Love, infatuation, crush, lust, fad….I’ve spent hours surfing the net to find a strict classification of these terms which are quite ubiquitous in every young adult’s life, but to no avail. Sometimes, I feel I’m deeply in love with her while at others, it appears as if I’m just conforming to societal norms. But if you ask me to conjure my Patronus, I am sure it can be nothing but her and the happiest memory I would think of would also have her by my side….how can I ever forget those walks in the rain, those long phone talks at all times of the day (and night), those stupid eloping plans that we used to make, our first kiss,……. Sneha…… kohl-lined eyes, long eyelashes, a perfect nose but for a slightly overgrown bone giving it a shape of a mountain peak, an upright chin, a disarming smile, innocent, fresh……. Sneha….. a pair of tiny ear-rings always matching her dress, a golden armlet, not ostentatious rather fitting….. fit for my golden girl……. Sneha….the most clumsy girl I’ve ever known yet sophisticated in her own ways, outgoing, extrovert yet reserved, the girl who has perfected the art of getting on my nerves yet whose thoughts never fail to bring a smile on my face….. the girl of my dreams…. the girl who just dumped me last night……. Sneha……. Sneha…….
“bhaiya, yeh bag ehaan rakh doon?”,
a calm submissive voice brought me out of my Sneha-bhakti (thats what my friends call it). This is something I hate about bus travel, there is no sense of privacy, unlike in a train, where you can lie down on the top berth and wander in the dream world…… a world which hasn’t gone topsy-turvy, a world where a silent inner tsunami has not yet wrecked havoc, a world where love is still worth dying for, a world where…… a world where Sneha is still with me……….
”halka sai hi hai baba…..aap kahan ko utarega?”
I took the bag, he gave a faint impression of a restrained smile. I looked around hoping to see people praising me for my kindly gesture. Somehow, I always do this, if I leave a seat for a lady passenger, I look around, my chest swelling with pride, silently imagining how everyone must be thinking what a well-bred, sophisticated guy he is. Just to find that no one even noticed….never mind… After about ten minutes, the person sitting next to me got down and this guy took his bag from me and sat next to me.
‘Do eou speak English?’, he said.
I was again lost in my reveries and gave him a blank look.
“English……commuoonication……we…talk….”, he reiterated.
‘Oh yes, I know English’, half-wishing I had not said so, being in no mood to talk to anyone…… especially to a total stranger…… bus discussions…..huh……how India is going to the dogs, how we are paying for the wrongs Gandhi did, why Dada should be in the one-day team blah-blah-blah. My world was shattering, had shattered…..I didn’t care for anything else yet I was there getting into small talk with him……strangely familiar, familiarly strange…..