A Bus rushed by.She had waved her hand..but it didn’t stop.So had he.They looked at each other..and smiled hesitantly…this was the fourth bus they’d been waving at…
It was getting late.She had to get home by 6.It was their daughter’s 3rd birthday..and they were having a small dinner with friends. It was already 5.30.
He had no reason to rush home.It was just the normal Wednesday for him.All he had to do was go back to the flat..watch TV for sometime, take bath,have dinner..and sleep.”I’l try the dhaba today”he thought to himself.Thats when it started raining.
They rushed back into the shade of the bus stop. It was hardly a cover..Cause the rain was pelting down now.And the wind was blowing hard too. There were cars on the road..but not a bus to be sighted!!...and “where are all the rikshaw guys???”she thought to herself.She clutched her bag to herself…Thank god she had left the file back at office!
He wished he had a cigarette wid him rt then.The weather was awesome!The rain had just “happened” without a warning….and well, the wind would snuff out his smoke before it was lighted..but aah!..it was always good to smoke in the rain! He checked his pockets. He had a gum...and his wallet.Well,gum it was then!..not that he liked it too much..but there wasn’t anything else to do. He unwrapped the gum he kept for emergencies...And there was a gust of wind. The wrapper was blown towards the lady in blue..shitt!!!
She kept checking her watch…and time seemed to be flying…The wind was blowing hard messing up her carefully done hair.Shebent over her bag looking for her band..or something to tie her hair ..and something hit her right on the face.It was a piece of paper..no a wrapper..”must have been blown by the wind”,she thought..thats when she saw him looking apologetically at her.
“Sorry..about that”he said.
“Err..wha..oh the wrapper?...thats alright”..
And they smiled at each other.
“Looks like we’l be stuck here for sometime”,he said.
“Yeah…..n no autos also.God!m gonna be late!!”she said…”It my daughter’s birthday party” she offered.
“She has a daughter?? Looks like a kid herself…well not kid..but in her early twenties…the “young lady” kinds..a very striking young lady that too.”.. he thought to himself as he smiled at her.
“oh..nice..How old’s your daughter?”
And they smiled again.
The wind started howling.He looked at her.She was saying something.he gestured that he couldn’t hear her..and moved closer.
“You know the bus timimgs?”she yelled over the wind.
“There’s usually one every 15 mins” he yelled back.
He reminded her of someone.Up close she noticed that he was wearing a shirt manufactured for the company she worked with and she smiled at ta tag.
He looked at her questioningly.
“I work for them”, she said pointing to the label.She had to move close for him to hear that.
“Oh!!hey nice!your lucky husband!..m sure you get loads of free mens stuff there!”,he joked.
She smiled,but there was a very distant look on her face or was he just imagining it?..
“So what do you get at the end of the year sales?..free stuff?”
“Well,shirts mostly,”she answered,”and ties,..belts…we got perfumes once.”
“Whoa!! Paradise!..I should marry someone who works there”
She laughed at that..”Well,you could forward me your resume.I could circulate it!!..”
“With pleasure..its already been circulate far and wide.Its a wonder it hasn’t reached your office yet!My mother’s really busy with the girl hunt..maybe I could save her the effort!!”
They laughed…feeling comfortable with each other..She noticed that he had a very nice nose..kinda like her dad’s!!
“So how long have you been married?..4 years?”..he asked.
“Oh no…second year running”..
“Oh..kay…”…but the kid’s 3 years old he thought..
“Betu’s from my husband’s first marriage”..she said.
He looked at her surprised.How had she known what he had been thinking?
“I get that look often..”she offered as an explanation..”Its alright.”
“Oh!!..my face says it all hmm?..sorry about that..”
“Its really alright!”,she replied again…but again there was that far away look on her face..There was something..He wanted to know more..Wanted to wipe that sad look and bring back that happy smile.Something was pullinh him towards her…
He was looking at her,and she could feel herself drawn to him…a stanger..a total stranger..yet there was something…like they’d known each other for long.
As he lowered his head towards her and looked right into her eyes it was as though…
“Its really alright?”he asked softly.
She nodded .
They stared at each other unable to tear the eyes apart.
Suddenly the sound of an approaching bus honking loudly jolted them.
“BUS!!”she yelled moving onto the road.As it slowed down towards them,she looked back and smiled at him…”So your resume?”
“You’l get it..”,he answered unsmilingly…still unable to bring himself to look away from her.
She nodded..and got onto the bus that she now wished hadn’t stopped.
She looked back.. into his eyes..and there was that same pull…she didn’t even know his name.
He kept looking at her.As the bus moved he actually felt a tug at his heart strings!...She became a tiny obscure blur..thats when he was able to turn his head.
He swallowed…thenext bus was within another 15 minutes..but now he really needed a smoke.he moved towards the chai stall.It had stopped raining too.
She could see him moving..and wondered if they would cross paths ever again.