The Honest Post - Phase 2

Read Phase 1 here

Came October and the most inevitable happened. My current relationship came tumbling down and I was single again. No matter how meaningless the relationship, a heart break is always a heartbreak. The first person I called after this happened was Cal. And he being his true self cheered me up. No, he did not do the usual 'chance pe dance' and try to woo me. Nor did I use him as a shoulder to cry on. I was over the relationship in like four hours, because nothing about it seemed right and I somehow looked forward to being single again. See, moping over something that's over is an individual choice. I did once for three years. Never again. Go ahead, feel free to judge me.

Not being tied to someone else gave me ample free time. Like I said before that I'm not a home body, I seek solace outside. There was someone else doing the same then. Yes, Mister Cal himself. Both of us have been crazily independent and have only turned towards our friends for comfort. So, at this juncture we found ourselves facing each other. Our occasional meetings then turned into an everyday necessity. Initially we started meeting up every weekend, then started the weekdays. Both of us used to finish work and head towards 'Airlines Hotel' diligently. We sat there and spoke new topics every day. Nobody tried to impress the other, but we sure were surprising each other everyday with our ability to hold on to a meaningful conversation. The feelings were obvious, but I ignored it from my end. I felt it was too soon to get into another relationship especially when I did not want to be in one. Even if he had something in mind, he didn't make it obvious.

By November 2011, my travel was announced. I was to leave by the end of the month and be away for another month. It was a rainy day when my dates got confirmed. The only person I informed was Cal. I don't know what happened to him, but he had a sudden urge to see me then. And for some strange reason I too wanted to be with him. I don't know, travel anxiety or whatever. But the damned rain. It just wouldn't stop. A little drizzle would have been easy to bear, but this was almost a torrent. But he called and asked me to wait in Barista. That was my plan anyway. I sat there waiting for him, feeling a million feelings within me. It was not more than 10 minutes, when he arrived. He was wearing track pants and was soaking wet from top to bottom. He stays 20 kms away from the place mentioned mind you. That relief in each others face when we saw the other cannot be explained. He first frowned at my yellow shoes and then hugged me tight. My nerves finally calmed down and now coming to think of it, I feel that I've never ever been assured, like I was that day. He seemed to be really happy for me and I myself was thrilled too about my first ever international travel. The thought of not seeing each other for about a month hit us both, but neither of us said anything. That day was just about me. He let it be like that.

A couple of weeks before the travel we went to RASA again to celebrate. That night too stretched into an airport night. It was 11-11-11. And just like the date, it was special. All we did that night was talk and sip on coffee. And then he asks me, "What the hell am I supposed to do when you're not here"? I did not answer, only because I was thinking of the same question inside my head. Day broke and we went back to our houses to get some much required sleep. By evening, we were back together again. Not once did we feel it to be strenuous or stressful. It was something we both wanted to do and surprisingly our bodies held strong. It was a good feeling. By the time my travel dates approached, we both had established that it would be extremely difficult for us to survive without each other. That was when Cal started his now famous "Don't go" cry. It was the cutest thing in the world. And equally painful. Again, not once did we question as to what was happening. We did not feel the need to.

Finally the dreaded day arrived. The same day he had a close relative's engagement to attend and I had to leave for the airport by 7 pm. I only got my passport in hand by 4 pm and I was still at work then. Cal got done with the engagement and rushed to my office. It was 5 by then and we had only an hour to go. I had to finish my last minute packing and getting ready, so I had allocated an hour for it. Meeting him then was one of the most difficult things I've ever done in my life. There was a tear in his eye as he said goodbye. Why did he not drop me to the airport you ask? Well, it was my first travel outside the country and my parents and sister were coming to drop me off. They did not know about him, so he had to stay away. So that was all we had, an odd 50 minutes. It was then that he gave me 'A walk to Remember' to read on the flight. Yes, the first gift and something that I would treasure for the rest of my life. He dropped me home soon after and I bade goodbye with a sinking feeling in my stomach.

I reached the airport, bade goodbye to my sobbing parents and finished my check in. As I sat waiting to board, I called Cal. 10.30 pm. I reached Mumbai by 11.40 pm and my flight to Dubai was only at 4.20 am. Guess who was on call with me throughout the entire wait. I asked him to go to sleep, he said no. When it was time for me to board, he made me promise him that I would call from Dubai. But I wanted him to get some good sleep as he had to go to work the next day. But he wouldn't budge. Reluctantly I made the promise and boarded the flight. As soon as I reached Dubai I called him. 6.45 am his time. Sleepily he answered the phone. I had only about 20 minutes to board my next connecting flight. I sat right in front of the boarding gate talking to him until the last and final call to board was made. After a dozen miss yous from both ends I finally switched my phone off and boarded the plane. Throughout the entire 9 and a half hour journey I had only one thing in my mind. And one thing held tight in my hand.

A walk to remember.

To be continued.

~ Soumya

The Honest Post - Phase 1

Yes, you read it right. I meant phase-1 not part-1. Because honesty in my life doesn't come in parts that would one day have a concluding part. For me honesty is a regular part of life and it remains. What I'm writing here are the phases of my life over the past two years or so. This for me would be easy to write, as I just have to write what I lived. Fiction in that way takes time. Even though I'm blessed with a good imagination it takes time for me to make up situations and characters. True life is simple and easy. What you went through is what you write. No making up or hiding flaws here. The best thing about being honest is that you don't have to remember anything. Its all out there. I never wanted to put out my love story here, and definitely not something titled like this but now I think the time is right and I need to lay some speculations to rest. For the first and last time.

