An Interrupted Journey

Posted: January 22, 2013 in NaBloPoMo

I liked the way Sonia dresses. She knows how to carry her super sexy but elegant look. It’s been long twenty years, we know each other. I was a small kid then when she came and took admission in our small kinder-garden school and from then lots of water reaches the Bay of Bengal through the river Ganges, sometime we developed some emotions, sometime tensions in between both of us but ultimately we remained as good friend only. Today morning I had a site visit nearby to her office, so after almost six months, I called her and thank god, she didn’t change her number, it rang, she picked up the call knowing it’s me because I don’t change my number frequently.

hi Sonia

-oye hoye, hello Johny Walker, how are you? What happened so remembered me after almost one year?

started with a wrong info. You don’t carry any authentic information with you. We had our last talk just a few months ago and that is not more than six months. Cool, look, what are you doing? Is there any chance to go for a lunch together? I have some works to do nearby your office. I took a pause. I think I will be able to wind it up before lunch hours, what do you say?

-On one condition, it will be my treat; I have some good news to give you.

I immediately agreed but that was a strange declaration, she has some good news to give me, anyway, I managed to act normal and said, – will call you well before lunch hours and will come to pick u up to go somewhere, you better fix some place where we can go.

-Catch u later, c ya.

I completed my job, called Sonia, picked her up and reached the restaurant named “69 degree”. This is also a super choice by her because this is the place where for the first time I brought my fiancée to have a cocktail dinner and the same Sonia did. Her fiancée brought her to the same place. We came to know about the fact after almost 3years while discussing about first cocktail dinner in a family party.

Anyway, I praised her look, she gave a measured smile. I didn’t like that but can’t do anything also. She is neither my fiancée, nor my colleague. Neither I can make fun of her, or can praise her mixing some emotions like before. I was smiling and suppressed a deep breath but can’t manage to hide it from Sonia. She noticed and asked me the reason of behaving in such a way. Now I gave a measured smile, like I just took it out from my hip pocket and put that on my face just play a role in an act. Waiter came, we ordered for nonalcoholic blue lagoon and then some starters and then some main course for lunch and I declared, this nonalcoholic drink is from my side. Probably she ignored the declaration and seemed like concentrating on my wrist watch. Exactly I can’t remember but probably I was also lost in her engagement ring. “Hey, how’s Richa?” she broke the silence. I gave a smart smile, ya, I know, it was a smart smile, I managed to give so because now I am habituated to give such to avoid anything personal to disclose in public. She continued, “She is nice na? I know she must be nice, she seems so and obviously it was your choice, it must have to be nice.” I didn’t understand whether the last statement was an irony or a compliment but for the moment, I took it as compliment only. I replied,” ya, she is nice yaar, caring, good and obviously very smart to manage me in every way”. I spreaded my lips to show more smile but I don’t know what happened to her face. Sonia seemed tensed and asked me a ridiculous question, “manage you in every way, I didn’t understand.” I knew, I did a mistake, I said something that should be managed in some other way. I knew I will have to control my words and atleast for then, manage the situation. I gave a wicked smile and let Sonia guess whatever she wants to guess. She also seemed comfortable with my smile and seemed like she got her answer and comfortable with that. I asked her, “Sonia, how is Rakesh?” “As I have asked you about Richa, so you will have to ask me about Rakesh? Does this make any sense?” She was smiling. I know, Sonia is very good in turning any critical condition to her favor. She was our 1st bet for any debate competition and I was good in table tennis and chess. Come on, I was kidding. She assured me, put her hand on me and immediately moved it away and replied, “Well, he is good”, with a sheepish smile. I don’t know, may be the smile was real and there was nothing to think bad about it, actually she looks the best while smiles only, but can’t remember why it seemed sheepish to me.

Blue Lagoon came. We said Cheers and sipped some. Sonia was always a silence breaker. While after a good fight between two teams seemed to keep their disagreement for life long, she used to come to draw a conclusion and what’s more, for her charming appearance and acceptance, often we used to forget things of bitterness. Here also, while she didn’t find me showing any sign of talking but concentrating on the blue lagoon, “say something? When are you going to get married yaar? Hope I will get invitation atleast six months before”, again she broke the silence.

