I am very fond of travelling and my bachelor status and the profession that I am in both aided me in following my passion for travel. Having always believed that “Ek rasta hai zindagee jo tham gaye to kuch nahin” (Life is a journey on which one must keep moving) I travelled from place to place covering length and breadth of our great nation. While the love of travelling was getting fulfilled the ‘Love of my Life still eluded”, she was nowhere in the sight. My elders and colleagues were pushing me hard to ‘tweak’ my imagination a bit but I was not ready to throw in the towel as yet and the wait for “Shayar ki ghazal, kisi jheel ka kanwal” (the girl as beautiful as the flowing poetry or a lotus in the lake) my dream girl continued.
I must admit that in my journey I did meet a few like the Gujju ben from Baroda, the lively Punjaban from Delhi, the fauji brat or the Lucknow ki ‘Nazakat’ who could have fitted in the photo frame with some adjustments but I was looking for a near ‘Perfect fit’ if not perfection. I had my trust in God and believed in the old Indian saying “Bhagwaan jab deta hai to chaapad phaad ke deta hai”) (God showers blessings through the roof). I even lived in a room with a roof for asbestos sheets to make it things easier for God but it seems even He was not in a hurry….. and only rain managed to make way through the roof in heavy monsoon aur hum akele hi bheegte rahe baarish ki boondon mein.
When I was about to reach the stage “Inteha ho gayi intezaar ki”(Wait was getting too long) one fine Sunday (17 Aug 1997) “Mein nikla gadi lekar, raste mein ek mod aaya…..” (I was driving down alone when I reached a turn….). This was the turn I had been waiting for; a turn which changed my life forever. There she was clad in her pink patiala suit, the top hugging her tight, a head band failing miserably in task it was meant for, her long hairs flowing loosely in the breeze half covering her face, the cheeks, as red as a Kashmir apple managing to make their presence felt through the temporary cover of those flowing hairs. She was simple yet stunningly beautiful. As the mind was just about getting set to go on the journey of “Kahin yeh woh to nahin….?” (Is she the one….?) lo and behold she waved at me to stop and stop I did with my heart pounding and mind having a mixed feel of excitement and anxiety. I must admit that I who had always believed that heart was only meant to pump blood that day actually accepted that the song “Dil ki awaaz bhi sun mere phasane per na jaa…..” was so right. What transpired between the two of us on that turn I will not discuss here but will admit that in those few moments that we were there she walked through my mind straight into the heart. That face and those expression have been etched forever in my heart.
God was more than kind to me that day. My belief in the old Indian saying “Bhagwaan deta hai to chappad phaad ker deta hai” became stronger. That night it rained heavily, and “Zindagee bhar nahin bhulegee woh barsaat ki raat” (I will never forget that stormy night). I became an ardent worshipper of “Gau Mata”(Cow) that night. That stormy night as my ‘Dream Girl’ drove back to her residence, as if placed by destiny, a cow suddenly emerged on the road from nowhere forcing the lady to slam the break resulting in losing of control and the two wheeler skidding off the road, causing injuries to her, thankfully minor. Scenes straight from films do become reality on Indian roads at times….. the heroine in need of help and out of nowhere the hero appears. What happens after that is anybody’s guess….. The mind kept rewinding and playing the episode over and over again and as expected kept getting stuck as the beautiful young lady emerged on the screen wearing a black saree, drenched in the rain….(she must have been on her way back from an official function) and that song played in the background “Ek ladki bheegi bhaagi si….mili ek ajnabi se…” followed by “Ek ladki ko dekha to aisa laga…”
What I had waited for 10 years, happened just within a span of less than 10 hours. Our story began on that beautiful Sunday and God willing will go on and on and on……
I had never bound myself in the chains of caste, creed, region or religion and here was a strong headed working young lady from Punjabi heartland, who could speak oriya, longed to spend vacations in hills of Kashmir/ North East India, was fond of south Indian cuisine, knew the streets of Delhi like the back of her hand and had her heart (as of then) set on spending her lifetime in Pune, who walked into my life unannounced one fine day to stay there forever. She does get a dimple when she smiles and has depth in her eyes. Her near and dear ones love to call her “Dimple”.
“God only knows what He does but he does Good always…..”
Disclaimer: This is just a story and any resemblance to a real-life story in full or in parts may be purely by chance. An accident cannot be ruled out (Cows do walk the streets of India and girls drive two wheelers hence chances of an accident may be high).
Psssttt……Love is a beautiful feeling, just out of the world but marriage is a different experience …..”atte daal ka sahi mein bhaav pata lag jaata hai…”(Realities of life can really hit hard…”). Marriage has its own side effects….Dekhenge shadi ke side effects in a blog later….