Cal and I have known each other from the past 26 years, i.e all of my life. By known I mean, we were aware that each other existed. We unfortunately share a side of an unfortunate family. His maternal and my paternal. We never did meet when we were kids, except for an occasion or two here and there. We did not meet during our growing up years as well. The earliest I remember seeing him was at a wedding in March 2011. I was hungover from the previous night's party and he was simply bored. We just exchanged nods and that was it. Apparently there was another person in the room cat-eyeing him from top to bottom. And he being the charmer he is, ignored politely.

I did not see him after that and we just went back to being non-existent to each other. He was busy experimenting with his professional life and I was seeing someone else. We were content with where we were. A Facebook chat changed the equation. One random night as we chatted casually, he told me about the romantic play he was directing at Rangashankara. I was surprised impressed. And me being a sucker for romance, told him I'd like to see it. He then took my number promising to call me the next day regarding the tickets. So that's how Cal got my number. Any other person in his place would have probably got the finger, but Cal's interest towards art and theatre struck a chord within me.

Now that he had my number, there was an occasional chat or a message. Mainly related to work, art or music. I still remember the day he sent me a message asking me to check out the title track of 'Tum Mile'. I already had and told him that I loved that song. That was the first common thing we shared. I then told him about 'Stereo Love'. He loved it. He then told me about 'Stereo Hearts'. I loved it. You get the drift right?

Next on another random chat he told me that he was reading Erich Segal's 'Love Story'. I told him how I hated that book (Oh people, please don't get judgemental now. We all have opinions. On that note, I also hated 'The Alchemist'). We started talking about books, discussed the genius of Jeffery Archer and he then told me about a book called 'A walk to remember'. More on that later. I figured that he was well learnt and an extrovert like me who took their time to open up and once done would never shut up. It then felt nice to have someone to talk to about these things. So, each time either of us read a new book or chanced upon a new song, we would inform the other. That became a routine we started looking forward to.

Neither of us made a move. He was aware that there was someone else in my life and he was not a "relationship" type of guy anyway. We had become really close friends by then and respected the other immensely. All this was only on phone, mind you. The next time he met me, was as my saviour. I was sitting in a coffee shop with a friend who was boring the crap outa me with his "I love you unconditionally" tales. That was a time when I got a "Hey, wassup?" message from Cal. I told him the sticky situation I was in and he promised to come bail me out in 30 minutes. It was a weekend and I was wondering why this guy was doing this for me when he could be out there drinking with his buddies. He reached the spot in 20 minutes and I heaved a sigh of relief when I saw him. After small talk, the friend left. Cal then turns to me and asks, "So, how do you even know such constipated idiots?" That was the first time I laughed that day. We went to Lakeview later and he gorged on a bowl full of chocolate ice cream. I was looking at the child in him as he licked his bowl clean while I nibbled on my lamb burger. He dropped me home and called me later to say that he had reached home. This was in April 2011.

The next three months went by the same way. Random messages and occasional calls. In August, he called to wish me on my birthday and asked me for a treat. I agreed and we met again. RASA, the place that has seen each and every memory of mine. We sat there for straight five hours talking and drinking Old Monk, our favorite. Neither of us judged the other. I had never opened up to anyone so much over my lifetime, let alone in a day. He spoke about his past and all his thoughts. Another primary common trait was established that day. FEAR OF COMMITMENT. Both of us spoke about how we ran away from commitment and relationships. He too had had a fair share of affairs in the past and just like me he feared the same thing. We did speak about my current affair, and he did not comment any thing about. He said as long as I was happy, nothing else matters. The bar closed, but our conversations never stopped. On our way down the building I tripped and fell down the stairs. He held my hand and helped me up. I was surprised when he didn't laugh at me, and I strangely did not even feel embarrassed. We took a small walk in the middle of the night and sat down in front of a store and continued our conversation. An hour later, he dropped me home.

The next day, he calls me and asks "So, how's the bum? Shall I come over and take you to a doctor?" regarding the fall I had the previous night. It was so cute, I started laughing loud. A week later, I was sick and was on leave. Since I'm just not a home body, I was extremely bored at home and wanted to get out. I called him and asked him if he could get out of work early. The next thing I knew he was waiting for me near Barista in about an hour munching on a samosa. I shall never forget that sight till date. He then fed me a bite asking me to taste it. We had an awesome conversation later, ranging from books to friends, from movies to food, from business to hobbies and more. That day we realized how soon time passed, when we were together.

Came September and soon it was his birthday and like a routine the treat followed. Same place, same us and lot of new talk. We discussed a lot about the family we shared and both of us began pouring out our personal secrets to each other. It felt so strange and nice. Again as usual, the bar closed but we still had a lot to talk. We decided to not go back home and take a drive to the airport instead. We spent the whole night sitting in Coffee Day talking and talking and talking. We did not even notice the sun come up. On our way back we realised that we had spent about 12 hours together, just talking. We both did not know what was happening, but it felt beautiful and right. It was that day that the first glimpse of something came into both our minds.

To be Continued.

~ Soumya