Monday, January 21, 2008

Letting go! Again!

You may want to read this before you proceed:


Three years went by.

Today, I somehow couldn't sleep. Something was disturbing. Maybe the last night's "Banana Payasam" tried by my wife for the first time. Or maybe the movie that we watched together last night. Or maybe the thoughts of the customer-presentation that is scheduled for today. Whatever is the reason, it hindered me from sleeping strongly. I got up, had a glass of water and came back to my bed. I looked to my side. She was sleeping like a baby. I smiled and I looked up the ceiling. Thoughts ran across my mind.

I heard somebody asking hurriedly "Excuse me, has the flight BA035 departed?" Just then, I was cursing myself at the London Airport as my connecting flight was delayed by 3 hours. I sighed and looked up and started "No...The flight is dela..." and I stopped. It was the look of the princess. C'mon it just can’t happen again. I was kind of awestruck and before I could think of saying anything, she said "Oh Ramji! What a surprise?" I was still blinking, as she continued "I never expected to see you again!" I took a deep breath and slowly said "Sandhya!!...I never expected too". She smiled. The same smile of the princess. That reminded me of the previous times I died because of her smile. She told "I just can't believe we are meeting yet another time in just 6 months". I smiled and tried to look outside thru the glass at the runway and she asked again "Did you say the flight is delayed?" I tried to remain casual and said "Yes. For 3 hours they say. Some technical snag it seems". She said "This is crazy. In one Information display, it says the 'Flight Departed’; another says 'Flight Delayed'. I had to rush, as my previous flight was delayed. I thought I almost missed the Chennai flight. Thank God, it was delayed. Maybe it was delayed for me only ". She winked and laughed heartily at her own joke. I couldn't appreciate or even say if it was a joke. But I smiled too in accordance.

She then continued "I presume you going to Chennai too". I said "Yes. I am". She asked "So, Coming back from US?" I said "Yup. And you?" She replied "Yeah, me too. I'm coming from Philadelphia. Where did u fly in from?" I said "New York". She asked "Hmmm...So, where is your wife?" Damn! She remembers. That was the question I was hoping wouldn't come. After all, how can she forget? I thought for a while and slowly replied "No. She is at Chennai. I'm going to meet her". She smiled and said "So, you happy to go and see her?" I smiled dryly. After a few minutes of silence, I asked "So, what are you up to in Chennai?" She replied "I'm going to meet a guy that my parents were talking about for sometime now. They say he is too good. I had a couple of chats with him and he looks like a nice guy. If everything works out well, we'll have our wedding in a month's time". That settled like an arrow straight into my heart. It shattered me. I felt as if I would never forget those words from her. My mind was completely blank. I cursed myself yet another time. And I felt damned as to why should our roads cross at all.

I thought moving on in life was simple. But it wasn't. Her thoughts were disturbing me for nights together after I met her last time. And now I get a chance to meet her, but only to find out that she's going away from me. I felt stupid. I opened the book I was reading and tried to see thru the sentences. I felt like Dharsheel from ‘Taare Zameen Par’ movie for the words in the book were literally dancing in front of me. Maybe i caught up with some temp dyslexia or something. She was listening to music in her iPod. I occasionally looked at her thru the corner of my eyes. She appeared normal. I simply couldn't understand that. I closed my eyes and thought for a while. It all slowly occurred to me: How can I ever expect her to wait for me, and that too after blurting out such an idiotic lie last time? Even if she had liked me, even if she had fell in love for me, even if she had waited for me, how can she ever continue to do that after hearing from me that I already got married. It would have shattered her too. I had a lot to tell her but nothing did I tell her. We both did not talk, except for occasional glances and fake smiles.

We heard the flight announcement. She casually asked "What’s your seat number?" I bumbled for the boarding pass, located it in my shirt-pocket and told her "35A". "Oh okay, mine is 19C. Looks like we are separated enough!" What? Is that some kind of a symbolic movie-kind-of moment? I sighed. Then she got up and said "Ok Ramji, I'm tired and I am gonna sleep well in the flight. Maybe I'll see u in Chennai before I say final bye to you!". She walked away after offering that final smile. That killed me for the millionth time. There I was, looking at her go once again in my lifetime. I wondered if it would become a habit for me.

In-flight, I sat down in my seat and looked outside thru the window. The day was sunny and bright. The pilot announced that the flight will be taking off in a few minutes. I tried to catch a glance of Sandhya from my seat. There she was adjusting her hair, the pillow and getting ready to get some sleep. The flight took off. Unlike normal days, I couldn’t enjoy the flight gaining altitude. Rather I was looking outside like a loser and at the Sun directing rays at me. The sun rays were shooting at me, asking what am I doing to myself in life. One ray happened to ask me "should a single lie decide your whole life?" Another one asked me "Is there not a way you can undo this?" Another one replied "There are a lot of ways to get over this. Opening out the mind and talking would solve everything". One more ray asked "Are you gonna let her go again and seek solitude. There is still time to save yourself!" I looked at her, she was already asleep. The talks of rays continued. I said "No, thanks" to the flight attendant, when she came with breakfast. Then when she came with lunch. Then when she came with the snacks. I didn't feel like eating and all that I was thinking was "Should I let her go?" The pilot announced that we'll be on our descent shortly. I couldn’t believe 10 hours passed by. My hearts raced, my pulse paced and I stood up. I walked straight towards seat 19D.

