Stoney happy all the time
Stoney, life is summertime
The joy you find in living every day
Stoney, how I love your simple ways
“Shall we walk?” he asked as if it were a “Shall we dance?” request in a Hollywood movie.
“Sure, I walk a lot myself.” She replied stepping out of the cafe door.
“But everyone says that I walk really fast and they can’t catch up with me, ” he answered.
“Oh really, if so let’s compete and see.”She said.
“Not today, someday let’s go to Thamel and return back walking.”
“Thamel!!! From where did that come from??” She was taken aback but didn’t say anything.
She talked, he listened, and they walked. Sometimes he would sport a confused look on his face, sometimes shy but most times guarded. Yet his stifled laughter every now and then couldn’t escape her ears. They were halfway to the destination when she raised the subject.
“Do you remember what you had told me before this meeting? I think it was something like: I’ll tell you of my lovelife, but not online, join me for a cup of coffee and we’ll converse FACE TO FACE.”
Sure, he laughed.
So, you didn’t even spell “L” of your clandestine life! What do you have to say about that?
Another roar of laughter. I will surely in Thamel. Everything in Thamel, he added laughing. “Mero lagi ta bahanai bhayo hai? (What an excuse for me?)
Hola (maybe) she replied.
We must go there hai? He repeated his statement.
No way, why should I? She replied adding “I can already picturize the walk, I talk and you look lost and confused. Where’s the fun?”
He laughs again and she can see him flush beetroot red.
“And look at you; you’re so shy already blushing again she adds.
He surely doesn’t know how to handle this outspoken, chit of a gal.
But Thamel, we should…. He continues.
NO WAY. You better go there with your girlfriend and take your relationship to the next level whatever the level is! She roars with laughter.
They depart, the spell is broken. The magic lost or found, they can’t determine. But every ending is undoubtedly the start of a brand new beginning.
It was a chat room outcome. They met some five months ago. She knew too much about him, he didn’t even know her name until an hour before their rendezvous. They chatted, they met and they departed. They broke promises.
She’d said, “I’ll NEVER meet you. “She did.
He’d said, “It will be a PROFESSIONAL meeting.” He’d unknowingly allowed a stranger to creep into his personal territories!
They got back on their chairs, safely in front of their computer screens. Sometimes at home, mostly at work and occasionally in foreign lands. He talked politics, she babbled of music, he talked sense she nuisance. They stayed safe behind the armour of words. But Thamel lingered….like an unfulfilled promise, unmet goal brought up every time they talked!
What about Thamel? He’d ask.
Oh the walkathon? What of it? She’d reply.
You know…..he’d explain.
She’d say, “Do you seriously think I want to probe into your private affairs? You couldn’t be more wrong. I am genuinely not interested in digging into your love life.. Rather go out with her and have fun!”
Started a joint account? She’d ask.
What’s that? He’d write.
She would share whatever little knowledge she had of people in love saying, you know these days when people have bfs or gfs they keep a joint account…my fren told me her beau opened one recently. They have some 20 lakhs in it!!
He always acted extra clever only choosing to answer few of the innumerous questions fired at him.
Days, turned into weeks and weeks into months. The Thamel thing turned into some kind of important UN meeting yet to be held!!!
She never ever expected any guy to remember something he said on the spur of the moment for such a long, long time!!
So, it had to happen. She was at work, he was too. He brought it up the Walkathon for the umpteenth time. Sure, let’s meet today she smsed him self assured that he would be not have the time for it.
Then he calls, saying be there at 3:30!!
Though she laughs and says okay. She literally wants to vanish into thin air. All of a sudden, she has butterflies in her stomach, loses the color in her face and her lips are parched due to nervousness. People literally scare her though no one would ever believe that! Perhaps everyone has a public and a private life! She wants to call her friend to ask if she should be meeting “Somebody else’s boyfriend!”. But the temptation is resisted, ” I shouldn’t be a chicken, but handle the situation on my own” she breathes in and out slowly. God willingly, the fren calls instead and she can express her confusion.
“So what, he’s a grown up man, don’t be scared nothing wrong with meeting.”
“But doesn’t this sound like a DATE.. Why Thamel why not a busstop, his office…why eat out, why walk in the evening!! What if he kills me, eats me raw…. She can’t even think coherently, obvious SS Rishikanya symptom!! What else can she do? She has never gone out, the company being only one guy!! The first meeting was her first cup of coffee with a member of the opposite sex, that could be justified but why meet AGAIN!!
The friend is comforting, telling just because it’s a guy you shouldn’t freak out, come on its just like chatting, take it that way.
Chatting is easy, smsing is closer so a bit more difficult, talking on the phone is tough but Face to Face interaction is way tooooooo much to TAKE!
But as goes a song, “What is to be will be, future’s not ours to see”… the Second Over planned Rendezvous.
They’re both clad in dark colored t-shirts, he in blue she in black. And its hot. They walk a certain distance. She isn’t the Thamel Breed as they say, doesn’t know the place at all. And has been there late in the evening only once that too to be introduced to her fren’s boyfriend. Everything felt so out of place that she left no sooner had the food arrived, running along the unfamiliar streets to catch the last bus home. A meeting better forgotten than cherished!
This guy seems to be true to his generation, well acquainted with the area. There’s a good place around the corner here, he says. They take the stairs and reach the spot, pull the chairs and relax having triumphed over the scorching heat. Its pizzas and ice creams. And it surely is his day. He takes her by surprise by talking of his life, work, friends, passion and even his salary of a recent project!! All revealed after three times of asking!!But love life he doesn’t even come close to spelling “L”. She sees no point in asking, at least he is talking, why disturb? She sits across the table and remembers the love story of one of her friends. It was the pre-proposed era. The friend had told her, ” So I haven’t known this guy for a long time and we go to Thamel on his bike .And he starts telling me everything about him. I sit there wondering how I am supposed to react. God! I felt as though he were molesting me with his words!!”
