“How was the interview Chubby?”, asked his mom.
“It was good Aunty. I think I will be selected”, she said confidently.
“It’s good that you are being responsible. Why don’t you give some advice to your friend too?”
“Advice to him? You must be joking Aunty. He is always responsible and serious. I remember him giving me a lecture when I bunked a class at school last year”
“What’s the use of all those? He is not responsible when it comes to his life? He wants to study catering in college.”
“What’s wrong in that Aunty?”
“I don’t want him to become a cook”
The next morning he called her through phone and told excitedly that his mom agreed for him to join a catering course.
1 month later
“Chef”, she came running and he was standing in the garden.
“Do you know what this is?”, she asked him showing a letter and he looked at her.
But even before she could tell the reason, a smile crept into his face as he saw her so happy.
“I am selected. Can you believe that this is my call letter?”, she said and hugged him.
He hugged her back happily.
“I am going to join training next month. I can’t believe that I am going to join Air Force”, she said with tears rolling down her cheeks. After some seconds, he caught his mom standing near the door and staring at them.
“Chubby”, he said and parted from her but she didn’t take the hint and hugged him again. He was feeling slightly embarrassed but her happiness was more important.
Two weeks later
“Not fair Chef. I am going out of city but you want me to come to your home instead of coming to my home.”
“Hey! I will come to the railway station tonight. But mom wants to see you before you go.”
“She knows you are a foodie. So she wants to give you a feast”, he said laughing.
“Food. Why didn’t tell this before? I will come at 1 pm”, she said before hanging up.
Later that noon
“There are sweets too. Wait I will go and get them”, said his mom as she went to the kitchen.
“Aunty, the food is so good. Your hand deserves a kiss”, said Chubby aloud.
“I didn’t cook anything today. It was him”, she replied from the kitchen.
Chubby quickly took Chotu’s hand and kissed his hand.
“What are you doing?”, he said as he panicked.
“What? You want me to kiss you on cheeks?”
“Chubby, have some shame”
“Shame? What is there to be ashamed of this?”
“What if mom hears us?”
“Why? She doesn’t kiss you on cheeks?”
“Yes But that’s… that’s”, he stammered
“But what?”, she raised her eyebrows.
By that time, his mom came back with sweets and Chubby finished enjoying her lunch after few minutes.
“Aunty, I am going to miss you so much”, as his mom hugged her. His mom wished her all the best and take care of herself.
Later that night
Her father who was supposed to accompany her to the railway station got stuck in office due to some last minute work so he had to drop her at the railway station. He was unusually silent until they reached the railway station.
“You don’t have anything to talk to me before I go?”, she asked before boarding her train. He didn’t say anything and she was about to walk away but he held her by her wrist. He quickly pulled her into a bone crushing hug.
“I will miss you”, he said with tear filled eyes and kissed her hair.
Announcement was made that the train would start leaving soon. She broke the hug and boarded the train after telling him to take care of himself. As the train started leaving, she tried to peek out through the window to see him and he was standing in the platform looking at the train. A lonely tear drop escaped her eyes.
Three years later
“Oye Chef! Why didn’t you come to the station with my parents?”, she asked as soon as he picked up her call.
“Who needs your hello?”
“Sorry! Can you come to the railway station tonight?”
“Railway Station? Why?”
“Meet you there. Bye”
Later at the railway station
“I love you… No this seems to be too simple. Can I be your better half? Nope. Will you marry me? Argh… How can I”, he stopped as he felt her hand on his shoulder.
“What are you doing here Chef?”
They sat on the bench at the platform.
“Chubby. I want to tell you something. But promise me you wouldn’t get mad at me”
“I can’t promise you like that. What if you say something that makes me angry?”, she teased him.
It made him more nervous and tensed. For a second, he even thought that he should drop the idea of proposing her.
“Chef! What happened? Why are you tensed?”
He told her that he was not tensed but it was evident from his body being stiff and his sweats.
He stood up as he started his sentence.
“OK. It seems you wouldn’t start talking even after an hour. Let me start”
She went on one of her knees and asked him, “Can I be your madder half?” with a rose in her hand.
He couldn’t believe what was happening but he was smiling widely from ear to ear.
The next day
He was talking to her over phone.
“You know what?”
“Tell”, she said
“Usually boys propose that way”
“Going down on one knee…”
“What’s with this boys way and girls way? It’s a way of proposing. That’s it”
“I mean girls don’t propose like that”
“Oh… Okay. So you didn’t like my proposal. Fine. I will take it back. Let’s break up”
“Hey Chubby! I was just joking.”
She was silent. His heart started beating fast as he felt that she was mad at him.
“You have to change it”
“Change what?”, he asked puzzled.
“You know right. I am not chubby anymore”
He started laughing.