I was on a drive with my cousin – he was dropping me off at a nearby bus-stop. Tech-support (one of my odd-jobs) lasted till late night, and Kowdiar (where he stayed) was three buses away from my place. Since I fixed his computer for free, Aravind annan (as I knew him) was obliged to drop me home. Now, Aravind annan is my eldest cousin – he’s the oldest amongst us cousins in dad’s family and he works for the railways. Quite an intelligent chap, his bald head gives me caveats about my impending coiffure (or the lack of it). The twenty-year age-gap we had, made sure that our conversations were mostly intellectual, even bordering on the spiritual – we shared a passion for intense spirituality. We didn’t quite share a rapport that I enjoy with cousins of my age – he’d be the last person I’d confide in about my encounters with the opposite sex, but we were friends nonetheless.
We were discussing nuances of Vaishnavite tradition as annan drove, nay, dragged his Maruti Alto in sluggish thirties. Fourty was his speed limit, a couple of ravaging accidents in his younger years being the reason for the vigil, not that I was quite enamored by it. I was left with no choice – necessary evil. Annan‘s foot spared the accelerator of its misery as we neared PMG Junction – a crossover square that connected our road to NH-47. If thirties are sluggish, tens are, well… a full f***ing stop! I rued my decision as my cousin calmly chanted a mantra to prove his spiritual point, manuevering the gear stick to First gear. That’s right, we were traveling at ten kilometers per hour in a virtually empty junction, at nine thirty pm. Insanely-crappy! Exasperated, I gave up on my argument, and glanced longingly at the empty road, brightly lit with halogen lamps. There was a statue of Subhash Chandra Bose right at the center of the junction with a circular grass-skirting. The night-lights added an aura to the towering Bose, and the beautifully-trimmed grass added a glistening aura to the martyr, making him seem…
Oh my God.
Oh my God.
OH. MY. GOD.
I’d given Janice quite a run for her money with the series of exclamations, but I had to do it.
I just saw the prettiest female I’d ever chanced upon, crossing the road by the statue!!!
She was exquisite. Clad in a floral white salwar adorned with blue petals, she was breathtakingly-pretty. Her face was unblemished (marvelously-ravishing actually). The two-second glimpse I saw, gave me visions of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Perfection personified. Her flowing hair was the best part – it ran till the waist, and she repeatedly used her forearm to set it right, while her left hand managed a leather bag. Her expression was intriguing – a petulant impatience shrouded in put-on calm.
She was the one. And I needed no further thought to get that into my thick-fat head.
Meanwhile, a few things happened simultaneously. Never a multitasker, I broke all records of intelligent-thinking; and mustered up a plan to get talking to the female. I shook my cousin from his Vaishnavite reverie, gesturing at the bus that had just reached the stop – it was a direct bus to my place. Thanking him profusely, I opened the passenger door and bolted, waving him a cursory bye. Annan was actually glad that I dropped off early, the car’s fuel indicator hovered near ‘E’, and he wasn’ t exactly minting money at the railways; he swerved (at 5 k.m.p.h) and left – humming (a vocal carcass of ) an Ashtapathi.
The girl (woman actually) was roughly 25 m away from me. And by some divine grace of God, she still stood transfixed, she seemed like one of the cautious ones – waiting for the road to be totally empty. Interesting quality, I mused. In a few seconds, I caught up with her, and stood beside, waiting to cross the road with the lady. I turned left and took a closer look at her, and she turned to look at me. My vision still stood me in good stead – by God, she was THE prettiest! And she was tall – our heights ‘matched’. 😉 She could be older, but what the hell! Saif Ali Khan is my hero!
Then, she, nay WE crossed the road. Turned out that she wasn’t looking at me earlier, she was checking out for incoming vehicles to the right side, so that she could cross safe – but that did help! I wasn’t aware of the surroundings, in my mind’s eye, I was planning my wedding with this Goddess! Lost in fantasy, neither did I notice the direct-bus leave, nor did I observe the man donning a dark helmet on an old CD100 SS, waiting by the bus station. We were centimeters apart, and my arm did brush her palm once – and boy, that was electric! By now I’d started making love to her in my dreams as my conscious mind was searching at terabits per second for the best pick up line.
As we neared the bus stop – which was right-opposite to where we stood, I walked closer to her – God alone knows how I mustered courage to get my shelf self to get to talk! But I had to do it – I wanted to make her mine, then and there, and no force in the world could stop me.
Or so, I ass-u-me-d.
Surprisingly, she was walking away from the bus stop and me, towards the left, whereas the stop was on our right. Puzzled, I followed her – now I was behind her, probably a foot or two away. She gradually reduced her speed as she approached the parked CD100SS. I too followed suit. The man on the bike lifted up his helmet vizor and smiled, which she did not acknowledge . Before I could put a further step forward, she got on pillion and the man fired up his bike. They sped away. Taking my dreams along.
I did get a quick glimpse of the man on the bike -he stood underneath a sodium vapor lamp and I saw his face clearly, he was grossly unattractive. And surprisingly massive too. Who was he? Could be a brother, or maybe a friend. A (boy) friend? A ‘customer’?
All adrenaline drained out, I trudged about the bus stop, dejected.
And I continued ‘dejecting’ for about one more hour, till eleven a.m. – no bus to my place as in sight. 😐 Finally, I had to get content with an overcrowded fast passenger, for which I had to pay extra. As I hit home, I ended up hating public transport too! Parents’ mandatory back-home-abuses later, I retired with a heavy heart.
I found solace in Pratheesh‘s constant refrain: