So, I was finally installing the tinder app, not knowingly what would I do next. I was never fond of these dating app but after succumbed by Mohit(my friend) never-ending sermon of how dating apps are changing the life of singlehood, I finally gave up. I never understood his logic, though.
97%…98%…99%…100%… tinder installed. A pop-up message notified me.
I tapped on the open button and within a split second, a red color T shape logo popped up. I adhere to follow the Facebook login and here it came the actual game. Swipe left for rejection and swipe right for approval, but you couldn’t text anyone if there is no match. I found that full bullsh*t while just swiping my thumb to the right, adhere Mohit’s word, “don’t reject any girl. Always approve. there’s at least a girl in 100 for you who will approve you as well.”
“aashta sharma… niharika jain… palak arora… kavya Sharma…” I kept mumbling while swiping the thumb to right.
I was immensely engrossed in the screen, seeing the beautiful faces of Delhi girls and abruptly, a pop messages took my heed and slightly my smiley face vanished, just like when a cracker doesn’t blast.
You don’t have enough likes… buy tinder plus to enjoy the unlimited service. And in upper it shows 11:55:30, assuring me, that I’ll get the likes after that remaining time.
That pop-up message hiked my fury and urged me to throw the phone on the wall. Sh*t app… why would I wait for 12 hours… I pressed my power key and closed the phone with disgust. I wondered to uninstalled the app but didn’t as Mohit had said to keep it for a day, I didn’t want to feel him sad. Friends love, you know.
It had been more than a day, while keep refreshing the app hoping for a match but fate wasn’t in my favor. I didn’t notify for any new matches. My intuition about the new matches started to fade away. I decided to uninstall it.
I pressed the power key, swiped my thumb to the right to unlock, tapped on the menu button, swiped to the 3rd page of the menu and there I found, tinder app at the right upper part of the screen. I tapped and was about to dragged to the uninstall section when my phone vibrated. My phone was always kept in vibration mode, though.
I landed the app on the menu and promptly, pull down the notification bar. A flared smile surged to my face. “you’ve got a match with Kavya Sharma.” I mumbled while maintaining the perpetuating smile. I tapped on it and the profile of Kavya Sharma then opened, surged the flared smile into a wide one.
8 miles away
I tapped on her photos without wasting the time. Boys are always intuitive to check girls photos, so are girls too. Nowadays looks really does matter and those who rebel with that, are itself ugly.
She was fatty with round whitish face matches with her white top and eyes were captured by purple frame spectacles. Hair was pony-tailed and she was leaned against a wall while crossing her hands. I love specs, girls, though. I swiped my thumb to explore more. Once, stalking the photos for minutes, I touched the back key and took the initiative as I knew, girls won’t text anyone first and if they do, they are not girls.
Me – a bibliophile from a hobby or do you write as well? Never initiate with hiii…. Hello…Where are you from… these type of monotonous texts are generally ignored by girls. Text as you really interested in talking.
after few minutes of waiting impatiently, the phone beeped. It was Kavya. My heart skipped a beat and came to my mouth. In 80% cases, first few chats were actually decided whether your talk lasts long or not.
She – I have been writing for a month. You? I flared a smile. I found the topic to proceed further. Always try to found a common topic to talk about, not only it gives confidence, but eventually you both will enjoy chatting.
After a continuous 1 hour chat,
Me – shall we meet? I put the flame on the ice. Certainly, I wanted to meet her, perhaps, she too.
She – Ummm… where? Ice started to melt.
Me – movie or CCD…
She – books fair? Ice got melted and surged to liquid. I didn’t want to rebel. Means wasn’t that enough that a girl has actually accepted to meet. Moreover, the first impression really does matter.
Me – of course… tomorrow. 11 am. Okay?
She – Done. My face was brimming with glee and the heart was pounding, while waiting for the next day. It’s like when Mumma cooked your favorite food and you are merely waiting with your mouth-watering face.
