What’s in the air! – a love story


“Shut up you bitch. Don’t you ever message me again. I feel so ashamed of myself to have loved a person like you. You only deserve someone who would use and throw you. Pity!”

The sweat dripped from his body as if he was standing under a shower typing that message on his phone one summer. Hands trembled the way they do when one holds a gun for the first time to shoot point blank and the heart pounded like dancing elephants. He was overwhelmed with the kind of rage that morphs a man to a beast.

His world was coming to an end. For him, she was the world. An answer to the puzzle of his life, solution to his problems. She had this air of exclusivity and eliteness around her and yet she was humble like a goddess. Her rose petal like lips would make him go weak in the knees. He would find the same comfort in her as he would on the saddle of his favourite horses he loved riding. She was a natural beauty, the types that look their best when cosmetics don’t contaminate the pristine creation. She was the words of those poems he created every morning and in the night. She was the power he used to propel his soaring ambitions. She was a dancer par excellence and the brick of the home he yearned to build. She was the one. She was just the one he wanted. That summer night, his home came crumbling down!

His world was coming to an end. For him, she was the world. A #lovestory Click To Tweet

He skipped a few heartbeats when he saw her for the first time entering the door of a hall, yet forced himself not to form any opinion out of some compulsion. Morality and righteousness have killed more human beings than any calamity. There was nothing in the air. Suddenly, almost a year later, a green shoot pops out in the desert when he and she bump into each other at a popular Bengali food joint. She loved fish curry rice cooked in mustard oil. He too was fond of it. Cell numbers were exchanged in the midst of the subtle breeze often blowing into her loose hair strands. The air got a bit humid that afternoon.

Rains turn Pune and the surroundings into a divine goddess of beauty and opulence. A waterfall graces every 100ft of curvaceous ghats richly endowed with lush green flora and fauna. One wet July night, she joined him for dinner after 8 months of messages, calls and many stories (some of them, of course cooked up)! He was a master at story telling but struggled to keep her engaged that evening. If he could, he would have just watched her as if he was reading a Ghalib shayari or a Gulzar poem but he kept scouring for choicest of words.  They chatted for 3 hours sitting on the patio of a newly opened cafe watching droplets fall on the table and on the road outside lit by street lights. The air that night was damp.

Winters in Pune are dry and sometimes difficult to get along particularly with the night chill. Life too gets a bit mundane and dry. Especially, when the messages and calls dry up. Considerations and concerns are the headwinds of a free mind. They weaken the ability to take action. She too was concerned, fearful and probably weak. After a month of no communication, she called him one fine January morning for some help. He sprung up like an engine that roars to life when kicked on the fourth stroke. She called him again later that night to thank him for a job done well. He had never enjoyed the fragrance of rajnigandha so much on a full moon night while speaking to her at the large window of his 1 BHK flat. The season turns favourable in Pune at the onset of the new year. The winter chill weakens its grip and the morning sun basks the body. The air is filled with the fragrance of flowers blossoming in the compounds of 3-storeyed old buildings that they have stopped constructing now.

He was a Taurian, stubborn, yet was drifting away. The day was spent waiting for just one message from her. A call was like a 25% hike that a below average performer in the appraisals would expect to get! He missed her on his birthday that year. She met him the next day and he treated her with her favourite food. The way she wished and smiled that day with that glint in the eye, he would have donated every drop of his blood, without a hiss. For the first time they saw deep into each other’s eyes. Those large black eyes with nicely curved eyebrows and eye lids decorated with mascara! That whole bloody night! She woke him up with a “good morning”. He could have chosen to die than lose those moments to the lapse of time.

