What is true Love is a lovely tale of the sweet bitter pain of waiting in true love, the magic of that moment where your entire world freezes in those few killing, deciding seconds… by guest writer Manoj Khatwani from London.
A cold January…. twilight just setting in at 5:00pm.. The weather here seemed to represent the frame of mind I was in. Restless, a little dark, the winds blowing wildly without any direction.
From the 7th Floor of my office I could see the lights come on in most places…. People dressed in their favorite color (Black) running here and tither.
Looks like it was just yesterday when I was at the airport with my parents who were worried how I would manage to cook food and stay away from home.. — Dad.. Mum…. I can cook anything under the sun now…Expert in 2 months.. Don’t worry, I think to myself:).
I refresh my mailbox and there sits a mail from Dia… Dia has mailed me? What a surprise… mind runs down memory lane and gets back to India, 8 months back… Same Twilight, Warmer Weather, the Beach and the waves rushing in to pull us into the wild sea but gently caress our feet… Dia and I walk side by side… No word spoken, but just listen to each other.
My onsite trip was confirmed. Dia was all excited about it, I was looking forward to the opportunity to distant lands, but never knew that destiny would put into my lap so soon… at a time whenever someone here in India had taken more preference in my personal life…
My thoughts at that moment:
Dia… These waves have seen you only today and yet they have fallen in love with you. See, how they rush up to you from shores yonder, just to touch your feet, the wind travel so far just to blow so hard, that you have difficulty in keeping your hair away from your eyes and how much I long to push that stray strand from your face, to see you give me that silly grin again….
I find it a little difficult to go so many miles away from you. If only you could understand what you mean to me… We met only recently, yet I feel that I know you from a long time. I’ve dropped so many hints and you still behave you don’t know what is going on in my mind…..
She: “Manoj…Say something”…
Me: (Startled) “Hmm… What??”
She: “the waves seem to fall in love with us…. See how they rush towards us”…
Me: (Thinking)…. Goodness me!!! She can even read my thoughts now!!
She: “What are you thinking….”
She: “Aha… London women already mesmerizing you…..” (With that flashy big grin…)
Me: “Oh… Come on…. I have much more to think about than women…….”
She says nothing.. Just smiles…..
It was one of those evenings when I wanted to just listen to her. Me being a typical chatterbox, I’d hardly let the person speak something before I start speaking. She found today’s silence very strange….
She: “Manoj…something is wrong… You are never this silent”…..
Me: “Onsite trip… Got loads to pack… Paper work to be done”…
She: “Packing is of least priority now… I know something else is bothering you.”
Me: (Thinking again) – As if you don’t know….
She: “Manoj… Let me guess… Close your eyes… listen to the waves…. the wind and my voice…..”
Me: Close my eyes and listen to her…….
She: “What / Who has become so important in your life that you are so silent even when walking close to me?”
That question reels me back to..Bangalore at my cousin sisters house.. Some girl’s voice speaking to my cousin about school work… I enter and there stands Dia. She smiles at me and calls me towards her……………That was our very first meeting and I was completely smitten by her!!
I open my eyes trying to shake off what I just saw…..She: Who/What is keeping you so silent today….
Me: How do I tell her that it was her I saw….. She’d pull my leg again saying I’ve been watching Bollywood movies instead of a sound sleep yesterday…. She’d also ask me if I saw those loads of other girls who were nutty about me in college with my trip down
I can’t believe this is happening to me……..
Me: Oh yeah.. I remember… I saw myself playing with my dog in the rains
She: “I’ll kill you”….. And punched my arm…… “Tell ME…”
Me: I replied obediently… “ME….”
She: “Uff!! Enuff… Get me chai”
Me: “Yes madam….” We find these mobile chai walas and I get her steaming hot chai!! The chai wala had a small transistor which was crooning, “Aane wala pal jaane wala hai… Ho sake tho isme zindagi bithado, pal jo yeh jane wala hai” (A popular hindi songs which translates to the importance of that moment… ).
This moment seemed so special, the song adding to the magic…How much was this moment worth.. Probably worth more than a million diamonds put together…… We hardly spoke.. but each understood the world within another……
She: “I know you will miss me…”
Me: Giving her a puzzled look… “Who me??? Me?? Miss you??? London girls will make sure that does not happen”
She: “You are impossible… Just one word.. Impossible….”
