to Dar-JEE-Ling. I was on cloud nine, may be ninety nine. Who wouldn’t be? All through your life you have craved for some doughnuts and when you are starving, you get cake to eat. By now, I had warmed up the conversation and we started talking like old friends do. Mom left for her evening meditation giving us some space. We talked about school and college, friends and friendships, and music and movies. I was happy to learn that she has pursued a career of her choice to become an ace musician and now was a music teacher in a primary school – unlike me, an “engineer”. I wanted to ask about her relations, boyfriends, and love interests but somehow got confident that there would no one and the spot was vacant only to be occupied by me. It had stopped raining and it was time for her to leave. Before bidding adieu she invited me for dinner to her place on Sunday, we exchanged numbers and she left.
Wanting to impress her, I dressed in my best suit and armed with orchids left for her place. I arrived at her doorstep soon after with butterflies in my stomach. I was about to ring the doorbell, when I noticed the lock on the door. I fished out my phone from the pocket to call her and when I read a message I had received a few minutes back. “Sorry can’t meet tonight for dinner as leaving for Darjeeling”. It was her. Before the pain and disappointment could set in, my phone beeped with another message. “Not coming to office tomorrow as leaving for Darjeeling.” It was Khanna.
I felt a tremor deep in my bones. Its intensity convinced me that Gods are not good engineers as they didn’t design humans for accidental loads. Saddened but the smart ass I was, I checked the profile picture of Simmi on Facebook, which had a little cute kid’s photograph. The same child was the profile picture of my boss. I was devastated. In a flash, I put the story together. Simmi had married my boss and was now Simran Khanna. I threw away the materialistic delights that I carried in my hand and in my heart, congratulated Mr. and Mrs. Khanna and returned with my unfulfilled tamanna.