Missing he was, not home, but somebody who had taken an other bus to her part of the city, early in the evening. It was a moment that had tore away something in his being, leaving him with an abject loneliness, and a desire to run after her, or to get on the next possible bus & stop her from going away from him.
For the past one week, he has been trying to write a story about the day it was. He wants to tell you how lonely he felt after she had left, how confused he was for missing her as much as he was and how the dearest of his friend couldn’t make him accept this feeling towards her. He wants to tell you how frightened he was to agree to what his heart was telling him, to ask her whether she felt something similar or not, scared to lose her, to harm her in any way and most of all, tormented by his own mind, which had deceived him so many times similarly in the past.
It was and they had been sitting at the bus stop for more than two hours now. The best friend warned, “if you won’t ask her today, you won’t be able to say it ever again. And anyways, I’ve had enough, I’m leaving.” With this, the best friend picked his bike keys and got up, to go.
He pulled him by the arm, conveyed his heartfelt helplessness in a smile and finally, agreed to send her the message they had been arguing about.
More than a couple of agonizing minutes passed before the reply arrived. He read it, lowered his neck and chuckled silently. Then, making a sad face, told the best friend, “mana kar diya” (she refused).
Not believing a word, but still alarmed, the best friend grabbed the phone out of his hand, read the message and laughed heartily, “you scared me”. And then came & sat beside him as they both read the messages over again.
On October 22, 2006, at half past eight in the evening, from a bus stop at the Kasturba Gandhi Marg in New Delhi, waiting for bus no. 440, that would have taken him home, this boy-man asked the girl-woman he had realized he had fallen madly in love with, “I think I love you, would you like to spend the rest of your life with me.”
After those agonizingly long seconds that lasted more than minutes, she finally replied, “I think I do”.
And though he has tried today, he still has no words, he’ll never have, to describe what it was like. And what it has been like since.
p.s. you can read about the next day here or the enchanted months that followed here or here or maybe, here also. and to tell you more, it is on