“Mumma definitely will be going to scold me,” I mumbled while standing erect in front of the cupboard, staring at the rummaged I had done. Between the chaos of what to wear and rummaging the cupboard, I finally gave up. It’s the hardest part for boys if they are going on a date. I wasn’t going on a date, though.
Finally, I tugged out a black shirt and a cream trouser. I wore and left to the metro station. I board the metro with few crowd. While throbbing my ear along with lipping the chorus of 5 taara (Punjabi song), abruptly my phone started vibrating and made the song the suppressed. I pressed the mic button of the earphone and took it to my mouth.
“Where are you?” she asked with her melodious tone which took my heart and promptly forced me to surged a smile.
“now…” I paused and turned my gaze to the route flash-board where the green LED was blinking on Yamuna bank metro station. “Yamuna bank. Have you reached?” I said.
“Haan… come fast…” she said and before I could have said a word, she hung up and the suppressed song resumed. 5 taara theke utte behke taareya main tera saara gussa.
“Yeh station Pragati Maidan hai…(this station is Pragati Maidan).” a recorded voice announced. After few seconds of a jerk, the metro took a halt and door open.
I de-board the metro and headed downstairs. I looked around the metro station, but she wasn’t there. I shove my hand in the pocket and took out the phone. I dialed Kavya’s number. She received on the first ring as if, was waiting for my call.
“where are you?” I asked while looking around.
“upstairs…” she said.
“ugh… come down…” I said.
“Acha wait…” she said and I hung up the call.
My heart started pounding as I shove on the phone in the pocket. On one side I was excited, and on another side, I was anxious. As time was getting shorter between us, heart beat was like start playing drums.
“Karan…” a female voice came and tapped on my shoulder, made me blank before I could react. I could easily be recognized that melodious tone, I muster some courage and turned back.
She was Kavya, wore an extra-large pink top with black denim, hair was bun back with a pencil and most importantly, the same purple frame spectacles. She was more whitish than her photos which broke my belief of, girls usually edit her photos. I flared a smile.
“Hiii…” I said.
She smiled, “Hii…” she said and tangled her hair across her ear. Seeing the girl while tangling her hair is the cutest thing ever. I just wanted to embrace her in my arms, but I controlled my enthusiasm.
Our mouth was shut, didn’t know what to say. Moreover, I wasn’t able to maintain the perpetuate eye contact, so was she. We were mere exchanging our glances, with the fleeting smile.
“Have you taken the tickets?” she broke the silence.
“arey…no…you wait here…” I said, turned back and join the serpentine queue. After clutching the ticket, I rushed to her and we headed to the world book fair.
We enter through the gate no. 11 after waited in a long queue. The sight was baffling. The whole Pragati Maidan was hustled by the crowds and if someone would have been watching from above the ground, on a helicopter then, the crowds would have seen like an earthworm crawling on the ground.
We were just walking, didn’t know where would we go. Finally, we had decided to sit in a park. We moved further in search of a park and looked like faith was in our favor. We found a vacant bench in a park in front of 12-a hall. We landed our ass on the bench, turned our glances to each other and gave a fleeting smile.
“so…” I said.
“so…” she said, twirling her hand.
I wasn’t able to muster any words to blurt, resulting we kept silent.
“Ummm…” I thought for a second. “I have a novel for you,” I said, hurriedly unzipped the bag and after rummaging the whole bag, I pull out the novel – everyone has a story by Savi Sharma and extended to her. I knew she loves novels and just a small gift to girl’s choice could hike the impression to the girl.
She smiled, moved the gaze to the novel and took it from my hand. I flared a smile.
She was fully engrossed in the novel, gave me chance to explore at her beauty. I moved my eyes on her, kept that stuck. While not moving the pupil, I was just staring at her. I did want to mere look at her, to her glittering eyes, to her cute little nose, and her pink lips without any lipstick. She wasn’t a makeup freak. I kept staring at her, abruptly she tilted her head and eyes met mine.
