He woke up with an uncanny feeling surrounding him. Rather early for a Sunday morning. Strange, he thought, especially after the heavy petrol party (booze party) he had last night. Uneasiness was a part of his being now. Saturday night was fun as always, enjoying with his friends at a pub. But something was amiss, and he didn’t know what. Or maybe, he knew. Distancing himself from that prickly feeling, was all he could try to do.
A couple of phone calls congratulating him on the recent promotion, a luxurious brunch at a well-known joint, a usual Sunday. Late afternoon, he dragged himself to the shopping mall. Life as a bachelor, away from family, had its own ups and downs, he thought. Shopping for groceries and utility items was more of a need than a want. Not the kind who knew how to cook, he tried to recollect what the maid had told him to get. All he wanted to do at that moment was get the stuff, pay, quickly move out and catch up with friends in the evening.
It was his lucky day, with just a few people in queue at the payment counter. He waited for his turn. Suddenly he felt a tinge inside him, something which shook his whole being. It was that familiar fragrance, the fragrance that his soul refused to forget. His mind laughed at his silliness, a lot of women must be using the same fragrance. A fleeting thought wandered towards her. No, he said, it obviously can’t be her. He’s had such moments before a couple of times, a couple of random things reminding him of her. She must be married by now, he thought. She was just one among the many women he had dated in his life. He had obviously moved on since then.
It was his turn at the counter. Done with the payment, he quickly gathered the bags and turned around. And there she was! And it was for real. There she was, just a few feet away, talking to someone. She hadn’t noticed him by now. He wanted to quickly move out, but couldn’t. He didn’t ever want to see her face again; he had told her the last time they met. She had told him the same.
His eyes refused to desert her. For that moment, in that crowded place, it was just her that he could see. She was still the same, he thought, breathtakingly beautiful. Clad in a pretty light pink churidar-kurta, silky waist length hair, the smile that had once brought radiance in his life. He was growing weak in his knees, he was going back to the moment he didn’t want to. For that moment all he wanted to do was to hold her in his arms and never let her go. He wanted to see her every living second of his life. He couldn’t help but remember the first kiss on that rainy evening, the immense attraction that they had from the time they knew each other, till the time they parted, and to this day. Charmed he was and charming she was, indeed. Memories rushed back like water gushing from a broken dam. He wanted to go back in time. He wanted to re-live those moments together. Choked he was, choked for words, choked with memories.