I was in a bus going to meet my daughter. It was her graduation day. I had to be there.
I kept my luggage in the luggage holder, and sat in the window seat. I suddenly felt old. I was 50. I was old, at least old enough to feel tired after a long day in office.
I put my ear phones and my iPod started to sing…
yu hi koi, milagaya tha.. yu hi koi.. mil
sare raah chalte chalte.. sare raah chalte chalte.."
I closed my eyes to enjoy the cool breeze. Someone patted me
“Excuse me.. are you Niveditha??”
I removed my earphone and said, “Yes..” I had a question mark on my face.
The lady who patted me was equally puzzled and said,
“Hi.. My seat is 31. Its beside that gentleman” she pointed to someone, but I couldn't see. She continued.
“I wanted an exchange of seat, that gentleman says you will be interested for exchange.. you mind exchanging the seats please??” she asked politely.
I was confused. Who was this guy?? And why would I be interested in sitting beside him?? I got up from my seat and peeped to see who the person was.
For a moment I was still. As if its all a movie and someone had pressed the pause button. I could feel my heart beat. The lady there interrupted my reverie,
“Niveditha?? Will you exchange??”
I said “ofcourse!!”
I took my luggage from the holder, went to the seat 31, put my luggage there and sat. my heart started beating.. I thought everyone there could hear my heart beat. He didn't look at me. He knew I was there. He had closed his eyes, the smile.. that same old smile was on his face as if he could read what was going on in my mind.
“25 years, 4 months, and 5 days…” he said so softly with that smile. His eyes were still closed. he opened his eyes. They were same. They had not changed at all.. except that they were little tired now, more mature. They had seen more life. He looked at me
I didn't say a word.. kept starring at him. Just kept looking at his amazed eyes.
He cleared the hair strand that was falling on my face. He said
“You are beautiful.. still so beautiful”.. he continued
“So.. how old are you now?? 50??”
“well.. you should be knowing.. one year elder to you..” I said and both of us started laughing.. and then he held my hands and said..
“Nivvuu.. I missed you..”
At that very moment I was 26 years younger than today. I was 24 again. It was a similar evening like today..26 years back…
I was working in a software company going home for some festival. I was single. I had not got a ladies seat. I was worried who will come and sit beside me. Nobody came to sit beside me. Suddenly a cute boy, with a half sleeves shirt and a jeans, really good looking guy came. He put his bag up, sat in his seat and started to wipe the sweat beads on his forehead. I turned to him and asked politely
“uuuuuu.. Hi.. look.. I have asked conductor if he can check for a seat exchange.. if there is any exchange available, we’ll have to exchange..” I waited for an answer.
He looked at me and said in a very serious tone..
“Ok.. I don’t mind.. you can go and sit anywhere..” he started laughing.
I gave that “what????” kind of look and said in a very dramatic tone
“Ha ha ha.. Very funny??” I put my ear phones into my ears. I was fuming inside.. how could he insult me like that??
He turned to me and said.. “you know.. I had almost missed the bus” he spoke as if he knew me from a long time.as if we were childhood friends.
I was really pissed off. I said “I really wished you did.. I wish u missed the bus” I said and I started opening my chips packet.
He said again “I have not had my dinner.. and I am hungry”
I looked at him.. he was kind of cute. Very cute. I asked him
“what are you doing in
He picked up few chips from the packet without even asking me.. and said
“Do I look like a student to you??”
“well.. I don’t know..” I said
“No.. I m not a student.. I m a software engineer.. I work for this company.. I just joined 4 months back.. what about you??” he smiled. I noticed for the first time.. he got those cute dimples.. he was really cute.. but he was a year younger to me!!
I said, “well I m a software engineer too.. I work for this company from 1 and a half years..”
I looked into my eyes.. and smiled and said.. “oh.. elder to me huh?? Hmmm.. so where did you do your engineering??”
I said, “From
“Hostel life huh??” I teased him.. “what was so fantastic about it??” I winked my eye.
“Well.. I got lots of knowledge there…” he winked back.
“Knowledge??” I stressed “hmm.. lots of general knowledge huh??”
We both laughed.. I suddenly started liking him. I felt as if we were some long lost friends and have met now and updating ourselves.We started speaking a lot.. we started chatting about I don’t remember what all.. I asked him about his girlfriends.. he said he had none.
I acted as if I was surprised and said.. “don’t you lie to me.. you are so charming.. any girl will fall for you”
He said.. “ Well.. I thought, I ll start with the elder women.. Thanks for the compliments though..” and winked at me.
I smiled. He was flirting with me. I also flirted. For some reason I said..
“I am elder to you.. you are not supposed to be doing this..”
He said.. “It doesn’t really matter to me if you are elder to me..”
We chatted. I laughed. Laughed like never before. I flirted without any fear. He flirted too..
I tried to sleep. Try to close my eyes. He would stare at me. I could sense it. He was constantly looking at me. He spoke so much with his eyes. I turned my face and tried to ignore him and failed every time… he didn’t miss a single vision of mine. I turned his face to other side.. he didn’t let it turn..
I did it 2 times.. when I did it again, he held my hand and let it caress his cheek.. My heart started beating fast. I took my hand back. He kept looking into my eyes. He touched my cheek He held my hand tightly.. I don’t know why.. I didn’t refuse.. I didn’t back out. I didn’t say a word… I held his hands too…. I touched his lips, his cheek… he had closed his eyes..
I suddenly realized what I was doing.. I backed off.. but he held my hands.. held it tightly.. I looked into his eyes.. they asked nothing more at that moment. I felt as if he wanted to hold my hands forever.. he spoke very softly into my ears.. his breath made my heart beat fast again.. he said.. “ you know what.. Your eyes are very beautiful.. they make me loose myself.. they make me go crazy...”
I didn’t know what to say.. I said “ I am elder to you..”
He was still holding my palm.. my fingers curled up into his.. it was a very warm feeling. It made me feel I was loosing on something all these days.. how much I wanted someone to hold me like that… but I was sure.. the ‘someone’ was not surely this guy.. he was younger to me!!! He was still looking into my eyes.. he was cute. Irresistibly cute.
He turned to me and broke that silence, “I don’t have a problem…”
I just smiled and said.. “stop flirting..” we laughed.
That night we didn’t sleep for even 10 minutes. We chatted, chatted and chatted.. he was holding my hands all the time. I was leaning on his shoulder..
After that journey I hardly met him. Of course we were in contact for sometime.. but.. later I got married, had children.. and got divorced!!!
He interrupted , “ You are beautiful.. till today.. your husband must be a very lucky man..”
I just smiled and said.. “ I am divorced!!”
He smiled and said.. “ Good for me.. I am still available.. for an extra marital affair” he winked at me.I just patted his shoulder and started the journey once again!!