I was inspired after reading a blog written by a girl from someplace I didn’t know. She wrote a firsthand account about how a girl would feel when she is about to kiss her boyfriend for the first time. I was quite disappointed that she ended the write up saying that it was all a dream that flashed through her brain while listening to a romantic song. Nevertheless, her narration was fantastic and very good to read. So, here I am, trying to write something romantic myself. I don’t expect it to be like Nicholas Sparks, A walk to remember or Eric Sehgal, Love Story. So, please bear with me.
This incident which is not exactly romantic is still a very memorable incident which I still happen to remember till the very trivial detail. It happened when I was doing my plus two. Those two years were the dark ages of my life. Along with being extremely bad in grades and irritable in behaviour, I was also fat and extremely unappealing. Many of my relatives wrote me off as a kid who didn’t talk much and kept himself to himself. It was December and my uncle was visiting India along with his family. We were having a real blast and lots of fun. We were in MGM Selvee World, a basically crappy but the only theme park in our city that made it popular. After paying 125 bucks for the tickets, we were able to get onto most of the rides given the fact that most of the rides are always under repairs. After finishing a few rides, we came up to the place with the Giant Wheel. That was an impressive addition to the park at that point of time because a theme park is never complete without a giant wheel.
As I stepped out into the openness of the park, a wave of cold swept from the ocean brushed against my face. It got better when the mist from the sea gave a tinge of warmth to the air. I could almost taste the salt in my mouth as I sucked in the cool sea breeze. I got high and started humming a happy tune. My three sisters were too busy talking to enjoy the climate. They were discussing about the latest Barbie dolls in town. (Err; Sushu, Bharu and Meena don’t mind you were pretty young then) My uncle was trying to make sure that we stayed and talked as a group. We queued up near the giant wheel. People were being put into cabins, four persons each. Since the thing was very new, the staffs were being extra careful and also extra fussy.
My uncle and my three sisters hopped in as soon as an empty one arrived. Through my uncle tried to convince the operator guy into putting me also into the cabin, he refused after looking at me, saying he had “weight considerations”, the asshole. I imagined punching him square in the face thrice and only managed to scowl at him and moved aside, feeling quite upset. I got into the next one, hoping I’d get a good view of the city which I could savour. I was also wishing that the cool breeze would drown the anger induced by the operator ass. As I settled myself into the next cabin, I spotted someone enter the cabin. I tried not to stare too much as I started capturing her face in the shimmering neon lights of the park. There was this song “Beete Lamhein” from “The Train” playing in the back ground. The image of her face remains etched in my head till this very moment and I recollect it as I type this on MS word 2007.
She was tall, slim and fair with a golden honey complexion that looked more radiant and bright in the orange neon light. Her eyes were soot black and had the depth of a black hole. Her gaze had a magnetic quality just like the depth of the black hole. Once you lock into the gaze, it’s almost impossible to unlock. She had cherry red pouted lips (No, she didn’t wear lipstick I am fairly sure) that held her beautiful smile. Her hair had a life of its own. She had the most wonderful soft and straight hair which reached till her shoulders and was left open to play with the wind. She entered the cabin pink and flustered. She was having great fun obviously. She thumped down on the semi-circular seat of the cabin, sitting exactly on the opposite side facing me. She uttered an audible grunt as her friends took another cabin as per the space requirements.
She acknowledged my presence with an enthusiastic hello. I looked up to greet her and I saw her much more completely this time. She was wearing a white t-shirt which said some incomprehensible nonsense along with a few specks of colour thrown in at random places. She wore brown cargos and sensible sport shoes. (I’ve seen females wearing pointed heels while dancing. God save them if they slip.) I nodded and greeted her with a straight face and extended my hand and introduced myself.
“Hi! I’m Harsha.”
“Hi Harsha, Good to meet you. I’m Shruthi.”
We then exchanged information about where we lived and what we were studying. I was in my second year of my plus two. She was one year my junior. I told her about my college, Sri Chaitanya and how they tortured us in the college day in and day out. She was a sympathetic listener and she also had her own experiences in FIIT JEE. I tried not to look too much at her, as she kept her deep black eyes locked on me all the topped with her magnetic glance.
“I live in Hyderabad and this is the first time I’ve come to Vizag. Beautiful place your city. I’m having a real blast.” She said.
“Yeah, you people must be loving the beach isn’t it? All you have in Hyderabad is a water tank which is fuller with Ganesh idols most of the time.”
She laughed heartily at my stupid joke. The wind started blowing the hair into her face sending it into her eyes and her mouth making her look like one of those Pepsodent ad models. She brushed the loose curls aside and started speaking again.
The ride by then had begun and the cabin stopped mid way as there were more people getting into the giant wheel. The wind here was much cooler and much heavier with the mist. I was lost for a moment in my own thoughts. I started sucking air through my mouth to taste the saltines of the sea. I caught her looking at me with an expression, mixed with curiosity and anxiety.
“Oh, I was just trying to taste the saltiness of the air. It becomes salty when it mixes with the mist of the sea you know. I just like doing it”
She closed her eyes and took a lungful of air though her mouth. She looked thoughtful for a minute and opened her eyes.
“Yeah, tastes good” she said with a smile.
I pointed out the various places in the city. From that height, in the night, Vizag was a big box of shining neon light jewels shimmering bright in the deep darkness. As the wheel started spinning, I started screaming just for the heck of it. The girl herself was completely unfazed and looked at me as I screamed.
“It gives more excitement to the ride I feel.” I said, feeling stupid for screaming like a ten year old.
She smiled her Pepsodent smile again and soon we were screaming “WEE” at the top of our voices both of us trying to sound louder than the other. After four rounds, she was able to identify Kailash hills and Dolphin nose with the knowledge I passed on to her. After fifteen minutes or so (lost count of time so I was unsure about the duration of the ride) the ride ended and soon we had to get off.
“It was great fun talking with you, I thought I’d get very bored” she said.
“Me too, you were also fun to talk with” I replied.
Since this is a real life experience none of us took the initiative of exchanging phone numbers or mail id’s. It doesn’t make sense when you know the girl only for ten minutes I thought. We shook hands and moved towards our respective groups.
“Hope I see you someday again” she said, with her smile fading away into a straight face.
“I wish the same” I said with a blank expression to hide the momentary sadness I felt.
I never saw her again after that but the memories of the day stay etched in my brain till this very day. Such is the course of life; some people enter in like bolts of lightning making you see the day light in the middle of the night, but only for a minute. Some people are like candles, they stand by you till they perish. Ignore the bolts, and stay faithful to your candles.