Thursday, June 4, 2009

Distance between the smiles...

Train will reach at 8, coach no. - A1, don’t wave when u see me, dad may be standing along with me. Don’t reply, will meet there only.

I punched and sent the message to her just as mom came to my seat to check out my way of killing time on a cell phone.

“Playing snakes son?”

“Yep” I avoid giving long answers and responses to mom when I am doing the forbidden things. She always manages to catch my hesitance and gets suspicious.

Rick, my friend and the only teen holidaying with me came to sit in front of me. A smile was plastered on his face making him look more chubby than normal. I had told him that I was going to meet this old friend and ex-crush of mine who went to another city two years back. It was a faraway place and it was the first time that the train I was traveling in was going to intercept the city.

With the excitement, I was nervous also. It had been two years and I wanted to make a good impression on her after such a long time, or maybe the ending of the draught of not seeing her got me nervous. Nevertheless I stood up and excused myself from my group for a piss. As soon as I came near the vestibule of the train, I ran to the mirror and basin of the other boggie. I fixed my face, ruffled up my sitting hair, and threw water in my eyes till it hurt. Then I carefully wiped my face with my handkerchief, and put my hair in the sleeping posture, so that my parents won’t get any ideas of why I cared to fresh my face at night, when I declined the offer of a shower in the morning.

Coming back to the seat, I checked my watch. Half an hour to go. I started the preparations, I asked my mother for the digicam and gave it to Rick so that he could be an excuse to keep till my concerned station comes. I looked down at myself just to find that the two days in the train have wrinkled my clothes like waves on the sea, I pressed the clothes with my hand to make them look ironed but in vain. I didn’t try further because maybe I didn’t want to give her ideas that I overdid my appearance. Maybe I didn’t want her to know that I had been thinking about the meet all the time, it would be uncool of me to show my anxiety. I decided to look normal because somewhere I had read that you are at your best when you act natural.

I sat near the window and whenever a station would come, I would press my nose against the glass just to make out the name of the station. This resulted in the reddening of my nose after seven stations passed.

“Seems like a big city” announced my uncle forty minutes after my face wash. I went on the alert mode.

“It is xyz (my concerned station)” replied Rick with his eyes fixed towards me. Of course he was waiting for my reactions. I didn’t give him the satisfaction of my nervousness. I casually went towards him and took the digicam from him, and said, “C’mon lets get a fresh breath out there on the station.”

“And we need the digicam for breathing, right?” he said under his breath as I opened the heavy door of the boggie.

“Kind of yes, her looks will take your breath away.” I replied with an annoyed grunt.

I put both the hands on the handlebars and with the train slowing down, and the wind ripping my face my hair were set into the old wild mode. I stood there having the whole doorway to myself, feeling like some mythical hero.

And then the platform materialized, and the nervousness crept up my body. I felt light. A very bumpy happiness which was accompanied by butterflies gripped my stomach. My past with her started playing in front of me in a series of blurring slides. The talks, the walks, the gawks (by me), the messages on the pieces of paper, the weathered leaves thrown on each other, the smiles which didn’t really say anything, the cruel jokes on our batch-mates in the coaching, the sarcastic agrees to an ignorant and arrogant world. She completed me, touching my heart and soothing me as a confused teenager. I then realized how much I missed her for all this time. We never met when she went away, I regret it till this moment. I never really told her about how much I wanted her, never told her that she was one person whom I always expected to see the right side of my choices in life, the only one who would agree with me with an infectious laugh. How I silently admired her, the way she laughed, the kiddish joy in her eyes which always held me like a statue in a brief linger. The jerk of the stopping train put me back into my consciousness

I absorbed the platform while clearing my eyes for some clear view, I was aware of Rick breathing just behind me, waiting for me to make a move. I guess he was more interested in proving that the girl won’t come to meet me at the junction. I held my position at the door and also kept blocking it, feeling that someone else would steal her if I will let the people go. Fortunately there weren’t any passengers who had to get off this junction. I scanned the sparse crowd which was in front of me on the platform, and there she was standing in the familiar way with one foot always extended to the maximum in the side direction. She turned into quiet a girl, the spectacles were much more smarter now, the dressing sense still the same and one you would fall in love with. She wore a brown long tee shirt with a black undershirt which complimented each other’s existence on her skin, a dark blue denim trouser which hugged her legs like I always wanted, and as usual she had folded it into a 3/4th. I tilted my head to one side and stared at her for a few moments, trying to appreciate and absorb her and her existence. She was smiling at me and maybe from the moment my coach came in front of her. I noticed it just then, I gave her back a tired, but a very fulfilling smile. I wanted to run and hug her, and tell her how much it meant for me that she came to meet me. Her smiled widened as she acknowledged me fully, and I jumped off the door on the platform.

“Nick, there you are”, my dad gave the certificate of his existence on that train from behind me, and I cursed my luck. The worst thing to happen in such a situation.

“Just clicking some pictures, dad.”

“Anything special in this junction?” he asked in his usual carefree tone, how much time will he stand here with me. And how much time do I really have until the train starts again. Now that dad was here, I couldn’t even stare at her. I took out the camera out of the pouch and focused it towards her pretending to capture the distant building out of the railway station.