I gave a foolish smile and I was confident, after a good try to give a smart intelligent smile, ultimately what I managed was a foolish smile, and replied, “May be very soon, not decided yet, let her get a job in Mumbai. Still then, no chance of getting married. But Rakesh is here only and then why are you getting late, or still waiting for me to get married?” I laughed to overcome the embarrassment I had after giving that foolish smile and with a satisfaction of asking her the same. She sipped the last drop of Blue Lagoon, took out the straw and put it beside the glass and looked straight to my eyes and asked, “Why don’t you change the habit of asking me the same question?” she looked serious. I didn’t reply, seemed like, she didn’t complete her words. Ya, I was right, she continued, “anyway, from next time onwards, if I ask you something, then before you say, I will reply the same for mine. I promise. Anyway,  no plan yet, probably in next month Rakesh is going to Canada for one year and pressuring me to get married in this month, but I said him, I am sorry, I can’t manage within this short period of time. Even if I marry, then also, I will not be able to find a job there in Canada, so what will I do there?” She took a pause. I forgot to write, starter was served before but we forgot to eat. In the meantime, the main course arrived. She got busy cleaning her plates. The waiter helped her to do not-necessary help. After putting all the plates, waiter disappeared and she started again,”I can’t sit idle over there. So, probably our thing will not click.” She was talking while moving her spoons in her food, stopped, saw my face, tried to judge it and then cancelled the idea of reading me through my eyes.  This is one of my confidences; none can even doubt what’s going in me by just seeing my eyes or by seeing any kind of expression. “Let’s start our food”, I interrupted her. I am free after my first half job but probably she will have to go back to her office. She nodded. I said, “Why are you behaving like hopeless? You people will be in touch and any day in between this one year, manage a job and then fly to him or he may also can manage something good in India and fly back here” I smiled for my comment to be granted by her. She didn’t reply, kept silence, started making little sound with her spoons, chewed the morsel of food and then replied me in the same voice like chewing something, “do you have any problem if I declare, again I am off to this god damn bloody relationship?” I didn’t listen properly, may be due to the soft music or maybe I was lost somewhere or maybe she spoke in a softer voice. I saw her face; she was not crying but sounded calmer than she is. I requested her to repeat, she repeated the same, “I broke the relationship with Rakesh.” I didn’t make any comment. I was feeling the tremendous pain all through my spine spreading through my nerves and declaring me half dead. I don’t know why this happens all the time with me. Whenever some kind of tension, mis-adjustment or anything bad reaches my ear, my brain reacts in such a way. I managed to say, “Will not ask you the reason but just have a querry, is it declared?” she again nodded her head. “I myself told this to my parents and after that it has become a daily routine to hear their blame. I just need to get out of all these bloody shits. I have had enough. Cant wait to see more.” Again I kept my silence. We were almost finished with our lunch. She didn’t eat a lot, mostly wasted in her plate. I was hungry and was happy too until she said about her break up.

Wash bowl came, we washed our hands and then she paid the bill including soft drinks, I didn’t resist her. We came out of the restaurant, asked her, “will you mind if now I ask you about the good news you were supposed to give me?” She smiled, again the graceful smile is back, and it gave me relief. She said, “will say you surely but not now but just before I bid u bye today.” I had no option but to agree.

-“Shall I drop you to your office?”

-“Yap, that will be nice and really helpful to me”. Again the pinned up smile came on her lips. Another two minutes, I got indulged in deep thought. Should I inform her about my break up with Richa? Should I or not. I was confused, really confused. Suddenly she interrupted me in my dreaming or better says in between my confusion, “hey, what are you thinking?” Now it’s my turn, I used the pinned smile and replied “just like that.” “Just like what?” she asked. “We reached your office; probably you are late but thanks, thanks for the lunch”-I opened the door.

“Why are you pushing me away? Going to date any lady or what?” she asked while coming out of the car.

I replied with a smile, “Thought, but changed my mind

Don’t know what she understood but said, “The good news is, after almost a couple of months, I had a wonderful lunch date with my once best friend”. She said, then gave a smile turned back and started to go, stopped suddenly and called me, I stepped a little forward, “Himadri called me, I know what happened in between you and Richa. I am and will remain smarter than you.”

She started walking again, went inside her office boundary, I kept on watching her going. She disappeared. I reached my car, put on some musical CD. Hope it will bring me back to senses.

Sougata

Mumbai

22.01.2013

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