I felt a sudden cold inside my body, which gave me goosebumps. Certainly, I wasn’t prepared for that instant eye-contact, but when it occurred, I felt ashamed. “shit…” I mumbled and tilted my head to the ground, just like when you stare at your crush perpetually and she found you staring.
My face was brimming with ashamed and awkwardness. I couldn’t muster the courage to looked at her again. no…no… never… I heard her chuckling voice but I didn’t tilt my head towards her.
“That was cute, though,” she said. I didn’t turn back.
“Karan…” she said, held my chin, pulled it towards her eye and forced me to locked her eyes into mine. I didn’t want to but, her captivating eyes had the power to hypnotize anyone, so did I. “That was cute…sachiii…” she added.
I blushed, my face would have turned reddish and I couldn’t do anything, merely smiling. She smiled back and removed her hand from my chin. I cursed her for that, though. Her touch made an invisible blotch of her arm on my face, which I didn’t want to rub it. So, I had decided, I won’t wash my face.
“Awww…. Such a cutie pie she is,” she said while looking at a toddler. The baby girl was really cute while jumping in front of parents with enthusiasm and was brimming with glee. We paid heed to her and didn’t know, when would we fully engrossed into her act. We shared our glances and smiled.
“Hey…come…” Kavya said, gestured to come.
The baby girl turned stand still. She kept stared to us for seconds and slowly shook her hand. I laughed. Kavya turned her face to me and made a grimace.
“go beta… didi is calling you na.” her mother said. As a stubbornly, she shook her head again and made me laughed.
I leaned towards to her ear, “she won’t come.” I mumbled while chuckling. Kavya perpetually made the grimace face which almost attracts me towards her. I wondered to hug her but I controlled.
“let’s go somewhere else,” I said, intervening the silence.
She turned to me. “where?” she asked.
I shrugged. “don’t know.”
“Ummm…” she tilted her head up and thought for seconds. “Movie…” she said, returning the gaze to me.
I flared a smile. “Chalo…” I said.
We stood from the bench and dashed towards the exit gate. After bargaining with few, we hopped an auto. “Mall… bhaiya…” I said.
The driver tugs the handbrake and promptly the engine start roaring. With the first jerk, we collide and the auto turned into motion, leaving the haze of smoke behind. We exchanged our glances and smiled.
After few minutes, she starts rummaging her bag, but I didn’t intervene. I turned my gaze to the road and continued peering the sight.
“shit…” she screamed and promptly snatched my gaze. The driver too started staring at us from the rear view mirror. Aap aage Dekho… I wanted to blurt it out but, I controlled my throat. “what happen?” I asked.
She didn’t utter anything rather, was continuing the rummage. But her anxious face told me something had happened.
“what happen Kavya?” I persuaded.
She turned towards me blank. Her smiley face had surged into few furrow. She licked her lips, “I’ve lost my purse.” she said, staring at me.
I felt like someone would have kicked me in my stomach. It hurts. “what…” I screamed. I opened my mouth to speak but, didn’t muster any word to blurt. “have you…. Have you checked your bag.” I stuttered.
She nodded, trying hard to suppressed the anxious and hooked a facade on a smiley face but, the beads of perspiration oozing from the corner of her ear gave me the signal of her anxiousness.
“check again…” I said, as my mind couldn’t muster any thought.
She nodded and made the bag puke in the seat, just like when a mother pat on child’s back while puking. I too peeped into the bag but, faith wasn’t in our favor. The purse wasn’t in the bag.
She crossed her hands, leaned her head back, darted her eyes outside and start peeking the road.
“hey…” I held her chin and pulled her face towards me. Her beady teary eyes met mine. I wanted to engulf her in my arm and tell her everything will gonna fine. I placed both my arms on her cheeks and locked the eyes on her. “we’ll find that…” I said. She smiled.
Abruptly, I removed my eyes and moved my gaze to the driver, “bhaiya take to the gate number 11” I said.
Auto took U-turn and headed to the gate number 12. The auto turned into a taciturn silence, nobody could dare to intervene the silence except the roaring of the auto. We then hopped the auto as it took a halt. I paid the money, though.
