I looked at her,out of the corner of my eyes.she was wearing a pale blue kurta and jeans,the black carrier bag with reebok branded on its forehead,that cuddled against her side.reassured me that she was up for a long journey.I restlessly fidgeted with the empty coffee cup in my hands, my mind was furiously working out the arithmetics of one thousand easy methods to woo a girl.Her beautiful eyes were transfixed on the Sidney Sheldon novel ,i had seen her buying from the Higginbothams bookstall in the station.She was reading it with a fierce concentration as if she belonged to a tradition of 'yogis'.The title of the book'THE SKY IS FALLING' made me impulsively glance at the sky...... i smiled,yes,the sky was falling indeed and from the moment i saw her,the earth under my feet was moving and i had stars in my eyes.I had vainly tried everything on the books to grab her attention........i tried speaking loudly on my phone, scraped the bottom of my shoes in the rough station floor,inviting only the irated scowls and abusive mumbles of the people.Lost in thoughts and high on romance,i was startled when the train finally coochie-cooed into the scene of love,as if signifying the heaven's wrath.soon, the station was consumed in the whirlwind of commotion and cacophony...i swiftly picked up my bag and followed her.....she stopped in front the a/c coach......i was travelling on a season ticket .that meant that i would have to stay out...it wasn't a big problem as long as the option of making a deal with t.t.e was open......i edged myself into the next compartment,without losing my sight of her.the compartment was overcrowded and the commuters were spilling out of the doorways and were hanging precariously....she was talking animatedly to a girl who had stepped out of the a/c coach......moments later,the siren sounded ,the other girl took the reebok bag and boarded the train,.....the horn sounded again ......still she didn't move and kept waving like an obedient school girl.......my heart twitched...the train started moving slowly.......still she remained there.....i felt the blood and glow drain out of my body,my expectations exploded and my hopes were buried in the debris of misfortune....and then........everything was over.the train picked pace and rolled out of the station into the 'insipid' world......i felt devastated and ruined........in that "otherwise" eventful train journey....in the scramble and commotion....i lost two buttons of my shirt...and my wallet got pick pocketed.....with the coins and 10 rupee notes i had in my pocket i somehow found my way home.......
AFTER nearly two months of hope and longing,my prayers were finally answered on a warm autumn day.fortune brought her to me once again in a serendipitous and blissful moment.i saw her at an ATM outlet.The arrogant machine kept rejecting the monetary needs of my impoverished atm card.....i felt stuck up.A soft restless knock on the door made me turn and i found her staring at me through the thick glass door.....for one blinding moment it was as if a thunderbolt had struck me,in awe, admiration and confusion all the organs in my stopped working for a whole mortal second .it took a few moments for the breath to return to my nostrils,vision to return to my eyes and sense to return to my brain.....her gaze had in me,the effect of a warm blazing sun on an eskimo land...i slowly opened the door and asked for her help .she came in without any hesitation,took the card from me and reinserted it in the slot.....the machine,like a middle aged philanderer, tickled and titillated by the touch of a woman responded quickly...i jabbed in the the amount .....i quickly collected the money and drew the balance slip...my account boasted 47.00 rs.....i quickly threw the crumpled balanced receipt into the bin,without letting her sympathise over feeble financial security .... as i was about to leave,a thick smoky smell enveloped the cabin, as if something was burning... the intensity of the stench made her cough....It was followed by a beeping sound and then, the machine blinked to death.......she stared at me quizzically,quite convinced that i was a thief or a burglar who had tried to rob the machine with a fake card.......i looked at her helplessly,with a pleading face and open jaws.......partly in fear and partly in confusion and embarrassment....i soon left the scene without another word
'Everything happens for good' ,says the bhagavad gita...this is absolutely true in love......" even a traffic jam or a road accident can work magic on your love"....It didn't take too long for our next meeting....i saw her for the third time in the anomalous and unusual heat of a winter afternoon....i was stuck midway in a heavy traffic jam and the sun above was busy preparing a barbecue lunch.....through the opening left by a bulky trailer and a motorcycle i saw her again....i left my bike where it was,combed my hair and tidied myself up.....without sparing another moment i rushed through the gridlock .....she was crying when i saw her ,she had a bruise on her forehead and bleeding scratches on her arms..... there had been an accident ..the front part of her vehicle was smashed in....and the head lamp of the car that hit her had been broken.. after playing a little "YOU-KNOW-HOW" and "WHO'S WHO" with the crowd that thronged the place i came to know the accident happened due to the negligence of the driver......"chances" are like fresh vegetables you can either use it or let it rot...every chance brings with a bouquet of promises,the worst part is that it