"Hi, I'm Ishmeet from Delhi!"
"Hello, I am....me too from Delhi!" I did not disclose my name deliberately. He was stranger for me but there was something about his demeanor which didn't let my eyes off.
"Hey, your good name?" he inquired
"What's in a name, a rose is a rose.." I reciprocated with a smile
"Hmmm" said Ishmeet with a broad grin.
He didn't dare to ask anything. He was offended, his reaction was natural. This was our first meeting while travelling in Delhi Metro. I got down at Rajiv Chowk & headed for my office. This first meeting was an impressive one, there was some spark in the meeting. Early to conclude, what it was but there was something and Ishmeet had caught my attention. He was there with me, there was something in him & I wanted to meet him again but where will we meet...only glances were exchanged & my outright decline might have hurt him somewhere I felt inside.
While returning from office, I tried to search Ishmeet at Metro station or in Metro but couldn't locate him. His face was revolving in front of my eyes. I was feeling sorry to have reciprocated rudely. Normally, I'm very friendly in my circles be it official or personal but still avoid interactions with strangers, the stories unveiled by the media of the way men treat girls or women stops one to interact or trust, though all Men or boys are not like that but how to differentiate, better tread on safe side.
There was something in Ishmeet which had left me restless, but it was difficult to find about his whereabouts so I left in the hands of the Almighty & if we are destined to meet then certainly one day we will & I consoled myself to be in my senses. After finishing my routine chores, I started for my office, but not like other days, today, I watched myself in mirror several times taking care of my dress that I wore & my hairstyle etc.
As I stepped inside Metro, I saw him seated near the window seat engrossed in a magazine. My heart raced faster & I wanted to shout out his name to attract his attention but checked myself else I would have been center of attraction in public, though we boast of our advancements but still our society is conservative in respect of relationships of boys & girls...anyhow, I crossed through the crowd inside & reached the place he was seated but I couldn't muster the courage to greet him or say anything. Luckily, there was one seat vacant adjacent to him, I managed to get in there & watched him from the corners of eyes waiting for his initiation but he didn't took notice of me, I wasn't sure whether he has not seen me or deliberately ignored me. Turmoil was unfurling inside me. If today we missed the opportunity to interact, then I wasn't sure whether we will meet again or not...Opportunities comes to avail not to miss.
Metro stopped at Rajiv chowk but I didn't wish to get down, I desired to go further & would get down where Ishmeet would...I was wandering in this thought & found the seat of Ishmeet vacant. He had got down at Rajiv chowk...frantically I ran & got down from the rear door to my destined station.
The day was hot, temperature nearing 40 degrees at 10 am perspiring profusely. I was lucky to have got down timely else the day would have been more hectic for me. The anxiousness for this stranger had put me into fix. I seated myself within the station premises to take rest because I wasn't feeling well, but my eyes were still searching the man who had stolen my solace, but couldn't locate him. I drank few sips of water from my water bottle & stood to start my way. I found him standing intercepting my way. I badly wished to confront him but the way he intercepted my heart stood still & I was shaken assuming something negative & I wish to cry out, but when our glances met, I was comforted.
“Hey, Nice to see you again” said Ishmeet coolly.
“Hi, me too, Ishi here” I replied.
“Cool, I didn’t ask your name, did I?” He said in an amusing manner.
Today, it was my chance to be mute, I sealed my mouth.
“Are you well or something is bothering you!” Ishmeet inquired.
“I’m fine, just the soaring temperature is taking toll!” I said.
Suddenly I took the note of time; it was ten-thirty, quite late for office. I started for my office, amazingly Ishmeet followed me.
“So Ishmeet, is your office in this area?"
“No. I am just coming along with you to see you off till your office as you look a little pale” he said.
I was taken aback by his concern that too for me who was so rude in first meeting. I kept quiet and passed a smile. As I was about to enter the office premises,
“Hey, Ishi, note down my no.9186443320…..see you” Ishmeet left.
I made a note of his number, so the spark was ignited both sides. I felt at ease all my discomforts vanished in the air & I was feeling light.
In just two unplanned meetings, we couldn't judge each other’s feelings but there was a charm in his demeanor which had caught my attention & I eagerly waited for him. Why, l didn't know...
I had noted down his number & wished to talk but something was stopping me from taking the initiative. Ishmeet didn't have my number so he couldn't reach me & I had the no. but certain inhibitions were not letting me to step forward, but I had to take the way out. After much brooding, an idea struck me.
