Dream Girl de ja vu

Amol stood on the dusty platform of the busstand, trying hard to decipher among the urging shouts of the conductors, the name of his destination. He was sweaty, tired and sleepy and had an 8-hour journey ahead of him. Finally he saw a bus going to the City. He ran towards it as he saw it slowly pulling out of its spot and jumped on to the footboard. Heaving a sigh of relief, he climbed into the bus.

His eyes automatically began scanning the interior for an empty seat. They rested momentarily on a space between a plump middle aged woman at the window and a rake thin old man perched on the aisle seat. Grampa lifted his posterior and added of his own fragrance to the already stuffy bus, and the woman at the window leaned as much out of it as she could without actually exiting the bus. Amol abandoned it without a second thought and his eyes flitted to a corner seat, but rejected it immediately when he saw the other two seats occupied by a father-mother-infant family. He did not want to sleep with the baby bawling in his ear all the time. His eyes moved further towards the back of the bus, and he could scarcely believe he had missed seeing her for all of the 10 seconds since he had boarded the bus....

She sat by herself at the window, her face glowing and fresh inspite of the heat and grime that seemed to pervade the very atmosphere. The rose pink duppata that rested lightly on her head framed her face perfectly, silky strands of hair blowing in gentle wisps across her doe-eyes, that she kept tucking behind her ear with a charming grace. He rushed to occupy the hallowed spot beside her before the other eager boarder standing right behind him could push him out of the way. He stumbled over an overstuffed airbag, jumped over a lumpy sack of potatoes and climbed over two suitcases stacked thoughtfully one on top of the other, all placed strategically in the narrow passage between the two columns of seats on either side of the rickety bus. He came to a staggering stop at the seat where she sat, and enquired politely, "May I sit here".

She looked at him, nodded, and then turned back to the window. He set down his backpack on the seat, located an empty spot in the overhead shelf and shoved his backpack there. He sat down with a flourish beside her, quickly running his fingers through his hair, wishing that his palms were not so clammy and his hair would magically arrange itself into cool-looking spikes. He sat slightly away from her for he did not want to appear like a lout. He also did not look at her directly, preferring instead to face straight ahead and sneakily peek at her through the side of his eye. This gave him a headache and left him partially cross-eyed within 3 minutes, so he abandoned this strategy for some "I-do-this-for-my-posture" stretching and neck exercises, wherein he could get a glimpse of her every 2-3 seconds as he rotated his neck in her direction. She continued to gaze steadfastly out of the window, sparing him nary a glance.

After about 2 minutes of neck rotation Amol was slightly dizzy and discovered he had now developed a crick in his neck and would have to rotate it counter-clockwise for the next 2 minutes to set it right. While he was massaging his neck after this rigorous routine, he took a chance and tipped his head to one side so he could look at her and not disturb the crick at the same time. She was smiling, her lips pulled back inspite of themselves, as she bit down on her lower lip and struggled not to grin. A dimple played up on her cheek, as he almost expected it would.

Amol felt his heart rising up to clog his throat as he realised she was strugging not to laugh at him. So she had noticed him. He was ecstatic. She had seen him and his feeble attempts at concealing his desire to gaze upon her countenance as knights of yore would their fair maidens'. He shook his head to dispel the 'Ye Olde English' cheesy lines that were typing themselves on his mind. He realised he shouldn't have shaken his head when a twinge of shooting pain throttled his neck. He yelped and put a hand up to massage it. At this point, she could control herself no longer and she giggled prettily, a tinkling laugh that made the tiny hairs on the back of his cricked neck stand on their ends. He was thrilled to the very core, and he could hardly believe it when she spoke in silvery tones, "You should probably keep your head still for some time"

Amol grinned sheepishly and shyly massaged his neck. The girl smiled and went back to looking out the window. Amol cleared his throat nervously and said, "How long does it take to reach the City?" "About 5 hours, depending on the traffic". Amol's heart leapt about 5 feet in response. 5 whole hours with her.. he would make the most of them. Like any other young, hot-blooded IITian starved of female companionship, he too would leave no chance to spend time in the company of a beautiful girl, no matter how temporary the tryst might be.

Amol was already convinced she was his dream girl. He replayed her dimple in his mind, took a quick look at her to confirm the same, confirmed it in the smile on her face, then went back to his thoughts. He would start the conversation casually, bring it around somehow to exchanging names and basic biodata type info - where you're from, what you do kind of info, then slip in references to family -brothers, sisters, mom-dad, any husbands (God forbid) lurking in the background. This would put him firmly in place for other conversation openings and carry on from there. He would obviously play up his IIT background - always reliable for an admiring glance, word or gesture. He would modestly brush it off as being nothing, and turn to discuss his internship in Europe, his current job in an MNC. Basically everything that would put him far ahead of the competition when it came to choosing a partner. He would end the journey with her phone number in hand and a promise to stay in touch. She was the one for him....

While he was still contemplating his opening move, the bus jerked to a stop and the girl got up. She waited politely for him to give way. Amol stood up, dumbfounded and heartbroken, and kept standing mutely as he watched her get off the bus without a glance in his direction. He sat down slowly, and rested his head in his hands. He berated himself for not doing anything, for letting her slip away, without even asking her name. Now he would never find her. He had lost the only chance he had of finding his dream girl.

His face was still buried in his hands when he heard a clear voice ask, "May I sit here". A light green duppata fluttered in the breeze from the window. Amol looked up, and smiled.  Dream girl de ja vu.....

1 comment:

  1. Neeraj Barnwal - why an iitian? why an iitian? It could be a story of anyone in this world... but talk about stereotyping...

    anyways, loved some of the descriptions. a few that i am reminded of, amol moving towards the girl in the first place. description of how she looked. etc etc. :)
    Would have liked the story even more if it did not end so abruptly. I almost wished she stayed and a conversation would have happened. :)

    But just one qualm... why an iitian?12:38 am

    Meenakshi Ganesh - just that in my knowledge, IITians are more prone to the I-am-sitting-next-to-a-pretty-girl-and-don't-know-wat-to-do kind of experiences than anyone else in the world :D4:37 pm

    3 more comments

    Meenakshi Ganesh - n I deliberately ended it this way.. wanted to leave the rest to your imagination to fill out!!4:37 pm
    Ashutosh Kumar - luccha lafanga samajh rahi hai kya IITians ko?Edit4:47 pm

    Meenakshi Ganesh - @ ashu (dekh kitna dhyan rakhti hun teri reputation ka) - mera munh mat khulwa.... chindi se thele pe juice pilaya toh "It's on me"... 3000 ka bill aaya toh credit card kaam nahi kiya....4:53 pm

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