Where Miles Cease To Exist!

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I have always wondered why my journeys always seem to be endless. It is not just the destination, routes or the purpose; it is the journey itself that remain incomplete. I could feel this each time I get down from a train or bus after a long journey. This sense of void sticks to me even if I am with family, friends or even when I travel alone. I was prepared for the strangling emptiness this time too. Books, music, landscapes, nothing can comply. And this journey is going to be more tiring and long since at the destination my loving and caring husband is waiting with a bouquet or perhaps some chocolates to receive me, we are going to be together after seven months.

It was a three plus one seater bus and my seat was at the aisle. I could see colourful bags with cartoon pictures all over it and many packs of eatables and water bottles. I felt kind of relieved, a mom and kid is thankfully next to me. I can kill some time chatting for sure. Soon before the bus had started, a pretty little girl ran to the seat and waved cheerfully to someone standing outside. She will be two or three years old, I guessed.

“If you want, you can take the window seat”, a deep male voice reached my ears. My expectation was cut short; it was not her mom but dad accompanying her on this journey.

“No issues, I am fine here”, now this was a bit awkward situation for me. And I could figure out that he was also experiencing the same. I wanted to make air more light since I always hate facing discomfited situations and conversations. He went past and sat at the window seat putting the child up on his lap. Now I felt a bit more relaxed as there was plenty of vacant space next to me. I could make out that the dad and daughter was enjoying their time together with songs and kiddy talks. I simply looked out of the window on the other side.
“Are you heading towards Ernakulam?” I asked initiating a conversation.

“Yes, we have been on a vacation at my parents’ house, wife didn’t get take leave. So going back home”, he smiled and patted slowly on the girl’s shoulder. She was sleeping soundly on her dad’s lap by then.

“What about you? Ernakulam right?” he asked with utmost curiosity.

From then, the conversation gathered speed with us chatting incessantly for the almost one hour. The little girl woke up from her nap. By then I knew her name is Avanthika, fondly called as chikku and her mom is a banker and dad is a lecturer.

After talking to him for more than an hour, I could feel that we had a good chemistry between us. It was not just the common interest in books or music. He was so comfortable to talk to and I was wondering how we talked about varied topics, not just weather and bad roads. It was this urge to continue the conversation within both of us. And both of us were quite oblivious of the surroundings. Chikku again slept and I don’t know if I had secretly wished for that. He sounded genuine in his opinions and concerns. And in a matter of fact, I could feel that he could be a good listener and companion.

There are times where our minds conflict and we want to believe that it is all done by our alter ego. But then, eventually we are the rulers of our alter egos. Maybe it was just my mind playing to squander the time or maybe I really felt I could confide everything in him. But he would be gone in a few hours I know. If I was put up in a similar situation five years back, I would have mistaken this for love. But since I already know what love is with all the wonderful experience with my husband, I knew this was not love in fact. And this was far from being lust either. From the time we have been talking, I knew that we both looked into each other’s eyes and I was sure that I my look never wandered anywhere else.

Again we talked for hours till the bus halted at the toll gate. It was time to get down since the bus stop was just minutes away. He didn’t wake up chikku. “Its better she is sleeping, so that I can manage the luggage and her together”, he said while helping me out with the luggage.

My husband was already waiting for me at the bus stand; he had sent a million messages by this time. And I smiled thinking of how he will hug and kiss me right there amidst the crowd on seeing me. Again my mind was conflicting with many thoughts. I thought of asking his number but again I felt that it was completely pointless. I am not going to keep this friendship and there was no use adding one more random number to my already crowded phone book. This was just a pleasant memory that would stay with me for some time.

We said good byes even before the bus entered the station. He just looked into my eyes and nodded his head. It was the best good bye I ever had in my life. It had a sense of completion. It was a final adieu; we may never see each other in this life or maybe even if we see, we may not talk to each other. That completes the journey. This parting was perfect for making this memory all the more pleasant. For the first time, I could feel that my journey was complete.

I got down and smiled at him. I could see my hubby craning his neck towards the bus. I ran into his open arms and as I have guessed it was with a bunch of roses he had welcomed me.

*****

It has been seven years after that journey has ended. Now I am again on a bus journey to Ernakulam, alone. I could clearly remember him and his little girl even now. And everything we conversed. I closed my eyes and let the memory sweep in for one more time.

4 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. kinda 'droplets on a lotus leaf' ;)

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  3. I meant this very relationship anju ;) Its more like water droplets over the lotus leaf. Simple and gentle yet short term .. The whole narration is super cool. After all you got guts to reveal such feels into limelight.

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