Somewhere before https://poulosesarah.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/when-it-rained/.The narcissist in me loves this piece of fiction that I wrote! I have been curious to know what happened before or after this the happenings in it, but never got myself to write beyond a few lines. So that I do not keep changing the “her” past and present according to my mood or the song that I am listening to, I have decided to post the few lines as and when I write. This will give me the scope to improve or further the story only on what has happened –just like life. I have also given my self-permission to give the story a second chance at times – like life does 🙂
Blue was her favorite colour and I hated it. But it was fine as long as only she liked it. Her likes did form an integral part of my life – the curtains, the cutlery, the house as a whole in fact and of course the husband. I loved all except the colour. I wonder at times if it is really the dislike for the colour or the idea of not having at least one thing that she liked removed from my life. It just helps me feel that this life is mine.
I have never seen her in person and probably would have made good friends if we had. But today I stand where she stood year ago. Though I am ever grateful to her for the life she gave me, the selfish soul in me at times cringes on the fact that my existence and my happiness today is was hers. I just happened to be at the right place and more importantly at the right time. Meenakshi was a few months old, when Lakshmi passed away. It’s at that point in time I moved in to the same biding where Meenakshi and her father – Arjun stayed. I met Arjun, my husband for the first time at the airport. We both were trying to take a taxi home. The line for the pre-paid taxis was insanely long and we were standing in two parallel ques. He overheard me saying the address to the customer care and requested me if he can join in. I was initially hesitant, but the observant in me did notice his company ID and realized that he is a gentleman. He did not try to strike a conversion all throughout the journey . It was raining heavily and the cab took a long time to reach the building. For some reason the silence in the cab was comforting except for the occasional dialogues by the driver.
Driver : “Baarish aaj bahut hain. Lagta nahin yeh rukughe”. [Its raining quite heavily. Don’t think it will stop any time now]
Arjun : “Hmm”.
Driver: “Main aap dono ke building ke samne hi rehta hoon”. [I stay close to the building the two of you stay]
Arjun : “Acha”.
I wanted to clarify to the driver that we are not together, just in case he thought so – but did it really matter to him? It didn’t.
Driver: “ Aap dono kahan se hain?” [How are the two of you?]
Arjun : “ Hum Kerala se hain”. [We are good]
“Hum!” [“We”] – the word rang in my mind a couple of times. Did he speak for me as well. It did sound odd initially , but then I developed a weird sense of liking to it. It’s been long since someone else spoke for me. I was weaving a lot of assumptions and probabilities around the usage, only to realize that the usage didn’t mean anything more than the fact that he was brought up in Lucknow and hence the language. Though I am not good at Hindi, I did know that the people who speak Nawabi Hindi did use “Hum” instead of “Main” for saying “I”. By the time my thoughts landed on the reality of things the conversation between Arjun and the cab driver had reached way beyond formal introductions and talks about the weather.
Driver : “ Mere ko laga tha app lucknow se hain. Nahin to in madrasiyon ka hindi bahut bekaar hain”. [I thought the two of you were from Lucknow, because spoken hindi of people from Tamil Nadu is bad]
Arjun : “Hum Keral se hain. Madras se nahi hain”. [We are from Kerala, not from Madras]
Driver: “Sab wahi to hain”. [Well, both are the same, isn’t it]
Arjun chose not to correct him and educate him about the difference between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. This was probably one of the first instances in my life, where he taught me that it is not necessary to explain – clear everything to everyone, if it does not make a difference to your life. It did not make a difference to his life if the driver does not know the difference between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The discussion between him and the cab driver continued while I remained a listener – occasionally taking my flight to my world of imaginations.
It did take about 2 hours to reach home. Was tiring, but the sight of the sea as we drove down the queen’s necklace compensated for it. Though congested and expensive, I loved this part of the town and the fact that I could see the sea every morning. As we got out of the cab, Arjun paid for the cab and refused to take money from me. It irritated me, more so because I am not used to someone else paying on my behalf. But his no nonsense look discouraged me from arguing.
I was sure that Arjun lived a few blocks away in the same housing society. However I proved myself wrong when he got into the same lift as me. It didn’t take long enough to realize that the both of us stayed on the same floor. We both were trying to press the same floor number. He didn’t seem as surprised as I was. Either it is because he didn’t care or he already knew it. For some reason I chose to believe that it was the latter. Soon enough we reached the floor and we went into our respective flats.