I was seating at home, alone, waiting for the love of my life to return from her boutique, had a brief chat with my queen in the evening and she told me she was loaded with work at her boutique off late due to upcoming wedding season. I was not surprised with the multi fold growth of her business over last few months because of her growing fan following due to her dress designing skills, choice of fabrics and colours she used to choose. Slowly and steadily, her boutique was gaining momentum, sale was increasing so does the workload and the associated things.
Seating near the window facing our car parking, I was gazing at the main gate waiting for her Red Baleno to arrive. Ours was a small 2BHK flat, which she had designed all by herself, right from furniture to cushions, to interiors, paint, lights etc. almost everything, just the way she wanted, I still remember following all her instructions in choosing the right stuff, as she wanted. She has always been very particular about particular colours, textures and patterns and obviously, it always turned out to be good. As my whole world revolves around her, our home wasn’t an exception.
I usually never call her when I know she’s driving back home, but my concerned heart was looking through the window and reaching out to her, looking for her glimpse and just to see her come into my arms after a long tiring day. I wanted to ask how her day was, serve her a nice hot coffee and cookies, seat beside her what she would like to eat. The maid had cooked her favourite fish curry, rice and green salad. I got her favourite vanilla ice cream.
While everything was set for a perfect evening, I don’t know how I started dreaming about how I got my girl, as a blessing in life, like how we met was no less than a wonder or magic. It’s been 3 years since we got married, but, still it feels like I saw her for the first time just yesterday, that first glimpse of her which stole my heart at the very moment, made me rewind all my life in a moment, gave me one clear thought why I’m here in this world and what purpose my being here is.
I still remember the afternoon of October when she called me to meet her to her hometown- Puducherry, a peaceful and a well know town of Coastal Tamilnadu. While on call, most of the time she was crying and uttered only few words, but I could understand the situation was serious. I had no option but to fly from Mumbai all the way to her. I tried enough to pacify her, but in vain, she just kept on crying and repeating – “I want you here at the earliest”. It’s only been 6 months we met each other I proposed her within 1 week of meeting her at a wedding of my friend’s brother. In just 6 months, We travelled the distance from her immediate “No” to my proposal to talking about our wedding and the call was to make me come to her house and talk to her father. We had nothing in common except the fact that we both loved each other like mad, rest everything, like our language, community, culture was so so different – She a Tamilian and me a Mumbaikar.
I didn’t had a thought of meeting someone like her when I landed at that wedding venue. May be she must have passed by me multiple times, nothing like my heart started beating fast or something, nothing. I noticed her for the first time when I saw her seated at the entrance of the house, holding a bag probably containing her dress for the wedding, worried for something. I could read her face. She wore a nice light yellow kurta, red chudidar, neatly dressed, simple yet elegant earrings, a signature south indian gold chain and a gold bracelet in her right hand. Don’t know why but I found her sweaty fair face that had turned slightly red, extremely cute. I was sure she was worried for something so I approached her and asked if I can help her sort her problem. For some time, she was just staring at me as if I was trying to push her into a conversation, surprisingly she started talking to me, may be she saw genuine concern in my talks, but she talked and that very moment my heart was gone for a toss. I totally lost sense of what she was saying coz her voice was playing like a music to my ears, I literally started staring at her, her cute face, her expressive eyes and the jhumka in her ears moving with every head movement she was doing. Somehow I came back to my senses when I saw her about to lose her calm and get into tears, the problem was – her dress for the wedding had some problem with it and she had called her cousin to take her to a tailor shop for last minute fixing, since she was preparing for this wedding for so long and she wanted to look perfect and this last minute glitch in her dress, she showed me the dress and asked “what to do?”. I asked her if she’s ok with me helping her take there since her cousin was stuck somewhere. She didn’t respond but her expressions were telling me that she wanted me to help. Somehow I searched for a bike, started it and looked at her, she was looking at my attempts only but didn’t start to walk immediately towards me may be because we were meeting for the first time, unknown to each other.
Destiny has it’s own way of making things happen in very very unique way and with unknown people sometimes. While she wasted precious 5 seconds thinking about it I revved the engine just to break her thoughts and voila, she started walking towards me, it was hardly 7 steps she walked towards me but it felt like she took 7 minutes to reach me, like a slow motion, taking each step towards me. 7 steps, 7 seconds but felt like 7 steps of “Saptapadi” for the bond of 7 lives with me.
The bike which I had got was an old bullet with no support for the pillion to seat properly, I blessed the owner for it. While I was hoping she will eventually keep her hand on my shoulder, I was worried how to avoid make her do that, I didn’t wanted her to be forced to do that due to bike’s seating issue. She was seating at the back with nothing to hold for support, she kept on playing her strict self, avoiding any contact with me, I drove very very cautiously to make her travel comfortably throughout without any deviation in her aim to avoid touching me. We reached, she got her dress sorted and we returned back. She was getting late, so, she got down from the bike and rushed to the door without even saying Thanks to me. I was like – what ? at least that was minimum expectation but madam was so engrossed in her “getting ready for the wedding” she was least bothered of the angel who helped her.
