The first shared laugh
He laughed at her. After assuring him that she would talk to him later in the evening in her previous two SMSes, she had in her third SMS asked him if he was the same guy she was supposed to talk to.
Then, they had spoken. Like friends who had known each other all their lives but had just started the process of meeting each other. He had asked her what she did for a living. He pretended to understand and then after her long explanation called her a content writer because while snooping on the internet he had seen someone recommend her as a content writer on LinkedIn. They had laughed loud enough to put a lion’s roar to shame.
The Second Act: Chivalry
She travelled half way across the country to meet him. He was late. She refuses to admit that it was her fault just because she was unable to inform him on time to leave his house. The fact was that he was late. And he would listen to her accuse him of the sin to win any argument they were to have in the future.
Traveling meant that she was carrying a heavy bag. He offered to carry it. Twice. Out of politeness she refused. Twice. He did not insist or offer again. She put in one more point in her kitty to win any related or unrelated argument in the future.
He held all the doors they had to go through throughout the day. And there were many. She noticed and appreciated the gesture. Later, she would proudly tell all her friends how nice he was to do so.
He maneuvered himself and sometimes her to keep her on the left of the road. He was protective. That was new for her. She eventually liked it.
He chose the perfect setting for the perfect first date. He was funny and caring. He was chivalrous. Well, for the most part.
I’ll miss you; Thank you?
The train was about to leave. The signal for the train to leave the platform had turned to green from red. The wheels had started to chug towards Delhi. He had looked at her earnestly, her hand still in his, and said, ‘I’ll miss you.’ She had returned his gaze in kind and had in all earnest replied, ‘Thank you.’
The train left the platform. She went to her berth. He left the railway station. She hit herself on her head. Hard. And she thought to herself, ‘What’s wrong with me.’
Building a home in Uzbekistan
She went away; on a holiday with 24 other women. To a country which had been home to the man who had laid the foundation of the Mughal Dynasty in India. The holiday was everything she wanted it to be and then a little more.
She enjoyed with the girls all day long. Always making mental notes to share moments with him when she missed him the most. She sat in hotel lobbies texting him or talking to him over Skype. Wifii was their best friend, then.
Uzbekistan will always be a part of their lives. She bought the first things for ‘their home’ there.
She was not demanding. He asked her what she wanted for her birthday. She thought a lot. Then made a simple demand, ‘Write me a letter.’ He did. Even if the letter did not do the trick of winning her heart the fact that he wrote because she asked did turn her heart.
She carries his letter with her. Reads it once a while. Smiles.
She told him she had written to him several times. She had known him all her life. She had just met him now. And then she wrote to him again.
Get used to it
Their families met. The wedding was officially on the cards. They posed for an awkward photograph where they were smiling like idiots.
They met the next morning. He held her hand. She said, ‘It’s a little weird.’ He did not let go. He looked at her and said, ‘Get used to it.’ She stared back, ‘Hold it better.’ He adjusted his hold on her hand. They walked for sometime, hand in hand. He squeezed her hand while making a point. Or sometimes, just like that.
She got used to it.
And she still smiles thinking about it all and all that is in store.