Thursday, December 26, 2013

Lucky Love

His hands slowly snaked around her and he pulled her close to him. The moon shone generously above their heads as they sat smiling on the cold park bench. The stars gleamed and the air chirped melodies with the trees. The moist dew on the green blades of grass tickled her feet slightly and she continued the action of her legs. As she submitted to his presence, their feet entwined and she cuddled close to him. Her arms reached out behind him and held on tightly; as though the grip would never loosen, and the floodgate opened. Her vision blurred into the crests and troughs of her past, and how he had comforted her, loved her, and supported her. It was seven years now, and he was still the same; and nor had she changed. Her vibrations subsided into his lean muscular body, and she vanished into the small niche of her life.

There was silence everywhere, just punctuated by whimpers and hysterical cries in the background. The white tiles of the room shone like the sun and made her wish to lower her eyes, but she could not tear her eyes from the door. A plod sounded at the other side of the hinged fence and she stood up, anticipating the worse. The door swung open, and she knew that it was bad; the inevitable had taken place. And she collapsed to the floor, sobbing incessantly; but the sound never came nor did the tears. She just sat there.

The next two days were more heinous than the actual event. People came and made her remember the horrendous moment when the angel of her life had left her. The one who had changed her nappies; who had cooked for her even in fever; who had treated her with utmost care. And now, all of a sudden she was gone. Her mother was no more! These thoughts sparked the gates of her flood, and it began again.

A hand circled around her and held her protectively. And she held on.

“Hey sweety. We have to get on our legs again sugar. I loved your mother more than anyone did in this world, and yes, I was there when she left us. She held my hand the whole time, struggling hard to get back, and when she understood that it was over, she just uttered your name. She muttered that it was good that she was going away. At least she would not have to see you in the pain; in the tears you are dripping wet with.”

At this point, Renu’s father choked. His own eyes were dripping in violent torrents, yet he continued.

“I feel I am handicapped now. You mother was my past, present and future. And now the future has changed, all of a sudden. I don’t want to see you like this. I want you successful, smiling, happy. I want to see a new you,” he said.

Hugging him back, struggling to get in stride with life, she said,” Yes dad, we will beat this, and we will beat the world.”

"I'm going to the park to chill out a bit. I’ll be back in sometime,” she continued as she walked through the door. Stopping all of a sudden, she turned and said,” Dad, I want the plate at the table to be completely empty when I come back. I will not take any excuses.”

“Okay dear. Damn, my life hasn’t changed a bit; even now I’m being ruled by a woman,” he whispered to himself.

Renu trudged slowly down the path towards the welcoming green stretch, with its cool benches, and playing kids, and romantic young couples. Strolling in the dry grass, she managed to get a whole bench to herself; and sitting down heavily, she closed her eyes and shut off the world.

The silence pleased her, and the caresses of the wind on her tear-stained cheeks were soothing; the grass pricked her legs, yet she felt calm and serene. A child squealed in the background as his mother came running behind him, trying to win in the game of catch. As she heard the pleasant banter of the son with his mother, memories rushed back to her, all of a sudden. Sparked by nostalgia, the torrential downpour started again, and Renu cried silently on the bench.

“Hey beautiful. Why the sad face,” asked a familiar voice.

Opening her eyes, she saw Rohit, her classmate, and her best mate. At the age of 20, Rohit was well-built yet muscular and he sported a goatee coupled with long curly hair. Twirling a strand of hair, as was his usual habit, Rohit stood there with a comical expression.

“It’s nothing Rohit, was just rushing through some memories. I came here to have some time alone, away from dad; and especially from her absence. But it’s the same everywhere. She’s present in every small activity of mine- every breath, every place I have gone to, everything I have done.”

Rohit just stood there for a second, resembling a statue with a mixed expression and eyes withdrawn from the moment. All of a sudden, he moved and plunked himself next to her and looked at her intently. Taken aback by this weird and silent acting, Renu moved her hands in front of his eyes, as though to break a spell.

