Some journeys are just journeys, while others become a part of your everlasting memory.
I have been thankful enough to have one of those journeys that always manage to bring a teasing smile on my lips, every time I think of it. Today, I will tell this tale and let the nostalgia and love wash over me as I will recollect my experience of that one morning which made me realize a lot of things and really did change my life.
I woke up to the sound of the splattering drops of rainfall and instantly, I found myself smiling. I am a pluviophile and the smell of rain does things to my mind and heart which defies a lot of biology. However, I was amazed at the person and thoughts that came to me when I opened my eyes.
As I stood near my window and took in the smell of the wet soil of the rain, I recalled that one walk with my best friend on Park Street. Time has a way of altering things. She used to be my best friend and there was hardly a day when we didn’t speak to each other. We were inseparable and shared everything under the moon.
A lot of people believe that if you walk hand in hand in Park Street (A place in Calcutta, India) and talk of the things you really love with one of your closest friend, you’re likely to fall in love. Now, we weren’t romantically involved, but there was something that felt different that day. I still remember how I had peered into her eyes and she had blushed.
“Aksh, stop doing that.” she murmured, but I knew she never meant the words. She wanted me to look like that and may be even deeper. We definitely had a lot of chemistry but none of us spoke because of the fear that it would ruin our friendship. However, on that day, walking with hands entwined, on the romantic side tracks of Park Street, with happiness bubbling our hearts, I knew the moment was perfect. I had never felt so completely alive.
Sure, there were a lot of girls. I have been in and out of relationships and that too on too many occasions, but somehow, I felt like every single nerve end was on fire. I wanted the moment to freeze forever and stay in it. I didn’t know how and when and what and why happened but I blurted out
“I love you, Shiara. I think I’ve been in love with you ever since the day I saw you singing in that horrible voice which would make frogs deaf. I know it isn’t the most romantic thing to say when you are confessing our love but getting drenched in this rain, this is the best I could come up with. I don’t write fancy poetries like you. I am not a literature lover. Heck, I never could like Shakespeare, but Shiara, you complete me in a way the rain completes the smell of the soil. I have seen the flashes of love in your eyes and I know you won’t say no and yes, this is my ego, but baby, we have always been more than friends.”
She stared at me for what started looking like eternity and just murmured, “You found me when I was so lost that I felt I never existed. You found me when I thought I was meant for oblivion. I can’t imagine a life without you, but love is a very strong word. I want to fall in love when I am sure that it’s love. I don’t want missed chances, regrets and what ifs; especially with us. You know I can’t stay a day without you. So, I don’t want to mess it up. If we’re meant to be, we will be; just like this smell of the wet soil is meant to be with the rain.”
I was hurt, happy, puzzled, broken. I don’t know. I felt a mixture of different feelings. We stayed friends like good friends do. Yes, it was a little awkward and it kept getting worse. We branched apart slowly and steadily. Its three years now since the romantic walk down Park Street and she has now ventured on with her life back in Calcutta, while I moved to Darjeeling for a project assignment. We hardly meet and are not really in touch except for reunions. There are no hard feelings but a big wall of regrets between us.
Today, as the rain fell down, I was caught in the nostalgia of the memories. Despite the fact that it didn’t work out, it still remains one of the best memories I had of all time. The smell of the wet soil is not merely a smell, it brings back the moments we shared and that sole romantic moment with Shiara, who will forever be the love of my life.
As I was recollecting these memories, I had a knock at my door. I hated the disturbance because it broke my reverie, the only good reverie I had in a long long time. With tousled hair and looking probably like a total moron, I opened the door to find Shiara standing there.
“Yesterday, I was walking down Park Street and it was raining.”
“And” I waited for her to complete the sentence but when she didn’t, I had to put the “and” there.
“Don’t be such a jerk Akshu”.
How my heart flipped and bumped. Akshu. She was the only one to call me that and she only did when she was overjoyed and loved me.
“I love you. I loved you since the day you pointed out that I should never sing, I loved you when you out that big Rick down after he ridiculed me. I loved you when you stole glances at me in the biology class. I loved you when you told you love me while we were walking in Park Street and I loved you when I was walking alone yesterday with empty fingers and no one to complete their rhythm. Take me back, will you? Or do you have another girl with you?
I looked at her. She had coloured her hair a bright shade of red. Yes, she had put on some extra weight too which only made her face look fuller.
I just told
“Shiara, you’ve grown fat.”
She gave me her signature look and then made puppy faces as if she was so hurt.
“But,” I told
“But…”, she repeated.
“But, I love you baby.
I always had and I always will.
It’s raining again.
The soil smells of the rains.
The story that started in Park Street finished all the way up to Darjeeling.
You know I was thinking of you right now.”
“I am not pretty”
“You always were to me, but”
“Don’t sing please: P”
“Okay let’s sing together”
“Please. Let’s raise a toast to our love”
And then it rained like it never rained before
And we sang together and danced and waltzed until we were completely drenched not just with rain but our love too.
The smell of the wet soil is so much more than just a smell. It is like the wedding ring we still haven’t exchanged. It is the smell of the love story that took three years and a lot of painful nights to complete. It is the serendipity that remains the best thing to have ever happened in my life. It is what made “I” and “you” as “we”.
It is my very own love story.
Note: This post is a part of Inspire A Fragrance contest by Godrej in association with Indiblogger.
Contest link: http://www.godrejaer.com/
All images have been linked to source.