I couldn’t believe she did this and that too a day before Valentine’s Day. Its one thing to watch all this happen in movies and its another thing to watch this happen to yourself. My girlfriend dumped me, and with what elan! There wasn’t an iota of shame on her face when she came to meet me afterwards. The mere thought of knowing a person capable of so much treachery and malevolence was giving me the creeps. Did I actually know her? Or was I just pretending? The other guy was better well of, was of her community and moreover chosen by her parents. So many positive reasons which landed me in a trash can. I was sitting at the Connaught Place metro station waiting for my train to ISBT. A train just arrived but my thoughts were so scattered that by the time I collected them, the train was gone. I stared aimlessly at the taillights as the train snaked away. Tears welled up in my eyes. I was so emotionally drained that I could have done anything to get rid of the void in my heart. Five minutes later, the next train arrived. This time, as the doors swooshed open, I pushed myself inside. The train was chock-a-block with people. I got hold of a dangling handle and threw my bag on the floor. I started tapping my feet as the train tunneled through dark hollow pipes inside the earth. A few seconds later, I heard a sound. It was the kind of sound people make when they are really irritated by something. I turned and saw a girl standing next to me. I couldn’t see her face but she was clearly bugged by the continuous tapping of my feet. I stopped it. I got down at ISBT to take the connecting train to Rohini, where I lived.
* * *
I couldn’t believe he did this. I had pursued this relationship with all my heart, but everything flew out of the window when I saw Rahul with that…aarrhgghh…I don’t even want to take her name. Not only were they dancing in that wretched pub like two snakes entangled to each other but were also doing something inexplicable. I stormed inside and hit her on the head and then I did something I would never do again. I kicked Rahul between his legs. I could hear his scream even after I stormed out of the pub. I wanted to cry but my anger was holding me back. I wandered here and there for sometime. Then I sat in the Inner Circle park and wrote my diary before I realised that I had to get back before my roommate sleeps, otherwise it wouldn’t take something less than a lightening bolt to wake her up. I entered the Connaught Place metro station where I took the ticket to Delhi University. I had gone to CP from college to meet Rahul in that pub. I missed two trains as I was deep in thoughts staring at the yellow line which the passengers were not supposed to cross before the train stops…the line which nobody cared about. I got into the train and caught hold of a handle somehow. I threw the bag on the floor. As the train started, I noticed a guy standing next to me who was tapping his feet like a maniac. In a few seconds this tapping got to my nerves and I made a sound. It stopped immediately. Finally the guy got off at ISBT.
* * *
As I entered my home, I told mom that I was not hungry and went to my room. I threw the bag on the bed and sat on the chair and held my head in my hands. Somehow, the feeling has not sunk in yet. Nishita had the guts to give me a parting card which I had not opened yet. I unzipped my bag to take out the card. What came in my hand was a red diary. I fumbled the bag for the card but everything which came in my hand was alien. This was not my bag!! Where did I lose it? In the train? At the station? I opened the diary and to my relief found an address on the first page. The bag belonged to someone named Akriti Chauhan who dwelled in Kamala Nagar. Maybe she had my bag. I decided to go to her home first thing in the morning. As I was about to flip the diary back in the bag, I had in impulse to open and read it. I turned to the last page. A few lines were hastily jotted there :
What happened with me today was something I had never imagined would happen and that too a day before Valentine’s Day. I had so much faith in my love. It all shattered in a few seconds. What had I done to deserve this? I loved Rahul with all my heart but today I kicked him. I KICKED HIM!!!!! When will this pain go? I want to cry. Oh God!!! Please let me cry.
I stared at the diary for a few moments. I kept on touching the word “faith”, as if trying to feel the word. Then suddenly I slammed it shut.
The next day I reached Delhi University by metro and then took a rickshaw to Kamala Nagar. My heart went acrid when I eyed the couples roaming around me, completely drenched in love and celebrating Valentine’s Day. I reached Akriti’s apartment completely dejected and rang the bell. A girl opened the door and for a second I was dumbstruck. She was gorgeous. For a second I completely forgot Nishita. I was staring at her with my mouth open.
“Yes?”, she asked.
“Are you Akriti?”. I asked as I came to my senses.
“I have your bag. I think you have mine.” I said as I took off the bag from my shoulder and gave it to her.
* * *
When I reached my apartment my flatmate was, thankfully, awake. I told her that I was not hungry and went to my room. I splashed some cold water on my face but my cheeks were still burning. I sat on the bed for sometime, staring at the ceiling fan and then opened my bag to write my diary. What came in my hand was a card. The bag was not mine. Where was my bag?? Oh GOD!!! My diary was inside it!! Someone will read it!! I emptied the contents of the bag on my bed but was not able to find an address. Cursing my fate, I opened the card. It was addressed to a guy named Mukul. The girl who wrote the card was Nishita. It said :
I am so sorry for whatever happened but both of us have to understand this. We can’t be together. Mom and Dad have found a match for me. You have to let me go. I can’t let my parents down. Please understand.
I stared at the card for a long time. Tonight, I was not the only one whose heart was broken.
The next morning, the bell rang and as I opened the door, I saw the most handsome guy I have ever seen, standing at my door. For a second I completely forgot Rahul.
“Yes?” I said with great difficulty.
“Are you Akriti?”. He asked.
“I have your bag. I think you have mine.” He said as he took off the bag from his shoulder and gave it to me.
“Oh yes. Please come inside.”
He moved inside and sat on the sofa. I brought his bag from inside and gave it to him.
“By the way, I read the card.”
“I read the diary.”
For a second both of us stared at each other. Then we smiled.
“Happy Valentine’s Day.” He said.
“Same to you.”
I asked him if he was alright and then he told me about his broken relationship. I don’t know why but I too poured my heart in front of him. We realized that our bags must have exchanged in the train. He was that irritating foot tapper. We went to Barista and talked till the evening. I never felt that I was talking to a stranger. I told him that my Valentine’s Day was not as bad as I had expected. I found a friend. We exchanged numbers before he left. As I moved towards my apartment I wondered what destiny had in store for me. My heart was such an amalgam of pain and happiness that it was hard to express an emotion. Maybe…Rahul was never meant for me. Maybe…
* * *
Akriti never felt like a stranger. We talked like long lost friends. Somehow the fact that we were going through the same emotions helped us to connect. She told me about Rahul. Her story was as shocking as mine, if I may call it that. She was really sweet and we promised to meet again. My heart was not acerbic anymore. As I moved towards the station after saying goodbye to her, I felt very light. There was pain but there was happiness also. Mixed emotions, as they call it. I had started to realise that maybe Nishita was never meant for me. Maybe…
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