Anjali: My friend is coming from Delhi and will reach here by midnight at 2. Please, guys, help me with his accommodation.

Mehak: Let him stay at the footpath.

This was the conversation taking place at the SD College Girls Hostel, Chandigarh around 10 pm and I was sitting on a local bus heading to Chandigarh.

It was Tuesday night when I decided to accomplish the demand of my foolish heart to meet the lady of my dreams.

I left for Chandigarh on Wednesday evening from my hostel. Maybe God didn’t want me to reach on time, I faced a lack of transportation. This might be an indication from God that this is not the right time for this, but when you are in love even wrong seems right.

By somehow I made it to the Delhi bus stand. I felt like a movie is being rolled and am being the lead actor, is being sent on a mission to save the world but how will a person save the world when his own heart is not secured. I took the aisle seat in Delhi-Chandigarh roadways bus. Being a student I could only afford a local one. Although it is widely said nothing matters in love, but what if you are not left with any money to eat.

The fellow beside me was very annoying. He was constantly talking to his girl and when I heard his words and looked at him, he started giving me looks as if am the brother of his most probably future wife. Only two words were coming out,”baby” & “sorry”, and I was like shit man. I wanted to snatch his phone and throw him out of the window.

At 10 PM, I got a message from Anjali which informed me that no one could accommodate me and I had to stay at the bus stand in spite of my relatives living there because the boy was out without telling anyone about his surprise visit. “I will manage, you don’t worry, you just relax”, my obvious reply to Anjali.

Very cool mindedly I said this to Anjali, but in reality, I was screwed to imagine how will I? When you are in love then nothing is visible than the cute smile of your love. This cute smile was the only reason why I was tolerating that bloody fellow inside the bus.

Anjali: Aaditya, listen to me, it’s risky to stay out at the bus stand and that too in Chandigarh and that too at night and too in cold weather, no dear you can’t stay there. Let me arrange something for you. Her saying with too many too’s shoved me in tension. These girls literally don’t know what their words are all about, they just learn one word and feels its cool and use it everywhere. I told her not to worry. I will manage it’s just a matter of few hours, you need not disturb anyone. But inside I was shouting, disturb as many people as you can. Please do something I don’t want to stay at the bus stand.

But fate had decided something else for me. The things which I didn’t want to happen were only happening. I was actually going to live at the bus stand.

 

2am. Karan calling… hello, yes bro just reached and enjoying the weather over here. This call from my hostel mate woke me up when brakes were applied at the Chandigarh bus stand. I stepped out of the bus. It was very cold outside and i was only wearing a t-shirt. I had no extra clothes to wear in that Shimla weather. I took a cup of tea and informed Anjali of my arrival to the beautiful city.

She felt sorry for not able to arrange accommodation for me and I was like,” it’s cool you need not worry, will see you tomorrow.”

Wooh! am going to spend a full night at a bus stand with little money in my hands and battery of cell about to die. I first roamed here and there making myself comfortable to the chilling weather. I searched for a shop where I could at least, charge my phone. eventually, I found one. Only the owner was sitting and was watching T.V., I looked at the time and then looked at him. He too looked at me and expected me to utter something. But cold outside froze my body. So, without opening my mouth only using my hands showed him mobile and charger and he plugged them in. It was 3:30 am and i placed myself in a leaning position at the desk outside the shop. It was a big confectionery shop and was very silent. Two people came and asked for the cigarette but the shop keeper hadn’t any. They took out knives from their pockets and aimed at the shopkeeper to handle all the cash to them. The shopkeeper started protesting and public started gathering outside the shop. One of the man made the cut on the shopkeeper’s right hand and punched him in his stomach. He fell down on the floor. Another thief made me his victim to get out of there. He grabbed my neck in his left hand and yelled at the gathered public to disperse. I was cursing myself for coming to Chandigarh. My mind lost it’s senses that how to react. It was difficult to imagine that what will happen to me.

Seeing the crowd two policemen came and tried to control the situation. We three were standing at the entrance of the shop. Those two policemen involved thieves in their talks and another two policemen grabbed the thieves from sideways. I was thrown away by them. One of the policemen had the knife in his stomach. People there lifted me up and placed me on a bench there. I was completely shocked.

Policemen came and placed me in their vehicle. they took me to the Police Station for further investigation. They took my mobile and switched it off. On reaching there they made me to sit there for three hours. I felt asleep there.  They woke me up at around 9 am and i was panicking as i remembered the tragic incident that took at the shop.

Police took my statement and called a doctor for my checkup. They asked what i was doing at the shop and the bus stand. Obviously, i couldn’t tell them about my visit that but told that i was waiting for receiving my relative from there we had to go to Amritsar. They left me at 10:30 am and immediately i called Anjali. I wanted to laugh out loud because you never know when what will happen and this was totally unexpected. Even in my dreams, I couldn’t dream all this. First time i felt the full form of life:” Living Isn’t Fucking Easy.”

