A Walk To Remember
The weather was extremely pleasant that day, cool winds and sound of thunderstorm were avidly publicizing the rains that were about to inundate each and every soul who was drenched in Manipal’s humidity at that time. Arush was casually dressed in a white shirt and blue jeans, and was on his way for a short and not so important club meeting. On his way he saw some of his friends performing a street play near the Innovation Centre Building (IC). He was already preoccupied with exams, placements, seminars and other such stuffs that are necessary for someone who wants to get a decent reputation after graduation. Present education system in Indian Engineering colleges sucks big time, most of the subjects and most of the teaching procedure is nothing but a waste of time. No wonder most of the famous personalities are a college drop out. Anyways let’s get back to where we were, Even though he had all not so important things on his mind yet he was going to attend that meeting so he found no harm in attending that street play for his friends too.
He was always a person who was bothered by exams and all but lately he almost stopped worrying at all as if he found some magic wand. He started living each and every moment of his life with a smile on his face, laughing even at the hardships, doing the things he wanted, things that made him happy. And attending that play was one such good thing that he always loved. Creativity always touched his Heart and soul in a way that even the hardest of time was spent with a smiling heart. The colours of a painting, the music of Love or pain, the words and rhymes always made him fall in love with life.
That play was basically to grab attention of the students going back after their classes and to invite them to participate in an open discussion on Social Networking. He still had a few more minutes left for the meeting so he decided to sit for the discussion as well. Moreover he was rejected in the last 3 placement GD’s so by attending that discussion he was actually tightening up the weak links of his own life. He knew it well that he had nothing to lose but a lot to gain, confidence, opinions and ‘friends’. Haven’t this ever happened with any one of you that you attend a group discussion and make new friends over there just because their ideas and yours were exactly similar ? With me it always happens I eventually end up making good friends after a group discussion sometimes appreciating them for their performance and sometimes while getting appreciated for my own performance. It’s always a nice feeling to make new friends, especially in a battle field.
He was always an observer, loved to observe the beauty around him, in the people, in nature, in almost everything surrounding him he loved finding out something beautiful. He always preferred to read hearts rather than mind. He was doing the same then also but the discussion was started and he started paying attention to that then.
The pretty anchor J asked the crowd sitting over there, why everyone out there joined Facebook or any other social networking site.
He had an answer and before he could raise his hand and ask for the microphone, the microphone was already grabbed by one of his close friends Gaurav who very frankly and honestly told that he joined Facebook to stay in touch with his childhood crush J. The ambiance was filled with smiles, inside everyone’s heart this answer was surely there, though I am not sure how many of them would have actually gathered courage to say it over there but anyways there was our observer friend Arush too who had something else to share with everyone.
He added that he has spent around 4 years in MIT and throughout which he had seen a lot of people with a great eye and a good camera being transformed into a photographer, people with good heart and a will to express themselves by words getting transformed into heart touching poets and writers, and a lot of average people getting famous for their art and their creativity.
He expressed that if it weren't for Facebook no one would have ever come across those words that made someone smile or cry, never would have seen that photograph that spoke a million words. Facebook not only created a platform to showcase their art but also allowed them to shine better and brighter.
The discussion was going on in full flow and it started raining happily as expected, since it rained after a long time in Manipal no one complained about the rains. Even though the discussion had to be stopped still everyone had a smile on their face, all of them were enjoying the cool drizzles. Everyone dispersed here and there and he too had a meeting to attend so he started running towards it.
Rains were blurring his spectacled vision, He was constantly changing his pace to feel each and every jump in that run, slippers were slipping frequently but the cold wind was balancing his fall… He reached Academic Block, place where meeting was supposed to take place. In the day time this place was used for studying and in evening it was booked by various clubs for various meetings. He removed his spectacles that was blurring his vision and started searching for a handkerchief that he forgot on his messed up desk. So he wiped off the glasses from his shirt and entered the meeting room. He was new to the club so had not much friends over there so he immediately occupied the last bench like the way he always did in class. He sat there in silence and emptiness for a few minutes and then asked someone what was that meeting about, he found out that it was about collecting some little stuff and nothing much important, so he quickly finished off his job and left the room.
He Started Walking towards the exit, in order to reach out to his daily routine of boredom. As he was moving out, even inside the building he could clearly hear the sound of rains and thunderstorm. He knew he’ll have to wait for a long time as it rained after a long time and the God will cry his heart out completely. His pace was still suggesting as he was in a real hurry and had a lot of important work to do and despite the rains he would go out either ways but as he reached the exit he stopped.
He really wanted to leave but knew that home was still very far away and going out was not a very good idea, he glanced at the time and with a little disappointment started waiting for the rain to stop. He was absolutely alone at the exit, though a few couple were enjoying the rains outside the exit but that were only adding loneliness to the emptiness that he was feeling. His heart was still happy in that emptiness, he was happy that he had himself by his side, happy for the fact that he could feel the blessing around him. But it was just nothingness that was troubling him so he was just walking here and there near the exit.
