“Hi! You seem to be an avid book reader?” the boy said looking at this sweet girl in Rajdhani express.
They both were travelling from Delhi to Jaipur. Boy was a 30-year-old bachelor who was going there to attend a marriage function. The girl was a 23-year-old babe, out on vacations to meet her cousins. Big boots, a crop top, rugged jeans & a little lip gloss was what she wore. She saw tilting her book at an angle just enough to look at the face from where the question bomb came.
“Yes!” she answered with an uninterested smile & got back to reading.
“I have read only Alchemist & one of Chetan Bhagat’s book in fiction,” the boy said trying to continue the conversation. Former name of the book will impress her, he thought.
“Okay,” she said trying to behave politely. She stole a quick gaze from the side of her eyes. A white-collar tee, green colour jeans with woodland shoes was all she could fathom in her short-lived look. He looked decent to her. Nonetheless, she started reading again.
After a while she cut a glance at him again, and his eyes were still on her. She bit her tongue trying to hide her face behind the book.
She decided to initiate the conversation this time. After all, boys do not have the monopoly over starting conversations, she thought.
“Very different genres?” she said keeping the book down.
“Umm. I think so. Actually, I am more of a non-fiction kinda guy. I like reading self help books more. Basically, more career oriented ones.”
“That’s what most of the boys are, career oriented. Huh!” she sighed.
“You can say.”
His voice was low, smoky & sexy for her. She looked out of the window trying to flee away in her fairy tale world before he pulled her out from there to chit chat again.
Both of them were seated on the window seats with no other companion on their berths. Their rendezvous which started from a book went to almost all of the topics which a girl likes. The boy was smart enough to identify topics of her interest. Seems, the self-help books were helping him here.
After a marathon of conversations, the girl shared her love life & the problem she was facing in it. It was then that the train stopped at a station. He went outside to bring something to eat. He asked her as well, she denied politely.
“Ok beautiful.” She blushed hearing.
Coming back & jumping at his seat again, he shooted, “You know, why do most of the problems arise between two people?” he said while munching the samosa he bought from the station.
“You tell handsome,” she murmured the first two words, third one was in her mind. Her hand was now on her chin supporting her face.
Yeah, that’s what I really want to know. Ten points for knowing what I was thinking, she further thought.
“Umm. Let me tell you this with a story.”
The girl sat straight hearing the word ‘story’. She looked straight into his eyes. The boy began..
“A man was sitting on a bench at a railway station with three kids. The kids would have seen between four to six summers. They were constantly running from here to there, throwing popcorns at each other. The father was just sitting at the bench, doing nothing. The kids were naughty enough to create humdrum at the platform. One of the kids even fell down on a couple sitting there. Looking at this, an aged woman came near the man & gave him a good hard look telling him to take hold of his kids.”
He paused for a moment and continued, “Tears started trickling down his cheeks. The man coming back from his stupor apologized to her & explained his situation. He was coming back from the funeral of his wife.”
“Holy Shit!” she almost shouted in her Oh-My-God moment. Some of the passengers turned towards her. Biting her tongue, she said softly, “Sad.”
“Hmm. Sometimes we ruin things by not trying to understand the other person and expecting over the top. It’s like food is always yummier when it’s on someone else’s plate. Things seem easy when we are not the ones dealing with them.”
“Ya, Ya. Like our mothers keep on saying- You will come to know when you will become a mother. Something like that, right?”
“That’s what I am darling. A.. I mean Mr. But tell me, if I wouldn’t have expectations of love and care from my boyfriend, then whom to expect it from? Tom Cruise?” she chuckled saying.
“You can always opt for a better boyfriend in that case,” he smiled pointing towards himself.
“Ahan. Let’s not deviate from the topic.” Really men are so focussed that they can even clear IIT exams of flirting, she grinned thinking.
“Nope sweetheart. I..I mean, Miss.” Boys can also act flirty sweetheart, he thought and continued making a serious face this time.
“Of course, we must have it from the one who we are in relationship with. See, life is like an amazing roller coaster ride. Either we can shout lamenting or we can enjoy all the bumpiness, twists and turns which it has to offer. And on this roller coaster journey, wisdom is not to see the picture from one side only. But it is to know the other side’s story as well before judging. It is to wear the other person’s pair of glasses also sometimes and then act accordingly.” He exchanged their goggles, putting her goggle on his eye soon enough to re-exchange them smilingly.
“And I am not taking anyone’s side. I hope you are getting my point,” he grinned shrugging, trying to be as soft as he can to convey the philosophy he believes in.
“I mean, I haven’t graduated from university of how-to-understand-humans. But still. And, right now you are sitting in front of me, so I am telling from your perspective. Same principle applies to your beloved, stunningly handsome, intelligent dude as well.” He winked.
“He too must understand you & your expectations. I hope you are not finding it stodgy?” He enquired showing his crossed fingers. She was looking at him with blank expressions, trying to grasp what he was saying. A soothing silence prevailed.
The boy & the girl started looking outside from the clean glass window. It was dawn & the sky was filled with birds, the view of the passing fields having lots of yellow flowers in it was mesmerizing. At the moment, she felt there were only they two in the whole train. She- the beautiful and he- the philosopher.
She looked at him, he looked back at her. She smiled, he asked her flickering his eyebrows, “What?”
“Thank you. Friends?” She forwarded her hand towards him.
He laughed at the pout she gave him, slapped at her hand softly, swishing his hips next to her, placed his hand on her shoulder kissing her hand, “Friends ki bachchi.” She gave a peck on his cheek. They were madly into each other from the past 4 years, going together to Jaipur to have some alone time apart from their other activities they were supposed to attend. Playing the game of role plays was their favorite past time.
The aged man on the other seat was enjoying their conversation since long now. Seeing this he thought with his mouth & eyes wide open, “O Lord, save me from today’s Fast Food generation.”