I looked at him lovingly as I had alwaya done, ever since I had met him. Sitting on a sofa at the corner of his drawing room at this hour of the night, he looked as if he was lonely and lost into some thoughts. I remembered the day I had met him, our first time. I was introduced to him about 2 years ago by my best friend Anu and though our meeting was totally accidental, it did turn out to be absolutely magical.
I had then, just completed my 3rd year in Engineering and was looking forward to the placement season which was about to begin in my college. Anu was very much excited about this as she had managed to convince her parents about her decision to work for about 2 years before they could finally plan to get her settled.
“Hey Sonu, it was indeed a struggle to convince the elderly brats at my place”, exclaimed Anu jumping around.
“Oucch”, I cried out loudly as she jumped on my left foot!
“Ooops sorry, am excited”, she said as she apologized.
“Hey that’s nice, now you’ll be able to concentrate well for the company thats visiting 3 days later”, I kind of reminded her of how little time we had to prepare for the MNC that was coming down on Monday.
“Yup…Let’s meet up at your place tomorrow morning and hit it!” she said with the same excitement.
“Done sweetie pie. So see ya tomorrow morning then. I got to go shopping with mom. Bye!” I said as I started my Activa.
“Cya Sonu”, shouted Anu as she jumped once again! Gosh!
“You are late, Sonali. I was expecting you an hour ago”, my mom began with her usual ranting.
“Yeah, well it’s shopping time now! Let’s go to the Janta Mall first; I heard a discount sale’s going on there!” I reminded her, in the process diverting her mind off my being late. The word shopping did the trick for my mom and I must confess it does for me too! 😉
The next day I was woken up by a tornado, ya you guessed it right. Anu was jumping on my bed yelling at me to get up! I looked at my wrist-watch and goodness me; it was just 7:40am.
“Gimme 10 more mins, I’ll be up by then”, I mumbled.
“Get up you lazy chick; we got just 2 days to prepare for the written test”.
“Go have breakfast, I’ll be up and ready by then”, I tried to drive her out of my room. But the bug was still on my bed determined to get me out of the cozy blankets. It did seem like her next step would be to kick me down the bed, so before that would happen I decided to get up and ready!
We began our preparations and Anu came up with this idea of going to a pub to celebrate in case we both did get the MNC offer on Monday! I had never been to a pub, and so agreed hesitantly.
On Monday, we smoothly cleared the written test only to face the first interview of our lives. Anu being a smooth talker came out of the interview room with a big grin on her face. But I was still tensed as my turn was yet to come. Since we were called in alphabetically, I was one among the last few to attend the interview. But, there was an advantage in that. By the time my turn came, I guess the interviewers were tired themselves. I was asked very few technical and exactly four HR questions before they shook my hands and asked me to wait for the results!
When the results were out, we were both selected and it was now celebration time. But the idea of going to the pub had not completely sunk-in in my case. After the initial celebrations, Anu and I decided to go to the pub the next noon, so that we could get time to recuperate before getting back to our respective homes late in the evening!
The next day, me and Anu accompanied by another friend Ruchi went to ‘Heaven-o-Haven’ which was a decent pub far away from all our houses. We found a table right at the corner and settled down after ordering our first round of spirits! We got busy chatting and also giggling at the costume that the DJ had worn and at the kind of heart-breaking and loud music he was playing! And then we heard someone call out Anu.
“Hey Anu”, we heard that male voice again.
I turned back to look who that was, and all I could see was a lifted hand that was coming towards us. When the person came into picture, I was left speechless. Here was a man, tall and handsome coming straight towards us. It was definitely love at first sight for me.
“Hey Shirish, what a surprise?” Anu jumped again as she hugged him.
I was still staring at him, not realizing that he was now conscious of the fact that I was staring at him. Also, for the first time in my life I was jealous of Anu!
“Is your lovely friend alright?” he asked Anu.
“Hey ya, come let me introduce you guys”, saying this Anu offered him a stool in between me and her.
“Guys, this is Shirish my cousin! And Shirish, this is Sonali and she is Ruchi”, was how Anu did a one shot introduction, thankfully not jumping around this time.
‘Gosh! Cousin eh?’ I thought, as that brought a smile on my face and I shook hands with Shirish muttering a simple “Hi, Shirish”.
