Love Saga 2
You are advised to read Love Saga 1 and Love Saga 2 (Links above)👆before you proceed to read this part.
What sparks awaited me? In anticipation I went to office and there he was seated alone in one corner of the canteen. It was a office holiday so only a couple of new trainees and the facility staff were around. He stood up when he saw me, and I headed towards the table. There was an uncomfortable silence. Then he spoke, “Hope you know of my background since we are soon going to be married. I belong to a native village and I’ve lost my mother. Would you be able to adjust to this situation?” I was already aware and nodded to say “Yes”. Again after couple of minutes of silence he added, “You are the first girl I’m meeting for a marriage proposal…….Looks like you’re the last as well”. He looked into my eyes and gave a shy smile which took my breath away. “You have nothing to ask?”, he quipped.
That reminded me of Milly’s strict instructions, “You have to get to know of his good and bad habits.” I started ” Tea or coffee?” “Neither!” he responded. I was taken aback because I had hardly found an IT person match up to this habit of mine. A strange coincidence indeed. “Pan or Gutkha?” He nodded to say No. I got a little bolder. “Do you smoke?” He laughed ,”No, I don’t.” I could not muster further courage. With a naughty smile he asked, “You wouldn’t want to know whether I drink or not?” Abashed , I refrained from replying. He suddenly turned serious, “I am a frequent drinker” and after a pause he grinned “of water“. This was a big revelation, so he did have a sense of humour as well. The man of few words had finished off his quota for the day and did not have anything else to say, but the silence sounded like a thousand symphonies.
Over the next few weeks, the marriage dates were getting finalized but we both were back to our “barely know each other” stranger mode. How I longed to go for a coffee or a movie together. Then entered the “LoveGuru” into his life. Bikash’s best friend was getting married and he came to office to invite me to the wedding as well. Partha was a very jovial and talkative guy unlike his friend. When he handed over the wedding invitation to me, he asked, “Has my friend already taken you out on a date?” I nodded my head in negation. He looked straight at Bikash, “3 more days to go to my wedding. Before that if you have not taken her out on a date, I am going to take Minu for coffee date”. Bikash guffawed, a rare sight for me then. An hour later ,I got a call at my office extension.It was him. He started, “As you know we have to go on a date before Partha’s wedding, are you OK for tonight?” My excitement knew no bounds but I did suppress my laughter at the thought how he faked that he had been forced to go on a date while he was so eager to snatch the earliest possible opportunity. I went home to seek permission from my parents. Much to my amusement, Bapa seemed more excited than me. He immediately excused himself to go out. After an hour, he was back with a beautiful bottle green Salwar Kameez. “Its your first date. You have to look your best”, he handed it over to me. (How I miss my Bapa, as I write this☹
Firsts are always special. First date was a very official dinner at a restaurant that was filled with awkward silence and was interrupted by exchange of very few lines. The eyes and the gestures did most of the talking. But, Partha certainly deserves a thunderous applause for making my pre-wedding era of 3 months exceptionally beautiful wherein I had the time of my life. The first date paved way to daily dinner dates and eventually Sunday movie outings. Slowly I started discovering the naughty and childish side of the serious non-pda man. He would choose the flop movies, so that the theatres were sparsely filled, giving him an advantage to hold my hand or put his hands on my shoulder. Those days, Ma had strictly instructed Bapa to refrain from taking phone calls, in case Bikash called and he would feel embarrassed. One Sunday, Bikash made a frantic call at 5PM to notify that his cousin had taken his bike and so he was unable to pick me up for the movie. How desperate we both felt and then at 5:30PM came the next call. “Get ready, I am coming over in an auto”. (I sometimes wonder, this man who was eager to take an auto ride to spend a few hours with me then, now needs umpteen pleas and multiple rounds of arguments to take me out to a movie.)
Everything seemed so magical just like a fairy tale but the one thing that was missing was he never confessed. He never uttered those 3 words. A die-hard Bollywood movie fan, how I longed to hear it. Finally, with 15 days to the wedding, on one of our dinner dates, I asked him why he never said it. “When I breathe, do I have to declare it after each breath. It’s the same, I love you with each breath I take!” That was the only time he uttered and we both have been breathing together since the last 20 years.
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