Thursday, November 29, 2007

Letting go!!

That look was just enough. Thoughts raced deep within. At that very moment, if somebody heard my heart, this is what they would have said: "Oops…You are too young for such a thought! You silly brat!” Or something close to that. I wouldn't have cared anyways. I just kept looking at her. She looked at me. I can never forget that look. I played the prince. She played the princess. I couldn't turn away from her. My teacher hushed from the side of the stage and showed me signs to look at the audience. I kept looking at the princess. The lengthy dialog ends with me saying, "I'd fight anybody in this world. Would you marry me?" She blushed, smiled and ran away to the back stage. That instant act of hers was not because of shyness, but that’s what the script said. Our teacher had asked her to. She did as our teacher asked her. She was always so. She was the class-topper. I never spoke a word to her, other than this dialog from the English play. This play was a forced attempt of my English teacher, complaining that something has to be done from 5th standard class. I have always liked Sandhya and I very much wanted to be with her. But I neither had the courage nor the thought-process to materialize my precocious thoughts. We had our annual exams and next year, she shifted school. Her parents wanted her to study in a better school. I thought my first love (more of a crush, if u say so) ended right there.

Years passed by. There I was waiting at the transit airport for my next flight, which was delayed. I got a coffee, opened my laptop. Somebody asked "Excuse me, is this seat taken?" I looked up, to see a guy, neatly dressed, wearing specs and standing, with a bag in his hands. I moved my backpack from my next seat to the floor. He said "Thank you". I smiled back. He didn't notice my smile. Rather he was busy, looking around and then waved his hands towards somebody. A nice-looking lady, with a baby-stroller was walking towards him. After she came, he said to the lady "You sit here, let me go and check out the duty-free shop. Uncle loves perfumes!” She sat down. I sighed and continued with what I was trying to do. I didn't think about looking at the lady. 5 minutes went by. Then I slowly turned towards the baby and the lady looked at me. A familiar face. She recognized me and smiled very slowly. That look of her, the same look of the princess. I was shocked. I took my time and smiled.

She: "Hey, You are.......sorry, i don’t remember your name".
I: "I'm Ramji".
She: "Oh yaa yaa, I remember now. How have you been?".
I: "I’m doing well. I didn't expect to see you, leave alone remembering!".
She: "That is true. At times, I sit back and wonder how small is this world "
*I have thought about Sandhya many a time, but I never dreamed that I would meet her, yet another time in my life!*
I: "The baby is so cute."
She: "Thanks. His name is Shanswik. So, what do you do Ramji? Back in school, I remember you used to rank second in the class, next to me".
*She winked*
I: "I am into software"
She: "Oh good, So is Prakash"
*she looked towards the duty-free shop. Prakash must be her husband. Damn that lucky guy!*
I: "Oh, good to know that. So, where are you headed towards?"
She: "To my uncle's place, he lives in Chicago. How about you"
I: "New York. I'm on a business trip"
*I made conscious effort, not to show any of my emotions*
She: "Oh good, so u married?"
I: "Yaa, last year"
*I was instantaneous. She lost the brightness in her face, all of a sudden*
She: "Oh ok. Congrats by the way"
*Just then, the guy with the specs came*
She: "Hey Ramji, meet Prakash - my elder brother. He did his schooling in Delhi. So, you wouldn't have seen him before"
*Shucks! How can I think assume things like that. How silly of myself? I hated myself for a second. *
I: "And Shanswik??"
She: "He is my brother's son. My sister-in-law is coming by tomorrow's flight"
I: "So, you are not married yet?"
*I was as blunt as any idiot can ever be*
She: "No Ramji. Only if you are not married....”
*I was completely taken back. She looked at me. The same look of the princess.*
I: "what?"
She: "I was just kidding, maybe this year I'll get married"
*I was about to say something and the flight announcement took over, without mercy.*
She: "Ok Ramji, it's time for my flight. Nice talking to you"
I: "Ok, you take care"
*She did not ask my contact details. She somehow did not want to keep in touch*

I watched her going. She faded slowly. And then she disappeared. It appeared to me on the second thought, as if she was still following the script of the same play, as we did in school. I simply cursed myself and my assumption about her wedding. And one assumption led me to a spur of thoughts. And some lack of it too! I wondered how the spur of thoughts made me lie to her that I got married. I lost her, yet another time in my life.

I heard the announcement for my flight. Time to keep moving...I moved on, for my flight and in my life.
To be!


JP said...

Nice Story Arun.......I liked it the most, of all the stories you have written so far in blogs .....

Arun Sundar said...

Thanks JP :)

Guess I hv started to grow, slowly!

Honey said...

Hi new to ur blog....this blog is really touching one..Keep up ur gud work.....TC