I went for this unplanned and hectic trip for Mehak who was unaware of all this. She spent her night on her cozy bed inside warm blankets. Mehak, my life my everything. We met in school and we were friends from past 5 years. But after schooling, I realized that our relation is more than friendship. I told her about my feelings and it was the starting of the breakdown. We both had a fight and no talks from last 20 days and I just went there to meet her and say sorry.

As I came out, I  straight away took an auto rickshaw for the college. I reached the college at 11:15 am. It was red building divided into blocks, which reminded me of my past where i first saw Mehak i.e. our school. It feels good when an old feeling sparks your heart. I was getting more and more excited to meet her. Anjali called me and asked my location. I never had seen her in person as i contacted her via facebook and elaborated my condition. she understood me well and got ready to help me as she had told me she wasn’t able to get her love because the guy she loved died in a road accident. She was connected to all lovers and this connection was my pathway to Mehak.

I was standing in front of IT department where she caught me. We shook hands and greeted each other. my first question to her was regarding Mehak and she started inquiring me about my tummy. My poor tummy didn’t get a single piece of food from last night and therefore, we turned towards the cafeteria. Searching for the topic, I illustrated what happened last night with me at the bus stand and why I was this much late for this meeting. She was shocked to hear that and felt sorry for calling me to Chandigarh. She only motivated me that if I will come to meet Mehak, she will actually feel good. So, it was about Mehak and how could I miss any chance to make her smile. I told Anjali, don’t be sorry, all that happened was written. We took shakes and she dialed Mehak.

Searching for the topic, I illustrated what happened last night with me at the bus stand and why I was this much late for this meeting. She was shocked to hear that and felt sorry for calling me to Chandigarh. She only motivated me that if I will come to meet Mehak, she will actually feel good. So, it was about Mehak and how could I miss any chance to make her smile. I told Anjali, don’t be sorry, all that happened was written. We took shakes and she dialed Mehak.

Anjali told Mehak not to enter the classroom as she has to discuss one important work. No doubt that important stuff was me only. But that arrogant girl went inside the room. Standing outside her room i dialed her. I wasn’t expecting that she will not answer my call because of the fight she ignored me and that’s why i was there.

Hello Mehak, where are you?

I am in college, what happened?

She walked out of the class as she was speaking to me. As she came out i was standing out of the room. We saw each other and as expected, she was shocked to see me. My surprise was a shock for her.

I just saw two things first her eyes and then her lips which were gradually going wider and wider. That sweet smile always drove me crazy. I was lost and most importantly that smile was for me, only for me. I wanted to grab her in my arms and hug her that much close that even air couldn’t pass through the gaps. Breaking my dream, she shouted my name so loudly that everyone’s eyes were on us only. I moved my eyes to see the public watching this drama and mostly saw Sardars (Guy with Turbans), standing and watching me. I thought am gone, these Sardars are going to throw me and beat me with all their frustration. Anjali told that every guy here wants to talk to Mehak but she doesn’t talk with anyone and now she is with me. Those words from Anjali fell on me like atom bombs and made me move my Adam’s apple in tension and confirmed me that am the prey of these Sardars.

Mehak and i shook hands but i was expecting a hug but those Sardars killed my expectations. We walked towards the lawn outside the classes area and sat there on a bench. Mehak told me that this area is known as lovers area and I was blushing to sit beside my love. Anjali was with us. Meanwhile, our talks she came to know that how I spent my last night. She was angry with me and started abusing me for doing all that. But that duffer wasn’t understanding that i did all that only for her. I was just looking in her eyes and was drowned in them. She was saying something on which my mind was not concentrating. “Nothing is more beautiful than sitting in front of your love and just looking at each other eyes without uttering a single word.” Her eyes were pleading me to stare at them. I wanted to tell her that i hadn’t seen her eyes for the first time but she has the most beautiful eyes. I wanted to say her many things, but couldn’t.

I was stopped by the feeling that she doesn’t have those feelings as I possess for her and now if I again told her about anything regarding this then she will again put the barrier of friendship.the only time I hate the saying is when she says,”that we are friends”. I didn’t want to spoil that meeting with her, that’s why i zipped my mouth not to express my love again. She was yelling at me to speak something, but just because when two people don’t have the same feelings then a meaningful conversation can’t be carried out between them.

I wanted to tell her that I really love her and can do anything for that cute smile that I feel like making her smile is my responsibility and I wanted to say her so much more but wasn’t able to.

starting the conversation she asked me whether I made any girl in college? I refused in one go, but wanted to tell her that I haven’t seen any girl with that craziness I look at her.

