I walked into the wedding reception feeling a bit awkward. I did not know anyone here other than the groom who was a former colleague.

I looked at the queue that was forming to wish the bride and groom. It did not appear to be  too long. So I joined it. I had decided that I would greet them, spend about fifteen minutes sitting around and then make it straight to the dining hall before leaving the place.

It was as I was shaking his hands that I saw her. I was initially not very sure if it was indeed her because I had never before had the occasion to see her in a sari. But as I walked down from the dais, I was convinced that it was her! I pulled up a chair and sat down in a corner observing her – the thousand watt smile, the waist long hair, the dancing eyes and the same animated way of talking. In a crowd full of women wearing bright coloured saris with sequins and zari she stood out by virtue of her sheer simplicity in a white Kerala sari with a gold border!

It was this simplicity that had initially attracted  me when I had met her  about a year ago. Was it only a year I wondered,,,!

She was an intern who had come in to work in our company. I was assigned to supervise her and guide her through her project.

She was so different from all the  girls who I usually went around with. She was very confident- but her confidence came from her knowledge and ability to deal with a situation rather than from superficial things like good looks! She was thorough with analyzing any information that was provided to her and was quick to see the interpretations. She spoke her mind and was not afraid of anything or anyone! People in our department just loved her! She also had a great sense of humour and one could hear her laughter ringing through the corridors. She reached out to almost everyone in the three months that she spent with us!

I was very intrigued by her – she was like this new specimen in my lab full of girls. She never tried to consciously do anything to attract me but I found myself being drawn to her more and more every day. It was initially a few minutes of coffee break taken together , then lunch breaks and often a lift to her paying guest accommodation. It was quite frustrating to  get her alone. She seemed to be always surrounded by people. At lunch, it was this group that gravitated to her table that made any form of personal conversation almost next to impossible. In the evenings, she again seemed to be with someone or the group with some plan for a movie or shopping expedition.

We were therefore forced to hold our conversations during our work time..! But what could one talk about other than the weather and maybe  the latest movie with Mr. Alva nearby or Mrs Rao listening in at the next cabin?

Finally, I decided to ask her out on a date. Where could I take her I wondered? With her kind of confidence she would be as comfortable at Kamath Hotel as in a disco. But somehow, she did not seem like a disco person…However she solved the problem for me by suggesting we could go to the carnival that was being held nearby. So, it was the carnival where we were alone together –but surrounded once again by a crowd…!  I was mildly irritated by the situation – though not for very long. It was a pleasure to see her enjoying herself there. She was like a child trying out all the games and eating cotton candy .. Soon my annoyance gave way and I began to enjoy myself as much as she did.

I swear, I did not plan what happened sometime later but happen it did! I wanted to go on the giant wheel. She was afraid of heights she said. But I convinced her to give it a try. The wheel moved slowly up as people started getting on it and soon we were suspended high above the ground waiting for the various seats to get filled. The operator was taking his own time letting people get in. While I enjoyed the fantastic view from our position there she started getting scared.

“Don’t look down. ” I said . “But where should I look then?” she complained nervously. “Look at me I said” turning her head towards me… She looked.. I looked and then I don’t know what happened I suddenly found myself drawing her towards me and before we knew what, we were kissing. The wheel turned around as my senses churned. I don’t know how long it was before we drew apart.. the wheel was slowing down.

We stepped out of the giant wheel and walked around the fair quietly holding hands now.. there did not seem to be  need for any further conversation. We walked silently to the parking lot. I started my bike and she hopped on to the pillion. I drove to my flat. My flat mate who was a pilot in a commercial airline was away on a flight.

So, there we were finally alone..! How many girls I had brought there during the last two years…but somehow I did not realize at that time that this was different. She sat down quietly in my living room. I sat opposite looking at her. Her eyes were down cast and she appeared to be thinking about something.

“What are you thinking?” I asked her.

“ Oh nothing” she said with a small smile. I went up to her took her hand in mine. She did not withdraw it. “ You know I am crazy about you” I told her. She nodded. I told her about how I had spent all my waking moments in the past one month thinking about her. She listened quietly .. For such a talkative person, she was strangely silent.

“Why are you  not saying anything” I asked

“What is there to say?” she said “ I love you and trust you completely. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

It was as if I was suddenly shaken out of  a dream “What do you mean? I am not ready for marriage” I said. “Did I say marriage? Marriage is only a social formality. I do not believe in it. I believe in something higher- love. I am in love with you and want to share my life with yours” she said with a smile.

She was not making any sense now..! I understood physical attraction and social relationships like marriage. But this was something else altogether…! Was she suggesting that we live together I asked her. She said she did not know. She just wanted to be with me all her life. She spoke about how true love transcended social norms and brought body and soul together.

I was well and truly confused. I looked at her. I knew whatever move I made now she would not resist. I saw the trust in her eyes and I suddenly was afraid..! The same innocence that had charmed me now seemed to be intimidating me. I wished she was one of those girls that I had fallen into bed with and then walked away continuing to be friends until each of us found someone else. I could deal with them and the physical attraction their bodies held for me.  I also understood the girls who were clear about marriage being their objective in any relationship that they shared with a guy. And ofcourse I was familiar with girls who would have been outraged had I even held their hand.

But this girl did not fit into any of these categories. She was offering me her love but I was strangely afraid of it..! I did not know why…! I was the person now who seemed to be having the confidence problem. She sat there supremely confident waiting for me to say/do something.

However nothing was said and nothing happened between us either. I dropped her off at her PG accommodation after sometime.

Her internship was coming to a close and after the next two weeks, I did not see her again. She seemed to have changed her phone number

But thoughts about her continued to haunt me. I sometimes heard Mrs Rao in the next cabin speak on her mobile with her. I wanted to ask her what her new number was but I don’t know, there was something that seemed to be holding me back. I knew there were some others in the office who maintained contact with her but I felt too awkward asking them about her.

I tried to forget her by having one relationship after another.. living up to my cassanova image! Somehow, nothing seemed to work.. I was tiered of those sexy bodies and the predictable responses they offered me..! I wanted conversation of an intelligent variety. I have often gone to fairs sitting alone on a giant wheel and imagined the feel of her lips beneath mine. Once my imagination ran away with me and I almost saw her on  a another seat in the wheel.

I went to places which she frequented wandering around aimlessly. I was not even sure which town she was in. I wanted to often call the management institute that she was from to find our where she was working but somehow I was afraid that word would get round to her.. I don’t know why it  mattered if she knew I was looking for her. Wasn’t she offering me herself without expectations. So why should it worry me?

I often wondered why I had not proceeded any further that evening – it would have been so easy. But it would have also meant taking advantage of her innocence… I may be a flirt, Cassanova or whatever but I never took advantage of any girl..!

( to be continued)


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. KP
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 17:48:27

    The story is progressing well laden with suspense how you are going to finish.
    You have a revetting style.


  2. shomoita
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 21:15:38

    Waiting of HER perspectives… 🙂


  3. Meera
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 21:19:22

    Thanks folks… Shomoita writing HER perspectives at the moment!


  4. Bikram
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 22:51:25

    hmmm write yes would like ot know her perspective too .. as somehow this look so close to something i know of ..

    cant wait now …


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