Sunday, October 27, 2013

पांच मिनट में अभी भी हजारों लम्हें बचे हैं

An 8 year old girl has tapped the window pane of the back seat.
"Madam, Ye phool le lo naa. Bas 10 Rs."
Both were beautiful, the girl and the flowers. A red-rose and lily packed for 10 Rs. I handed over her a new 10 Rs note and took that lily and rose, packed in aluminium foil. I rotated it holding the stem in my hand. It was beautiful, fresh and smelled like heaven. The smell reminded me of the first gifted roses and there I was, six years back. 
Vivek, the cute one who dared to gift me a red rose in college. A single rose mayn't win heart but several roses gifted regularly, often do. We became friends and then more than friends very shortly and relished beautiful moments of college life which I call 'golden moments'.

"5 minutes" denote more than mere connotation of time. Standing at park's gate in front of my hostel, he would ring. "Hey ya! Come soon. I am waiting for you for so long."
"Bas 5 minutes."
I'll take few looks in mirror and change my dress. The best defense is more offence. Sensing he might complaint for being late I would frown at him "I don't have much time. I am here for 5 minutes only."
He would glance at his watch and smile "Sorry madam. You've just 4 minutes 30 seconds left."
A sudden laughter would erupt lasting for some seconds and topic would change. We would walk on the pavement talking how the day went, the mess-food, sluts of college and our thoughts over Team Anna. The talks would finish with the colored canvass of our future plans. But a sense of uncertainty was there. And nothing drives a women crazy more than uncertainty, it stops them talking. 

"I am leaving!", I'd say with a serious expression.
"It's just 8:05. Let's take one more walk.", A begging face with sincere urge would say.
"No, I have to go back to hostel. I am leaving"
"What is wrong with you? I can't understand why your mind suddenly stops talking." He would say looking disappointed.
"Nothing wrong. This is me.", I'd smile.
"Please stay for five minutes." 
"Only five minutes. OK?"
"Yeah sure. Let's take a walk."

Did five minutes ever complete? The minute hand of clock would turn from 8:05 to 9:00, but the world seemed out of clocks, timeless. We would just walk and speak nothing. I would just feel his presence and take delight in knowing he was there for me. It was just the sense of being with him that gave me fulfillment. When there would be more silence, I would touch his hand to know if he is still here. I always sensed my world has a different meaning with him and particularly when we parted.

The nature would showcase her ordinary possessions in a beautiful way. Even chirping of birds would be able to arouse love and silence would sing thousand songs of love. It would turn 9:00 in zero time and we would have completed five rounds of the elliptical road.
"Ok Vivek. I am going back to hostel.", I'd say looking into his eyes.
"Or you can stay with me outside.We'll take a room in hotel.", He would wink and smile.
"Screw You." I'd shout with a shy smile and would return in the hostel.

Now there is one ground rule for girls hostel: Never ever mess with the guard at reception. I had received first hand experience of breaking this rule. I and Sumi were laughing over a lab-incident where Damru was caught by the professor for making a fake signature. The lady guard felt bad, probably because we didn't share our joke with her or she assumed herself to be joke's subject. 

I have always been a punctual girl. Though I reach classes late by 5 or 10 minutes but I have never broken the rule of 9, the entry time of girls hostel. When the clock struck 9 P.M, you shall find me there. But that night, the doors were closed 5 minutes before and also my watch and the hostel clock didn't match. It didn't take a second to realize this. Cruel whore! It took an hour to persuade her to let me enter the hostel.

Two days later, I befriended her with a sorry and two Haldirams Laddus. She was elated and asked me to get the recipe on how my mom has made laddus. The 'im-punctual' girls would bribe the guard by sharing eatables and bakshish. Sometimes a 5 minute call from mobile to her daughter would be enough.  

Our engineering session ended exactly two years back in  June. On 29th June, we both took same train. Vivek will get down at Allahabad and I'd go up to Delhi. We got seated and stared at each other. The eyes were heavy and words demanded efforts to come out.  Almost whole journey, he went on to make me realize that everything would turn normal after a few days. His efforts were aimed at making the last journey tear-free.

"We would keep in touch through phone and Skype. Now a days, it is not like before. We can always be in touch. I'd come to meet you in few months.", Vivek said.

I was in rapt attention and recorded his each word. It seemed that everything would fall back in place with right time. Then he started taking out his luggage from the berth below. "The train would reach Allahabad in few minutes."

A heavy cyclone begun to form in my heart and i grew stronger as he pulled out the luggage. I came taking his bag in my hand. We both looked in each other's eyes for few minutes silently, closely watching. For a moment, it seemed like a competition where the one who blinks first loses. The lips didn't move. Probably, we realized that in the 8 hours of travel we have spoken everything we wanted to or probably, we wanted to capture each other's glance for the last time as a memory that will pass the tests of time.

He looked grave. The sense of parting made him look the best male in this whole universe. Cute and extremely lovable. The train started slowing down and the loneliness started moving up, from heart to the throat.
"Sweetheart...We are meeting on 16th August.", Vivek said holding my chin with right palm.
"Okay. Now, the train has stopped Mister.", I tried to ease down the tensed romantic situation. We both pulled the luggage down on the platform.
He smiled "Give me a call after reaching Delhi."
"Take this as dinner.", He bought a food packet from the store and handed it to me.

Now, the lonely eons were to follow the small reunion of five minutes. We sat on a platform seat and hold each other knowing in our hearts that anyone may break into tears anytime. A random illogical fear entered into my heart if we are meeting last time. He always says "Life after college will change very fast, so plan it in advance." My heart always went to that statement.

He came closer to my face and kissed me on lips gently. I hugged him for few seconds and I said "I love you" slowly in his ears. The train started and his waving hand vanished with the train. But the life doesn't go as we have planned it.
The taxi-driver has managed to bring me station at right time. My cell-phone rings. It's Vivek on the other side.
"Hello! Vivek, I have just reached."
"Madam, Rush to the station. If you miss tomorrow's date, I am not going to marry you."
"Ha Ha. I am not worried. Who else is going to waste her life with you? It's only my bad fate.", I chuckled
" Come soon my Superwomen. Call me after taking your seat.", His words came along with small bits of laughter.

I have taken my seat in the train and possibly would get engaged to Vivek tomorrow. Our families had to agree with our decision and they have arranged for this engagement. I am getting engaged to him in a hope to re-live my life as countless packets of those 5 minutes. Still a thousands moments of life are left in those five minutes.

(As narrated by Akansha to me during my train journey from Delhi to Patna. She is getting married at end of this month.)