The Girl Who Broke Me
The Girl Who Broke Me13 mins 434 13 mins 434
Sea sickness is a myth unless you experience it first hand. You get those luxury boat tickets just to avoid it, yet once the boat starts that moon-walk motion on the water you know it's gonna be a long day at the sea.
My head had gone for a spin, I felt completely drained out, it seemed an open deck boat would have been the better option. I was pretending to be excited so that my friends don't tease me for being vulnerable to sea sickness. I couldn't help but notice my fellow passengers on the boat. They came in all sizes and all age groups. Starting from cute infants resting on their mother's lap to the all smiles elderly couples. And there were those honeymoon couples; clingy and cuddly, they were like conjoined twins in those typical "honeymoon" attires. I realized I could have been one of them, with a lovely wife by my side, resting her head on my shoulders while I braved this feeling of dizziness! But when the whole world around me was getting married, I was just a singleton hopelessly out of love.
Love had always been my Achilles heel, every time culminating into episodes of betrayal and heartbreak. Everyday I would wake up to find a friend getting married and it will be all over Facebook. And then you just keep attending their wedding ceremonies, with each ceremony your yearning for an escape route from reality grows exponentially. So here I was with my friends on that escape route, to the vast expanses of the sea, to those unending hues of blue and green, on a trip to the magnificent Andaman Islands.
Boat rides are terribly slow when compared to land transport, but then you don't get to marvel at the sight of those blue waves moving along with you, as if they are your partners for the journey, calmly accompanying you. I was lost in admiring the calmness and serenity of the sea when I realized we had reached our destination. It was the Havelock Island, another tiny island with abundant forest cover and serene beaches enclaved by sparkling white sand and transparent blue water.
Once our boat docked at the jetty, we were immediately out, ready to take on the mighty sun. Hats on head, sunscreen on the skin, shades on the eyes and of course my DSLR camera around my shoulder. We were the quintessential model tourists on the island.
Being the official photographer of the group I started clicking candid shots of my friends with the boys and girls posing around the boat. And then it happened!
"Excuse me", I turned back to the most melodious voice I had ever heard and found a short girl with her phone pointed towards me. I tried to look at her only to find the wind covering her face with her long straightened hair.
"Ummm... hi... Can you take a picture of us please?”
"Yeah. Sure" - I blurted out and she ran back to her group handing me her iPhone!
They were a group of 4 girls.
Fortunately for me the iPhone camera was on the selfie mode and being an Android user I actually didn't know how to switch back to the primary camera.
So I just said - "Hey, I think your camera's on the selfie mode."
And she came sprinting back to me, that was the first time I saw her face and everything else just faded out of my sight.
She was fair, supremely fair, as luminous as the scorching sun above us. It seemed as if she was surrounded by an aura which conveyed her wherever she went. She concentrated on changing the camera mode while I was fixated on her and all the while her hair swayed in the air covering the contours of my face, caressing it. Her one handheld my hand lightly and the other one manoeuvred through the touchscreen. It was a sight to behold and a moment to savor.
I don't know how I clicked the pictures next, I was in a trance and before I could get over it, she was gone with her phone, vanishing out of the furthest of my sight.
My eyes frantically searched for her everywhere in the touristy crowd until my friends brought me back to my senses. It was the tour driver, he was ready to take us to our Hotel. That short ride to the hotel was uneventful but my mind was in a swirl. This was my most awaited trip, my definitive escape route and I was hardly excited about it, I had my precious camera around my neck and I wasn't even clicking pictures.
Something was amiss, was it her?
Probably it was. She had broken the shackles, the cocoon which I had so consciously engineered around myself to keep all those emotions at bay. My self-deprivation had now been brought to halt by this stranger. My days of masquerading as an atheist to Love were over.
My hotel room gave me ample scope to ponder over what had conspired earlier, all those months of self control and it took just a moment for a girl to break me. Why this girl? Why now?
But was she really just another girl? No she wasn't. She was unlike any other, incomparable to any other girl I had ever met, the moment she touched me she opened up my world to new possibilities which had been cloaked and locked in the deepest dungeons of my past.
But I was resolute, I wasn't going to give up so easily.
The evening turned out be a pleasant affair as we all friends went out to explore the nearby scenery on rented bicycles. It was quite an experience to ride bicycles after a long time and that too on an island trip. We even did racing on bicycles and occasionally stopped to relax and take those selfies and do those short photoshoots courtesy my camera. It was a much needed distraction from the turmoil that I had been going through. Happy and content with the great pictures clicked we all returned to our hotel to have a sumptuous dinner consisting of delectable seafood and mellifluous desserts. While my friends decided to retire for the night I decided to take another stroll with my camera just for the sake of capturing some low light sceneries around the beach. I was able to capture some good shots of the night sky along with the glistening moonlight and the interminable waves. I was returning along the beach road when I sensed a vehicle passing through, there was loud sound of music and laughter coming from it, it was her, peeking out of the window of that white SUV, it was unmistakably Her, I could clearly figure out her face from the dim light of the vehicle. As the vehicle swiftly moved past me we had enough time to have that coveted eye contact. And I just kept looking at her till she went beyond my sight.
Back in my hotel room, I kept tossing and turning on my bed, it was a nightmare even though I was fully awake. It was like fighting a battle with my own self. One part of me wanted to find her and tell her how I feel about her and the other part wanted to thwart away the temptation.
It seemed fate had conjured up this whole plot to put me in this irretrievable dilemma. Why I had to see to her again? What are the chances of that being a coincidence?
Was this really meant to be? Or is it another bait set to trap me in that despicable world of Love?
And that eye contact, what does it signify? I attempted to persuade myself that mere two minutes of proximity to a girl cannot establish Love but my there were too many questions to answers, too much to justify. And I decided to literally sleep over it.