I text led my no.& soon my mobile rang displaying his number. My heart beats raced faster & felt goose bumps all over.
“Hello...Hi Ishi. How are you dear?” he said.
"Fine & you..." I replied.
"Took long to give a call, seem busy. I was desperately waiting for your call. I shared my no. but you didn't. You take time...u believes in EMI'S...what u say...” He laughed.
Was it sarcasm or mocking or just a tease, tough to make out but the words which he addressed was taken in note by me, "dear and desperate"
"Is he really interested in me." this haunted me but was very early to conclude & I was in no mood to hurry, better to wait. But this mind or conscience says but the matter of heart is different. It is not decisive or logical, doesn't know to reason, just knows to beat making you impatient &basket of expectations inflating, keeping you on toes, only knows to take chances. The best part of losing your heart is it keeps you happy to the core and adds glow to your persona which is not missed by onlookers. So this is the first step of love. Deep crush which crushes your soul emitting fragrance of sweet puppy love.
“Hmmm...You can say so...because I acted the way but Ishmeet...first time it was intentional but I missed it in second chance when we met by chance..." I replied softly unlike my persona who is a dominant self but this leap was taken by heart.
"Can we meet” He asked.
"We have already met” I said mockingly, now it was my chance.
"We met accidentally but now I want to meet you, planned one or can I put it this way, are you coming with me on a date...I feel that sounds better" He said in a calm tone.
I wished but I wished to keep him waiting, testing him, we girls love to keep the boys waiting, this wasn't me; this was my false pride to test his eagerness.
"Ok, I will see" I replied in a cold tone.
He asked me to join on hangout to chat. I feel my cold response put him off over mobile.
I never liked chatting on Facebook or Hangout but my eagerness drove me. In late evenings, we talked on hangout and there were more exchanges, more of leg pulling, kidding, sometimes I felt like a child has emerged in me, enjoying the moments childishly.
He ran a Dance Institute in Delhi, it was a prominent one and he was more conversant in Salsa and I was interested in fine arts & I didn’t want to waste this opportunity which had come to me uninvited & it would be a better way to meet each other to understand. I had not conveyed to Ishmeet but it was there in back of my mind, engrossed in his thoughts when I slept I didn’t know but a ring at 6 am disturbed my slumber
"Hello, how are you Ishi?" my Mom was on the line.
"Fine Mumma...how are you all?" I inquired.
"We are ok, are u overworked...you took long to pick the call today....are u ok beta." She asked anxiously.
"No...Mumma...nothing of that sort...Ur beta is absolutely fine, no need to worry....today is second Saturday off...will sleep longer."
"Ok...will talk later...take rest...on working days you don't get time to sleep late, bye? Love u"
"Bye bye...love u dear." hung up the line.
It was 6:15 am & I could sleep longer so I didn't come out of bed. I loved sleeping in the morning hours. The morning cool breeze soothed me from within but on working days, it wasn't possible to enjoy the cool breeze.
Again ring on the mobile broke my deep slumber, I hurriedly woke up. Aww...It was 10:30 am...
"Hi Dear Ishi..." Ishmeet was on the line.
"Hi Ishmeet...hope all is fine....calling so early" I said.
“Early. It’s not early, early bird, its 10:30. Are you day dreaming?” He said teasingly.
"Yeah...yeah but today I have off so I don't care to check time. I was just relaxing. No tension in weekends." I replied coolly, I didn't wish him to know that I was sleeping till this time of the hour so tried to pacify.
"Are we meeting today?" Ishmeet asked bluntly.
"Not yet decided, did we discuss yesterday to meet? I don't think so, we did. Let me think over?" I said been sarcastic, testing his patience, I knew it wasn't fair from my part but we girls are like that. We run after mirage but doubt the real people & I was doing the same thing & was enjoying the thrill.
"No thinking over, you have thought a lot, just listen you are coming to Barista CP by 4 pm today, no excuses...Bye." said disconnecting the line.
I was taken aback, how can he ask me so confidently or command me within such a short span of time & be sure that I will be there...
Many queries emerged abruptly...
Why was he so adamant to meet me?
Was he trying to be dominant?
I had a habit of reasoning and I tried to reconcile our conversations & concluded that Ishmeet was a nice guy and because I was taking lot of time in deciding, he took this way & he didn't wish to lose the opportunity as in working days, it wasn't possible to meet with ease.
I too wished to meet him & today I was already late in finishing my daily chores. I hurriedly finished my daily chores of cleaning, washing and home decor & today I needed ample time to groom myself to meet my new found friend who was dear to me & I desired to look special today.