I asked her for the lunch so we left the college for filling our stomach. For this Mc.D was the best place I felt because it’s cheap and our tummy could also be made happy with a good taste. Although I had explored Chandigarh many times but with her, I felt I had never been there. I wanted to hold her hand and leave imprints of our feet on the Chandigarh roads. But maybe she was not happy because of what happened last night, that’s why she refused. I requested her many times and in the end, surrendered in front of her stubborn nature. That time I was in full anger and didn’t speak anything. Despite knowing what had happened, she was again, and again asking what happened to me. I didn’t utter a single word and stopped an auto for going back to College.

On reaching College we met Anjali and she was very happy to see both of us. Mehak went to the hostel because she wasn’t feeling well. Anjali felt as everything is right back on the track and in that extreme happiness, she was teasing me. But my mood was off so my anger burst out on her. In a rude way I spoke to her and told her everything that happened & left the college for my hostel without even meeting Mehak. from behind, Anjali shouted to stop. But at that moment, I only wanted to hear Mehak’s voice to call me. I stopped and turned back and said to Anjali,” say your friend that am going and I will never ever enter her life again. I had many beautiful memories of my friendship with her and I don’t want to loose them. I will not disturb her anymore” . I thanked Anjali for helping me in getting there and left for the railway station.

 

The Chandigarh-Delhi Paschim Express was late by 2 hours in the first announcement and by the second announcement i was informed that i have to stay at the station till 9 PM. Because of lack of money I couldn’t afford even a local bus to reach my place. I waited at the station only, watched people moving with some goals in their mind. All that happened in the morning killed me. I was like a dead man just living without any motive. All my emotions and feelings till that time had gone. I was thinking that why i took this step?

Either I was mad or she. I traveled 400 km distance, spent my night in cold and was almost about to die at the bus stand. I did all this just to meet her so that everything between us, would again become normal. I wanted to fix this thing in her mind that I will only love her no matter how harsh and cruel she is to me. Wanted to connect her heart with mine, was still hoping that she could read my mind and realize her value in my life that she is like oxygen for the lungs, without her am nothing.

“Getting that person is not the actual love but living with that feeling is the real love”. The clock at the station showed 8:45 PM. I stood up from the bench and entered the general compartment. Three hours of regular sitting on the bench made my hips weep, so, I didn’t take a seat, was standing at the entrance of the compartment. At 9:05 train whistled and gave it’s indication for the commencement of the journey. I was regretting my luck my life my everything and thought of giving a fresh start to my life. As train moved slowly and slowly I saw something unexpected. I saw Anjali and Mehak sitting on a bench. Mehak was crying and Anjali was wiping her tears. I was thunderstruck by this scene and wasn’t able to understand what is going on. Meanwhile, Anjali saw me and waved me to stop. Mehak and I looked at each other and for the first time, I felt she is calling me to come back. Without thinking of anything, I jumped from the train and ran towards Mehak. She stood up from the bench. Tears were rolling down from both of our eyes. My heart was beating at a double rate. I raised my hand and removed her tears. she hugged me very tightly as I was expecting when I met her. She moved her mouth towards my ears and whispered,”I am so sorry. Please forgive me. I really don’t want you to leave me. I love you”. That last sentence brought an earthquake in my body and felt that am dreaming and after that, what happened was totally unexpected. she kept her mouth close to mine. Her lower lip was between my two lips. I don’t know how to react and what to do. I pressed her lip and felt her breath into mine. It was irresistible. She moved her lips and I moved them too. It was so amazing to experience that. I felt like screaming in happiness but was not able to leave her and the sweet taste of her lips. After our successful first kiss. she moved away and placed her head down. I held her face in my hands and kissed her on the cheeks and told her,”no matter how tough the situation is, how harsh the time is, this person will always be there for you”. I don’t know which part of my body thought those heavy words but those words perfectly suited the situation. Again a tear rolled down her eyes and she again planted a kiss on my lips. It was so embracing to have this in the middle of the station with so many people around. Anjali aslo hugged both of us and told me that how Mehak  understood my love and how I took all the pains for her. With my full

She moved away and placed her head down. I held her face in my hands and kissed her on the cheeks and told her,”no matter how tough the situation is, how harsh the time is, this person will always be there for you”. I don’t know which part of my body thought those heavy words but those words perfectly suited the situation. Again a tear rolled down her eyes and she again planted a kiss on my lips. It was so embracing to have this in the middle of the station with so many people around. Anjali also hugged both of us and told me that how Mehak  understood my love and how I took all the pains for her. With my full heart, I thanked God and Anjali. My train left me but because of Mehak i caught the real train of life i.e.”LOVE”.

— raman thukral

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