“I am the man with the tambourine…”
It was a steamy summer night. The humidity level reached a new high and Calcutta was all wet in sweats. Everyone was praying for rain.
Suddenly I got a call from Esha. She is my childhood friend and my friend Asmit’s fiancé. When she said, “Let’s go for a walk” I was quite surprised.
“Is he busy? Or you guys had a quarrel once again?”
“We called it quits” She chirped.
“How dare you?” I was astonished!
“Just for tonight, let’s forget that I have a boyfriend, let’s forget that you just broke up with Emilie; let’s forget the outer world and chat like there is no tomorrow…as we used to…before this Asmit thing happened.” I used to know her crazy nature, so I had to agree. I came out from my ‘uncle’s cabin’ and she came out from her ladies’ hostel.
We didn’t go for sophisticated ice cream cones or tubs decorated with chocolate bars and Oreo biscuits. We simply slurped our desi “Kulfi malai” and it was truly my own ‘A Walk to Remember.’
“You are still a mental.” said I.
“You must appreciate me for being a mental.” she chuckled.
And we talked and talked; we gazed and gazed at each other with a smile on lips and glitter in eyes. I saw the city lights less lucrative than her eyes. For once, I forgot she was not mine.
She described how she loved watching the sunsets and blowing the dandelions, how she adored Chinese cuisine, how she took weeds to get rid of frustration, how she watched clichéd romantic Hollywood movies to believe in love, how she matched the steps with a Latino dance teacher, how she spent nights reading Paulo Coelho, how she spent days reading erotica, how she spent nights at Park Street bars, how she met a handsome Irishman at the Irish pub, how she tried to make a documentary on Armenian culture of Calcutta, how she rode bike in full speed and how she kept her boyfriends totally unaware of these.
I felt she is a silent scream; I felt her really addictive. I didn’t want her stories to end.
“Thanks for sharing things with me” I greeted.
“And you didn’t interrupt a single time.” She poked my nose.
I poked her belly, “One should not interrupt the storyteller.”
“The kulfi is tasty, isn’t it?” She chuckled and I came back to reality; I saw my kulfi has already melted a lot and I forgot to slurp.
“Now it’s your turn”
“My turn? No way”
“Yes…you have to.”
She pleaded like anything but I didn’t agree. I just loved to look at her without a blink and she twittered the whole time. I was flooded with emotions and words. Before leaving, she gave me a ‘goodnight peck’ on the cheek. I was happy and startled!
“You are not mine, but I’m a bit yours today!” I murmured myself and returned home.