“Where are you lost idiot?”

“In the depth of your brown eyes; in the hollow of your dimples; in the red of your luscious lips…”

“Is there anytime you don’t flirt? And please change those lines; it’s repetitive now,” Renu replied with a chortle. Her face resembled the weather around a rainbow- wet from the tears and gleaming from a smile, induced by the words of her best friend.

“You think I’m interested in flirting with you? What do you think of yourself? You are an exotic model or a glamorous air-hostess?”

“Baba Rohit, please stop your daily drama, and lemme rest in peace,” said Renu, raising her hands in a mock Namaste.

“Okay baby. I spare you, but only today. Now stop crying and come to daddy.”

“God save your kids. A father like you would be horrible.”
He put his arms around her, and just chuckled. They sat like that in silence, gazing at the kids playing with each other; and the gossiping women. They watched the sun subside into the horizon; and they saw the blue of the sky transforming into strips of orange and red and purple. Rohit’s leg kept beating to an imaginary song, and he kept humming, quietly to himself. And Renu dozed.

She woke up to see the moon shining brilliantly, a bright speck of white on a black canvas. She moved and felt the weight of a hand on her shoulder. Turning slowly, her eyes adjusted to the darkness, and she saw the shadow next to her. The hair gave away the identity of the person and knowing exactly who it was, she punched him in the stomach.

Broken from his rhythmic trance, Rohit jumped and removed the earphones, and the shouts from them were replaced by Renu’s shrieks.

“Why didn’t you wake me up? What time is it? Dad will be shit-scared now,” she screamed hysterically.

“Lovely princess that is not a cause of concern for the moment, as I called up the King, and gave him the details of his beloved princess. He is sleeping as well and I have managed to obtain the keys to your house as well, so as to leave you there without causing a disturbance. The time is 1930 hours, and I demand a meal! It’s been 3 goddamn hours since I ate anything and there are mice running around in my stomach. Let’s grab a bite and then let’s head home.”

“Damn! Are you ever wrong in anything you do? Don’t you ever make any mistake in life? You have a plan ready for every event. You wife will seriously be lucky,” she said with a sneer.

“I’m not marrying unless I’m the luckier one of the two. Now get your fat butt of the bench and let’s head to the pani-puri stall. And I make myself clear right now, it’s your party,” he said, heading off into the darkness.

“Did you just call me fat?”

“Maybe I did.”

The jokes went on and on.

Later in the night, immersed deep in her thoughts, and with the hole in her heart deepening with the amplified absence, she wished for the shoulder again. The shoulder on which she had rested her head to cry, sleep and rest; the shoulder which had just given her the happiness and shielded her from pain; the shoulder on which she had enjoyed the peace and serenity of the moment. She wanted to hear the flirtatious words, and wanted to fight back. She wanted his presence with her.

The intimate moments spent today with him had kindled a new feeling in her, a feeling unknown to her till this time. She wanted him to hold her hand, to embrace her passionately, to hug her, to kiss her. With these new fires raging in her soul, she wished for him.

It was not something childish, fired by lust or by the physical touch; it was something which had caused her soul to desire his. And now she wished for the souls to mate together. She loved him, and now, she would not allow him to leave; and she knew there wouldn’t come a test in which she would have to bring him back.

4 years after the feeling initiated in Renu’s mind, Rohit held out a wedding band to her; knees bent. She could do nothing other than cry, this time in happiness, and smile. Her face gleamed eternally. The solitaire shining on her finger, amidst smiles, they took their oath in the presence of the holy fire, or Agni. And now, more than 7 years hence the moment she had realized her love for him, a similar moment of pain and sorrow had returned. Her tears were incessant and they kept flowing.

Affected by the loss, Rohit had also felt the anguish, but he had been in control. Even here he had had a plan. Clutched to the chest by his strong arms, she knew that the small dialogue she had told him as a joke had actually transformed into the truth.

She was indeed lucky.