First time I met her was when I was very young. I still distinctly remember the day she walked into the class, demure yet confident and those rosy cheeks. For the next three years we were in the same class, we were friends but not buddies. I don’t know why, maybe because I was too young to understand her depth or just the fact that I was more interested in playing cricket than wooing pretty girls. But even in those days what came across was her warmth for everybody, I still reminisce the recesses in school when I used to feast on her lunch of roti and fried bhindi (lady’s fingers). Another thing that stood out even then was, you could love her or hate her but you just couldn’t ignore her. After that due to various reasons we were not in touch. It seemed to me that we were on different paths and at that time I didn’t foresee that we would meet again and that too at the crossroads. Years passed and one fine day I found her on a social networking site. All this time she was out of my mind but I hadn’t forgotten her, her childish exuberance, her innocence and her beauty. We got talking after a long hiatus but it seemed that we had never stopped. We opened up to each other and we just couldn’t stop talking, we had so much to catch up; she had still retained her childish exuberance. We were in different cities, separated by thousands of kilometers but before too long, I got a chance to meet her. She was waiting at a café, she stood up to greet me when I walked in and I was awestruck. She had transformed from the bubbly, pretty, rosy-cheeked girl to an auburn femme fatale.
But beneath the entire glamor, her eyes showed an open scar, which was still bleeding. Beneath that luminous smile, if you scratched you could find dried up tears, shed without a sob, shed in silence, shed at the dark of the night. But she still had that disarming charm and confidence. I was plagued by a question, how can a person be both, confident yet vulnerable, so beautiful but yet so broken. She had changed in the last few years and I had too. I was no longer the brash kid but a more sensitive one. Life had taught me a few lessons and was about to teach me a few more. I was at the crossroads of my life so was she and the path we were going to choose eventually was different but somehow fate put both of us at the same intersection for the next one-year. After that I met her only few more times and our communication was mainly electronic but we never felt the distance, at least I never did. During this time we shared our aspirations, self-doubts, fantasies and fears. More I talked to her more I became infatuated with her but I should have understood that she was never a bird that can be caged and then she was anyway beyond my league. It was not that I didn’t try to woo her, people in love can be foolish but what I had failed to realize that even if it had worked, it wouldn’t have lasted because she is like a deer in the jungle, which you should only watch and never try to catch. Few lines of Tagore come to mind,
Mayabono biharini horini
Gohono shopono shoncharini
Keno tare dhoribarey kori pon ?
Illusive forest wanderer is a deer
One who roams in deep dreams
Why do you pledge to imprison it,
For no reason or rhyme?
May it hide in my own mind from a distance.
I am the melody of the flute, in omnipresence.
That touches the heart and soul alike
For no reason that may strike.
By the end of that year the above realization dawned upon me. At the end of that year I flew away and she also started her grand voyage, some may even call it the “flight of the Icarus”. Today I see her and get to know about her well being from social networking websites. I have not kept the promises to keep in touch, neither has she; the promises made before we started our respective voyages. Now she has transformed even more, she is slowly but surely working towards her goal. In her photographs, she looks even more lovely than she used to, more gorgeous and even more confident but still somewhere beneath that steely gaze you may find fleeting vulnerability. It seems the scars haven’t completely healed yet. As a friend I should have kept the promise but I let things go, as it was hurting me. Yes I have been selfish but whenever my flower girl gives me a call, I will be there. Till then I will savor that fateful year, those few meetings and that smile.
Kindeled by the heavy monsoon breeze
Trickles down the heavenly euphony
The heart becomes restless
For no reason that is harmony
From afar shall I be enticing
Shall tie a bond in secrecy
The bond that is unseen for no reason but pristine
PS: I am glad to be updating my Blog after such a long time. I have been planning to start blogging again but somehow couldn't get down to do it. Hope this is not just a flash in the pan.
Also, as usual a disclaimer: the above is a not a work of fiction and resemblance to anyone is purely intentional. :P