Last night was not much peaceful and I felt hard to switch myself to the sleepy mode. Lot of thoughts, and even had some rehearsal to prepare myself for the next day. I vowed myself to overcome my bashfulness, talk to her and know about her. At least her name, I was sure about it. Today morning I woke up at 10am and as usual started my daily plans, but today very quickly. When the clock went passed 2pm I decided to take a bath without considering the hot weather.
Now the time is around 3pm and I am waiting in front of my special hibiscus plant for her arrival. I had some flowers with me to welcome her. The ambience was very different today. Not as much as vehicles passed, the baby was not crying today and felt like a fine day. The sky was clear, not much hotter now. One could feel the breezy air blowing in their cheek. To my doubt I checked the opposite house, the old lady was reading the newspaper and I thought she was bored by seeing my stupid activities daily. But even though I had an eye on her. My dog was lying silently today, but his eyes were open. The reason for his calmness was I kept my sandals safely away from him.
The time was running to reach 3.45pm but still there was no sign of her. The road was empty, only some children were playing on the roadside. I was confused about her absence and flowers in my hand were becoming dry. “May be she did not go to college today”, “Maybe she is ill”, “May be she missed her regular bus”, lots of maybe’s went over my brain but none of them gave me an answer.
“Hey, Romeo?” the old lady from the opposite home called me.
I did not reply and just looked at her. I have never spoken to her before.
“She won’t come today” the old lady chuckled.
“Who?” I pretended with an expression that I was unaware about her question.
“May be the girl you are waiting for will be in her home. Don’t you have a calendar in your home?” the old lady again laughed.
Again a maybe, but this time it was correct and now I gathered the old lady’s words. Actually, the present day was supposed to be second Saturday which is the official holiday for the schools and colleges in our town. It happens, the people like me who lives inside the four walls for months will forget the day and date as we had no use of it.
“You have to wait for three more days to see her” the old grandma’s words puzzled me.
“What about Monday? Is it holiday here?” I asked her.
“Dusshara festive starts tomorrow, 3 days holiday from now on account of it” the old lady explained.
Those words were very gory to digest. When you have to wait more than 72 hours to see your loved one you would feel much distress and I also felt the same now. But the old grandma had another idea.
“Don’t worry Romeo, tomorrow it will be a great festival in our village. Everyone will be out to celebrate it. Maybe she will also, look for her” her words made me excited and felt happy now.
“Thank you, grandma. You look so beautiful, please don’t change that big round specs. It suits you well” I shouted loudly like a mad.
“What’s your name, Romeo?” the old lady asked me.
“Arun” I replied.
“What are you doing?” she again questioned.
And here came the question which I hated the most. As I told you earlier this was the reason for which I kept myself away from this neighborhood aliens who are very different from me.
“Just like you, grandma” I giggled.
As the old lady said, it looked like an extravaganza event. Even by 8pm, the street was inlaid with colorful lights, banners, flowers and color papers. The loud speakers were singing some old songs, the small children were having fun, some old people were discussing some sorts of issues in the middle and the complete street looked very busy.
“What’s special in our street?” pretending like not knowing about the event, I asked my mother who was preparing the dinner.
“Dushara festive starts tomorrow and every year it will be great celebration here. The goddess from nearby temple will come around the village in golden chariot and special Pooja’s will be done, that too in front of our home which is the connecting place for all street people. And also there will be many more events to celebrate” my mother explained me about the event briefly.
“Oh! Whether every street persons will come out to worship the goddess?” I asked my mom to confirm her presence.
“Yes, the total village will be out tomorrow to celebrate the event” she replied.
A cute smile gushed from my face and I was already very excited about the next day’s event. More than the event my excitement was to see my nameless girl. I know even today it won’t be a peaceful night for me.
Next day morning I got up early because of the loud noise of the speakers which was kept very near to my home. Two minutes of brushing, followed by had a luscious coffee and decided for an early morning bath. After the bath it took 10 min to make me look spruce with my favorite costumes and fragrant perfumes. Because I know the people out in the street will be very special today on this special occasion and I have to compete with them to look a bit more special. It was much crowded outside on the road and some group of people was gathered near my house to watch the cultural events.