We rushed in the crawling hustle. Oh shit… I have to take the ticket again. My mind struck. I halt. I dashed to the ticket counter. After snatching the 2 piece of paper while, waiting for 5-10 minutes in a serpentine queue, I rushed.
Kavya was waiting at the entry gate. I waved at her and thumped the foot as fast as I could. As I reached, I show the ticket and they gave me back after tore it half. We entered the gate.
“could you just run to that park…” she said.
“hold my bag,” I said, took down the bag from my shoulder and handed over to her.
I hustled in the crowds and dashed to the park where we had seated a few minutes ago. Heartbeat was running at full pace. I reached while, gasping the breath, but, my eyes snapped me the worst nightmare. The purse wasn’t on the bench. Shit… I threw my hand in the air. I collapsed onto the bench and kicked my shoe. Could this day get any worse?
After a few minutes, Kavya arrived while gasping the breath. She darted into my eyes. I shook my head. She placed her arm on her eyes and slightly surged into the hair. She too collapsed onto the bench perpetually sticking her hand on the hair, like a statue as if, someone would have shot her.
I didn’t utter any word. I was anxious to utter anything, didn’t know why, perhaps, the stereotype of girls, you’ll never catch the swing of girl’s mood has programmed into our brain so deeply by the society, resulting in the boys non-approachable to girls.
“I’ve Rs10,000 and all the card on that.” she said and broke my roller coaster thought.
I tilted my head towards her. “Now?” I asked, staring at her.
She tilted her head straight, moved her pupils around the park. “does anyone with the same face seated? We can ask them about the purse.” she asked, exploring the park.
I frowned. “Ummm….” I too started exploring the park but I didn’t find anyone, certainly, I had forgotten the same face. I shook my head.
“that baby girl and her parents too aren’t here.” she said.
“Hmmm…” I said, looking at the same vacant place where they had seated.
CCTV… my mind abruptly stuck. I tilted my head up and start looking around as if, any UFO would have been landing.
“what happen?” Kavya asked.
“CCTV…,” I said, exploring the nearby camera. But faith wasn’t in our favor. I shook my head. “No cameras are planted here…” I said.
She nodded as if, clearing my doubts.
“let’s ask the security guard…” I said.
She didn’t utter anything and stood firmly, gripping the bag. I too stood and we walked to the security guard, who was hazing the smoke of bidi from his mouth. Puffing few more smoke, we reached. He flinched and turned his hand back as if, we were going to ask, “give us a puff…”
“what?” he asked, tilted his head towards me.
“actually…” Kavya started and snatched his heed towards her, “I’ve lost my purse an hour ago…” she said.
“Hmmm…” he nodded, darting into her eyes. you’re wasting your bidi… I wanted to say and but I controlled my throat.
“you can check the CCTV footage…” he said, still piercing her eyes.
Aap bidi piyo…
“Where?” she asked.
“there’s a footage room…” he said, pointing his finger to our back. Finally, he stopped piercing into her eyes. We followed his finger to a room just straight to the park.
“Thank you…bhaiya…” Kavya said. Kavya’s last word would have broken his heart into pieces. Start listening to Arijit Singh song. I suppressed my laugh. Kavya looked at me and frowned. I shook my head, suppressing the laugh and we headed towards the footage room.
As we reached, I pulled the door and it creaked. We enter the footage cum sound proof room.
Two men with apple like stomach, dressed in police uniform were seated on the chair, piercing their eyes on the big screen television.
“Sir…” I intervened the silence. They tilted their head towards us. “she has lost her purse near the hall no. 12 park.” I pointed my hand towards her. “So we want to see the footage,” I added.
“Cameras are only outside the halls. You can go to administrative block at hall no. 7 and tell them to announced the stolen purse.” 1 of the guard said.
I nodded vigorously. “hall no. 7 na…” I reassure. He nodded.
