10 February, 2010
Just Another Love Story? Part 1
It was the umpteenth time that Shradha checked her watch and inestimable occasion that she told the butterflies in her stomach to settle. She was half anxious and half jubilant...barely managing to contain herself as her legs trembled under her voluptuous frame. This was a new ball game all over again...at least so after seven years of her uneventful and placid marriage. She was going on her first date...the date with a man who was not her husband!
The milling crowd at the Bandra station went past her as she got down the Mumbai local train. Mumbai-the Maximum City always made her nervous. The cosy and proverbial air of her Banaras lanes, were more of her defining element...even though her free spirit often revolted against the mental confinement there. Mumbai would provide her the relieving breather, but too many days here also had the propensity to make her feel lost among the quick footsteps and quicker changing virtues.
Being a renowned fashion designer of her quaint little town, work often brought her here...but this time it was not business...just pleasure! And this was perhaps her last visit in a long time, for she was winding up her own career to join her husband’s firm. Last though it was...one cannot term it as the least...for it was momentous by any standards!
She was supposed to meet Siddhartha here...and it was almost time now! Funny how six months ago, Siddhartha could have been just another name and six months from then, it had become a name that made the very fabric of her existence. She was not looking for love...but when it came by, slyly knocking at her doorsteps, she felt she was too weak to resist and too willing perhaps to act coy. She was left wondering today as her body moved towards the exit and mind wandered towards every other possibility. Had she been too quick in giving in? Is this right? Should she reconsider still, the bonds and faith she had shared with Param, her husband of seven years? Is this the so-called ‘seven year’s itch’?
She reminded herself how Param and she had fallen in love nine years ago. He was the event manager and she the designer of the gala show and how breathless he made her feel in the very first go. But the way she felt giddy today...it was a purely matchless feeling, hitherto unknown to her body and senses and hence making her flutter and curious, to relate to this nameless aspect of her own self!
Tried as much as she could, her mind just wavered back to Siddhartha.
She had found him on the internet or had he perhaps found her? She was never so sure about who found what first...what she was sure of was that she had found love...the kind of love that fantasies are made of...the kind of love that little girls grow up dreaming about and spending each day of their existence waiting for it to dawn on their lives.
Shraddha had taken a while to dress that morning. Though generally ready in five minutes flat...by her standards taking fifteen was a whole lot. The last five minutes in that had been spent critically analysing herself in the mirror. Do I look like the person he seems to know through the chats? Would I seem too proper in this or too desperate in that? After about another split second of a hundred analysis, she just gave up. She straightened the folds of her jeans, adjusted the flowing, semi clinging tunic, brushed her hair, added the mascara, pressed her lips to even out the semi nude shade of her lipper, flung the bag on her shoulder and dashed out.
Little did she realize how flirtishly her freshly washed hair fell over her shoulders and so did the fringe covering half of her forehead in an incline. How delicious she smelt, just out of the shower and how fresh and vulnerable her entire hesitant yet gorgeous frame projected. The georgette top accentuated her curves and the hint of make up on her flawless white skin beamed a glow that was rare. Plus it was love...love that brought the pink flush on the cheeks and the glint in her almond shaped eyes. She fussed over just a few extra pounds she had always wanted to shed! What the heck! I am 28 now and he isn’t expecting a 21 petite college girl either. Although at the back of her mind, it played on her that at 35, he could be called very well maintained. A bit of a paunch you could say, but the smooth skin and curly hair and a towering six feet frame...he could still make heads turn! Shradha silently and secretly smiled within at the thought that such a man was crazy about her and hoped that he would remain even after today’s encounter!
And one last stroke of her hair with her fingers and she was done. She came out at the predetermined spot, breathed out deep and waited. She looked around into the faces and in them searching for a face that was unseen yet not unknown...the face that didn’t matter really for she was madly in love, yet the gnawing fears rising...what if she didn’t like his face? What if he flashed a letchy expression? What if his body language completely turned her off? What if he thought she was pretty only in her pictures? What ifs went on and she had to consciously tell her mind to shut up. She closed her eyes for a flip second to ward off all other thoughts and regain her composure. But when she opened them again, she saw a car stopping in front of her. And her heart skipped a beat...it was him.
She was finally meeting him. This was actually happening...
She just stood there...too stunned to move...her heartbeat going lub dub!
He bent forward and opened the car door...and flashed a big smile at her and asked, “Are you planning to get in or has my appearance made you so horrified that you are looking for ways to run from here?”
Ah, and she came out of her spell. Oh, that wit...the instantaneous flow of the most brilliant retorts...how she had fallen for it in the first place and since then, kept falling and falling. She smiled and got in and the wheels turned to take them to destinations unknown!
(To be continued....)