She was up by then, sipping a cup of coffee. She looked at me and said "Hii...how was the journey for you? I slept so well I didn't even know I skipped food. Now am starving". I grimly told her "Hey Sandhya, I need to talk to u". She sensed the seriousness in my voice and asked "Hey, what happened?? Is everything ok?" I said "Hey listen. There are a lot of things I need to tell you" And I started from the school play, our last meet, the after-effects of that meet, about the thoughts I had during this flight and finally the stupid lie. I couldn’t believe I looked at her eyes and spoke for over 5 minutes in one-shot. If it was a movie, I would have got applause from the crowd. I was breathing heavily when I ended my flow with a hush-voiced "I love you". Her face was reaction less. She looked at me. She then slowly said "Well Ramji! It took you over 15 years to tell me that you love me, huh? You know something? After we met last time, I couldn’t believe you. I went home and called a few of our school-mates I am still in touch with. Nobody was aware of your wedding. Then from a few of your other friends, I confirmed you were single. I had a look at your Orkut profile too. From your friends, I also found that you liked me. I was going to get in touch with you anyways, but God played the game a little differently than I had thought and made us meet today. And on my part, I lied about that guy my parents had seen for me". I was completely flabbergasted and struck with awe. I couldn’t say a single word. I swallowed and asked slowly "So, you are not getting married to that guy your parents told?" She smiled and calmly said "There is no such guy you silly fellow!" She added "And by the way, I love you too!" I would have hugged her so tight she would struggle for breath, if it wasn't for the Air-hostess who asked me to get to my seat as the flight is about to land. I danced on my way back to my seat and from that day on, there was no looking back.

I looked at Sandhya. She was still sleeping like a baby. I slowly said to her ears "I love you". She moaned something sweetly and she went back to sleep. I don't know why all of a sudden I thought about that flight incident today. But it only made me love her more now. I kept looking at her.

Given a chance, I would keep looking at her that way all my life.

20 comments:

venky said...

Arun..Give this story to some Indian movie director..Come on Man, enough of dreaming the typical Desi guy way..Go western in your dreams when you like Western Culture more than the Indian culture. Do something in action and just don't keep dreaming..

ela said...

I say....it is better u talk to ur parents right away and ask them to find u a girl (if u are pretty focussed on Princess, then ask them to find a Princess) and take a week holiday, fly home, get married and fly back to US, and stop writing such stories..... appadiyae emotion a pilinju oothuringa! thaangala!

BTW...what is that Banana paayasam? awwwk......

Amar said...

I want to say only good words this time. Don't test my patience.

It's high time for you to get married.

Arun Sundar said...

Venky,

I dream western. But I do Indian :)

Ela,

This has got nothing to do with marriage or with "Princess_whoever". I would write a similar story, when I become 75 and/or after I come back from dropping my grand-kids at school.

Haven't you savoured "Banana Paayasam"? It is very tasty, just like "Grilled Cheese Rasam"!

Amar,

U don't have to confuse this with my wedding. I'll write in a much-different way if I want to marry a "Chennai Ponnu". But thanks for u'r good words!

Anonymous said...

A chennai ponnu here....

Man, I really didn't know abt ur still-single status and thought its ur own story..

Was feeling so J about Sandhya :)

Arun Sundar said...

Anonymous,

Whats u'r phone number? ;)

ela said...

Now it's definitely going to be a 2008 love story....

ponnu phone number kekuthaa?

athan number kedacha udaneyae chennai ikku flyinga?

Anonymous chennai ponnu and Arun.....hmmmm...dhool kelapunga...

Arun Sundar said...

Ela,

Neenga vera chumma irukka maatteengalaa??!!

ela said...

Mudiyaathu.....naanga piraviyilayae romba active aakum....everybody tried their best... enna chumma irukka vaikka....nadakaathulae!!!

BTW, have fun in Chennai (ithu nesamavae romba friendly wish paa!)

Sabari said...

Hey arun....pesama IT field-da vitu poi nalla Tamil or Hindi movie pannu da…machi tis story shud get u block buster man……jus imagine Amir playing Ramji and Rani playing Sandhya…..man now this shud be one of the most awaited Hindi movie….

Arun Sundar said...

Ela,

Piraviyilayae active'aa??? paathaaley theriyuthu :)

Sabari,

Nandri nandri. If at all I take a movie, I would be the Hero. And that too I'll make only a tamil movie! U know about that "Hindi Edhirppu thittam" I hv started, right?

ela said...

ayyyooooo....kathai eluthi kollarathu pathaadaa? Hero vaa nadichu vera engala kollanuma....etho eppavavathu onnu rendu nalla moonjinga vanda pathu kittu santhosama irukira engala maathiri ponnunga life a spoil pannathingo...

sabari said...

good thought....naadi machi...eppo than tamil industry-la kandavanum vanthu 1-2 padam nadikuran....nee try pannina enna thappu....who know namma danush mathiri periya alla vara vaipu irukku :).......but whom will you pick has heroine??????..is it gonna be Sandhya ( some real character in life??????)

*Sajith* said...

This is an awesome love story.. do write about the wedding when u get married.. waiting for that..

Arun Sundar said...

Ela,

Kabali coming on screen soon. See and majaa maadi!

Sabari,

U know some heroine who'll suit me? ;)

Sajith,

Thank you. There is a story on wedding coming up soon.

Anonymous said...

Nice story - reminded me of the move "Puthu Kavithai" :)

Vinoth Jayachandran said...

Mama...I guess we have talked about Sandhya in the past. I am not sure whether she is still available or not. Perhaps, you should talk to her or atleast let me talk to her on your behalf.

Arun Sundar said...

Anon,
Thanks.

Vino,
She must be having 2 kids now :) I just used her name - everything else is imagination.

Raz said...

is love marriage ok? :) *too much of thinking * sigh!!!!

Arun Sundar said...

Love marriage defnly ok! Thats y too much of thinking ;)