Me: “Oh yeah… No wonder I can still tolerate you….”
She: “I always tell you.. You never listen to me….. Its vice-versa… You don’t know how difficult it is for me to tolerate you”.. Her eyes twinkling with a mischievous grin on her lips……
Me: “Should leave now…. It’s late already… Your dad must be wondering if you finally found yourself a groom”….
She: “Manoj.. Shut up na… I don’t want to get married now….”
Me: “Then when grandma… You already tell so many stories to the kids next door, they don’t miss their granny…. U become one na”
She: Another punch…. “I love kids…Ok… atleast they are not as you.. U Spoilt brat!!”
Me: “Have to go now… Your dad will call anytime now”..
She nodded in agreement….
As we walk towards home, I look back to see her footprints next to mine on the wet sand…another instant they are gone.. washed away with a fresh wave……..I think….. A meeting on the sands of time???
The voice on the transistor slowly fading away with a …..”Chalte Chalte.. mere yeah geet yaad rakhna… Kabhi alvida na kehana……Kabhi alvida na kehana……” (Another hindi songs which translates to being there for each other, even when we walk away on our paths today)
I dropped her home and things kept me so busy from then on…that we were unable to even meet at the airport… She’d probably have seen my email/heard my voice mail when I was flying over Europe…….
The sound of the phone interrupted my thoughts, bringing me back to the present,, Cold, Grey, Dull, Depressing London.. A great place, but hollow without her presence….I now open the mail with a bated breath…. It says…….
“My most dearest Manoj, It’s probably one in a million times that I address you with a most dearest in any of my mails/letters/cards that I’ve sent to you till date… But today I do…. I want you to remember all that happened when we walked on the beach just before you left.
One of those lovely evenings we have ever spent. Today, I’ll tell you what went through my mind when we walked together….You never asked me. Did you? Her thoughts:
Manoj… You’ve been the most special person I’ve ever come across. The little time that I’ve spent with you have been the BEST days of my life.
That day when I asked you to think of what was more important than that moment itself.. I know what you thought.. You SAW ME… I understood all the hints that you gave me.
Just that I never responded…….Manoj.. I know that you’ve given me a place in your heart which is the warmest, cozy corner any girl would like to live in for a lifetime.
I want to live there forever.. BUT… BUT….. life is not always kind Manoj…… I’ve promised my dad that I’ll marry the person who he chooses for me.. My dad has always chosen the best for me..
and my marriage is something that is his cherished dream….I’ve committed to my parents.
I know that there is someone more special just waiting to get in your life… God is just testing your patience…. He is also wanting you to finish all those tasks that need your attention right now.. Responsibilities beckon you Manoj…. . I believe that somewhere, someone is waiting for you.. I am NOT fortunate enough to be part of your life.
Maybe someone more lucky is…I wish you all success and happiness in life…. Forget me and move ahead in life, Yours, Dia (with a red rose next to her name) I closed my mailbox and sat there surrounded in void.
With emotions gushing out and no one to share, the feelings of sadness culminated into one-word on my Whatsapp Status and Facebook Status update – “Shattered!!!”
In a few minutes, my mobile beeped !!! Expecting to see a sheaf of messages of, “What happened?”, “Everything ok” and regretting my decision of a status update, I saw an email notification.
It was her again !!! Reluctantly I opened it…”You overgrown idiot !! I pulled a fast one on you!!! Do you really think I can let you off so easily or lose you to someone from London.. No way My Dearest Sweetheart.
I spoke to dad and we are off to see your family next week.. Since you would probably take decades to tell me about how you feel about me, I am telling you that. “I love you!!”… Only Yours yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever… Dia…… :)”
The void started disappearing… a smile appeared on my face and I ended up blurting out…” Love you too nutcase. What would my life be without your pranks!! 🙂 ”
And this is how Manoj would like to be introduced in his own words:
“I am Manoj, from a small lovely town called Ooty in India and now living in London. I am an IT Professional and free lance writing is my passion, which fuels my creative side. Dance, Music, Traveling and Cooking are other things that I am more than happy to get involved in on this journey called Life. A maverick, I tend to write about absolutely anything :-)”