comes only once....i had decided to use it it to its fullest...after giving a silent prayer i ventured into the scene...i was too pleased too play the knight in the shining armour....her tear filled eyes glittered when she saw me.....she gave me a wry smile...it was a silent acknowledgement that she remembered me....i felt a pang of grief when i saw her....it was my turn to play don Quixote and save my damsel in distress.....the driver of the vehicle had a frightened look on his face...with a little pressure,little intimidation and a lot of reasoning i managed to grab a deal with him...and made him pay for the repairs....i arranged for an auto take her to the hospital.....that was it....happily whistling,singing and hooting i went back to my motorcycle...only to find it being lifted off in a vehicle...with police branded on its butt.........i had to pay and amount roughly equal to the two months school feel of the inspectors children to get it back
In the week that followed,she called me. .... .. breathing in,a fresh lease of life into the dim prospects of my unspoken love..... what unfolded in the following days was pure magic and incredibly beautiful... we talked,messaged and chatted,in two weeks we were good friends and ,in the third week she even invited me to her home... but every time we spoke or chatted some bizarre strange and weird accidents kept happening(like the atm centre and the road episode), like the premonitory echoes of an impending doom or maybe due to the discrepancies or mercilessness of our horoscopes......anyway.....i accepted the invitation and waited for a convenient and propitious time to pay a visit....as decided,i went to her apartment after making sure that her dad was at his office and her mother was on her weekly trip to the market...i walked in,quite excited and rang the bell.....her house maid,a big burly woman with a voice as shrill as a sawing machine opened the door...all the excitement drained out of me when i saw her,a sudden dizziness and bout of fear overcame me when i saw her,i escaped after asking for a wrong address.....
it went on, for a whole month.....every time we tried to meet ...something or the other kept us apart....silly troubles and petty inconveniences kept thwarting our meeting plans....after a month long wait,we finally met at the city's largest bookshop......Amidst the evergreen romantic classics, heart warming poems of love and over a hot cup of coffee...i proposed to her........i finally poured my heart out....the moment i proposed,i heard a bookshelf tumble.....she didn't say anything ,gave me a big enigmatic monalisa smile and left....i remained there floundering for an answer....trying hard to decode the answer behind the smile....for the next two days i made it a point not have any sort of correspondence with her.......with all the effort in the world that it took, i kept myself away from the phone..on the third day we went to our family home,in a remote village,where mobile phones and Internet,were still things of fantasy, to attend the annual festival at the family temple there......after 7 sleepless night,asphyxiated by the heights of romance.........i returned to my home on the 8th day.......and desperately rushed to her home.........the door was locked when i reached there,i knocked at it.but no one answered.....after some 15 minutes her neighbour came out.... she told me that they had vacated two days back and her father had been urgently transferred to a some place in punjab...and handed over a letter to me.....with trembling hands and flooded eyes i slowly opened the letters she had left for me....where technology fails,letters still remain the final hope....the letter had everything i wanted to know.....she had written in it how hard she had tried to contact me......i cursed myself for having gone to that god forsaken land.....i felt shattered,even the faint sense hope that kept my love glowing at times when i didn't have a snowballs chance in hell of meeting her, was gone...... washed away by the tide of emotions
Emotionally paralysed and numbed by despair,i spent the next few days home alone, reading the pages of my diary and reliving every moment,right from the day i saw her to the day i lost her....it didn't take too long........ the brilliant rays of happiness tore apart the looming clouds of despair and lady luck showered her grace on me once again...all the woes and maladies that plagued my heart were put to rest,the moment i saw the emboldened alphabets of her name on my yahoo friends list suggesting that she was online........all the energy,glow and vitality returned to me along with the prospects of a fresh and promising world.........we talked and talked without even pausing for a breath.... like paroled prison mates....she told me that was at "wagah", a ceremonial border on the indo -pak border known as the berlin of asia for the retreat ceremony otherwise known as lowering of flags rehearsed by indo pak soldiers every evening......i knew that place...i had seen the ceremony in the television plenty of times.....the ceremony was grand enough to take every spirited Indian to the pinnacles of patriotism...... i fell silent,here i was,living like a recluse, separated and secluded in the wilderness of the southernmost part of the country.......while,my love was waiting for me with all her heart and open arms ......somewhere in the wheat grounds of a beautiful northwestern state.... i had to decide and to act......after about 8 continuous buzz....i typed in I'M COMING' and then the power went off.....
