To Swathi, this day was no exception. She was hurrying up. It’s already and her stop is nearly half kilometer from her hostel. The company’s bus will arrive in another 5 mins. Her roommates have been waking her since 7. But Swathi wouldn’t budge off. She waited to see the beautiful climax of her dream. But something interrupted Swathi. “There is no water, yaar”.
She thought of yesterday. “Hey Swathi, what are you going to do?” Her friends had giggled. “No water!!” And she had said with the familiar mock “No water, no bath. And that is why I bought this perfume”. And that was it. She changed her clothes and sprayed perfume seeing that she hasn’t applied too much to spin everybody’s head and headed for the bus stop. Yesternight the water lorry came by 10. “Who is going to bath by this time?” Swathi thought and put her bathing off to the next day.
But today… it was the same. Not bathing again was a horrible thing to happen. Who will sit besides her? ‘I was told I had water dosh. But never knew that water can have Swathi dosh’. She dragged herself from the bed hoping that the dream will continue tonight. She ran off to the reception desk to complain and was told that she will get water in another 10 minutes. No idea what to do next, not in the mood to read newspapers, she headed to her room and continued the pirated copy of ‘The Lost Symbol’. She was seeking with Robert Langdon a Masonic treasure when Janu, her roommate called out, “Swathi! Your turn” Oh!! Another break!
Swathi took her brush, clothes and rushed to bathroom. She warned Janu “I may be late, so better you people go”. Janu who is Swathi’s friend for more than 5 years knew that Swathi was lazy as well as energetic (huh! Quite a contradiction) She will join with them in the bus stop soon. Janu and one more friend Eshwari were leaving for the stop, when Swathi had her breakfast. She knew that they will wait for her or let the bus wait for her. How lucky to have such nice friends! She thanked her fortune.
She got ready, locked her room and hurried off. On the way, she took out her watch from the handbag and tied to her wrist, then came the company’s ID card and she wore it around her neck. She checked her chappals and smiled, “Phew! Correct this time!” and made to the crowded bus stop.
Human psychology always has been her favourite topic and a never ending puzzle too. Whenever the company’s bus stops, people throng around the door and do ‘push-push’ game and alight into the bus. Some of them like her remain at the back. Then she would let others move and with no hurry, alight the bus last. She would walk majestically and occupy one of the pairs of seats left for her.
Usually, a seat remains vacant. But yesterday it was filled and she saw a new face sitting adjacent to her. Today, in a hurry she forgot to take her earphones and the 40-minute ride to the office is going to be damned boring! She was trying to busy herself when the bus made another halt. She saw the same man boarding the bus and after locating a set adjacent to her, he sat and smiled. Swathi returned the same.
The man adjacent to her seemed to be calm, intelligent and polite. ‘It’s not going to be boring anymore’ Swathi thought and smiled. But she didn’t know what to start and how to… or should she start ever?
She didn’t even realize that she had been looking at him, her hands resting on the window pane. The man turned and came ‘Hi’ It was then Swathi realized, how stupid she would have looked!
‘I am Shyam’.
‘I am Swathi’.
‘ In which domain do you work? I haven’t seen you’.
‘Am in mainframe. I also haven’t seen you. In which stream do you work?”
“Mainframe. Good!”I just shifted here before 2 weeks. Am in testing”.
And this was the beginning.
They talked about their roles in the team, the coming ‘cultural fest’, Swine flu and… the bus came to another halt. They’ve reached the company. Oh! So soon!! ‘Hm. So, this is how theory of relativity works’.
Shyam, “You told something?”
“Na. You saved my day from getting bored. Thank you.”
As swathi got down from the bus, Shyam hurried down to another block, giving a smile. Swathi smiled back and could feel two pair of eyes staring at her…with a guilty-sweet smile,she turned to Janu and Eashwari,who were indeed fusions without having any part in the conversation.
Swathi, recollected herself ”hey! what? There’s nothing! No need to stare like this. come on! We are already getting late”. Swathi’s day as usual busy. Running here and there.her team leader gave an extra work and enforced her to finish it by that day itself. She finished off her work soon and with the hope that she could chit-chat again with Shyam,she hurried off. But to her disappointment,a girl from near-by PG gave her company. Swathi talked to her little,the usual ‘hi, hello, how are you (s), hows days going on (s)’. And she slept. Then somebody shook her. She jolted. That was Eashwari. ”Hey! Reached. Get up.” Swathi stepped down sleepily and then these three chatted, laughed all the way to hostel.
While to bed, Swathi as usual thanked her God for the beautiful day and hoped the next day will go as fine as every other day. Hoping that she will see her unfinished dream, she slept.
The next day, she was the last one to wake up. ‘Thank God, no water problem today.’ Shegot ready and as usual started her way to the stop. Tying her watch, putting the ID card, checking her chappals, she reached the stop. Then made her way to one of the last pair of seats. The bus made another stop in 5 minutes and Shyam entered with his face lit and a sweet smile – “Good morning!”
“Good morning” Hope I am not looking stupid today!
“So how am I going to save your day today?” He mocked.
“Its already lovely. I might be helpful to you today.”
“Hmm..Lets see. I have nothing great in my list except an important meeting.”
“Meeting… Sorry no idea about it. Then I may be of help someother day.”
And this went on and on….
Swathi was happy with the new acquaintance and friendship she had made. Days went by. She used to book a seat for him in the morning and he used to book for her in the evening. They exchanged their numbers. If time permits, they’ve lunch together. Often Janu and Eshwari join them. Once they also got a chance to work in the same project.
Swathi later on realized that she felt a different kind of feeling for this relationship. Could she be in love? Is she? Ya, she can be. Yes, she is in. But she had no idea about the feel in the other side.
One day, they were having lunch together. Janu was on leave and Eshwari was busy with her work.
Shyam, “I am feeling tensed today”.
“Need help? Remember my offer??”
Ya. You can make it an exciting day”.
“I will try. Go ahead”.
“Swathi, am bad at this yaar. But in a simple way let me say this. Will you marry me? I have been too frightened to tell you. But then thought that I am too stupid not to tell you. Am not forcing you. Its your wish. I wont disturb you. And let me tell you that I will always be the Shyam as you have seen”.
Swathi was too happy to express in words. Can life be so beautiful? Can things really happen as you want them to be? But at the same time her thoughts were struck. Her parents! They wont allow or will they? She never knew what they’d expected from her and she never thought of asking about this to them.
“Ofcourse yes!! But there is a small hitch”. And she told him.
Deepavali holidays were nearing. And she has got enough time to tell her parents about this. And as for Shyam’s parents, they were ready to accept her. So Shyam has asked his parents already. Good in a way!!
A year later
Now Swathi shifted to a home. She was hurrying. Her husband was helping her out with packing and she was getting ready. Her husband waved her off and left. Swathi took her things, locked the door, hurried down, tied her watch, put her id card and alighted the awaiting bus, apologizing the driver. As usual Shyam reserved a seat for her. Its been a long time but they were never put in a project together because the company’s rule doesn’t allow a couple working in the same project.
P.S: Hey friends, lemme know, how u liked the story.. This was a different attempt from my side! :)