Saturday, April 07, 2007


Sometimes we have so much to talk that words elude us. We just stay quiet trying to muster enough guts to say what we always wanted to. And like it came, the moment passes. And we are left to moan over the remains of what could have been the start of something special. However many times we may repeat the lines later, the moment went and with it went a part of us.
But they were different. When they met, words flowed. And nothing was lost in silence. They had so much to talk and share that when standing in a group, they would be talking to each other. Slowly the group would fizzle away and form somewhere else, but they would be unaware, still so alone with each other. And when they could not speak, their eyes spoke.
They were like a chemical reaction which was self sustaining and going strong. Envious eyes followed them wherever they went. But still, they remained aloof and distant; in a world of their own. It seemed as if, talking was necessary to fill up the other person on the twenty odd years spent without each other.
But turning the clock back a little, they had not been instantly attracted to each other. He always thought that she was a spoilt brat, and she that he was a studious nerd. They moved with their own set of friends in the campus till that one day.
As if it had to happen, that day, his eyes met hers as they strolled in the empty classroom. By coincidence, they had reached early for the class. And then one thing led to another. They spoke and liked what the other person spoke. So they spoke some more. And soon, they were asked to leave the class for speaking endlessly while the teacher taught.
They spoke in the cafeteria, they spoke in the car; they just couldn’t help not tell every single detail to each other. Their parents were surprised, their friends were happy; but they just didn’t know what was happening.
One day, his friend asked him, “I think you are in love!!” He vehemently denied. But that set a series of thoughts, and soon he realized he really loved her. They were.....just perfect.
Then started the quest to know what she thought. He was not able to concentrate as they spoke. Suddenly while speaking, he would look at her and start to lose words. He would just keep on staring, till she broke his reverie. He now started to define what colors suited her. He was just falling fast and deep into love with her.
What was it with words, that they eluded when they were needed the most, he thought. He just couldn’t muster up enough courage to tell her.
She was sensing something unusual with him and was now starting to get scared. She didn’t want to lose him. But his sudden change had put her on guard. May be he liked someone else, may be after all, he did not like her. May be, she thought, he was starting to get bored of her. But she could not tell him all this. She was afraid; he may think otherwise and leave her. A part of her knew she was wrong, but that was her heart.
Soon, the sentences became smaller, words were replaced with pauses. And friends began to drop by more often. Family dinners and class assignments became increasingly frequent. And slowly they began to float apart.
Whenever they saw each other, during breaks, they would be so delighted. But now, words were starting to elude them. They started noticing each other’s friends and slowly jealousy started to creep in. Now even the thought of being inseparable became like a dream. There were a lot many differences as they trudged past the final months of college.
Soon college got over, and they got busy with their jobs. Still, they missed speaking to each other. They missed being with each other. They missed a feeling of completeness. But may be they had overrated each other, they thought. Slowly they fell so apart that even sweet memories were unable to bind them together.
They met other people in their lives. But always they tried to find each other in that someone. Some people scored dismal on that scale, and some managed to hold attention. But nobody could really be who they wanted.
Days became weeks, weeks turned into months, and months into years. In each others alumni photographs they became just another face. And soon their respective parents started to pester them to marry someone. Age was not on their side. They had been given a long time to get their acts into place. Now it was time for them to live for their loved ones.
Then by providence, they met at a book store. They tried to avoid each other, but could not. Uneasiness in talking to each other was evident. By courtesy they agreed to stop by for coffee.
The coffee turned out to be great. And waiters were happy to serve them more. The words and memories had found their way out. Soon all appointments were forgotten as they started to enjoy each others company. He had become more silent and resilient, she thought. And he just couldn’t help being mesmerized by her.
But the coffee shop had to close. They were asked to pay up and leave, which they did. As they walked out, realization dawned that this was just a chance encounter. It had to end, and they had to go back into their mundane lives.
They fought the battle hard in their minds and hearts. What if she refuses and why can’t he ask, were the questions that dogged their minds. But words eluded them once again. A feeling of disgust suddenly came into them. And they walked away.
Suddenly he stopped, and turned back. She was still standing there. He walked straight back and held her hand. She started to protest but became silent. Tears started to form in her eyes.

“What took you so long?” she asked.

He kept quiet. And then, slowly he bent on one knee, and took her hand. With a pen in his hand, he drew a ring on her finger.

“Would this do till tomorrow morning when the shops open?” he said.

She was now crying and smiling as she nodded her approval.

The moment was not lost.

Words were not eluding them anymore.

And they talked and lived happily ever after.