My wardrobe was full of dresses but couldn't make my mind what to wear for the evening. In this quorum of deciding I took more than an hour today. My expertise of taking decision in haste seemed to disappear today. I pinched several times whether I was the same Ishi who is famous for taking hasty decisions. Where I had landed today, in the World of Dreams Chasing My Prince of My Dream.
Throughout the day off & on, I was checking my mobile for call or sms. But no call or Sms till I left my place for Barista Cafe. I didn't take Metro route instead I took a taxi to reach the fixed destination.
I reached Barista on time but no sign of Ishmeet. I searched hither & thither and then took a seat inside. I felt bit low, was he trying to fool me & many untoward thoughts cropped up but still deep inside there was a feeling that he will come, with the conviction he had said , he won't let me down.
"तुम मिले तो लम्हे थम गये, तुम मिले तो सारे गम गये, तुम मिले तो मुस्कुराना आ गया...
तुम मिले तो जादू छा गया, तुम मिले तो जीना आ गया, तुम मिले तो मैने पाया है खुदा" Music playing in the background soothed the turmoil inside me...
Suddenly, I felt a tap on my shoulder sending shivers throughout with this unfamiliar touch. I turned my head back; there Ishmeet was standing with a broad smile spread across his face. A tall figure was standing in front of me clad in a T-shirt & Denims.
"Hi Ishi. You are looking awesome" He squeezed my hands softly, a touch of him just made me shiver, I was speechless. The way his gaze followed. I was merely dumb.
"Hi Ishi.You are looking awesome" his remarks made me blush, I could feel my cheeks hot and turning to crimson & an unknown happiness gripped me. I felt quite at ease with Ishmeet; though I took time to mingle, but this time it was just the opposite may be I was destined to meet him in such manner.
"You are looking dashing too, Ishmeet!" I exclaimed.
"I am always dashing!" he remarked sarcastically.
"Hmm..." I could comment but thought better not to leaving him to enjoy the triumph.
A lot was exchanged about our background, family & of our life till we met, over a cup of coffee. One fact that emerged was remarkable age difference between us. I was near to five years elder to him, a remarkable difference, in our society acceptable choice of relationship is boy been elder to girl. It was a matter of flutter for me though Ishmeet was cool. The guys are indifferent from us, God knows what they think but they don't go wary like us, it was my presumption.
This was our first meeting, a planned one, so I didn't had any desire to spoil the sport so keeping this worry aside, and we shared lot of tit-bits & enjoying the company. It sent butterflies in my stomach. It was a moment to be cherished.
At 7pm, we parted our ways, it was a nice long meeting & the heart wanted more and more."Dil Mange More...”
The meet was a refreshing one and in my life, one chapter of fondness & crush had been added instantly & unknowingly, I could feel the changes within. Life seemed to be more colorful than before & onlookers could well take note of it.
At night, we hung up on the Google Talk, it was a start off of an unknown relationship certain that something was brewing between us, found his association comforting, longed for his calls or Sms.
“Hi Ishi...what’s up” Ishmeet message flashed in hangout.
“Nothing as such, reached safely...” I wrote.
“Are u sure Nothing…………. ;) ”
“Aren’t u thinking of me..;) “ message popped up from Ishmeet.
I took time to respond this time just to see his reaction.
“Just Kidding..” popped up again.
“Me too..” I typed.
After leg pulling & kidding, I told him that I was keen to join his institute for learning Salsa.
“Hey, I am keen to learn Salsa, are you going to teach me?” I typed.
“Why not…certainly, you are most welcome but directly you can’t learn Salsa, you have to learn the basics too.” He wrote.
“I don’t know what I have to learn but you are only going to teach me and nobody else.” I typed bluntly; unlike my nature who thinks twice before asking for something but with Ishmeet, I was informal, no inhibitions.
“Yes Madame, I’m at your service. Let me know when you are intending to join.” Message flashed.
I called on his no & discussed in detail. Finally, it was concluded that he would be giving special classes after my office hours & I would be paying his fees as per his institute regulations. We were so engrossed in ourselves that we didn’t realize the time. Suddenly, I checked the time, it was 11 pm. We bid goodbye & hung up the line.
I, a carefree girl never bothered about looks was suddenly overpowered & conscious of her looks & hairdo. It was the after effect of new friend, Ishmeet which had taken entry into my life abruptly & it wasn't clear what we felt about each other (never discussed) but a feeling was overpowering me & a clear change I found in myself. Most of the time I was engrossed in his thoughts & an unknown happiness gushed within me keeping my adrenaline shoot up. Life seemed pretty & I was in love with the colorful hues of life. Extra zing added in my life with the addition of Ishmeet in my life.