The next morning I woke up to find my buddies all in readiness for our water sports day. It was all planned, scuba diving, sea walk, jet ski. I decided to give a break to the confounded confusion in my mind and enjoy the activities. To be honest, the water sports activities were unique experiences, but that didn't eradicate the fact that something in me was broken and I had to do something about it sooner than later.
My friend Raj was the first to notice that tinge of discomfort on my face, he simply came up to me and asked - Come on, you gonna tell me about it or not?
Raj was one of those friends who always gives you good advice and genuinely understands the situation. I knew there was no point in lying or mincing words, so I explained him my predicament and he was a patient listener to that.
Then whatever he said was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment - “Bro, why are you punishing yourself, why are you doing this painful penance? You cannot let your past dictate your future. To thrive you have to throttle your past and think of the future. You need to give yourself another chance. What if this trip was always meant to be? What if she's the one for you? Don't live to regret, live to Love!
I looked up at him in genuine admiration. He always knew when to say, what to say, he had a way with words. May be all I needed was that second opinion, that second conscience. I was ready now.
He put a pat on my back and said - So tell me how do we find her?
I patted him back and said - No it has to be me. Thanks buddy.
He replied back - Anytime bro but this is our last night here and it's almost evening. We have our return boat early morning. So hurry and once you find her don't forget to introduce her to all of us.
He was right, I had to hurry, I boarded our cab and I exactly knew where to find her. I remembered the label “SAFE HAVEN RESORT“ on that white SUV from last night. She had to be there.
The resort was located at the other end of the Island and thanks to narrow roads it took me almost an hour to reach there. Once at the resort I quickly hurried up to the reception, a middle aged lady with big glasses was seated at the desk there.
“Namaste. I know this is awkward but I’m looking for a group of girls who must have checked in yesterday morning here. “ - I said to her.
She gave me a weirdly puzzled look and said - Sir, I am not sure what you are asking. We had many groups arriving here yesterday. Which group are you referring to? Do you have any names? ”
“It was a group of girls. They were 4 girls. And I’m sorry I don't know their names.” - I replied
“Sorry Sir I don't now how I can help you without any names.”
She was obviously correct. There was no way to find her without knowing her and any of her friend's name. I was dejected and disgusted with my situation. I had fallen for a girl whose name I didn't know and I didn't know how to find her. I decided to roam around the resort in the hope of finding her. Just then the receptionist shouted back - “Sir, wait. I just checked our system and we have a group of girls here who checked out an hour ago.”
“Do you know where they went?” - I asked her.
“I am not sure Sir. They probably left for the jetty, the last cruise boat for the evening leaves in 15 minutes.”
I didn't wait for another second, I ran back to my cab and directed the driver to take me to the jetty as fast as possible. It was now quintessential for me to meet her before she left the island.
But I was late. As the cab reached the jetty, I could see the lights from the boat and then there was that loud deafening horn. The boat was leaving. I ran as fast as ever, I ran for my life, only to be stopped by the guard who made it clear that the boat had left and there's nothing I could do now.
I tried to catch my breath, hand resting on knees, sweat dripping from my forehead. I was defeated, I was vanquished by my own incogitant actions. My hesitation to acknowledge my own feelings had become my undoing. I looked back at the diminishing lights of the distant boat, may be her angelic face was being illuminated by one of those lights.
The journey back was the longest cab ride I ever had. I was beat, consumed by failure, how I wished I could have met her, even for a moment, just to see her once, just to share the sea breeze with her. But was this the end of the road for me? I had resigned from answering my own queries. I chose to resort to solitude. I requested the driver to drop me at the beach nearby my hotel.
A sea beach is a universe in itself. There's the mighty sea roaring through the interminable waves, extending beyond the horizon and surpassing immeasurable depths. The infinite stretches of sand glistening as pearls in the moonlight and the calming sea breeze with all it’s healing power. As I laid back on the sand I wished the breeze would heal me of my imperfections and confusions.
A minute later I was alarmed by a rhythmic tinkling sound, it was definitely the sound of payals. I stood up to find a silhouetted figure moving towards me, it was Her.
She stopped inches away, held my hand and placed her iPhone on it. I was still trying figure out the situation, she was in a long golden coloured dress and the glow of her dress in that moonlight was surreal. It was equal to standing beside a golden fairy on the beach.
I looked at her phone screen and what I saw completely startled me, it was unexpected, it was improbable. It was unbelievable but it was real, it was right there on the screen. I looked back at her, struggling to contain my anxiety I asked her - “How…. When… Why?
You have my picture on your phone? From yesterday?"
She now held both my hands, the feel of her soft hands was enough to calm me down. She looked straight into my eyes and said - “I clicked this picture of you yesterday when we landed on the island. Yes. It was not just You."
I was awestruck, she had clicked a picture of me, she always wanted to meet me and probably she felt the same way I felt for her.
Her voice lent me some confidence and now I had her to answer my questions - "How did you find me here? I thought you left the island."
"Wasn't going to leave without meeting you. And Remember our meeting last night on the beach road? I figured out I could find you here, at the beach, if not elsewhere." - She said as her lips broadened out to create that pretty smile.
I shook my head in disbelief and said- "I just can't believe you are here. Hi I'm Shekhar and I had been looking for You."
She smiled lightly trying to hide her shyness and said - "Hi I'm Shikha and I had been seeking You too."
She was then quick to suggest - "Now that we have found each other, Would you like to take a walk along the beach with me?"
I now held her hands gently and replied - Sure. Definitely. As long as it takes... "
P.S - Some people are destined to be part of your life, sooner or later they make that grand invasion into your life and change it forever.