Not such a “short” story!
Posted October 31, 2008on:
Shruti was surprised to see Krishna’s message on her mobile. They were almost inseparable in their college days but time and distance had drifted them apart. They still kept in touch but the calls and ‘sms’es had decreased over a period of time.
“Get ready to receive me tomorrow morning!” read the ‘sms’.
It was almost seven years since they last met. Though they no longer talked everyday or didn’t share each and every moment of their lives, she was still very fond of him. She was glad he was coming to Ahmedabad.
As she saw Krishna on the airport her heart swelled looking at her old friend. She almost ran to hug him the way she used to do, then she held herself. She no longer was an 18-year-old wearing tight jeans, long flowing curly hair and “kajal” eyed! He also had changed. Navy blue blazer, crisp white shirt with perfectly cut trousers had taken place of tight tee and ragged jean!
Both stood there in silence, somewhat awkward, and shook hands! She smiled tentatively and then suddenly they burst into laughter… the old musical laughter!
“So, how come I have a privilege to have your auspicious company?” Shruti teased Krishna as they were going back to her place.
“Its been a while since I met you and then I have a meeting with some officials in Gandhinagar tomorrow so thought of coming a day earlier and catch up on old times with you!”
The rest of the way to her place zoomed by with their non-stop chattering. There were so many things to be shared.
“Have you got a pair of jeans?” asked Shruti once they reached home.
“Yeah, But why?”
She didn’t answer but insisted him to change the clothes. He did (as if he had a choice!).
“And where is your SLR?” This time he was ready with it. He loved photography and still was passionate about it.
As soon as they finished the breakfast she almost dragged him.
It was the first time Krishna had come to Ahmedabad and Shruti wanted him to see real Ahmedabad, not the malls and shopping place or exotic eateries!
She took him around the old city on a heritage walk. Since it was Sunday, also took him to “Ravivari” (flea market held only on Sundays) at the banks of Sabarmati River and to other places where she knew Krishna would love to go. He thoroughly enjoyed the exotic “Jharokha” of the century old houses in “Pol” and came to know the way of living of people there. He was absolutely delighted to find some rare collection of books on photography at dirt-cheap price at “Ravivari”. He was awed by the fineness of workmanship of “Sidi Saiyad ni Jaali”. His camera was constantly clicking some of the most beautiful snaps of this dusty city! Shruti had made his day!
“Last destination of our expedition today!” Shruti announced proudly. “Jhulta Minara!”
He was enthralled by the monument and was in awe of the great architecture and engineering which dated back to 15th century. As they were taking the tour they heard some commotion in the adjacent mosque and suddenly they found themselves pushed and shoved by a mob which seemed to have mind of its own. They didn’t understand what was going on and why suddenly so many people were running around shouting, And then Shruti heard somebody shouting, “bomb, bomb”!
Fear washed over their faces and they were absolutely clueless about what to do!! People were running in all directions and Krishna realized that if they didn’t get to a safe place they would surely die of stampede if not of bomb! He looked around and dragged Shruti to a small hiatus just at the end of the corridor about 5 feet away from where they were standing. They could hear their own heartbeats and blood pounded in their ears… They were unable to contemplate where so many people had suddenly come from and what really was going on!
They felt safe in that cramped up place. As the adrenalin rush came down they became conscious about being so near. Shruti could feel Krishna’s breath on her cheek and something stirred in her! As she looked up she saw Krishna’s eyes getting darker with… with what? Desire? Suddenly the whole world stopped around them as they stood their looking at each other, feeling each other with their eyes! They didn’t know how long they stood there like some awestruck teenagers.
Suddenly the spell was broken when they heard a whistle and realized where they were and what had just taken place. They came out and saw a lot of military people around. Things were falling into place. They were asked for the identity, some formalities were done and were allowed to go.
They walked back to the car in a daze. Dazed for what they had witnessed and also for what transpired between them… without a word!
“Sorry Krishna, I could not give you company today as something urgent came up. Hope you and Shruti had a good time.” said Akash, Shruti’s husband, good-naturedly at the dinner.
Krishna could not look into Akash’s eyes, nor could Shruti!