It was raining that evening. The on-going unassuming drizzle-ish rain that doesn’t ask for your attention and just let’s you be.
She always considered their friendship akin to this light rain.
Comfortable. Silent. Soothing.
They were sitting in the balcony.
Pack of smokes done with.
It was day 3 of the smoke- marathon.
It seemed something was on his mind. She didn’t ask. She never did.
She liked the silence.
“We have been friends for a real long time”
“Did you know I fell in love with you?”
“Ofcourse you did.”
“Ofcourse you are. I also love you. You have been there for me always.”
“You aren’t getting it. I really am in love with you.”
“You are married. you have two kids”
“Yes. And I do love my wife too. But I love you too”
Rain grew a bit heavy. Accompanied by lightening.
She heard him. If that means that the sound waves entered her brain via her ears.
She knew what it meant.
But she didn’t really get it. She thought married men were safe.
Taking her silence for… don’t really know what, her continued unloading himself of this secret that he has been carrying for all these years.
How he thinks about her.
He doesn’t love me. He just thinks he does. Silly man. He is protective about me. That’s it.
Thinking it is all figured out, she calmed down and let him vent.
Half the time she was not even listening.
Rain wasn’t heavy anymore but it was noticable now. Wind was blowing the rain in the balcony now.
She didn’t like it. She didn’t move.
“I used to delete our messages and call logs time to time. Didn’t want her to see them and think something else.”
“Why there was nothing wrong in them. I never felt anything for you so.. nothing.”
“Yes I know but still. I didn’t want her to worry”
Somewhere in the back of her head, a niggling thought started pushing through.
He stopped talking. There was silence.
She didn’t like it.
She asked him to leave. He did.
She felt icky. Like your feet would feel in a shoe drenched in dirty water from a puddle.
She thought back to all those years of friendship and long conversations sharing wine in a parking lot.
With the filter of realities unveiled tonight, it all looked very different.
she didn’t like it.
Like she didn’t like the rain also anymore.
Yes you read it right…i played holi after 11 years.
First some background. I used to play holi with my family, cousins (if they come over) and ofcourse my gang of friends. It was one of the most anticipated day of the year… day to play till afternoon, day when mom won’t chase me to take a bath and get ready ASAP, day when we all used to get even with each other for all the past grievances. Come January and all the quarrels end with, “Holi aane de…dekh lenge” 😀 Though I always hated the tell tale green-pink-blue face and nails after the holi, it helped in boasting to friends about how grand my holi was (I was just a kiddo yaar!)
And then I shifted to Delhi and Holi was never the same 😦
It took me a long time to adjust to Delhi which is mostly a ‘you mind your own biz and i mind mine’ kind of metro. Plus I was never much into making friends. That gang back home just happened coz i had been there since my early 9 years. Shifting here meant no friend circle and i didn’t make one. So no friends to play holi with.
The one holi when I did play some (thanks to a big bro who was super enthu about it) turned sour when I developed some kinda allergy to some colours…itchy and scratchy. Big bro got irritated since i refused to play along after that irrtation started. He poured one entire can of that grainy, green water colour (that pucca wala colour) on my head!!! IT took me 3 bloody hours to have all those green granules get out of my head via water. Ofcourse by the end of it, i was all green myself 😦 GAWD…how much i hated that…that weirdly painted face of mine that lasted for good week time! So that added to my resolve never to play holi again. And it lasted well till last year. I used to buy colour on holi only to replenish my stock for diwali rangoli 😀
Last year I shifted to a newly coming up residential area on the outskirts of Delhi and this was 1st Holi here. Since everyone was new here, all were eager to make it special. Friend circle here was not an issue…coz the people closest to my age were atleast 6 years older then me and accompanied by ATLEAST one kid/infant. 😦
Still I was kinda dragged along and we played holi…it was fun 🙂 We made full use of the in-house swimming pool (which is otherwise quite inappropriate for swimming being surrounded by buildings) and spent hours in there feasting on thandai (no bhaang) and gujiya 🙂 Someone did manage to mess me up with some pucca colour but thanks to hours of constant water splashes, it got washed off on its own.
Overall it was a fun, colourful and nostalgic holi. Hope you all also had fun 🙂