Tuesday, August 09, 2011

And it rained Love - Part 1


"aap aaye janaab barason mein
hamane pi hai sharaab barason mein"
"Excuse me", he said, looking for help.
She looked perplexed wondering whether he meant to talk to her.
"What time is the bus to Lonavala?"
"I think it will come in half an hour", she replied.
"Ok. Thanks", he smiled.
They stood gaping in different directions.
“I think it’s about to rain”, she broke the silence.
“I think it already is”, he retorted.
She held her dupatta over her head, gazed at the sky and started looking around for shelter.
“There”, she pointed towards a shed and carried her bag guiding the fellow traveler behind her.
By the time they reached the shed, it had started to pour, the rains almost drenching them.
“I think it will be worse in Mumbai”, he said.
“Yeah. July, August and September have always been worse”, she said.
He smiled. “Raghav”, he offered a handshake, introducing himself.
She looked at him for a moment, the hazy face of a stranger, becoming clearer, as she wiped her face and eyes.
“Smriti”, she returned the handshake. “The hands are wet, sorry”, she whispered modestly.
“That’s alright”, he said, looking at her intently, trying to recollect something.
“You are on a trip to Lonavala.. alone?”, Smriti asked.
“No, I have a team there already”, Raghav replied.
“I see. Team Outing?”, she asked.
“No no. I am an architect. I have a project going on there”, he replied.
“I see”, Smriti smiled, observing him intently.
“How about you?”, Raghav asked, “Going to Mumbai?”, he added further.
“Yeah. Thane. I work there”, she replied.
“Software Engineer? Huh?” he presumed.
“Close! I am an HR, in a software company”, she replied, validating his guess.
They both seemed to be in a conundrum. The kept looking at each other, and then took away the glances.
“I think, the buses are running late, because of the monsoon”, he said, interrupting the sudden discomfort.
“Yeah, You bet”, she verified.
“Tea?”, he offered.
“I wish I get some coffee”, she replied.
“Let’s try…there”,he pointed towards a small tea stall around 10 feet away.
“Bhaiyya, 1 chai, 1 coffee”, he ordered.
“Sir, coffee nahi hai. Chai chalega?”, the vendor said.
He looked at her, and gave her a helpless look. She smiled and said, “Haan, bhaiyya, 2 Chai dena. 1 mein chini kum”, she added.
He smiled at her. She smiled back and asked “Was that funny?”
“No, not at all”, he replied, trying his best not look or sound offensive.
“Sahab, baithiye”, the vendor offered two cups of tea and gave them two plastic chairs to sit on.
Raghav said, “This is great. Rains, and a steaming cup of tea! Wow”
She smiled.
“I assume you prefer coffee over tea”, he asked.
“Right”, she smiled and sipped tea from her cup.
“Bhaiyya, ek aur cutting”, Raghav ordered, as he gulped the last sip from his cup.
The rain had just started to pour, the aroma of tea leaves had just started to rise, and the conversation had just begun too… 

to be contd...