The gang was at my place working on the next album.
“Naren, you start with the keyboard. Ramya, you too start singing along once the first stanza is over. Chandru, you start with your violin and by the time we hit the second stanza, I shall start singing. Shammeer, you just maintain your own rhythm. Okay now. All set. 1…2…3…4…” Siva explained too much about the intricacies of the second song.
So now, you know who all make up our music band. We are real life characters…yes, alive and rocking. 😀
Well…I’m what I’m. Good at what I do, but lazy and care-free. And I must confess that I was in it only for Ramya. She was the only motivation behind having these freaks at my place. For the record, she was my girl…hmm…to be…
Inside the small room on the terrace which we had set up as our practice-cum-recording room, I was standing with my keyboard just behind but next to Ramya, watching her all the while as she repeatedly set her step-cut hair behind the earlobes, giving me a clear view of her lovely face. Ah! And each time as I fell in love with her, my fingers danced on the keyboard. Bliss!
During breaks, Chandru usually would tease her about me and all that he got back from her as a reaction – was a smile. Let me tell you…there was something about her smile. Call it mysterious, MONALISA, magical, confusing or even haunting. But there was something about it…
A simple yes or a heart-breaking no, would have put things in the right place, but then no…Fate wanted me to hang on to her smile, like a cat on the wall – imagining which side to jump.
“Naren, where’s your mind loitering? Again dreaming eh? Play it on cue, dude…” on the microphone crooned Siva adding on to his ******s (that too in good rhythm, must say), as Ramya turned behind – looking at me, with the very same smile on that full-moon of a face. Ah! Bliss!
I have to admit, it was insulting. Yes, I was lost looking at her and missed more than a key. But trust me; it is hard to concentrate playing something as trivial as a well practiced note, when you have such a beautiful girl around.
Finally I delivered what they wanted, before it was time for us to pack up. Except for Ramya and Chandru, all of them left for the day. Chandru stayed back on purpose, just to irritate me (he did that, all the time…even now). There’s no swear word, I’ve left unused for him – but I’ve now come to understand that he’s kind of immune to those. As Ramya asked me for a glass of water, Chandru announced that he wanted to watch a movie. #$%^&*!!!
Cursing my fate, I went down to get her water. I saw a way out of this, as I passed by the electric switch circuit board. On the way back to the terrace, I silently slipped the main fuse into my pocket. Passing on the water to Ramya, I gave a glance at Chandru signaling him to get out immediately. Maybe guessing that my next step could prove fatal, Chandru bid us a happy goodbye. Bliss!
(I went down to see off Chandru and back on the way up, put the fuse where to it belonged.)
Ramya, too wanted to leave right after – but I held her back, by her hands and hinted that it might rain anytime. It was a sunny day, but then there are certain times when God happens to play God – and that day was one of those times. Amidst the rays of the scorching sun, it drizzled beautifully and in no time, there was a rainbow. Bliss!
“Ramya, I’ve composed something for you…and when I thought about you…I could only play on white keys of piano…for strange reasons, I just couldn’t hit on the black keys!” I made my musical move, the one with which I’m good at. With utmost concentration and closed eyes, I played for her a freshly composed tune…Oh! That feeling must say, was divine!
I opened my eyes as I ended the rendition, and found her sitting very close to me – breathing light, smiling bright. By the way she was looking at me; she seemed to be completely floored by my dedication. She told me how good the composition was, how smooth the music was and then she took a trip to her 8th standard stories…but I heard not a word…I was in my own world…I was not even aware, as I leaned forward and kissed her light, face to face.
Looking back now, it seemed to have happened so fluently…as if I was an expert…but must confess, it was my first kiss. 🙂
There was a silence…she looked down for a while, before looking INTO my eyes. I didn’t know what to say, or what to expect from her side.
All kinds of thoughts were running in my mind (of course from all the movies, I had seen till date!!)
*Will she scold me?*
*Will she curse me and leave?*
*Will she stop talking to me?*
And even an optimistic *Will she start a kiss, afresh? Wouldn’t that be a sweet revenge??!!* 🙂
The silence was about to kill me, when I heard myself say “Ramya…”
She replied “Naren…” in an even more feeble voice…
After a deep breath and a silent pause, she continued “Naren, can I have some coffee? Freshly filtered and strong, please…??“
Not having expected this (at all), I nodded my head and got her some coffee – just as she had asked for.
She seemed to enjoy her coffee, looking outside the window at the sunny rain…and I heard her whisper… “Thanks“…loud enough for me to hear…
I asked “What?”…
“Thanks”, she replied again.
Strange as it was, I asked her…”For the coffee…?”
She smiled back at me. Bliss! 🙂
Note: This is the translation of the 5th chapter of the book, Ranam Sugam. Story was originally written by Shammeer in Tamil, as a third person narrative. I present it here, from Naren’s point of view.