It was the last day of her extended weekend, and was she glad it was over! Her friends had been after her life since many months, clamoring her to plan a trip to Goa. It couldn’t have happened on a worse time though. Though she was the one who initiated the plan at the first place,the timing was really not in her hands. She didn’t feel like doing much these days; all she wanted to do was to snuggle into her bed and read the novels lying on her bed table, and get up only to get some more books. Talking to people and socializing, that was not her. Reading had always been her refuge; it took her to a new world, and she lived a new life in each book she read.
She was an architect with her father’s firm in Ahemdabad. And she loved it. Even in her childhood, she was fascinated by the science and art of designing buildings – taking into consideration the durability, utility, and of course, the beauty. She was polite, pretty and very soft-spoken. But she just mostly kept to herself. She was friendly, but hardly friends with anyone.
One of her reasons for fascination to Goa was its beautiful churches, the strong Portuguese influence with Mughal and Indian variations. Add to the fact that reading on the beach was one of the things in her “bucket list”, a trip to Goa should have excited her to no end. Only, it didn’t.
She was a hopeless romantic, thanks to the endless Mills and Boons she had read throughout her life. And she felt she deserved something magical. Hence she would dive deep in every romance she had, and would often come out of them, wiser but with a heartache. Almost everyone she would get close to, complained how she kind of kept thing to herself, guarding everything about herself, almost jealously. This time, however, it felt different. He did seem “The One”, a doctor in Coimbatore.
They had met in Mumbai at a concert, and by the end of the evening, it seemed only natural to fall in love with each other. However, for a successful relationship, love is often not enough. Distance, coupled with tiny fights, mostly about how she never shared anything, grew with time, leading to “incorrigible differences”, and couple of weeks ago, they parted ways; this time for real.
Since then she was a living mess, trying to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and dreams. She wasn’t the one to talk or share, and he had often complained how she never “let him in”, but honestly, she had wanted to. She had hoped for a future together, but how could she just leave everything behind her and go to live in Chennai with him? And why couldn’t he come to her, instead of working in that charity hospital of Mata Ambika? Ahemdabad boasted of some great healthcare facilities, but he was happy working with Mata Ambika, whom he called “Amma”. More importantly, how could she say all that to him?
She didn’t want to talk about it to someone. No one could understand, she felt. Her friends, though sweet and meant no harm, were unfortunately not as discreet as her. Neither were they organized. That’s why she almost always planned all their trips. However, she just couldn’t push herself to do it this time, and left it on her friends, who as usual, made a mess out of it. There was shoddy planning at all fronts, starting from their departure from Ahmedabad in train that almost always was late, to their bad hotel, their mismanaged trips to the beaches and almost no trips to churches. But the cherry on the cake was that they missed their flight back to Ahemdabad, thanks to some confusion as always.
As she waited at the airport for the next flight, which was no sooner than 4 hours, she took out her book. But her thoughts remained on him, how much time she spent thinking about their lives together, wondering if they would marry in the traditional Gujrati way, or the typical Tamil-Brahmin way. And just like that when she was wallowing in her thoughts, she heard a voice, “Is it the new suspense thriller everyone is talking about on Goodreads? The one where the murderer is the maid?”.
She looked up, annoyed, and was astonished to see an old woman, who looked as old as the time itself, smiling at her, kind of cheekily! The voice sounded so young, and she was surprised to see an old face associated with it.
“Thank you so much, for ruining this for me.”, she replied, sarcastically. “Oh never mind, it is anyway not all that great. I mean, the author has done better work before.”, the old lady replied, grinning cheerily.
“Are you waiting for the JetSpice flight too?”, the old lady pestered, not willing to let go of her, it seemed to her. “Yes I am. I wonder what are you doing alone here though”, she asked, really wondering how can someone as old as her grandma visit Goa all alone.
“Oh well, I usually travel alone. My husband died 5 years back, and he was very fond of travelling. He had a “bucket list” of places he wanted to visit, so I decided to finish his list for him. I am from Sweden, and it was my first trip to Goa.”, the old lady said, now siting just beside her, with her feet propped up on the chair in front of her.
“Really? Don’t you feel lonely? Or scared?”, she asked, her curiosity stoked by now. She wanted to know more about this old lady, who seemed fun to her now.
“No, not really. You see, you come alone, and you die alone. It is good to have a companion for the journey of life, but if there isn’t one, why fill it with noise? Why try to make someone fit? Maybe you are meant to do this alone. The youth, I think, gives too much attention to the drama element of love these days. In my days, love was made of sterner stuff than that. People were stronger, they took into their stride if it didn’t work out, moved on with their lives. I mean, why waste time wallowing in self-pity, when there is so much to see and do? These days, all people want to do is to share what they do, starting from pooping in the morning to peeing before they slept. And yet they don’t share what is required, like their thoughts, dreams and feelings. Why not just write out what you feel and give it away to the anonymity of the world, instead of keeping it to yourself? Why make it too hard for yourself? What do you think?”, asked the old lady, with her piercing blue eyes.
Those eyes looked like they could see through her soul, her doubts, her insecurities, her continuous quest for the “magical love”, when really, all she wanted was to be happy. She looked down at her handbag, uncomfortable in that steady gaze. She pretended to fiddle with her bag. When she looked up, the lady was gone. Just like that.
She couldn’t believe her eyes. The old lady was nowhere to be seen. She asked the man who was sitting next to that old lady earlier,”Excuse me sir, do you know where the old lady sitting here went?” “Old lady? Young woman, there is no one sitting here from past half an hour. I think someone left here something though.”
She picked it up, it was a dream catcher. It was beautiful and it looked like it wanted to be worn. She wore it, took out her laptop, and started writing everything – her life, her fears, her dreams, and her ideas. She found WriteUpCafe.com, liked it, and submitted all her words in a blog there. This was probably the most whimsical thing she had done, and somehow, she felt at peace, after sharing her everything with the world. It was appreciated, and it soon became one of the more popular blogs.
The girl who never shared anything with anyone, finally shared all her feelings with the world.
What was the last whimsical thing that you did? Did it feel right? Share in the comments below!!!
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