Looking back it is funny, bit fascinating and a little blushful to recollect the silliness that surrounded the infatuations of the golden days of teen and early youth. And to now put them into words would look like kind of self-confessions of a juvenile delinquent. The prelate and the confessor are the same. Nope, it is not confession, as there is nothing in this matter that is sinful to seek absolution through confession! I’m trying to live a bit in the past to see how fanciful and fascinating some of the romantic fads were. If one cannot find fanciful, cheering thoughts from those days it will be a wasted la affaire with life. Those must be seen as the lighter side of experiences that one would be unlucky to miss out. Not many are unlucky, I guess but as I mentioned many may see it a bit awkward and embarrassing to savour it at a time when one has crossed much of life. It is funny to turn back now and look. Come on, though it was intense and (serious) affairs of life then!
I’m glad I’m no bard, no poet and or can I be operatic and bring all those into folklore.
I met her again quite by chance many years ago. I was in my home town for a weekend and a car that went past me a distance screeched to a halt. And she opened the door and came out beaming. It was an unexpected meeting, meeting of a kind as I had not had a thought of her for a great while.
‘Hello this is a pleasant surprise’, I said my mouth agape. ‘Were you following me or is it that I went the way you would travel’, I asked rather mischievously not waiting for her to reply.
She smiled and we shook hands. She had put on a bit of extra pound and the “Zeenie baby” (Zeenath Amman) looks and appearances that attracted quite a few eyes towards her was vanishing.
She laughed and said. 'Take it any which way you want’.
I was a bit wordless for a brief while, did not know how to move on the conversation and neither did she. A few seconds that resembled ages went by. And then I gathered to ask, ‘are you on vacation here from Hyderabad?’
She told me that was so.
“Well what about the boss?” I asked and honestly wishing he was not there in the car.
She said with a squint and a slight smile, perhaps reading my thoughts, “He has not come down; he stayed back in Hyderabad on some business”.
‘So what is up with you? Continuing to enjoy life as a loner, don’t you have any plans to have a suffix after your name?’ She enquired with a naughty smile. I told her that it was the suffix after my name I was worried about all the while so I decided to let it be so for a while until I can fool someone.
‘Don’t you go down to Hyderabad for your work?’ she inquired.
‘Yes I do rarely, have been there a few times just for a day or so and would journey back as soon as I get done with the work’.
‘You could have got in touch. Oh yes I see perhaps you was bored with all that long ago uh?’ She may have meant that as an accusation of sort.
“Hey, are you accusing me? How would I know where in that city you live?” I pleaded helplessness.
‘Come on man if you wanted you could- get the address from my dad.’ She shot back.
‘By the way, how are they your brothers and parents?’ I asked as I wanted to divert from the subject.
Incidentally they were from Sind who migrated long ago to Th'puram. She let out a sigh and said. ‘Ill luck seems to be cloistered with us. D, died last year, the same end as you also feared and told me once, “He crashed head on, on his motorbike.”
It was some years earlier to that she lost her sister who was a few years older. C was allegedly murdered by her husband’s family. It was a case of bride burning, dowry death if one can call it. The matter was closed as self-immolation- suicide.
This boy D was a freakish speedster on two wheels and a brat, spoiled at that. Though I knew him as her brother, he got to know me from an incident where I played the “Good Samaritan”, when he got fairly bruised in a scooter accident right in my view some years ago while I was in college.
Two little faces extended out of the car window. Hey I said moving a step towards the car, ‘what is it you have here’ ,I exclaimed and patted the little faces and peeped in to see a third one- a cute little cuddle spread-eagled in the rear seat.
‘Yea my kids’, she said.
‘My goodness, hey this is a fast scoring rate’. I cried out loudly pulling my head out and facing her.
‘Yes man, what can I do, my husband wanted it so’. She confessed her helplessness.
That was the last time I saw her and it is now about twenty five years.