What do I say about him? He’s slim, dark and reasonably tall. He lives alone in a single room near the city bus stop. The room is too small even for someone like him who treats his lifestyle as a matter of simple common sense. He makes it a point to leave the socks out of his room, for he washes them only once a week and doesn’t care to change them often. Not that he cannot buy himself a few more pairs but just that he thinks it’s not important. He wants to look attractive but he knows he’s not. He dreams of being an extremely good quizzer, a Mr. Know It All, “the Oracle” a title the quiz clubs gave to the best quizzer in the city. Sometimes, he dreams of a beautiful girl in a white dress attending one of the big imaginary quizzes he’s won. He also imagines having coffee with her after the quiz and explaining to her a mnemonic for the Euler’s number. Whether he wants to be “The Oracle” or he’s just quizzing to find that beautiful girl, he isn’t sure. Why should he even want to know for sure? He just wants to let it be.
He works in a small local factory for a meagre amount of money. Not many people know what he does. That’s because he doesn’t have many friends. But he has one good friend Ajay. He met Ajay a few years back in a quiz and have been friends ever since. Ajay is tall, dark and handsome and is a midst of an affair with a beautiful rich girl, Richa.
He for that reason is envious of Ajay. His life would change forever if he had a beautiful, wise gal, that he was certain! He loves the idea of having a patiala- peg of Jack Daniel’s with such a girl!
Shriya is Richa’s class mate at the University of Architecture. According to Ajay, Shriya is a very sweet girl. Ajay also told him Shriya and Richa were neighbours and have been best friends ever since. On a Friday Ajay and Richa take him along for a party to resort some distance away from the city. Shriya, Richa’s friend is among company. She is not very tall, around 5feet 6 inches , dark and is holding a glass of wine. She’s not in a white dress but she’s extremely beautiful nevertheless! She’s full of energy and the damsel is swinging to music with such grace, he’s not seen before.
He walks up to her and introduces himself. She responds and talking to her wasn’t as difficult as he’s imagined. He gets on with her for sometime. She seems to be enjoying his company along with the music and the wine. But he’s getting conscious. He knows he looks not-so-great and he’s afraid people around him are mocking him. Just then Shriya suggests a walk around the resort. If Shriya really wants to walk along or is it just the influence of the alcohol, he wasn’t sure. Why should he even want to know for sure? He just wants to let it be.
Hand in hand they walk around the resort. They sit down in a secluded corner of the resort and are talking when he instinctively locks his lips with hers. What is this going to lead to? Is she going to assume he’s just another sex maniac? Why did he do it? Whatever! Did she like it? Questions just bombarded his head.
He doesn’t talk about it, neither does she. Instead they talk about chicken, cabbages and gay marriages. They just go about it like it never happened. It’s late in the night and it’s getting cold. They gather themselves and tread back. Hand in hand !
On his way back home, he realises he after all was not carried away. He’s struck with the thought that even though she never invited her, she merely failed to resist. He likes this fact. He actually loves it! He smiles at himself. It’s happened. This time he’s sure. It is Love! He wants to let it be. Forever!!!
The next day he calls Shriya and asks her out. She’s waiting for him in her white dress and they leave for a walk around the streets. He has never found walking the streets so beautiful, street food never tasted better! And he has a feeling this is just the beginning of a very long journey together in life!
In the night when he thinks about it, he realises, neither of them tried too hard. Neither of them proposed but both of them knew. But why did the girl fall for someone like him? What did she find interesting in him? Perhaps she likes the fact the he's just another boy next door. He wasn't sure.Why should he even want to know for sure? He just wants to let it be.
One thing he knew was that there was a magical inevitability about it! “This is love!” he tells himself, “This is life!”
He’s no longer attending quizzes, for he can remember nothing, except her. She’s now a regular visitor of his “egg carton” the name she gave to his room and they spend long periods of time together! Every second a moments of pure bliss!!!
Days pass by like a dream until both of them have petty complaints. Shriya complains about him getting impulsive and not being caring enough and he complains about her mood swings and demands. Both have big egos they know and love each other more than anything, they know this too. The phone calls are not as often anymore the conversation not that passionate anymore. Though they still very much love each other there’s more and more silence between them.
He doesn’t like the fact that things aren’t as good as before, things are not like he wants them to be. What he doesn’t know is he’s been bottling up his frustrations, both personal and professional and that a grave sense of helplessness is winding him up.
It all comes to a head when he is out gulping patiala pegs of Jack Daniels one after the other and in an inexplicable moment of madness calls Shriya up and says “ If you don’t like being with me, let it be . I want to end it here. It’s all over” and hangs up. Shriya , red in anger, for she loved him , more than anything else , rings him back and yells “ If you felt like that, let me tell you one thing, I loved you more than anything else but now I realise you didn’t deserve one bit of it. Thank you for letting me know. Get lost!”
His world crumbled at once. He’s unable to grasp what has just happened. Why did he do it? he cannot comprehend . He still loves her for all his life’s worth. It’ll take a few hours for him to realise he committed hara-kiri in a second of madness. He calls her up but gets no response. Understandably so!Why should she respond? Why should he deserve any second chance?” He’s just mindlessly shattered the girl who loved him and who meant more than his life to him.
He’s now living with her memories. He feels happy and also privileged for having lived with such a girl. He feels happy for not living alone in the past few months like he did most of his life. He is wondering, for all the lovely things he’s done for her why did he have to do that one thing wrong? Questions haunt for which he has no answers but one thing was sure, he needed her. He is wounded from within. If anything is to cure him, it would be love. He may not believe in God but he believes in love and the magic of love. More importantly he believes they are “meant to be”. He’s sitting alone in his room reading Erich Segal’s “Love story”. He’s reading it for the sixth time.
Just then, he hears someone knocking at the door!
……..To be continued in PART II