‘Boundless Sky’, Tagore’s collection of poems translated into English by Visva Bharati has been my prized possession ever since you gifted it to me. In fact, I was quite surprised when I got it from you as a gift. I didn’t know that you had even taken note of the fact that I share an invisible bond with Tagore and his mesmerising poetry. You gifted it to me a couple of years ago in our favourite city – Kolkata and at a time when I hadn’t expected to see you again.
That rainy afternoon in a Kolkata cafe, as I waited to meet you and gazed at the drizzle through the large French window of the cafe, tiny droplets of rain stared back at me as they struggled to stay on the surface of the windowpane.
As I watched the drops collect on the glass pane and then slide down, one by one, in a strange uneven rhythm, I realised the rest of the world behind the droplets seemed so blurred.
Those who know me also know of my love affair with the rain. As a child when it’d pour, I would not miss the sight outside the door of the one room house I grew up in. Our house used to be an ancient wreck. Dilapidated to an extent that when it rained my family feared that the house might just come down. But I was that young girl lost in her romance with the rains. I still love watching the raindrops and relish the sound of their pitter patter.
Coming back to that afternoon in Kolkata – from my seat in that cosy restaurant, I could see the passers-by wading through the water logged road outside, holding umbrellas, a beggar sitting next to a letter box, the black and yellow taxis zooming past the cafe, everything else was gradually dissolving in the same blur. It was meditative.
Meditation came into my life when a part of me broke with the end of the three-year long relationship I shared with you. I’d meditate to get over with the ties I had shared with you. They say long distance relationships don’t last long. For me, it just worked. I would love the wait, the longing and the uncertainty that enveloped this relationship I shared with you. There was a sense of pull I used to feel for your silences, your equipoise. But we did reach that point one day where we never looked back at each other. It was not a bitter end. Our separation tasted caustic.
A hand on my shoulder brought my attention back to the Carpenters’ song playing in the cafe and on you! You caught me lost in my world. It wasn’t new to you. You knew I was like that. I was always enamoured by the little details over the larger picture. A dreamer who loved to dream in order to live.
I was seeing you after ages. In fact, years after we decided to move apart. It was a unanimous decision to part ways. We both needed to grow beyond each other I guess. It felt like we were both frozen in time, inside a box that we once fitted into and did not anymore. It was getting claustrophobic for me when we both decided that our relationship must end.
That day you gifted me this book and three roses to celebrate our meeting after five years of being in love and three years of separation.
Neither of us was sure about what we felt for each other at that moment. All we knew was that we wanted to spend an afternoon reminiscing the bygone. There was such a concoction of pathos and ecstasy in that meeting.
For some time we just gazed at each other occasionally shifting our gaze to the table next to us or the crockery, quite uncomfortably. After all long separations bring lengthy silences.
And then the silence broke. You asked me, “Did I ever cross your mind?’
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