Summers are strange in Pune. Days are hot and unbearable but evenings are soothing. Intermittent tantrums, arguments, cajoling, convincing and camaraderie filled a typical day. She would pick him from office or he would happily wait for hours for her to get ready and watch her walking down her apartment complex towards the gate; as if a delicious, crystallised, golden honey was slowly swirling in a glass of water. There are no adjectives invented yet for some experiences in life. He was fond of honey and the honey was getting sweeter every day! The masala paan at the end of every day was an icing. He once declared to her that he would never ever let her go out of his life and he did mean it. She endorsed by sticking her tongue out and rolling her mischievous eyes. The evenings were spent riding across the city landmarks relishing paani puri, kesar jalebi and what not. Visiting Laxmi road and Tulshibaugh lane became a new ritual. He never found anyone so adept to sitting pillion as she would, leaving her worries to the exhaust of his bullet and be blown away in the wind. They would sing love duets by the end of the day before he would drop her back. He was a horrible singer while her voice mesmerised him stirring his every nerve like the strings of a guitar. There was music in the air!

Once, they fought so bitterly that it jolted the bonds, but as things got clear the relationship strengthened. The tear in his eyes brought her close to him like never before. She might not have slept that night. She began opening her heart, slowly but assuredly. Mumbai – Pune drives were a pleasure. He hated shopping but would wait endlessly for her as it was a sport for her to unwind. She was good in buying and he was great in bargaining. The food she brought for him fed his conscience. The sight of she collecting the bunch of hair off her forehead while cooking for him in his kitchen was godly. He felt like a mountain when she rested her head on his back, seldom in cry and shared her sorrows and struggles with him. And she would do it pretty often especially when she would be upset with her brother whom she loved the most. The second was him. Rising up to that position was the greatest accomplishment of his life.

One day he proposed to her. She refused. His heart sank. The era of pain, quarrels and arguments started. But they were together. Perhaps he was too weak to accept it or he was strong to take on the game to win her. There are no right answers. She didn’t love him yet she never seemed to have not loved him. He felt as if he was inching towards victory. Perhaps was hopeful. Else, why on earth would she feel restless if he didn’t see her for a day. And there were many such “whys” that kept him going. She would love to have him around. Yet, harsh winters had started setting in.

One fine day, he did something that she never wanted him to do. No. Certainly Not that!

She was always reticent wanting to keep the relationship under wraps. He wanted to scream it out to the world. That day, he spoke to her brother. About them. And she concluded he broke her trust. She resolved to put everything to an end. Perhaps it was just an amusing game for her which she decided to stop, the moment she sensed it getting serious. These were just his speculations. There is no truth in it. Just a day before, she had shared her worst fears of life and asked him to be at her side forever. And after that day, she never met him again. He begged for an audience. To be heard and to hear. To clear the air, to begin afresh. She didn’t relent. That year, not just the winter but even the following summer was cruel in Pune.

One of the greatest puzzle a human being faces is to decide whether to try a little harder or move on. After five months of agonising wait, unsuccessful attempts to call, messages and instances of embarrassments and humiliations, he thought of letting her go; albeit after one last meeting. One last look at those beautiful eyes that he would cherish every moment. He crafted an emotional farewell card, ordered a nice bouquet of her favourite flowers, the Orchids sprinkled with water. To avoid being late, he raced his bike ignoring the bad road and slipped, badly bruising his knee. But there was no time to nurse it as she hated waiting. He reached the gate, on time. She came with a friend but didn’t come out of the gate. She handed over the keys of his house from a distance and quickly returned as if she feared something. He was broken. How on earth can he have her with him again? She refused to accept the flowers and the card so he kept them at the gate and left without wiping tears that had filled his eyes. Minutes later, she called him. He was  overjoyed. He felt like a prisoner who had his execution orders cancelled for good. As he picked up the call with gigantic enthusiasm, she asked if he wrote her name on the card left on the gate else she has to bother to collect it and tear it away! He felt cheated. He went berserk. He wanted to set the world on fire. The summer that year was devastating.

Was it a romantic movie with a surreal plot that just whipped by?  Or was it a hard-hitting chapter on life and love?

Meanwhile, the seasons have been keeping dates. The air in Pune has its own charm, just as it has been since time immemorial..!

Image source: flickr

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