And as he was roaming here and there like Sherlock Holmes trying to solve a murder mystery his eyes fell on a strange foreign beauty, he couldn’t have asked for anything better at that moment…J
He glanced at her for a microsecond but it seemed like a lifetime, he suddenly turned his eyes away from her, I guess it often happens with everyone after looking at a beautiful girl, we just look away instantly even though all we want is to keep on looking at her forever. He too really wanted to look at her continuously, admire her and the God that created her but somehow the little heart inside him had to refrain his eyes from showing what he was feeling deep inside. He glanced at her again nothing in the world could have stopped him from doing so, and he felt what he always read in books, and watched in movies… ‘The Love at First Sight’. He had nothing else to call that feeling but love at first sight, most of us often confuse the nicest feeling with love and that’s the reason there are so many complications that are blamed on innocent loveJ. We have this tendency of naming every relationship we have, we fail to understand some relations are perfect when not named. But no matter what we name it, he felt amazing. His heart was smiling in tune with eyes, he felt like a baby lost in something invisible. It wasn’t the love that has complications, it was the love that is beautiful, in which you can never fall, all you can do is rise, it was pure and sweet and it certainly wasn’t infatuation or the crush or attraction or anything like that, It was love.
She was adorably dressed in a white kurti and a blue long skirt, her hair was a little wet and was dancing with the rains and the winds. And all that is ever said about love was felt by him and was visible to him at that moment, the reverence, the ambience, the magic, every little thing that is ever said to explain love, was felt by him at that moment. He turned his back towards her and started waiting for her to pass by him, he again glanced at his watch and started looking downwards. Suddenly he became conscious of what he was doing; even watching the time seemed like doing something out of the world.
She came near him and stood a few feet away from him, he could feel that she too must have looked at him and the little heart inside him was sure of the fact that she was able to hear his heartbeats tooJ. She had an umbrella yet she was standing over there, may be she could really listen to his heartbeats. Well, the rains in Manipal are like that only even though you have an umbrella you have to think twice before going out in rains. He assumed that she too decided to wait along with him looking at the heavy rain. He was somehow happy to have her by his side, obviously he was, anyone at his place would have been, isn’t it like a dream, he could feel the fragrance of wet soil mixed with her fragrance. He was reminded of a comment of one of his friends that what kind of perfume does a girl wear that they smell so good all the timeJ, and this time what he felt and smelt was the best he has ever felt and smelt. The moment was completely divine, he raised his brows and looked at her and he almost smiled at what he saw at that moment. He realised that she was not reluctant in going out but was struggling with her umbrella. Well not everyone knows how to behave with a pretty girl J, especially mechanics and technology never knew how to treat a pretty lady like a gentleman does J He started walking towards her and asked politely,
That was his final year in Mechanical Engineering and that was the first time that he ever came across a real mechanical problem in his life, before that only mechanical related problems that he solved were copying assignments comprising of 12 by 12 matrices, Schrodinger equations etc. and that too on paper. So that day was a real test for all the knowledge that he had gained in his 3 and a half years of engineering, everything was at stake at that moment. If that umbrella would have been given to him before he joined engineering college he would have repaired it in a blink but what mattered was whether he could do it at that very moment. He felt like Aamir Khan of Lagaan facing the last ball and he had to hit it for a six or you can say like Sachin Tendulkar while entering the field to bat with billion expectations on his shoulder.
He took that umbrella in his hand with a smile and tried opening it in a usual way, the way it was supposed to be open in a decent engineered way but he failed… but somehow he discovered the problem and as he was about to give it another try he said Bitch Please and it was done. He was proud of himself and the angel beside him was happier than anything. He wondered whether Bitch Please was a mantra for success and decided to use it everywhere in life. Angel thanked him a lot and started walking out of the building.
As she was walking out he was smiling on his achievement but was cursing himself a bit too because she would have stayed for a long time if he wouldn’t have flaunted his engineering skills in her internal affairs. But he couldn’t do much other than standing in front of the exit, looking at the angel from heaven above walk away from her. For a moment he felt like asking for a lift but he knew that umbrella was not even enough for her and moreover he thought that she might not like it and feel embarrassed so he just kept on looking at her with a smile that was dying.
He started consoling his heart that girl was not worth his attention because the least she could have done is offered to take him along but she didn’t. He was feeling happily dejected but suddenly she turned back and said something to him with a gesture from her hand. He returned the gesture by saying ‘’Bye, You are welcome’’. But rains and thunderstorm were too much for either of them to listen what they were saying, but what they said was obvious. Girl laughed a little and started walking towards him. And as she reached near him, she asked
“Would you like to accompany me’’?
