Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The one.


   *Read the first part of  this story: here


              The old radio - my dad's birthday gift to me -  played a classical tune to welcome the dawn. It felt as if it was making some background music for the thoughts that floated in my mind.  My day had just begun. I was sitting in my balcony, with a steaming cup of coffee, giving company to the sparrows who had come to collect their breakfast from the bird-feeder. I should have been enjoying this me-time with the music, the brew, the birds, but there was something that just wouldn't let me, like an itch that won't let you sit in peace.

            The argument I had had last night with my superior at work had left me sleeping fitfully till almost 3 am. I did drift off afterwards, but woke up when the alarm went off; woke up in a bad mood.  The first thought that came to my mind on waking up was how sullen I would be the entire day. And, all because of one human being! Damn that man for spoiling not only my yesterday, but also my today, and, for sure, my tomorrow as well. Such was the impact he had on his employees, that devil!

          The phone rang - it was mum. She instantly gauged my mood and asked me to eat something first. "Have a healthy breakfast and  feel the blues vanishing!" she tried cheering me up.
Ah, mothers! All they can think of is food - the only thing in the world that can solve every problem! How I wish that were true!  She also suggested, a tad mischievously, that I think about something, or someone, who never failed to cheer me up.  I didn't have the heart to tell her about my break-up with Rahul. I just mumbled,"Sure, mum! Thanks so much!" and disconnected.

        Not wanting to mope, I got ready and left home. But, the heavens had decided to ruin my day - it began raining the moment I stepped outdoors! And, to top it all, I had chosen to wear the new outfit I had shopped for recently; it had been a feeble attempt to drive away the blues, but I now realised it had been the worst decision, ever!

            Managing to reach the bus-stop without getting splashed with the muddy water by the vehicles passing by, I sent up a quick prayer for the AC bus to arrive ASAP.
"Shucks, it had to rain NOW!" "Damn these truck drivers! Look how they drive!" "I wish to be in office in time for the meeting!" ...were just some of the comments falling on my ears - in a hurry I had forgotten to carry my headphones. So, no music for the day, only the grumbling of co-passengers. Damn!

          The bus arrived in a few minutes and I climbed in quickly to grab my favourite seat - which I, thankfully, could. At least one wish came true! No sooner had I made myself comfortable than my mind went back in an overdrive - reflecting on life in the past few days. Heart break, overworked hours at the office, getting screamed at by the boss, why couldn't something nice happen, for a change?

       Mum had suggested I think about someone who brightened up my day. But, all I could think about was either the fight with Rahul, or the firing from the boss.
"Oh God, if you are listening, then please, work up a miracle. Show me that silver lining you always talk about!" I begged of my creator. And, just then, I heard a voice whisper into my ear, well almost into my ear - "Hey, Dream Girl!" 

        I was shaken out of my thoughts!
"Damn these men! Why can't they leave us in peace!" I cursed this creation of God inwardly and put on an angered expression to glare at the object of my vexation.
 The face that came into  my line of  vision almost knocked me unconscious! I was transported back into my past - around 5 years into my past, in a packed bus, to be precise. The eyes that I had tried to forget all these years were peering into mine, with a glint of mischief in them. The voice that had turned my legs to jelly years ago, had spoken into my ears, bringing me alive!

       "Remember that day?" he asked.
       "Of course, I do!" I almost squealed in delight. How could I possibly forget that rainy day and the  incident in the bus! But, I  checked my excitement instantly. He may have been my knight in shining armour years ago, but, he was still a stranger. I pasted a plastic smile on my face, mumbled a "Hi" and turned to look out of the window, trying to appear busy looking at the scene outside. My heart was beating madly, as if its drummer had gone berserk! I shifted slightly towards the window to increase the space between us.

       "The name's Anurag, Anurag Joshi," he introduced himself and extended his hand for a handshake.
   "Hi! I am Kala Shastri," I smiled coyly and shook hands with him.
    "Hmm, Kala. I must say, you are quite a piece of art - a magnificent piece of art!" he grinned after a careful scrutiny of my face.
   I blushed and bit my lip to keep  myself from giggling like an idiot. The last time I met him, I had behaved like an idiot, too!  Hadn't I matured even a wee bit in the past five years? I chided myself. "Kala, no more getting carried away by all this flattering. You know it lands you in a mess, don't you? And, for all you know, he must simply be flirting to pass the time, so, control!" I reined in my emotions that had suddenly gotten all aroused. The lesson I had learnt from my breakup with Rahul had left a bitter taste in my mouth, as far as men were concerned.  I so wanted to learn something from that experience, but, there was something about Anurag that kept pushing me towards him - something magnetic that just wouldn't let me be!

       I decided to just  make some small talk till the journey ended and forget all about it. But, I hadn't forgotten our first episode all these years, how could I possibly forget this one?! Even then, I chatted with him, answered the questions he asked, as briefly as I could, without asking anything much in return. My mood had improved a lot, would be an understatement - I was literally floating on cloud number 9! The breakup, the mad boss, the reprimand - all but forgotten.  I was amazed at the effect two people  could have on our psyche! If one could totally ruin our mood, there was another, who could brighten us up by their mere presence!

                                                    *******************

          Anurag and I were 'friends'  by the end of our bus-journey that day. Yes, shocking, I know! But, his enigmatic smile, his sexy voice and most of all, his endearing nature, helped me shed my inhibitions and warm up to him. We exchanged phone numbers and began meeting frequently.  He was a great friend to hang out with. And, oh yes,  trustworthy, and someone who respected me, my work and  my space.

         We could talk for  hours on end, on anything and everything under the sun. On hindsight, I think the timing of our re-union (if I could call it that) was perfect. We were destined to meet - so say my friends - after having seen the world and experienced a bit of life ourselves.  Our dates grew rather frequent, and one fine day, the guy simply shocked me with," I am wondering how it will be spending my life with you!"  It did leave me dumbstruck for a while, but all along, I had anticipated it. Actually, I had wanted it so much, I guess he read my thoughts. Or, had he known it all along, right since our first meeting? He just won't tell me, that wicked wicked fellow!

      Today we celebrate our third anniversary - our third wedding anniversary! Yes! And, even today, when he whispers, "Hey, Dream Girl," I go weak in the knees!




     




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