Music flowed in my blood stream & the emotional numbers left me been more romantic & I felt soaring at new heights & in my little lovely world, I could only see my friend , Ishmeet who was even part of my name, Ishi, my four lettered name in which his presence was there too, he held three words of my name, it was a coincidence & it had to collide with me only. Even our hobbies were the same...just the difference was that he was pursuing his dreams & I was pursuing a career of financial freak where numbers were more important & no existence of emotions in financial world, leaving my hobby behind. Now I felt he has come into my life to help me to fulfill my dream though I wasn't sure what length I could achieve. Too early to conclude but a ray of hope emerged & this hope gives people a new life.
Today was Sunday but different from past Sundays when I lazed around carelessly. I was on my toes today, decorating my place beautifully & taking care of my skin and looks & dressed in a smart outfit which boosted my confidence. Every now & then checking my mobile, secretly I was expecting a call or SMS, even while surfing online, my attention was focused on Hangout inbox.
"Hey, what's going on Ishi " a message popped up from the corner. It was Ishmeet online
"Hi Ishmeet...enjoying Sunday Dear"
"I too...are you ready for the classes tomorrow"
"Yup...any doubts :)"
"No, no doubts but bit nervy...the reasons unknown"
"Why so...Am I bothering you...I won't trouble you, relax"
"Ohh ...I was just kidding to check on you....be cool...just practice few steps of warming up so that you are warmed up for the classes...got my point."
I understood the senses of warming up but I wasn't in my senses since I met Ishmeet & the word warm up sent goose bumps within me. I hit myself to keep myself in my senses. The case was of crush though it wasn't first one, the first crush I have for is for My Idol Superstar Amitabh Bachchan whom I watch with an Awww... expression & a sweet smile spread on my lips & crush for a person close to me was for Ishmeet, in whose memories I was drowned for most of the time of the day.
I literally enjoyed his company though I haven't expressed believing that he must have come to know reading my attitude & I felt he too had feelings which drew him to me, strings of faith. My feelings for him was growing skin deep & mere thought of joining his classes had left me spellbound & I was been spoiled.
There were several missed calls of my Mom. I contacted Mom and told her about my new venture to join Salsa classes.
After changing into informal, chasing sweet thoughts of my new found friend whom I found close to my heart, I glided into the world of sweet dreams.
Today was the Dream day, I was joining the dance institute of Ishmeet to learn Salsa & the tutor was my friend for whom I had developed intimacy in a short span of time. It was not love at first sight but crush built up in two-three meetings; I was bowled by his approach & care. Only one thing took toll on me that was the age difference between us. Me been elder to him by five years but I consoled myself citing the example of the Cricket master Sachin whose wife is seven years elder to him, Film actor Sunil Dutt- Nargis who had successful relationship & age never stood as a factor and I too desired to keep the relationship spark ignoring the difference.
The song of Jagjit Singh too was in my favor,
I said to myself, "Ishi...this song was written for you."
"ना उम्र की सीमा हो
ना जन्म का हो बंधन
जब प्यार करे कोई
तो देखे केवल मन।।"
I hummed this & it boosted my confidence to proceed, and I was proceeding with full enthusiasm & vigor.
After office, I started for the dance institute which was a running of 20 minutes from my office by Metro. As I was going to step inside the Metro, I spotted Ishmeet.
"Hey, You here?" I asked
"Yeah, I shouldn't be here." He replied.
He had a habit of questioning rather than answering, a strange habit but I liked it.
"No, I had to meet you at your Institute naa."
"Lady, that's why I'm here to escort you, today is your first day so I thought that I better
catch you at the Metro station...even I had sent you an SMS...I believe you haven't
checked .." He replied with all the explanations. He knew the art of flattery which I lacked.
I was sailing on cloud nine. I was getting the attention from my friend who was dear to me & with time, I was getting closer to him & hopes were pinned on him, feeling lucky to have got a chance to indulge in my hobby which seemed distant in this life but Ishmeet was a blessing in disguise. I felt very happy & blessed.
We reached his Institute by 6:15 pm. He showed me his Institute. It appeared high profile Institute well equipped with modern accessories & the ambience stole my heart, but except for the guard none was found within the Institute. I was told that the official time of the Institute was from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm & was been given special attention because of my interest on account of been working woman.
