Continuing from Walking Aimlessly …..
Sitting across the table with my best friend…with hot coffee, toast n butter and egg omelette…on a beautiful sunny morning..things had to become a bit nostalgic. 🙂 We wandered the school corridors…the prayer assemblies…the school bus lines…the lunch breaks..the teachers obviously…the punishments and the report cards…the notorious friends and the best buddies.We updated each other with the whereabouts of many a common friends..and the way things have changed or have not.And then…he had this twinkle in his eye as he fetched his bag-pack…n guess what came out of it ?? Even i could not have guessed it ever…he had actually printed over a fine cloth scroll, a snap of me with 2 of my closest friends from school !!! That was just so very thoughtful of him… i mean..here i was , on the other hand, hadn’t even thought of bringing him a gift..whilst it was so obvious how much thought and effort he had put in to gift me something so special !!! I was just speechless…but the glow on my face must have said it all… because he was now smiling handsomely 😉
Moving out from the coffee shop,we continued our carefree..tourist like walk, exploring the neighborhood..the roads..the traffic…..n my school !! Oh my God..i couldn’t believe it ! It seemed similar enough to make me stop and have an examining look but still it seemed to be quite different now after 13 long yrs.I had spent the first 10 yrs of my life in this city of Kolkata (West Bengal) before shifting to our hometown Cuttack (Odisha). So,this place had always had a very special place in my heart..and was soon to become even more special 😉
After showing him my school,a little further on, we reached the main road and hired a taxi to Swabhumi , a heritage park.I had heard quite a lot about this place but this was my first visit too.When we reached at around 10:30 hrs ,we were informed that the park would open at 11.00 hrs. So,we bought our entrance tickets and waited outside,sitting on a raised bench under a cottage shed.The place already looked so appealing with big Terracotta pots,vases and animal figures.It was kinda nice waiting there 🙂 And then this fellow,my best buddy…opened his magic bag again !! And out came a whole bunch of cute greeting cards !!! I love these cards !!! And as i excitedly browsed through…i could know he was looking at me… reveling in my reactions.All those cards were very very cute..and there was this one..which said…” Everytime i think of u..i want to “Teddy Hug pic”….mm…i just warded off the questions 😉
[ That’s the line i remember on the card..today hubby says…”how could i have given u such a card before our ‘love realization’..u check..there must be ‘friend’ or ‘buddy’ mentioned somewhere 😀 ” n i replied “tat’s what u should have thought at that time before giving the card, not now 😉 ]
Soon after,the park opened.As we entered we could see how well they had set it all up.. the ethnic bazaar-cum-entertainment arena..stalls displaying junk jewellery and Indian handicrafts,boutiques selling wonderful hand-loom and embroidered garments indigenous to our country, some charming art galleries as well and restaurants serving typical Indian fare.And in the center of the place,was an open-air amphitheater.It was just so amazing and the ambiance so calm and serene,traditional yet modern.Browsing through the various trinkets and handicrafts we settled down at another of those lovely benched sheds.We actually did very less talking..both of us being the ‘silent observing’ types :)After a while,he fetched his bag again !! and before i could even wonder..he handed me a thin bunch of freshly minted papers…and as i had my first look…i couldn’t just believe my eyes..i was just so overcome with emotions…as i read through each colorful line of our ‘first’ ‘midnight’ ‘long’ chat online !!!! (mentioned in love note #4). There were about 4 sheets of multicolored lines !! He had actually saved that chat and made these wonderful printouts ! I was just out of words…reading on in absolute awe, my hand on my mouth…when he surprised me again..this time with another huge greeting card !!! Oh my God…it had this picture of a boy and a girl,sitting together on a bench, under an umbrella, eating one ice-cream !!! and it said “For my BEST FRIEND ” !!!!!! That was the first time he had actually said that !! We had become the closest of friends and the best of buddies over these months but had never actually declared that 🙂 and the picture…remember the ‘call’ from my last post ?? My God where from he could get the exact card !! It was all so unbelievable and overwhelming..my life had started to smile…………..
Early that afternoon,we headed towards the ‘restaurants’ area of the park for lunch.As we reached,we saw there were four different restaurants each specializing in one of Northern,Eastern,Southern or Western India cuisine. [ Here i must mention that i’m Oriya (from eastern India) and he is Telugu (from southern India) but his family is settled in the same town as mine since generations ] So,as i pondered which way to head,he was actually already marching confidently into the southern one.Well, so i just had to follow reluctantly as i actually didn’t like much of Dosas and Idlis (back then 😉 ) Our lunch of crispy Dosas could have lasted a little longer than usual had it not been for the change in the music playing in the background, to “Kya Yehi Pyaar Hai ” (…Is this love…) !!! [ Later i knew how uncomfortable someone had become 😉 ]
Then continuing our lazy ambling through the arts and crafts,admiring the textiles and other handicrafts and after i had bought a wooden pen-stand for my grandfather,we sat down again and, in sometime , he went to fetch a bottle of drinking water.And it was then,at that moment ,as i sat alone, i felt the world crumbling down on me, felt so lost and scared in the jungle of all these strange faces around me…wondering what am i doing here…where am i so far away…so alone…but all this just till the sec i saw his face again ! And that was a feeling i had never known before…how i felt so alone in those 5 mins and how only his face, his presence could immediately calm me down. 🙂
The rest of the day we simply enjoyed sitting together..it was like nothing more was required to be said..to be done..both happy..both together..silently sitting side by side..at peace…
As the sun began to set,we had some yummy Golas (Ice-lollies) and hired a taxi at around 19:00 hrs.He then dropped me at my PG first and went back to find a hotel for himself for the overnight stay.He had a hard time though,finding a room that night,but finally managed to get one which didn’t turn out to be a good experience as he told me the next morning when we met again 🙂
It was 6.40 am early next morning when my phone started ringing…..