If your heart forces you to do something, just do it. When you do something with an instinct, you never end up having regrets. What you have is only lessons.
At times, it is necessary to let go the conditioned guidance of the brain and simply let the heart take you to where it feels is right! Live by that feeling once, at least once in your life!
Coffee, usual, two", Raji ordered, without asking what Rafey cared to have.
"I hope that is fine", she asked Rafey.
"Sure, no problem at all", Rafey pacified himself.
"Where should we start from?", Raji started.
Rafey was sure that he wouldn't have to speak much, because Raji was taking the lead and he would just have to listen to her.
"Hmm", Rafey tried to pull the conversation forward.
"How is Mansoor Chachu?", Raji asked.
Rafey found the same innocence in her when she said "Mansoor Chachu". He recollected how she would call his father. She would yell at the top of her voice and call out "Shareeq Miyaa.. Miyaa jaan", and when Rafey's father wouldn't respond, Rafey would join in too, "Abbu.. Abba jaan"...
He gave a faint smile and replied, "Chachu is good. He is amazing!"
"Amazing? What kinda reply is that?” Raji asked.
"Nothing. I just meant that without him I would have been nothing!", Rafey added.
"What did you do all these years, Rafey? Where did you stay, where did you study, what did you do, who are your friends, how did you celebrate your birthday?” Raji shot all questions in one go.
Rafey simply smiled. He started replying, "I have been here since the time Abbu died. We went to Allahabad for some time, but Chachu brought me back here.'
"Hmm", Raji said, as she took a profound sip of coffee.
"I studied at the Model Boys school and completed my Graduation from Anjuman", he added.
"Right here, near the station?” Raji asked.
"Yes. That's right!", Rafey replied.
"And friends?” Raji asked.
"I do not have very close friends as such. Chachu is actually enough for me. I do have a few friends who stay in the neighbourhood, but none as close as... I mean, none are that close!” Rafey said.
"As close as? Us?” Raji asked.
"Raji, we were 6 when we got separated. What was the definition of friendship then? We have grown to be two independent individuals, with nothing in common!” Rafey said, trying to prove a point.
Raji simply looked at him and said, "Our birthdays, our initials, our place of birth?"
"And destinies?” Rafey questioned.
"We are nobody to decide about that. Let's make one from now on", Raji said bluntly.
"What do you mean?” Rafey asked.
"I never knew what I missed until the day I met you", Raji said.
"I don't get you!",Rafey sounded perplexed.
"I think I can be happy, be like a child, and be totally myself only with you. Let's begin again, please", Raji sounded as expressive as possible.
"Raji, sure, we can give it a try, but do you know what it can lead to?", Rafey asked.
"What would it lead to? I would be assured that I love you, and then we could get married!", Raji said.
Rafey gave a diminishing laugh.
"Why, what makes you laugh? Don't you feel the same way? Didn't nostalgia grip you when you saw me? Didn't you feel like living life the way we did 16-17 years back?", Raji questioned.
"It was different then, and now...”, Rafey said.
"What's so different? It's you, me, our friendship, our love and the same old life!", Raji sounded baseless.
"Don't you have a boyfriend, yet. You are so beautiful.", Rafey asked.
"I did. But I did not fall in love with any of them. And the day I saw you, I realised I've got all that I could ever want!", Raji said.
"Raji, you are going too fast. We've just met. After 18 good years. We are two strangers. Completely different people. Our bringing up must have changed so much. For example, you don't like the shades of Gulmohar anymore, you like the AC of Barista!", Rafey said.
Raji sat there silently, pondering over what Rafey just said. She agreed, but she wanted to be with him desperately, and revive their old friendship.
"Ok, Lets be friends. Let's get to know each other", Raji said.
"And what would be the result?", Rafey asked.
"Nothing", Raji said thoughtfully. She added, "Let's give this one month. Let's give our friendship 1 month, for the old times' sake", Raji proposed.
"And then..", Rafey asked.
"And if we realize that we are indeed two different people who have changed over the period of time, then we can just be acquaintances and make sure that we'd be cordial if our paths crossed", Raji suggested.
"I don't believe you turned out to be such an idiot", Rafey said.
"Mind your language!” Raji hit him.
They both laughed, in agreement, as Rafey gave a nod to the most stupid proposal ever.
to be contd...
Onto Chapter 11: Knowing Each Other
Onto Chapter 11: Knowing Each Other