My heart quipped, all could I say, "Thanks a lot, Ishmeet...it's my honor to be your privileged student ...I will try to prove worthy of it!"
Soon we were in Dance room. Only we two. My heart missed a beat but I had faith in him. I was given outfit to change for the classes. I felt a bit awkward in facing him in my new outfit, T-Shirt & typical leggings, loose around the waist and tight near the ankles, even I wasn't in a practice to wear such outfit but to learn something new. I had to. There was no way out,both were in same type outfit, only the colors were different. He judged my reluctance & tried his best to comfort me.
He first showed me the steps.His movements were awesome. I was bowled over by his movements, delicate & flexible. Classy touch, asked me to take over but it wasn't easy for me because I had never practiced, just danced to the tunes mostly in solitude, I just had a passion for it.
He was very professional within the premises & coaxed me up to the maximum to give in my best. Pestering me to practice each steps for a minimum of ten to twenty times to make my body flexible to each movements. Being in finances, my body too had become rough & tough, now it needed to act delicate to each small movements with grace. I was sure that I would learn though I may take a bit longer than his other students which I declared myself so that he doesn't lose his patience.
"Hey...don't feel low...I may take more time of yours to learn than your other students...I'm a quick learner but my body may take longer to get used to the movements..." I told him.
"Okay Okay...Did I say something...Take your time...I'm here to teach you...Let me try Ishi...just respond the way I ask you to. Let me take up the challenge.. just bring in the grace in your movements.” He replied with a wide smile on his face his smiling face added glow to my life.
I didn't utter a word just tried to respond to his movements & during practice there were several moments when we were very close to each other & could feel the warmth of our breath. I checked myself, I wasn't sure how he felt and at times I felt weak. For him it might be like normal classes but for me each moment was special. I never been so close to anyone in these years.
How one hour passed. I couldn't make out. Ishmeet declared, “Classes are over for now...I'm amazed by your efforts...you will outperform soon...I insist you to practice more in your free hours to master the art...It is an art & all depends on the effort...hope you will not let me down."
I just watched him, my eyes on him. I didn't say anything but my naughty self-caught hold of his nose & pulled it leaving him bewildered.
"Hey, are you crazy" He said.
"Yes, I’m ..." ran to washroom to change & he stood still.
The crush had matured to Love & my heart longed for him.
There were significant changes in my routine, woke up early in the morning and practiced the movements taught by him, trying to be more flexible & graceful in movements. The financial market had worn out my charm, had become more mechanical chunk, the after effect of market fluctuations which bombarded the savings of traders and to save our skins we off & on bombarded them. Grace was nowhere to be seen. It was a distant thing but the love for Ishmeet & the passion for learning Salsa had changed me. It had overpowered me to get the sheen back in my life. He was contented with my efforts & I longed to see myself on the stage performing in my best with my friend.
जिंदगी कहीं गुम है
उसकी ही यादों में
उसका ही मंजर है
मेरे दिन रात में।।
It is said, “All is fair in love and war”, and I don’t know about war but it seemed absolutely true in love. I never knew that I would strive so hard for a person who had walked in my life suddenly. My feelings getting intense with each passing day. He was becoming important in my life, all my decisions n dreams revolved around him, not for a second his thoughts left me. A curvy smile spread on my lips adding glow to my persona. People say, “In love one glows” and in my case it was true. Really I was glowing.
We met every day for the classes & practiced the sessions religiously putting my best effort. Ishmeet was giving his best & was leaving no stone unturned. He wanted me to learn full-fledged & be a skilled dancer.
The steps of Salsa & the background music brought us more close to each other; we could feel each other’s breath on our face & the way we held each other. The soft caresses of his fingers, the way he held me in his arms or by my waist, it was the demand of the steps but both been young felt an intense pull for each other and the silent ambience of the hall drove us crazy for more close proximity. We shared a special bond which connected us. Silence speaks more than the words. My body had learnt to sway according to the steps but I could not take my eyes off his face. But when our eyes met, I felt my cheeks hot & bit my lips. He too smiled & held me closer in silence.
After classes, he would come along till metro station to see me off. While strolling, we would share the happenings of the day and would advise each other to confront the issues & mocked on our carelessness. Gradually, I demanded more and more of his time; it was the matter of heart, “Yeh Dil Mange More”& “Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin”
One thing I never forgot, pulling his nose & watching his expressions…
He remarked, “Still you’re not grown up”
"I don't wish to grow Dear." I giggled.
My heart whispered, “I am in love”