And through the lens, I looked at her. The expression on her face told me that she understood my situation and the circumstance but was somehow upset. I didn’t blame her. She was still smiling though, it was the same old eyes and the same old thick eyebrows, but wait something familiar was missing. I tried to figure out. Oh! Her braces were no longer there, of course I knew that she got rid of them a lot of time back, but still I had never imagined her without them for all these two years. Funny, she looked much better without them, but I guess I was in love with the girl with the braces. I put off the lens and saw straight towards her and nodded to her without any reason, maybe I found it the best thing to do at that moment.

“Here take a picture of me and Rick” as my dad posed along with Rick, I was happy for the distraction, maybe I was too nervous to be staring towards her direction for a lot of time. The picture was nice, my dad’s face glowing as always and Rick the same old smart guy. I wondered how I was looking at that moment, I didn’t want to leave a bad impression on her. It will be a long time we will meet again or maybe never at all. Maybe never at all, it hit me on my drowsy head with a sharp pain. Never at all. I turned towards her, my face turned sad. I felt like I never wanted her to come, to meet me, to give me new memories. I guess I was pretty happy being nostalgic about her with my loneliness, pretty happy dreaming about all the times we spent, and pretty happy thinking about her. But now I will miss her more, regretting leaving her again. She left my life once when she went away and even if this was just a ten minute brushing of each other, I will always be reminded of her standing there on the platform for me and I couldn’t even hug her.

The whistle of the train announced the ending of the trip of the city.

“You two, get up here fast.” Ordered my dad as he went into the boggy. I stepped up and took my position on the door with my hands on the handlebar, which had become accustomed to my flesh for the past half an hour.

She was looking at me and shaking her head as in regretting something. I blinked at her and mouthed thank you. I was happy that she came, I was sad that she came. I took a deep breath and released it, like the life she took out of me during this meet.

The train started moving. There were no waves, just self assumed smiles.

She kept standing there leaving me stranded on the moving train.

16 comments:

Raghav Goyal said...

well.. you were right... this is not my type of genre...so i cant really say i enjoyed it but it was very well written... the sentences were to the point and you described the guy feelings pretty well though i dont know why the guy couldnt meet love of his life infront of his dad... it was a long post but you managed to get me read it in one go... thats impressive enough...

but seriously stop writting such love stories... it makes you sound like a girl... use your way of writting in someother genre...

Aadya. said...

This happened with you and this is very evident.
It was not even a meeting but such things leave an impression.
The words mirrored the guys feeling and somewhere his helplessness too.
Written well and done justice with.

PS: It isn't bad writing a romantic post once in a while :)

$owmy@ iN el@tioN <3 said...

Its beautiful.

Perx said...

Have you ever considered writing a novel.. cuz i've got a story for u..

Crepuscule Colour said...

THAT was a very convincing story.

Is this completely imaginary? And I think you put a lot into this. A wholesome short story. Good work! :)

Nice wordplay sprinkled in. From the heading to the ending. Looking forward to more stuff like this.

falcon said...

I refuse to believe that this story of urs is pure fiction. even if it may not be based on true incident.. it is something that is truly inspired by .. let's say a hope..of her coming to station etc..

falcon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Perx said...

So, continuing with the story..
ok, so the bansal people found out that he had left and mr. bansal personally phoned his home.. but he refused to come.. saying ki ab woh sir se aankhein nahi mila sakega.. but that wasn't the real reason.. now was it.. So he was really down and out and his father had a talk with him.. aur kaha ki uss ladki ko apni himmat banao.. kamzori nahi.. and then what else, he worked hard.. bam boom he was AIR 76. the girl got AIR 2000something
ANyway, so the day the results were declared, he went to bc and found out the girl's home address, went to her home, and gave her another card.. said a bunch of emotional stuff. and well they got together..
so, as far as i had thought, u know..was to throw another friend who is a girl when he goes back to his town who develops feelings for him.. and she is basically who he starts to confide in when all his other friends don't really give a damn..
and basically this story is being told to the author at the couple's wedding by anand, but we dont know who the bride is till the end.. its the girl he liked in the start only.
ask me anything u want abt this and awaiting what u think of the story's potential..

Starbuck said...

This is lovely. What can I say? Sometimes I'm a sucker for romance fiction. Although I doubt it is 100% uninspired from real life incidents.

Mihir said...

gr8!!...u pen ur life....u live ur words...

Shruti said...

hey? fact or fiction? irrespective of that, lovely narration, great description, a sweet story of college crushes :)
so u'r a story teller! :)

SAHITYIKA said...

hey..
so sweet and cute one..
this happened with u/? or its a fiction?
by d way.. whtever it is. .
liked it.. as such no story..but still u described it in such a way it makes ppl keep on reading..

take care.. :)

verbivorehere said...

This actually happened to you??? it is soo touhing and it is beautifully written..

Perx said...

Where are u dude.. we're waiting for the next post..

Daisy Blue said...

Lovely writing.. came through indiblogger & voted for you :)
All the best .. !!

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written. If it's based on a true event; is this the girl who thought you had longs arms? :P