Every beautiful love story has a journey in it.....two days later, after 2 more chat sessions,i embarked on the journey that took me across the length and breadth of the nation,through the heartlands of the country ,covering hundreds of railway stations and millions of people....after nearly two and a half days of travel,i finally reached wagah on a cool and pleasant evening ........i had agreed to meet her at the ceremonial border...in exhilaration and seamless joy i slowly made my way through the heavy crowd to our rendezvous point..... amidst the frenzied shouts of patriotism heated sloganeering and festival of tricolour flags ..i spotted her in the distance..she was wearing the same pale blue kurta she had been wearing when i saw her for the first time....a shawl was tied round her neck like a scarf..in the glow of the evening light she was looking pretty and breathtakingly gorgeous....my embarrassment grew with every step i took......i felt nervous and frustrated,1000 mega watt electricity was passing through my spine.... when we were close enough and at a hands reach,she wished me"hi',i acknowledged it with another hi.she kept chattering like a nursery school girl......for all the while we remained there,neither did i see the ceremonial border nor did i see the retreat spectacle.....i kept gazing at her all the time as if she was the Haley's comet or Spielberg's E.T
After the ceremony was over,as the crowd started spilling out......we left the place and walked side by side,......the sky was growing dark,the beautiful moon had covered the sun in its lustrous black hair strands and the stars were glittering like sequins in Elvis Presley's jacket.......a strange sense of restlessness prevailed between us...sometimes, what words fail to do...a twitch of an eyebrow, or the depth of silence can do better....we walked in silence without uttering a word...the urge to break the silence was growing inside me irresistibly...but i was too hep less and unprepared to attempt anything like that......the 'greenhouse' feelings were warming my heart and i was sweating like anything....i finally decided to break the silence.....with all the courage left in me, i pulled myself together and touched her hands...she didn't resist...we joined our hands...the moment we joined our hands,there was a crackling sound and the street lamps flickered to death...people were running hither and thither,confused and frenzied....we remained there dumbstruck and unable to make out the head and tail of what was really happening around us........the whole area was blanketed by darkness,the silver glow from the moon left us with enough light to see ourselves....she looked at me and our eyes locked we smiled at each other,it was these kind of bizarre and strange incidents that brought us together,no matter what fate had in store for us we had decided to live together......it was beautiful.......my breath returned to normal and i kissed her softly,teardrops welled up in her beautiful eyes and we hugged.....
As we stood there... under the canopy of a large tree,in the silence of an empty street under the candlelight of a shining moon and seen by only the blinking stars and savouring every minute
of our long cherished togetherness
she called my name
yes....i slurred........like an intoxicated romantic
"grandma is not well"she told me
so? ........i asked
"grandma is in calcutta and we are moving to Calcutta tomorrow"
in disgust,desperation and confusion.....i brooded......i had only two days left and another two thousand miles to cover........when love asks you to follow.......all you have to do is to oblige.....i smiled and hugged her even tightly