It was my last day in office. I had resigned from my job in order to pursue higher studies. Tarun and I were casual friends from two very different professional backgrounds. Having met accidentally through a common friend, we had known each other for nearly six months. With the passage of time we started enjoying each other’s company. Although, because of our hectic work schedules, we couldn’t meet a lot, we tried to stay in constant touch through the phone. I had told him that I was leaving the job and thereby the city as well. Life wasn’t certain for me as I had lot of career plans for myself. There was a possibility that we would never meet, and there was an equal possibility that we would always stay in touch.
Knowing about my departure, he urged me to meet him for one last time at the ‘ghat’, which was our favourite place. The Ganga ghats of Varanasi are the most charismatic place one could visit. Cold, calm, serene...sitting there for hours, in complete silence, hand-in-hand was something we both enjoyed.
That day I dressed up for my office farewell. I had planned to meet him in the evening after office and was wearing a green coloured kurta. It was his favourite colour, and I knew that. I also wore a set of jhumkis he’d gifted me and had requested me to wear several times.
After bidding goodbye to everyone in office, I hurriedly rushed to the ghat. He had reached there before me and was waiting for me dressed in a white shirt and blue jeans. Standing at a distance, our eyes glanced at each other. He was talking on the phone and his watch was gleaming under the yellow street light.
I walked down the stairs and then we walked together towards the ghat. We sat down at the stairs and chatted about our future plans. After few hours of discussion and chit chat we decided to leave for our respective places. We got up and started climbing the stairs. Some supernatural power was pulling me back, but I knew I had to go, that nothing can or should stop me now and that it was just an unwanted distraction. While I was in the middle of thinking all this, walking side by side with him, I felt his hand touch mine. I thought it happened by mistake but the very next second he pulled my little finger with his and before I could think of anything my hand was already in his hand with our fingers entangled with each other’s.
My heart skipped a beat and I held his hand tightly, not willing to leave it. My brain refused to work and all I could see was black! Gaining my consciousness, I moved apart but he again came close to me and held my hand tight for the second time. While we were moving closer to my car, parked outside the ghat area, he murmured a few things into my ear that I still don't remember. But for the first time in life, I had felt that strong sudden attraction.
For the first time I felt my heart beating frantically fast, I wanted to cry but my tears didn’t flow. Trying to escape from the situation, I hurriedly opened my car and sat inside it. He kept staring at me from the window. Feeling absolutely numb, I put my head down on the car’s steering. He calmly opened the door and helped me out of the car. I hugged him tightly. Taking me in his arms, he proposed to me by whispering the ‘three magical words’ in my ears. His patience and calm had already won my heart but life is not a fantasy. It doesn’t always give you what you want.
It's been almost a year now, I got married to some other guy, soon after my 'most memorable evening'. But the memories of my first love are still fresh in my heart and they are of course cherishable!
* Names changed to protect privacy.
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