And to any normal human being at that time the question would have appeared nothing less than
‘’ Will you marry me ’’?
And the answer was pretty obvious, so modestly he said that he’ll be grateful. They both smiled looking into each other’s eyes, their eyes started shining brighter in that beautifully woven mood and there was an aura of love all around them. J And this is to enlighten every individual who believes that each and every drop of love that exists in this world is nothing but ‘Ishq wala love’ that they are wrong and they have not felt something that is more real, more true, the aforementioned love was something more, more divine…
His steps moved closer to her and they started walking towards the hostel area slowly like a lion walks towards his prey, and to him it seemed like as if they were walking on a piano and with a realisation that the music of rain was nothing but the result of their rhythmic footsteps…J It wasn’t the conventional love but whatever it was, it was true, both of them were smiling J
He offered to carry the umbrella and grabbed it as he finished taking permission for the same. Their wet fingers touched for a moment and the coldness felt by him is something way beyond what words could ever explain. He was totally mesmerized by the sweetness of the moment and was smiling, he wanted to say something but was not so sure what to say, moreover was not sure whether he should really say something or just stay blessed in that magical musical moment. He looked at her she looked into his eyes, her eyes smiled followed by her lips followed by her slightly wet hair and he started shining brighter just by looking at her shining… She smiled a bit more and said ….
“Hiii I am Eve…” her name rhymed with herself and the magic that was woven in the ambiance at that moment, he could feel the magic. J
Arush…, he said with a smile and the piano continued.
Had it been any other girl with whom he might have fallen in love with the story would have started in a different way, with formal introduction and usual stupid useless questions, but as I mentioned earlier it was a different story altogether from the beginning itself.
Instead of asking the usual stuff he asked him what was her favorite memory of ‘Rains’.
She smiled and kept on smiling and he kept on looking at herJ
He could feel it that she was reminded of a sweet memory for sure…
With a smile on her face she said:
‘I have so many beautiful memories related to rains as I am from Milford Sound where it rains almost every day but I still have a wonderful memory to share but before I start I must tell you that all that is happening at this moment is some sort of a magic for sure…’
And then she shared a beautiful memory of hers, she said one day she was sitting beside the window and was feeling little low. All she wanted was to go out in a lonely street and walk beside herself. But it was raining and the streets were full of water so she couldn't do one thing that she thought that would have helped her in feeling better. So she was just sitting beside the window and was looking at ‘nothingness in everything’ present outside.
And like always her peace was disturbed by her little brother Neil. He wanted her to play with him outside, but she wasn't t in mood for anything so she just asked him to leave but he started forcing in a childish way so she had to shout at him and then he left.
She felt terrible but she got lost again in nothingness…
After few minutes Neil’s remote control car crashed into her feet and started honking… She felt irritated and was about to kick it but she saw a paper on the car, she picked it up only to find out that it was a paper boat. He came and took that boat in his hands and pointed towards the drawing on the boat and said, “It’s you and me, it’s us sitting on the boat”
And he threw it out of the window and sat beside her silently…
Both of them continued looking outside, but the nothingness was replaced by love in everything, Being so young Neil might not have felt what that boat ride meant to her, but it meant more than heaven to her… She wrapped him in his arms, pulled him closer and they both stayed there looking at the blessings floating outside…
And the way she narrated this beautiful incident, Arush felt more and more in love with everything about her…
The way her eyes and smiles shined while she was speaking to him…
The way she was expressing minute details about his brother and the way she felt, he felt as if he knew her since forever…
He felt like a close friend…
And once she was done she walked few steps in silence but she continued shining, felt like a beautiful setting sun. Then she said ‘Thank you’, for reminding her about this memory.
She was happy and he was happier.
She then asked him about his favourite memory of rain, to which he replied,
“I am creating one at this very moment” …
And they both looked at each other and smiled for a lifetime J
Her pace started slowing down and he realised that this was the end as they approached near a hostel gate… He asked in gestures if that was her hostel and her smile replied in affirmative… Rain had stopped by then so it was the time for them to depart their ways… And without any formal words that would have spoiled the beauty of the beauty of last few steps that they had taken together they waved a silent ‘goodbye’ to each other… He walked a few steps backwards looking at her and then turned towards his destination, he was damn reluctant in turning away from her pretty face, the beautiful moment… Not every day you turn away from a beautiful sunset without it setting completely… But at that time he had no idea what he was leaving behind will be left forever or any such thing like that he was leaving something behind… He knew he had spent a lifetime in the last few steps taken by him and that’s the reason he was smiling and started walking away J
And then he heard her beautiful voice calling his name from behind, as he turned towards her she came a little closer held his arm softly and said
“Let’s go out on ‘A Walk To Remember’
To Be continued...
-mukul Raisinghanips: images are taken from Google