She steps back to reality, the guy in the blue t-shirt sits in front talking. And she smiles to herself. This is fun!! She thinks. And its after he unexpectedly reveals the great No Way Revealed Male Salary he goes, you are the only one I have told this to!! She almost chokes on her pizza. “Sure am the only one” , she thinks. And you have a girlfriend.
“Thank you for trusting me with that information she says out aloud. The entire meeting feels different; she can’t understand the reason for the revelations of a guy so settled in silence like him. But she doesn’t see any thing romantic involved, after all he isn’t the only guy who has found her easy to talk to. Moreover talking that’s some sort of a job in his case, she well knows there have been innumerous who have known it all. So nothing special.There have been many, they come out of the blue, compliment “you’re so friendly” and they’re gone in the blink of an eye. Nothing unusual. Many a times she wonders if she has “Come talk to me, Reveal” stamped on her forehead visible only to shy males!! He is one among the many and she is sure isn’t the last of the Revealers either. Just One among the Many. No reason to be Fooled..
They’re done with the meal, my treat he says and pays the bill.
Always good to be around jobholders when you have a unstable source of income she thinks thanking him.
By the time they are out on the street its already drizzling. The Thamel streets are lighted and she is genuinely thrilled to be out there. She turns around and says, “It looks so beautiful. Thank you for the evening.”
“You been to the bookstore?” he asks.
“No, have only heard of it.”
“Wanna go there?” he asks.
She goes, “Sure, I was planning to gift a book to my sister myself.”
He shows her the way to the various sections. This is surely turning into a very fruitful meeting she thinks.
It is the “Places” section. She picks up a book on Italy. It has gondolas on its cover, he’s standing beside her. She tells him, “Know what, I think no one should get married until they can afford to go on a honeymoon to Venice, the gondalas..Its the effect of an old Hindi film song”.
“So you want to go? Great, then let’s do it someday!” he says with a laugh.
“Flirt” perhaps this is exactly what it means she thinks completely taken aback by the remark of the Supposedly Lajalu Vyakti!!
He sure doesn’t know to what extent I can flex my flirting muscles she thinks and smiles back.
She buys a book and they are outside. The rain drops are larger now. They enter another place, order a Banana Lassi each and have fun listening to the song and talking silly things. What a relief to her, so glad that he isn’t another guy expecting her to come up with intelligent answers and act like the guy’s buddy thing once again.. “I think she is bored, “she says indicating a couple at a distance. He laughs.
She shows him a good looking guy at a distance. They laugh wiping the rain drops on their faces. Its eight already. High time they departed!!
By the time they are out, it is already raining cats and dogs. She takes out her umbrella complaining “Why are you guys so stupid, its monsoon and you walk out without an umbrella! Now, look at this small umbrella we’ll have to stick together and walk!” He laughs at the way she puts her thoughts into words. Its a huge drawback on her part, never keeping anything to herself.
“You’re taller so hold it.” She hands him the umbrella and of course they have to huddle together in the rain. There is absolutely no vehicle in sight, no taxis at all. Must be an unusual scene in Thamel, so they have to pull their jeans and walk all the way to Ratnapark. They walk for sometime and he asks, ” Can I put on arm around your shoulder, I mean that way it will be easier to walk?”
She is mentally going…Ugh the male touch but agrees seeing no way out.
So they walk, he holds the umbrella rod or whatever and she catches its sides pulling it low. And after sometime he asks, “I have been wondering since the last ten minutes, why are you pulling the umbrella?”
“I don’t know…” she says removing her right hand wet from the rain drops. After sometime she is again doing the same.
He offers an explanation, ” I think you aren’t comfortable because I’m touching you so you are seeking support by holding another object.”
She is surprised and though feels somewhat uncomfortable for having such a conversation replies, ” Ke ho yar, malai pura rag garidine…but you’re damn right mind reader!”
They walk; keep walking seeing every taxi in sight being taken away by someone else or with an unwilling driver. Though the much hyped walk didn’t materialize into reality, she was feeling as though the whole meeting was a ‘hyper reality’ event in her life.
Its Jamal…she is relating him an event in Holi when someone hit her a Lola at seven in a rainy evening and she thinks “Someday I’ll be walking these streets on my own.” It’s an old habit treading every route shared with a company herself. It refreshes memories, familiarizes her with the road under her feet gently wiping out the notion that the walk will be fun only with someone by her side. She needs to get habituated to being on her own, at all times…a stubborn trait….after all it’s a lonely, lonely road she’s on, this side of paradise.
But the Thamel Walkathon Programme…something she’ll always remember like the old time sms reading “Though it rained you rocked!” Ha, ha. I’m happy for the evening. Strip! ah, de don’t permit in off! …
The conclusion drawn was: It was a rainy, romantic walk followed by a roar of laughter Hahahahahahhaa
Laughter, laughter has to be echoed, echoed in silent rainy nights so that their existence mingle with the pristine drops of the divine, falling on the ground, a lost identity, resurrected in the gentle blow of wind, the smell of earth, fresh and welcome born on grave of emotions long dead….
You know I never meant to see you again
And I only passed by as a friend
All this time I stayed out of sight
I started wondering why
Now i, I wish it would rain down, down on me
Yes I wish it would rain, rain down on me now
You said you didnt need me in your life
I guess you were right
Well I never meant to cause you no pain
But it looks like I did it again