Tuesday, 23 August 2011

To her, the daughter of the mountains, with love!

The morning was fresh and beautiful with the sun peeping out of the clouds and the dew on top of the grass reflecting wonderful colors. He was walking along the footpath to get an auto and go to one of those beautiful catholic churches in God's own country. The autos were the old 80s style. They caught his attention. Much of the place had a serene rural outlook and it looked strikingly similar to those pictures he saw in the museums. The ones from the colonial era. He had always been a victim of those lovely magic potions that Kerala has to offer. The lovely weather, the beautiful backwaters and the stunning girls with their hair flowing free, fresh from the head bath.

Ernakulam is a small town, seen as a part of the larger Cochin, though like most twin cities, there isn't a border or line to separate their facades. It is all in a wonderful blend. The long corridor in the church had an air of peacefulness in it when he entered it for the first time. Many groups of people had gathered and they were chatting incessantly. He was a secret admirer of malayalam and those nasal sounds of chatter acted like magnet to him as he could understand some parts from those discussions. Towards the end of that long corridor stood a girl, who had come in with her parents and the three of them were eagerly looking at a lone lily that stood with all class and charm in the middle of a small artificial pond besides the passage. There was nothing more beautiful than the white lily and the school of fish that swam in the mini pond. But as he moved closer to that small congregation of three, it was not the lily that caught his eye, It was the girl who was admiring the lily. He stood like a statue for a passing moment, stunned by her appearance. The straight, dark hair flowing flamboyantly over her shoulders. Her charismatic eyes. Her mesmerizing lips were a thing of beauty. He felt an unprecedented joy when she suddenly gazed back at him, though only for a fleeting instant. At the moment, he was witnessing one of the most beautiful sights that have ever unfolded in front of him..all his life.

It was barely minutes before the congregation reduced in size from three to one and she was waving her hand at the departing couple. Her parents would come back to pick her up late in the afternoon. She stopped waving as they disappeared and noticed him as he briskly walked past her, back and forth. He never knew the art of breaking wonderful silences and even now it was the girl who just uttered something. He didn't believe what was happening around for an instant and blame the shock for his inability to comprehend those sweet set of syllables in malayalam. He paused to check if it was all real and to his joy, it really was. He said he couldn't speak malayalam and she quickly shifted to English. Conversation kicked in and they spoke animatedly for a few minutes. In the process, he lost himself completely amidst the sea of her charm.

The beautiful morning gave way to a humid afternoon as the function at the church went on without much attention to this romantic sonnet. The only activity he was engaged in was a series of stares at this new apple of his eye. A few of them noticed and many of them unnoticed. Einstein once said "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute." And the words were so true to their meaning and in no time he was staring at the prospect of leaving the church when the function was over. Her parents were there again to take her back to the small town that she hailed from, a few miles south of Alapuzha.

He couldn't gather anything besides her name in the few minutes of conversation he had with her in the morning and as he saw her getting ready to move, he experienced a gush of blood flowing into his heart. He felt a need for some chivalry and courage at that moment though those aforementioned traits were very uncharacteristic of him. He took a credit card bill from his wallet and tore a small part from one of the rectangular edges. He was groping for words to write on that piece of pulp when his fingers jumped the gun without his cognizance. He looked down to see that he had already written his number and name on one side. The Adam in him wasn't that big a poet like Keats or Wordsworth. But he managed to write half a sentence on the rear side of the paper- "If you think we should be in touch...."

He slipped it under her cute pink bag that lay on a nearby table and started walking back home in quick strides as the function was over and the gathering had already dispersed. He didn't have the courage to look back but his heart started beating faster and faster as he made his way out of the church. He was wondering if she would see the note and pick it up. But he was afraid if it was too small and would go unnoticed. He slandered in whispers for not doing the act a bit more vividly. But the moment had gone and he couldn't get back anyway. He reached home and sat back in the reclining piece of furniture gazing at the fancy chandelier that hung from the ceiling. Minutes felt like hours and the ashtray slowly filled to its brim. But the beep from his mobile that he was so dearly yearning for didn't seem to appear. He woke up from the idyll that was going through his mind as his phone beeped about an hour later and for an instant he had his heart in his mouth. Words fail me as I try to describe his emotions at that moment. But the words on his mobile screen read "Hi. I picked up the note. Didn't expect one there though. How's the day? - " His joy knew no bounds and his fingers floundered as he drafted his reply. He was trying to speak his heart by way of the text message and as he was groping for poetic phrases, he heard yet another beep. But it was not from his phone this time. It was the sound of his alarm clock. He opened his eyes and surprisingly, found his mom with a cup of coffee standing beside his bed indicating something with her finger pointed at the clock. The clock read 14 10 hours. But he was looking at it upside down. So it was 7 40 am and it was time for him to wake up.

P.S : Apologies for the abrupt ending and a badly crafted anticlimax. But sometimes truth is bitter as the old adage goes and it is better hidden than confessed at large.


ravi said...

yov ..poya....I had a nice vivid image of tender and subtle love expressed by trisha and simbu of vinnai thandi varuvaya..and you spoiled the fun with a stupid alarm clock.
Nice choice of words btw to express one's feelings. You could be a good story teller. I can say it because I didn't do a Ctl+tab or move away from your page till I finished.

Pradeep Sekhar said...

@Ravi : Thanks, I know the climax was indeed disappointing. Hence the P.S Note. Guess you get the drift there. Idhu Kadhai Alla Nijam!! :-)

AV said...

You really do have a gift with words...interesting post. such a pity it wasnt all true :P or was it :D
And glad to see u have such a good opinion of God's own country and people :P Dont respond saying otherwise ;)

p.s : u misspelt apple :P

Pradeep Sekhar said...

@AV : Thanks! there are many clues in it to guess how much of it is true..

p.s : I am not able to put a face to your name.

pri said...

nicely narrated to keep the interest of the reader till the end..
liked the twist too..but kinda felt let down :D

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Vickynadaraj said...

My my,such a poet.You should wrie short stories,if you don't already,a la "A twist in the tale".

Pradeep Sekhar said...

@Vicky! Ah...Big words those..Thanks...I wish to do that one day!