“Chalo…” I said, turning the gaze to Kavya. We turned, walked, pulled the door and it creaked again. Put some oil in the door… I wanted to yell.
As we headed towards the hall no. 7, silence perpetuated. We didn’t share a word in the 10 minutes journey. As our eyes gave us the snap of a tall building, where 7 had written in big font, we entered. The door didn’t creak, though.
A large arc shape wooden reception section snatched my heed. Administrative block. I read. I turned to Kavya, whose eyes were exploring the ambiance of the hall. She moved her head and eyes met mine. We smiled.
I removed from eyes from her captivating eyes and walked forward. “I’ve lost my purse… so can I make an announcement?” I asked, staring at the lean boy.
He was fiddling with his phone. “That room…” he said, pointing his finger, while eyes kept piercing on the phone.
I moved my gaze following his finger, darted at the room and we walked. “Thanks.” I pulled the room and we get inside.
There were 5-6 men, wore formal shirts with the tie knotted to the throat, were sitting on the chair with an equal interval of space, darting his eyes on the computer screen, while fiddling on the keyboard. We walked to one of them.
“sir…” Kavya said and promptly snatched the heed of the guy.
“Yes…” he said.
“I’ve lost my purse. So ——”
“Pujaaa…” he sang the name while turning his head and promptly a short height girl in her middle twenties who wore salwar suit has arrived. She wasn’t beautiful than Kavya, though.
“Yes sir…” she said, staring at the guy.
“she wants to make an announcement. Write her name, number and where the purse has stolen. Okay?” he instructed.
“yes sir…” she said obediently and turned her gaze towards us. She darted her eyes at me and moved the glance at Kavya. “where does the purse steal?” she asked.
“near the hall no. 12.” Kavya said.
“wait a second…” she said, tilted her head to the computer, leaned her hand to the pile of white sheets and tug out one. She flat the sheet on the table and pull out a pen from pen holder. “haan… now tell me.” she said, gesturing the pen on her hand.
She started penning down the detail as Kavya narrated. Once done, she cradled the white sheet in both hand, slightly rose her shoulder and met the sheet with her eyes. “Okay…I’m going for the announcement,” she said, staring at us while cradling the white sheet in hands. We smiled and she left.
“Let’s sit…” I said, looking at her.
“Hmm…” she said.
We moved our foot and plop on the couch. Silence prevailed.
Attention guy. Our heed had snatched by the announcement and we moved our gaze to the speaker, hooked at the roof. A black color purse has stolen near the hall number 12. so, anyone who would find it, please show some humanity and brought to the administrative block. Thank you. The girl announced.
“Only once… she should have done thrice at least.” Kavya said. I didn’t utter anything and could sniff the anxiety in her voice. We did know that the purse won’t back now.
The announcement girl came, clutching the paper in right hand. She moved the glance to us, “I’ve done the announcement. Wait for some time if anyone would bring the purse. Or else we’ll inform you whenever we’ll get the purse.” she said.
If anyone would have listened to your voice. I wanted to say but I controlled. “thanks…” finally I said. She smiled and walked ahead.
I moved my gaze towards Kavya, who was piercing at the floor. Roller coaster of fear must be pacing around his mind.
“you know she likes me…” I said, wanted to crack jokes and hike her mood.
She smirked and turned her gaze towards me, “like really?” she said and her lips formed an arc.
“didn’t you see, she was staring at me. She likes me I’m telling you” I said, showing the glee on my face.
“Pagal…” she said and the best compliment for boys from a girl had gifted me by Kavya. I smiled.
Tere Liye… my heart pounded with these words but, I controlled. I cleared my throat and said, “Let’s go…”
we stood and left the hall number 7. we didn’t turn back for the last glance of the building, unlikely of the Bollywood movie when someone left their house, he/she turned their face for the last glance. Somewhere, we had succumbed for the purse.
“you want to wait?” I asked, tilting the head towards her.
She shook her head, walking while darted her eyes to the ground.
We didn’t utter a word and walked straight to the Pragati Maidan metro station.