I was totally smitten by his looks and most importantly by the way he projected himself to be. I was surely in love with this man. We had a lovely time that day in the company of Shirish and our celebration turned out to be one memorable event!
The next day when I met Anu, I hesitantly asked her if she could give me Shirish’s cell number.
“Sure, here you go. 988*******. Don’t tell me that you have a crush on my adorable cousin”, she giggled.
“Am sure, its not crush”, I mumbled as I carefully stored the number on my cell.
“Well, well Cutie-pie, something is cooking here…Shirish took your number from me last night itself. Anything you gotta tell me?” she was at her teasing best!
“Is it? Did he ask you for my number? And did you give it to him?” I enquired.
“Oh, I shouldn’t have given is it?” she mockingly enquired.
“I didn’t mean that, but did you really give it to him?” I once again asked to confirm, somewhat excitedly.
“Yes dear, I did give it to him. You two have fallen for each other, haven’t you? I’ve no doubt about that”, she said as she started ticking me.
“Hey nothing like that”, is all I could say to deny as I ran for cover.
A few days later, I did get a message from Shirish and I was excited as much as I was surprised. His first message to me read, “Hey Sonali, Shirish here. Got your number from Anu. So how are you? Hope you don’t mind me messaging you”. And then began our series of messages which made us come close to each other. I knew I had fallen for him, and I also knew through Anu that he was always talking and asking about me to her. In short, we both had fallen for each-other. It didn’t take much time for us to graduate from messages to calls and then to personal meetings. Shirish was 4 years my senior and well placed in an MNC and thanks to Anu and her family, my parents had no problems in accepting him as their future son-in-law. Things were all in place for us, and it was just a matter of time.
I was now waiting for my final year results as well as for my joining date when Shirish had to go to the US for an onsite assignment on a year long basis. He said he didn’t feel like leaving me and going for that long a time, but I did convince him to grab the opportunity he had got. He reluctantly agreed and it left both of us with a heavy heart! Our parents decided to get us engaged before he left the next weekend. We got busy with preparations and shopping that we didn’t realize how fast the time flew by. Our engagement was a simple but joyous occasion with a gathering of friends and close relatives.
The next day he was supposed to leave. Shirish, Anu and I went to the same pub just to have a memorable farewell. And we did enjoy amidst this hard to express gloomy feeling!
Finally the day dawned, and as I helped him in packing we looked at each other. There was so much to say, but not a word was uttered. I wanted to be with him and he too seemed not so interested in leaving me behind. I then went to drop him at the airport 2 hours before he could board his late night flight. We sat at the airport quietly holding our hands, praying that one year would fly by in the shortest time possible! My eyes were fully moist, but he being not the one who cried somehow managed to hold on to his emotions as we bid farewell to him!
We did keep in regular touch through daily mails and once in a week calls till I joined my company 6 months later. It was then easy for us to keep in touch through both mails as well as daily calls.
He got busy with his work and I was busy with my training schedule, yet we managed to find time for each other. My four month long training came to an end and I was then allocated to a project. Again a two-month on-the-job training was scheduled. I waited for this training to end, as that would not only complete my training but also mark a year of Shirish’s voyage. He would be back 66 days from now. I was counting days, and was waiting for the time when I could start counting seconds.
Ten days before Shirish was supposed to come back, my team members planned a weekend tour to a nearby coastal location. We all, totally 8 of us left for the tour and enjoyed every bit of the moments that came our way! When we were on our way back, it was raining heavily and the driver of the Qualis in which we were traveling was not able to control the vehicle properly. We asked him to stop at the roadside and wait till the rain subsided. But he insisted that he could manage and started driving at a slower speed. We had not gone long, when we met with an accident with a truck that was coming in the opposite direction. We all yelled at the top of our voices as the truck driver who had lost control totally, crushed into us. That is the last memory I have of being in aware of myself.
I do not remember anything that has happened after that. I am now feeling much better as if nothing had happened to me at all. But the way Shirish is sitting on the sofa of his drawing room and sobbing past midnight, makes me feel guilty of the fact that I’ve made him cry. Not only that, he’s making me realize the fact that I have died. I’ve not see this before, but that day he had cried.
PS: I wrote this way back in 2007…re-posting it from an old dormant blog…hope you guys liked, the narration from a gal’s point of view. Let me know! 🙂