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March 02, 2006

The stars told me a story.

Playful words and sweet memories come unbidden to fill this space. I do so love to spin a tale, filled with sparks from within and the light beyond...scenes from my past or mirages of my imagination? You decide!

Something about the way he grinned…I tried to place a finger on what it tried to convey. A hint of amusement, I think. That’s the first thing I noticed. Second thing or set of things that I noticed was that he was tall, fair and bespectacled. It was my turn to be amused. How strange that he fit into my quirky teenage definition of my perfect guy, so snugly! I decided not to read more into it. The stars will tell me if things were meant to be, I decided. And as I stood hesitating, having just set foot into the United States, he smiled widely and held his hand to me, "Welcome to America" and within a few minutes followed by, "Lagta he yeh ladki padne ke liye aayi he" and then, "Lagta he yeh ladki zyada bolega nahi."

Ofcourse "yeh ladki" knew that was not the case but why spoil his delightful little illusion? So, I became the silent maiden that day.

And a few weeks later, as we walked around campus, a playful breeze seemed to touch my cheek and snuggle between us, holding our hands. I stole a glance at him and saw the same amusement in his eyes. I decided I liked him. That night, the sky seemed to sparkle, the stars perhaps did have something in mind?

He called me every evening. I would be tired and excited at the same time, bursting to tell someone, anyone my adventures of the day – I taught Calculus! Imagine a bunch of teenagers (American teenagers at that) listening to me! Each day, I had a new story to tell. Each day, he would call to listen to them. Today one of my students asked me if I was sixteen! Today, my students made such a fuss about the assignments I gave them. Today, my professor and I chatted about India, elephants, rich uncles and student life! And sometimes, I wouldn’t notice the sky changing colors outside my window, the shadows of the night peeping in, the stars come to predict some more.

It was Saturday night and my roommate and some of her friends planned to go bowling. He was going to go too. I waited for him to ask me to come but he didn’t and I fell asleep waiting. The next day, I was silent and he asked if I expected him to call me and he touched my cheek lightly as he said that. And for some strange reason, I found myself shaking my head – no, it’s ok.

And then we had our first quarrel. It would be unfair to call it a quarrel, I guess. It was more of an expression of disappointment. I don’t even remember what I expected him to do and if I was justified in expecting that…I just remember the way he leaned against the table and smiled as I declared in mock-anger that I wouldn’t go out with him because something else was more important to him. He smiled first and then laughed while trying to protest and my resolve to give him a hard time melted in the sounds of our laughter.

Within a month of my moving into the apartment, my roommate decided she had had enough of me. She got additional funding from her department and could not afford to live alone. So, she asked me to leave soon. Just that. She believed in straight talk. So, I turned to him for help and the next day we made more trips than I can remember from one apartment to another, transferring an unending pile of things. It was quite late in the night by the time we transferred everything and we just collapsed on the carpet. My roommate fell asleep immediately right there. I was happy to be in my new home and was excited and tired at the same time – I couldn’t sleep. So, we started talking sitting amidst the legs of a bed frame, suitcases and my roommate. We talked until we heard the sounds of morning, heralding a new beginning? We talked about life, ideas, people and as the sun rose higher in the sky and the stars bid goodbye, he said goodbye too. I watched him walk to his apartment and then I watched the fading stars.

I realized that night that they had just begun to tell me a story...

15 comments:

kamal said...

1. This story sounds vaguely familiar :)
2. Please! which guy will call every evening? :)

Kumari said...

It doesn't matter which guy called, I love the story :)

Very cutesy cutesy style :)

IBH said...

*ahem*, K, enaku kuda it sounds vaguely familiar... :)

love the way u write! :) so can expect more stories in the future eh?:)

RS said...

kamal -

@ 1. Men do have strange memory-loss problems! How soon they forget stuff!

@ 2. This guy :))

kumari - thanku thanku :)

ibh - sure, me will dump a constant dose of stories on you guys no matter what :)

Saranya Kishore said...

Beautiful! :)
I really want to hear more :))

Hellboy said...

so this is how it all started ah... sweet :)

Abhi said...

Very sweet... :)
Want to hear all of it!!!

BUS said...

they had begun to tell u a story... i agree...

Prabu Karthik said...

Ah! this is not story after all, this is poem:)

U remember the song in azhagan where bhanupriya and mammooty talk all night over phone..

andha songs um andha lyrics um dhaan nyabagam vandhudhu:)

Prabu Karthik said...

solla marandhutten.. this is by leaps and bounds your best post in recent times!

RS said...

saranya - let me think about that...:)

hellboy - :)

abhi - abhi, is that you :) ?

bus - for once... you agree ;)

p~k - sangeetha swarangal...the reason I remember is we used to tease one of our friends in Bits with this song because she used to have such marathon conversations! So, after sometime, if we said sangeetha swarangal, she would start blushing :)

sb said...

THIS GUY!!!
:-)

Anonymous said...

"...scenes from my past or mirages of my imagination? You decide!"

mirages of your imagination

what's the prize for the right answer? :)
-L

RS said...

sb - :)

L - :) Never promised one!

PH said...

Have heard some of these from you before, but again, very well written!

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