“Shit…” I mumbled, staring at the hustle of crowds formed into a long serpentine queue, waiting for their turn to buy the token.
“Do you have a metro card…” I asked.
“I had in the purse…” she said.
“okay you take my…” I paused, shoved the hand in pickpocket, tug out the wallet and extend the metro card to her. “take…”
“Areee… no…no… I can manage that. I have some change.” she said.
“Acha wait…” I said, join the serpentine queue, a few minutes later of beady perspiration on my face, I walked to her with the token, “take…” I leaned my hand towards her.
She smiled, took the token, leaned forward and buried her face in my chest “thanks…” I smiled back.
We pulled ourselves, eyes were locked, hands were clutched to each other and the countdown for the final adieu begun. We slightly lose the grip of the hands, turned back and we headed to our different routes. I rushed to the escalator and went upstairs. I moved my gaze to the flash board. 2 minute waiting. I tilted my head to the opposite platform, eyes searched for Kavya and there I found, stood at the woman only section while waving at me. I smiled and she waved back.
Her metro arrived and blocked my sight.
The sight was surrounded by the metro, couldn’t allow me to see her. As the door opened, few rushed to get inside. My eyes were steadily darting at the opposite door, craving to see Kavya’s face just like when, you order your favorite food at the restaurant and wait with your water mouthing face.
Few seconds of waiting had given me the beautiful gift, Kavya’s face. My face turned into grin and glee. She stood, almost stuck to the glass door, and was staring at me. I waved. She waved back. Our eyes were locked but were blocked by the transparent glass.
Metro honked and engine start…
My brimmed glee face sped away, leaving a small piece of a fake smile. I tilted my head till the Kavya’s face got blurry to me. Once gone, I moved my gaze to the floor, crestfallen. Few minute later, the Metro arrived. I board wondering about the adventurous day with Kavya.
“c’mon beta wake up… it’s already 10.” a sweet melodious voice wafted to my ear, it was no another than Mumma. Aside my phone was buzzing which urged me to throw it into the wall.
I patted my hand on the bed sheet in search of the phone, cradled it and reluctantly squinted my eyes.
Kavya calling… the screen flashed.
The toxin from my body got detoxified by her name. A small layer of an arc formed on my lips, Mumma would have easily understood from my smile, that I have a girlfriend. Why is she calling? I crawled and leaned my back on the bed. I swipe my thumb to the right side of the phone and took it to my ear.
“where were you?” she caroled, her voice was brimming with enthusiasm as if, she bought a new dress. Girls are shopping enthusiastic, though.
“I was slee ——-”
“Acha guess what…” she interrupted, her over enthusiastic voice hike my intuition to the brim.
“what?” I said.
“I found my purse.” she said.
“what?” I shouted, which made Mumma to flinched. She stared at me with her wider eyes. I shook my head to her, saying nothing. “means how, when, where? I couldn’t control the enthusiasm and I was craving to know the answer.
“do you remember that cute baby girl who wasn’t coming to me.” she said.
My mind snapped me the photo of the baby girl who was playing at the park. I recognized. “haan.” I said.
“her father had stolen the purse.” she said.
“then, why did he return then? I asked. My mind was pacing with the confusion.
“haan I was confused like you. Last night I got a call from an unknown number. And I literally became overwhelmed after listening. It was her father’s call. He said that he had stolen the purse after we had left the park and he wasn’t in the mood to return it. He said, her daughter had taught him a lesson. Karan, do you know what that baby girl have told him?” she said.
“what?” I asked ear was waiting for the answer, and so was my awareness on full.
“that, papa please return this purse to didi.” Kavya voice twitched on my heart, just like when cold water falls on our body. “he said, he got my number from my voter id card. So, just came from his house and I gave few chocolates to the baby girl.”
“Ironical…means, the purse was stolen and returned by the same person.” the last word came out from my mouth.
“yup…” she said.
I mused and flared a smile, “so, when will be our next adventurous date?” I said and we burst out in laughter.