My eyes went in search of my girl. Some youngsters were mocking on the road, some old folks were playing cards, a girl with a child in her hand was dandling it, a little boy was collecting the already burned crackers from the ground and a group of children was preparing to fire the new crackers. But I couldn’t find her in that crowd.
“Romeo?” again it was the old grandma who was bawling, but her sound reached me only after her 4th call as the speaker noise was so loud.
I heralded her with my hands mentioning that I could not find her. She in reply pointed her hands towards the place where the event was going and shouted “Baby”.
When I turned there, the boys now had fired the cracker and the place was filled with reek. When the smoke started to disappear I saw her in between the blurred white smoke. Actually, it was her, the girl who was there with the baby in her hand. As she was in her civil dress rather than her fit blue uniform I could not pick her earlier. The scarlet color salwaar with matching cosmetics, loose hair dancing in the air made her more beautiful and look dapper. The star shaped design with mottled stitch on her dress made it look more rich and contrast. She was managing to close her ears by her shoulders as her hands were busy with closing the soft ears of baby with ripe apple like face, to avoid the sound of crackers. Her eyes were tightly closed for a minute and when the bursting sound went off, she opened her eye lid one by one. I was enjoying the complete moment through the smoke with my mouth open. Then I looked the old grandma, pointed my thumb finger with a smiling face and uttered a thanks in mind.
I stepped outside to the road and found another vantage point from where I could get her glimpse. She was playing with the baby and teasing it by taking the lollipop from its mouth, often. The baby was also locking horns with her to get its sweet back. It was delightful to watch her actions from some distance. Now she looked around meticulously on both sides and in a sudden she licked the lollipop without others knowledge and enjoyed its taste.
“How funny she is?” I thought myself and tittered.
The baby now started crying and she grinned at the baby by showing her tongue. Then she stopped the cry by placing the same lollipop in baby’s mouth and chuckled. In the meantime, a flower fell on her lap from the top. It was the neighborhood boy who was standing in upstairs and threw the flower on her. She looked up, knitted her eyebrows in anger and murmured some words. But the fellow again threw another flower from top and whistled at her. But she did not mind at him. I thought of removing him from the scene and decided to stall his action. I took a coconut shell from the ground and aimed at him. I was very poor in shooting and even now I have not completed the 4th level in the angry bird game. The result was that my aim missed the boy from a long distance and got the electricity wires which lead to the power off. The lights, speakers went off and everyone stared at the boy on top. The fellow ran away and somehow my aim succeeded. So, before the next hitch arrives I have to talk to her and prepared myself.
I went near her and as much nearer I go my heartbeat started to swell once again like the other day. I stood behind her by panting and smiled at the baby lying on her shoulder with hawkish nose. In sudden, the baby started crying and now she turned towards me.
“Hi, Arun” (Thank god she did not forget my name)
“Hi,” I replied with a smile. I was baffled and brooding over how to start the topic?
“Is it your baby?” I gibbered foolishly
“What?” she puzzled
“No, your relative baby isn’t?” I said in an apologetic way
“Yeah, my uncle’s son,” she replied with her trademark cute smile.
The baby was looking at me, I was stifling and trying to persuade myself to do my task. And also, I was careful about the people around me because they may inform this flirting episode to my mother.
“What’s the time now?” she asked me.
“12.20” I replied her by checking my wrist watch.
“Oh, it’s already too late for his lunch time, I have to go now, and his mother will be searching for him. Ok will meet evening Arun” she bade farewell to me and started walking.
“Stupid, my watch could have been at least half-an hour late” I growled.
After her few tread, to my surprise, I called her and uttered “Hey, what’s your name?”
She turned towards me and everything around me paused for a second. She moved her lips to say the name and I was keenly listening to hear her name. In a jiffy, the power was ON and the speaker near me started to blow like a demon. The loud noise of the speaker overcame her sweet voice which uttered her name. I could get only her lip movement and unfortunately I was not a dubbing artist to read and gather it. She is gone now.
“What an unlucky person am I?” I muttered to myself and kicked the speaker near me. First it was my hibiscus and now the speaker, but it makes no odd to me. Nothing went on my side and each and every single object was against me. Everyone around me is happy now in the street, but my power went off. The man who fixed the damaged wires threw back the coconut shell from the top. It fell near me and at last I found that newton’s third law was correct.
So when will I get her name???