July 1, 2010

30 hours


“He just wanted a heartfelt goodbye. He wanted her to wish to see him again. He believed in one thing for sure, that he was a good friend to her, may be nothing more, but definitely nothing less.“


“This is the End” he thought.
“Life could not be more brutal” he told me. “We started this phase of our lives together and we are ending it together too. Is this the circle of life? Or is it just God’s mercilessness!” I had no answer. I had been there for him forever. I had seen him extremely happy for trivial reasons and extremely sad too. He was the best guy in every sense. He was intelligent, witty, funny, sensitive and what not. Only if he wouldn’t have fallen in love with this girl, he was perfect. Or at least if he would have realized that this one sided love is not going to lead him anywhere. And today I was there to see the end too.
“Would you be able to handle this? You will be alone, I would not be there to take care of you today”. I was worried. He smiled, as he always did when he was sad, and told “I have to handle it someday on my own, why not today?” I had no answer. He always left me speechless.
Oh God! Why didn’t that girl see all this?
He was not expecting much from this journey. If nothing happened in all these years, what would change in 30 hours? He had accepted the fact that she would not be his.
His Love, for once, gave up!

He had just one last wish.

He had seen how sad she was when each of their friends left. Her goodbyes were evidence of how important these people were to her. He just wanted a heartfelt goodbye. He wanted her to wish to see him again. He believed in one thing for sure, that he was a good friend to her, may be nothing more, but definitely nothing less.

“Am I wrong? Am I asking for something I shouldn’t be asking for?”He asked me before leaving. I had seen what a committed friend he was. He made sure that she was never in trouble, even for smallest of things. He never let know what pains he underwent to do all that. He didn’t want her to feel bad for him.
“You will get it” I said.

First 4 hours

It was quiet. None of them spoke anything. Just a few customary smiles exchanged. She was disturbed. The whole “leaving a Life behind ” thing had taken a toll on her. Her chirpiness, her laughter, her one-liners were missing. He was prepared for this, I guess. He didn’t say a word. How could he disturb her more? What if, in an attempt to make her feel better, he reminds her something of the life they were leaving behind, and make her sadder instead!

“Mum is the word”-he told himself. Let’s wait for some more time.
That’s what he had been doing all his life. Waiting for a perfect moment, Waiting for a perfect girl, Waiting for that girl to realize his silent love.

She was sitting by the window, staring outside grimly. This reminded him of the day when he first saw her……..

“It was the first day of college. Everyone was feeling a mix of conflicting emotions- nervousness and excitement! He entered the class and looked out, as if he was searching for one familiar face among all those strangers! And he saw her. Sitting by the window, she looked peaceful. Occasionally she would raise her right hand to set her hair behind her ear and sometimes she would smile. Her smile was innocent, honest and beautiful. That was THE moment. That was LOVE at first sight! “

A sudden jolt brought him back to reality. The train stopped, the first station had arrived. He looked at her and asked if she wanted something from the station. She shook her head in No.
Still no words exchanged.

10 hours into the journey

It was getting late in the night. He knew she doesn’t sleep so soon. She looked fresh after her nap. He was hoping for some talk. He tried to start a conversation many times but failed. Silence won.

Deafening Silence!

Suddenly she said-“Hey! Can you help me set my bed please?” He couldn’t react for a second. These were the first words from her in 10 hours. He gave her a puzzled look. She started laughing and repeated the question. He smiled back, and got up.
She was asleep on the top berth. He was still sitting on the opposite lower berth. She was facing him. She looked beautiful in her sleep. He kept on looking at her, without batting an eyelid. He had perfected this art, of looking at her, without anyone around noticing!

Next morning

18 hours had passed, more than half the journey was over. He was getting restless.
She looked at peace today. She was continuously texting and received a few calls today. There was hope!
He tried to talk again, but failed. She was busy with her phone.
She was never like this. Why was she behaving so strangely? Was she purposely ignoring him or it was more of his imagination?
But this was not imagination, this was real. She had not started a conversation in almost 20 hours now! She was the biggest “chatter-box” he ever knew. Today when he wanted her to say something, anything for that matter, she was ignoring him! After all these years of closeness, this is what he gets?
He couldn’t take this anymore. He got up and rushed out. He stood near the door and tried to divert himself by looking outside. The loud noise of the train seemed comforting now!
He stared at the sky, as if he was complaining. The monotony of the scenario took him a few months back….

“Everything is planned”, he told me excitedly. She had called him to meet her and go for a long walk. From the past few days they were spending a lot of time together. He was so happy. It is strange to see someone happy, just by being in company of “that” someone special.
He purchased a very expensive crystal necklace for her, for this special moment, as rings, he thought were too clichéd. He had a list of things she didn’t have or she hadn’t done or hadn’t seen and also a list of places she had never been to. Though it seemed a little farfetched, but he wanted to be the one who fulfills all her desires. She shouldn’t lack anything. She deserved the very best.
So a Swarovski necklace, on which she fixed her eyes six months back while passing in a mall, was first on the list!
He wanted to make everything grand, king-size. Nothing came small for him. He wanted to make his proposal so perfect, that he waited and planned for it for months. He knew what to say, where to say, only when was an unanswered question. Just one perfect moment, as if he was waiting for the stars to be lined in the sky.
Everything was planned, and I think that was the problem.
He dressed up and left to meet her. He checked his pocket for the umpteenth time to check for his gift. She was very excited and happy for some reason. She hugged him and he was taken aback by this sudden gesture. Things were going better than he planned. He was about to live his dream.

