Love Triumphs All
Love Triumphs All8 mins 428 8 mins 428
I met her first in the shared cab. Even then I could not resist looking at her. Well, I usually don't look at girls so keenly. I often scoff at boys who seem to dedicate half of their lives thinking, talking or fantasizing about girls. It makes me cringe that they spend critical years of their lives wastefully. I am no millionaire for sure but I have been more career-centric, partly due to my frugal circumstances which have never given me the luxury to spend time in leisure, and also because I had an indomitable aspiration to outperform against my well-off colleagues.
Here I was, looking at this girl with eagerness, not blinking at all. She wasn't very pretty or stylish, as they call it. Yet, there was a natural charm, also in the way she looked outside the window. Her eyes had a very deep expression even as she just stared in the blank. Her face was not the delicate one, but gave an irresistible vibe of strength and poise. I was thinking really hard to strike a conversation, while she seemed so lost and unaware of her surroundings, including myself, let alone the way I was drawn towards her.
I glanced at my phone app to check her destination, which was about 20 mins away in Malad before mine. I was thrilled that I could spend some more time with her.
"Do you commute regularly in this area?"
Girl looked at him, as if woken up suddenly, in a quizzical expression.
"No, I have my acquaintance residing here, sometimes..."
"Oh, so are you a local resident, born and brought up in Mumbai types? "
"What makes you believe that?" She said with a tinge of sarcasm. Her voice felt so silky smooth which I so wanted to hear for the rest of my life.
I answered sheepishly, "No, I just guessed, You look very confident, self assured and aware of this place, hence felt so.." I was amazed at my presence of mind and that I managed to place a compliment as well. She glanced at me the first time with those big broad eyes which reflected the gleam of acknowledgement for the appreciation.
'Wow! What an observation!" then giggled softly before answering "I am not born and brought up types, but have been travelling to Mumbai even before I started living here, as I have a few of my family members here. So you are not entirely wrong, but the stereotype was" She concluded and looked at me again sharply in the last sentence along with a bit of sarcasm, but giving me a chance to continue the conversation.
I was embarrassed due to the stereotyping but was quite moved by that gaze and those eyes. They were not beautiful as per what we read or listen about, but they evoked very pure and unblemished expression. Her gaze was so direct as if she had never known to hide or suppress her emotions. Is this for real?
As I was thinking all this, her stop was getting closer. Suddenly I felt the separation anxiety I had never thought I'd go through for a woman I just met less than an hour ago. I wanted to hold her and say, "Please don't go." but was running out of ideas to carry on due to nervousness.
"Hey, I understand and will refrain from further stereotyping, if only we could see each other again, possibly grab a coffee?" This was my desperate attempt and was feeling very awkward but still hoping against hope that she would agree. This time she looked outside the window for a while, a pause that seemed an eternity, after which I could hear the same silky voice, uttering, "Hmm..Not a bad idea but I got to go now as I am getting late.." . She got down at her stop and was about to leave, but as if thinking for a while, suddenly stopped and gently waved at me while smiling in a friendly way.
As she left, I could still feel her presence around me. Even when I reached the office, I could not think past those few moments I spent with her. Moreover, her response had made me restless in my thoughts
"She seemed to like me. Does that mean we would meet again? Was she just being polite and actually turned me down without saying it. She waved at me as well so I can contact her.. oh wait, how will I contact her? I don't have the number, err not even name! I don't know anything!"
I just sprang up from my slumber to realize that I was too busy looking at her and forgot everything else. How did I, the forever meticulous person Ritesh, come to this? Is this called Love? I was blushing at this realization.
I wanted to see her again but was unable to reach her. Hence I tried erasing her memories to continue with my life. It still used to resurface as her picture was engraved in my heart. I often wondered, "Why her? After all I know nothing about her. " Yet, my feeling was true and heartfelt. Besides, can anybody tell exactly what makes them love anybody? How long is one required to know each other to love, a few years, few months, or few hours? Is it the compassion that we feel for one another, the deep understanding, or simply a connect that outlives all the connection one has ever had with everyone else? I don't think that anybody can answer this with conviction.
Probably it wasn't important what kind of person she is but it's more about how she made me feel. Putting it simply, it's probably the person that we become, that matters the most to keep loving someone. The tenderness of our emotions, our willingness to extend ourselves in whatever way possible, or to just look beyond our own individuality to appreciate someone genuinely is a side rarely revealed otherwise. All these thoughts made me fall all the more deeply in love. I also traced all the areas around Malad wishing we cross paths again. Alas! It wasn't happening. Then I concluded it wasn't meant to be with the good part being that I experienced an eternal feeling. It would stay with me whether we meet again or not.
Voila! We met again after a long time. I went to a friend's wedding who had compelled me to come despite my disinterest. I typically avoid social functions as I don't love those festive processions as much. I thank my stars to have come here as I could finally see her again. She was all dressed up, in a bright yellow sari, looking pretty and beaming with joy. She was the bride's friend and apparently very close one. I wanted to just run upto her but again my inhibitions were getting better of me. I kept telling myself,
'Come'on Riteish, show some guts.. Remember you are the most envied client partner. You have handled all kinds of conversation. You can do it. " Well, she wasn't my client neither was I close enough to bring my martial spirit, embarrassed at my chicken-heart. Rejection is a bigger challenge, especially from a person you are so touchy about.
Suddenly my friends patted me, "Hey where have you been? Come to the stage to wish Rajiv. "
I didn't want to move an inch but I was here for a reason. So I moved with a heavy heart, frustrated at myself. Life had given me a second chance and I was about to ruin this. As I smiled ritually for the photographic moment after congratulating him, something was breaking inside, as if I have sand slipping from my hands. When I stepped down, I heard the familiar silky smooth voice, which I had been rewinding for so long that my heart had registered that sound in a second.
"Hey, how are you!! " She exclaimed just behind me.
I felt my heart melting and the tears rolled down my cheeks, joy or sorrow, I don't know. My friends were quite amazed at this sudden turn of events. They could never fathom this side of me. Even I couldn't tell this coming a moment ago. I could barely speak as I was choked.
She looked at me with surprise and just said, "I am glad that I could see you again, could not ask anything about you that day. I don't even know your name... "
A sudden smile beamed my face, and I managed to say, "Ok Let's know each other over the coffee you promised. The day has finally come. "
She also seemed to smile affirmatively with the same innocence I had been remembering as I would picture her face. I don't remember what she was wearing that day, but the only traits which stayed with me were the innocence, poise and depth in her eyes. Nothing else mattered.
Today I am married to her, and feel gratified. I don't know how we could come together despite being far away and so different temperaments. She works in a creative ad designing team in a media firm and is certainly more full of life than I. However when we are together, nothing else matters since I can feel her compassion and I become the carefree person I could never be. There is no doubt that love triumphs all.