THE SUBWAY TALKS -II

The Subways are a good place. You get a lot of people there. And for a single lad like me, I feel it’s the best. It perfectly describes the term, “there are a lot of fishes in the sea”.

Considering my last Subway Talk, I was excited for another one. Not because, it passes the time, but because I like to hear people’s stories.

I was waiting at the minus downtown station. The digital clock on the platform indicated all the passengers to wait for another seven minutes to board the train. Since, seven minutes was a long time, a lot of people were adding in the crowd. I started to roll my eyes. And eventually, I found a target.

Obviously, the target was a girl. The subways are just like one night stands, sometimes. You never know when you will see the same person next time. Anyways, I was as usual flattered by the girl. She was pretty, indeed.

But I didn’t know how to approach her? Well, this problem always stays there. Especially, in India. I looked at the odds first. She was also the minus downtown station. It was the third last station. I had to board the subway to reach the plus downtown. So, I had only two stations, i.e. minus downtown and downtown.

I was a bit nervous to walk towards her. And in all this, the seven minutes passed and the train arrived. Unlike, the other Indian rails, the subway trains are on time. I hated that. She boarded the train. I followed her steps. So, in my head, I made a pact. If the girl didn’t get off at downtown, I will walk to her.

In all this, she was unaware of my presence. But when I boarded the train, she happened to look at me. She just skimmed her eyes over me. The little thing my ribs were protecting started beating a bit faster. And then, it happened few more times. And that was the signal. It added a tad bit of confidence in my belly. And we reached the downtown station. And the cherry on the cake was, she didn’t take off.

“Hey”, I uttered.

“Hello”, I got the response.

“So, are you also going to plus downtown?”

“How come you know? You aren’t following me?”

I found that comment a little dumb. But, it wasn’t her fault. The whole breed is like that.

“Because you didn’t deboard at the downtown. And the train terminates at the plus downtown.”

Something was going in her head. The movement of her eyeballs confirmed it.

“So”, she said, “what do you do?”

“I’m a writer”.

“Writer as in? You work for a newspaper firm or a news channel or magazine or an advertisement company?”

Wow! I didn’t know that a writer has so many options for a job.

“No, I’m a freelancer. I have my own blog”.

“Basically, you are unemployed”.

That hit hard. Her cuteness and innocent face were just a mirage. In reality, she was the mother of Devil.

“No, I’m in the marketing department at the ABC Company. I have my source of income.” I lied to her.

And after that, I didn’t feel like talking to her. I felt to leave it as it is. She too didn’t show much interest.

“Look, I’m sorry”, she said, “I didn’t mean it that way. I was a bit disturbed by my job. Just had a rift with one of my colleagues. I hope you can understand.”

The sweet voice made me fall for her. My heart melted. Just like butter on a hot toast.

“Yeah, of course. Everyone faces these problems. Shit happens with anyone and everyone.”

“And at any time”, she added and burst into laughter. I joined her in the pun.

“You seem to know how to handle girls”, she said.

“I would rather say nothing at that.”

“But tell me, your girlfriend must be very much in love with you”.

“You got it right”, I said. I didn’t want to make an impression on her that being an unemployed guy, I’m a desperate too. Because, for girls, there is no such thing as a single guy. For them, the guys are divided into two categories. First, the committed ones and second the desperate ones (guys looking for girlfriends).

“Wow”, she exclaimed, “I wish I could be with someone like you”.

“I’m sorry. What do you mean?”

“Please, don’t take me wrong. I read it somewhere, ‘If a writer (guy) falls in love with a girl, the girl never dies’.”

The chances of me getting her were raising high on the charts. I was excited. Finally, after so many days of drought, I would have the action. Dude, she’s already impressed.

“Don’t worry. You will find someone very soon”.

“Not everyone is lucky like your girlfriend. My bad”, she said little grief.

I ignored that. The next thing on my mind was to get her number, at any cost. And the plus downtown was about to arrive. But the point wasn’t just coming where I could ask her for her contact.

“You mind showing me her picture”, she asked me.

And that was the time I experienced, “God helps those, who help themselves”.

“My phone’s battery just went dead. I wish I could show you. I can message you if you want to?”

And that was it. The breaks were applied. The destination arrived. The announcements were made to vacate the train. And suddenly, the noise level suppressed my words. She couldn’t just hear them.

She stood up and walked towards the exit gate of the train. I just walked behind her. Still had my hopes ON.

We checked out from the station. Again I approached her.

“Hey”.

“Hi. I thought I lost you”, she said.

“No. No, it’s not over yet. What I was saying is, it is not necessary that we might meet again like this, but certainly, we can meet by other means.”

She smiled. And that was a huge one. She blushed.

She came close to me. She moved her lips towards my ears and whispered, “Dude, it was a nice, but a wrong target”.

Completely clueless, I was in a deep thought.

“I’m completely aware of your employment and relationship status”, she said.

Again she put me in a conundrum. And I was trying hard to figure out what she meant.

“It was a nice try and a wrong target and she knows my relationship status and I’m unemployed”, these words occupied my head.

She moved and sat in an auto-rickshaw, popped her head out, winked at me, waved me a bye with her right hand and shouted,

“I’m one of the followers of your blog”.

— raman thukral

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