Whole wedding I was like lost in her thoughts, her face and that bike ride and was trying to encash on every possible opportunity to come face to face to her wherever possible. After some continuous stares she noticed I was looking at her and without a doubt looked annoyed, whenever I saw her that angry look at me, I could not control my laugh. I irritated her more just to see that expression again and again. I was so eager to know her name I reached out to everyone possible in that house and somehow got to know the same – Shruthika, yes, that’s the name, Shruthika Kumaran, to be precise. To long for me pronounce it in my thoughts also, so, cut it short to SK and I loved it. The moment of totally falling for her was when she arrived the wedding hall, gone, I was totally gone. She wore the same dress which we had gone to rectify. A long peach lehanga with light golden flowers on it, pearl necklace and matching bracelet, heels complementing the dress, golden clutch in one hand, light makeup and dark red lipstick, her hairs tied systematically, I couldn’t stop observing her every preparation. Again, everything around me was moving slow motion and I was over cloud 9, I didn’t even noticed she came near me and uttered that pending “thank you” and went past. Those words reached me late since everything was so slow, by the time I could realize she had taken my heart away with her. For the next few days of my stay, we kept meeting each other over multiple occasions, with me trying to create opportunities to meet and talk to her and she noticing all those efforts, now with slight smile on her face.
May be God wanted us to meet, he kept on giving us moments, reasons to meet, talk, one such moment was 1 day after the wedding – all the family members were relaxing at the garden of the house with people scattered all over in small groups, she and I were seating in one such group of young boys and girls. slowly people started leaving but I was praying in my heart, she should stay back, god give me this moment, just some more time with her, few more minutes to hear her beautiful voice, few more minutes to drool over her gripping expressions. Just few more minutes to admire her more, tell her how I feel for her, get to know more about her, her thoughts, her family and all of that. While everyone was leaving, she looked at me for a moment and I looked into her eyes with one thought for her – please don’t go ?, so generous of her she stayed back.
For some time, we were just quiet, she was seating beside me wearing light green kurta with nice prints and white leggings, her usual jewellery and her signature calm face, head leaned towards her left and looking down patiently waiting to hear from me. I was not able to strike the conversation, what should I say, shall I start telling her how I feel for her or shall I just stick to normal discussion and lose this opportunity to express my feelings. I somehow gathered courage and started telling her – SK, I don’t know if know my name or not ? She : “Sorry, what did u just called me ? SK ? How come ?” Me : “Sorry, I just gave you a nickname, but that’s the name that comes to my mind when I see you”, she kept quiet. With no further response from her, I too kept quiet and the eternal silence took over. We were seating just like that for good 5-10 minutes, she seated with both her legs folded on her right and her head facing the ground, her right palm near her feet, while the left hand on her lap. The place was dim-lit, still I could see her glowing face clearly. With every silent second I was losing my patience while she was at her best – super calm mode, I was surprised to see this chatter box I saw on day 1 to turn out to be so calm at this moment.
Not being able to bear the silence further, I started “SK, There are many people in my life like my family and friends and I do come across new people every single day, I spend time with all these people, enjoy life being with these people, create moments and memories, good or bad, but these people form part of my life. But only few special people we remember forever, who just change our life with their charm, love and care for us. Since the time I have met you, something unusual happened to me, It’s been very different, just a thought of you brings smile to my face, at times I laugh and blush thinking about u all the time. To get a glimpse of you I do so much, break so many barriers, seeing you, your beautiful smile gives me goose bumps. I don’t know why it’s happening but now I feel you are becoming that special person in my life. I wish to continue to have this happiness of seeing you in my life, forever, wish to see you in front of me, want to laugh with you, cry with you and create some beautiful moments, I see you as one special person who’s going to change my life forever”. I stopped there and I continued “By the way my name is Arjun” I waited for her response for a while but it looked like a distant dream, her fair face had turned red, it seemed she’s not stunned but still was a bit nervous. With every passing minute the lights were getting replaced by the full moon light was putting a different aura on her beautiful face making her prettier than ever. She got up slowly and started walking towards home without uttering a single word. I was still figuring out what her actions meant. Next day, I saw a different SK, trying to avoid eye contact with me, getting super nervous when I am around her, avoiding being alone, walking with her young cousin by her side all the time. I could sense it in her behaviour when I am around, like, she used to know that I am looking at her. She was doing her best to avoid an eye contact, a face-off, holding herself strongly together to do this but her eyes were failing her every time she knew I was looking at her. I think she knew what my situation was and where I was heading in my thoughts about her and that’s what was making her anxious. Her cute and spontaneous expressions, which were a delight to watch were gone somewhere, she was all half-hearted, distracted SK, which was there in front of me. I felt like somehow she was trying to stop me from moving further in those thoughts and hurt myself.
Here I was trying my best to get a glimpse of her, to talk to her, for one more minute with her but everything in vain, as SK was on a task to secure herself. I felt like she wanted me to stop on emotions front, to let me know that whatever my heart was making me do was not possible. I was getting desperate with every minute as it was my last day in that town and by now, I was sure I should convey my feelings for her. What was lying in front of me was a contest between two hearts on which one is more determined and which one will win.
Every passing hour, I was getting more and more and impatient, as I had to leave for my place and the thought of going away from this place, a place where SK was there, was making me anxious, nervous and what not. I just wanted to meet her before I leave, talk to her one last time but despite repeated attempts, failed every single time. Finally, the moment came, I bid goodbye to all the people who hosted, half-heartedly. My eyes were searching for SK everywhere but she was nowhere to be found. I continued my efforts until I sat inside the car, kept looking back just for one last glimpse and failed every single time. The car started for the destination and that was the moment I was about to collapse I looked back one last time and I couldn’t believe my eyes. This time, she was there in that crowd, looking at me without blinking her eyes. I could read her lips saying “Bye” and I it was for me only. I was looking at her until she was beyond my sight.
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