“Hi” he uttered with the ultimate surprise.
I looked at him in amazement, my lips parted in surprise and eyebrows raised with the sudden joy of surprise.
“Woah, Hi” I was out aloud in the expression and overwhelmed.
I never thought I would meet him like this.
4 YEARS AGO
INDIRA GANDHI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, DELHI
Cabin crew announcing: Dear Passenger your Flight to Pune will be of 3 hours and 15 minutes, Please follow the instructions for a happy and a safe flight.
I sat on the window seat going to Pune, wishing I didn’t have to go this far, away from my friends, from my parents for my career. I plugged in the earphones and remembering my Father’s face when he left me at the airport wishing me.
“All the best dear, take care!”
I wanted to hug my father but I could not, probably I never had. It was never about the closeness but I somehow couldn’t. My flight took off to the journey in the new land away from my dreams and into the dilemma of what is right and what is wrong.
Beside me sat a young boy. In his early teens and was busy playing a game probably some kingdom one of conquering & rule.
The song in melodious voice of KK played in the playlist, reminding me of the old gone days which were close to my heart.
“……. tu waqt mere liye, main hoon tera lamha
kaise rahega bhala hoke tu mujhse juda…”
I looked out of the window, glaring lights went bleak and darkness filled the view outside as in my heart. I felt lonely for the first time.
My playlist was my favorite one from my childhood with mix compilations of ATIF, KK, Mohit Chauhan. I fell in love with the feeling of love and eagerly waited for someone to sweep me off my feet.
My flight landed at Pune and I immediately dialed to my parents informing about my safe journey. I went to collect the baggage and picked my suitcase and dragged towards the exit.
“Hey stop, Green top! That’s my bag…. hey Green Girl!”
I was deaf because of the earplugs singing to the highest volume. A hand grabbed my suitcase handle and another hand stopped my way, panting & breathing heavily.
I was astonished at the sudden interruption as my thoughts broke down and eyes widened to look at the boy. I was completely lost.
He plucked out the earphones from my ears and out of breath said his finger pointing towards the bag,
“That one is mine”
I looked at the bag and was surprised
How can I just keep his bag and was walking out of the airport? I felt like a momentary thief trying to run away with his stuff!
I was embarrassed and ran away to the baggage to collect mine, there was only one suitcase left looking alike to his on the conveyor.
I picked up mine and saw him still standing there, I tried to avoid an eye contact, and fiddling with my phone tried opening the cab booking to reach my destination. I didn’t say sorry either, he kept looking at me, and when I passed him, he started walking behind me. Scared! I looked past me and he was following me.
I was extremely nervous and I booked a cab to my hostel.
I was waiting in the cab pick up and drop off area when He came behind and suddenly out of nowhere Shaking his hands introduced himself.
“Siddharth” he looked at me intensely and I looked at him. Blankly, and stunned. His hand was waiting for my hand to shake which I didn’t. I don’t know why I was acting weird and strange
“Should I tell you my name? But why? ” shaking his hand I said.
” um, Just in case you take away my bag the next time at the airport” he laughed. His goddamn laugh, I was amazed.
He had the most beautiful laugh I had seen, I kept looking for awhile at him. He stopped laughing and looked at me staring at his mouth and gleaming eyes unblinkingly.
He looked away and read from the tag on my luggage “Oooonisshaa um Rastogi”
“uh- oh -no no, it’s um One + sha, a 1 and a sha, 1 sha” he looked at me in a disappointed manner!
“who keeps ridiculous names like that” I frowned at him.
I gave him the I-will-eat-you-alive-looks. He didn’t care to say sorry or anything and just casually asked where I was heading?
“None of your business,” I said to him in my annoyed rounded face frowning with cheeks full of rage. I thought I looked cute that way and it always worked.
But that shameless creature started Laughing, holy crap, His laugh… I Again stared at him in amazement like a love struck baby and surprised.
“I am going to blah blah blah/…….” he was saying something and I was lost in his laugh and I apparently didn’t hear what he was saying.
Meanwhile, my cab came and we both sat inside, and he kept speaking and I looked at him in all love and no mind amazed and expressionless. My mind lost its track and I was in a strange city with a stranger. In all of the stories, he was telling to which I was barely listening to I waited for him to laugh. I indeed was stupid.
The cab dropped to my hostel and he too was a newbie there in my company. We checked in together and went to our rooms. It was going to be the first day at the office the next day!