“He proposed…he did it….GOD finally” she said!
“He called today, and told how much he loved me and asked if I loved him too. I was like dude, are you kidding me! I was waiting for this moment for the past 2 years. He is so crazy, he never realized I loved him so much and it took him two years” she laughed. “ How can someone not realize that some person is in love with him/her?........

He didn’t hear a word after this. Her last sentence was ringing in his ears- How can someone not realize that some person is in love with him/her? He wanted to say-“Ask yourself!” but he didn’t. He smiled and looked deep into her eyes and left.
On his way back, he checked his pockets again, the necklace was still there. He took it out, once he was away from her sight, threw it in a bin, and continued walking.
A spontaneous call had defeated his planning and expensive gifts.

“Everything was planned, and I think that was the problem.”

Last Few Hours

Despite his past still haunting him, he was still confident about his wish. He thought he would still get that heartfelt goodbye and the acknowledgement of his presence for her in all her thick and thin.
He thought of all the time spent they spent together. There was one common thread. It was always about her. She needed him when she was happy or sad or lonely. For him it was just about being with her. He never thought of his own existence. He surrendered his identity to hers. He loved her so much that everything was about her happiness. He sacrificed his wishes and happiness at every point of this friendship for her sake. She never did that for him. And now, when she was emotionally stable and satisfied, she didn’t even feel the need to talk to him!
He realized, he was in love with the wrong girl. but nevertheless, he was still in Love.

Her station was 20 minutes away. They moved her luggage to the door and decided to stay there because of the rush. He looked at her and smiled. This was the last time he was seeing her. Based on her behavior in their last encounter, he knew she was not going to be in touch with him. The last 4 years were flashing in front of his eyes, all those moments of fun, frolic and friendship. He knew he has to live with those memories for the rest of his life. No phone numbers or addresses were exchanged, just to ruthlessly cut the last thread of connection between the two.
The train stopped, he helped her get down. Her parents had come to receive her.
He looked at her one final time. She shook hands with him and said “Bye!”.

He turned back, boarded the train again and didn’t look back.

A tear rolled down his eye. He wanted to turn back to look at her one more time, but he didn’t.


It’s being an year and a half since this journey. We are still best friends. He still remembers her some times.
I know what he thinks-
“No matter what happens, I will always love you - until the end of time and you will never be forgotten."
And he is right. Whatever I say or logic dictates, cannot comprehend what he feels. The dates, the time, the idea, the planning and most importantly the intentions; all these things are unforgettable...

March 27, 2010

College Romances-The Indian Way

Everything looks pretty. There are smiles all over and every stranger looks happy.
A guy has finally overcome his fear of being rejected, his heart still pounding though.
A girl just heard the words she always wanted to hear, her face more red than ever.

Love is in the air.

A guy proposed to a girl, and she accepted.

Mr. Cupid got this one right!

This will be followed by countless hours on phone and a million texts in a day! You can always figure out a person in love when they smile ear-to-ear while texting. Every beep on the cell phone excites them and fingers start moving faster than ever to reply back.
Every moment they will spend together, from this moment onwards, will be etched in their minds forever. They don’t need a romantic “dating point”. A class room filled with a hundred other students is just fine. Just a look, from the corner of the eye, is enough to make her blush. A similar look from the girl makes the guy’s day.
It doesn’t matter where they are. Whether it is walking in a crowded path or sitting together in a roadside restaurant or being on a dilapidated fort’s top, it is all about stealing a few moments together. To dodge the security to remain together for five more minutes, before the gate closes, seems like the biggest conquest.
Even if they are not together, they are not separate. Their call durations are always in hours and the call disconnects only to charge the phone again. Now the biggest expense is of recharge coupons!
All they need is each other. All they want is to know each other, more and better, everyday. Everyday sun rises with the excitement of seeing each other and everyday sun sets with the promise of doing the same all over again, and again, forever. When others around are busy making careers, they are busy making lives. After all, college is called the best time of your life for some reason.
Their love is true and pure….full of hope, full of promise, ignorant of reality!
Everyone wants to graduate from this place as soon as possible. They want it too. But for entirely different reasons. It’s all planned. Get out of the college, get into a company. Works for two years then tell your parents about each other, and since they love you so much, they would agree. Get married and live your life like a dream. Nothing cinematic,
So simple!
Quite a picture, isn’t it?
But I know the future. I have seen what they haven’t or they don’t want to.
It’s all perfect except that it is in India.
The guy may not be from the same caste as the girl or the girl may be from another state or worse they both may follow different religions and the worst of all, their horoscopes may not match. Even the most educated Indian people believe in all this planetary crap.
Even if nothing applies, just the concept of “Love” is unacceptable. It’s against the honor of the families.

Everything suddenly became dark.
Where is the love?
It's lost, once again!

Love, in Indian families, is just a vice which is a result of bad company. And the re-habilitation center for this is the institution of “Arranged Marriage”!
India is famous for its legendary love stories. But one point goes un-noticed in all of them. All of them had a tragic end, except for the story of the “Taj Mahal”, which ironically is built on the foundations of a tragic end of an otherwise successful “arranged” love story.
Now what?
It would be followed by a few days of silence and a few tearful calls.
The guy would try to be a rebel but the girl would never have the courage to go against the wishes of her parents. What blossomed in years, would die out in days!
Indian youth is expected to have developed the ability to “forget and move on” on the same day they learn to love others. They are not expected to fall in love too young. I mean 21 is too young in India!!!
However perfect it may seem, your College Romance getting materialized has a lesser probability than anything else in this country.
One of those times when you feel Life was simpler! It isn’t.