As I walked inside, old memories gushed forth like a melody hummed by the gentle stream of a spring.
“Should we attend this?” I asked Rudra as we were about to enter the venue.
“Are you afraid that someone will ask our story again?” Rudra responded in an affable voice as we walked inside along with our companions.
Hearty wishes, exotic lights, and the aroma of fragrant flowers befriending the gentle breezes- the celebratory spirit is magnified. Everyone’s presence glowed with a tinge of joy and I could still see the childlike spirit gleaming on their faces, engulfed with the nitty witty laughs. Reminiscing the good old times, as the phrase says, we relished.
The event turned out great and I am happy that nothing had happened the way I feared. While a shadow of doubt clouded my broad smile, I am extremely watchful that someone comes up and asks to narrate the story. Often, a violent storm is signalled by a silent alarm. I should have noticed the play, but it was too late. The melody in my heart soon turned into a tragedy.
“Tara, please come to the sangeet stage,” someone shouted into the mic, as our foots traced back to our home. Everyone stood quiet and giggled because it was all intended. Not knowing what to do, I went on to the dais.
Ravi, the bride, one of my best friends, introduced me to the crowd.
“See, Tara. You know why you are here. All these days, Rudra told us about your love story. Your adventures on that night still live in people’s minds. Now, we would love to hear it in your voice!”
I saw Rudra standing at a corner, laughing at my destiny. Though we pretend, who doesn’t have the desire of shouting their saga to the world?
“It all happened on the fateful day of April 1, 2012.” Everyone smiled.
“We both were studying in the same college, but little did we spoke to each other. Our friends were playing some goofy tricks to fool people. A friend of mine suggested the Truth or Dare, a play that I use to irk people. As Gods would have envied my fortune, for a Dare challenge, my task was to ask someone if they had loved someone or not, and I was shown Rudra. When I asked him, he gave a shock of a lifetime for the entire college – He said “Yes, And she was standing here, right now,” and like a hurried breeze, he walked away! Cussing myself and not knowing what to do, I left the place.”
People discover themselves in love. But, what if love itself discovers us? Now, it was Love’s turn to fool both of us.
“The very same night, I was waiting at the bus stop to reach my hostel. A bunch of people, who were drunk, began to bother me. Scared, I began to run. All of sudden, just like those strange scenes in novels and cinemas, Rudra came on his bike, halted suddenly and shouted ‘Get on! they are coming after you. It seems that they are drunk and it is dangerous now for you to walk alone.’
I mounted on his bike, and he dropped me after a few lanes. He seemed to have something to say again, I could sense his nervousness. While I was about to walk away from him, he shouted ‘Tara!’ in a voice filled to the brim with emotion.” I could see the tension building on people’s faces.
“Hearing that one reaction, It felt as if that one moment was the key for a new window into our lives. This was the same way he spoke to me when we were in school. No one could do it, except him. Rudra and I have been friends since childhood, but as we grew, the distance amplified. All these years, escaping each other, we were hiding that special connection as if we were strangers. Now, It reconnected me to my lost self, resuming a journey that was frozen in the shores of time.
Exploded, we ran into each other and we embraced. We became those innocent kids, where we knew nothing but pure love. Then he again surprised me that he had been fond of me since childhood, but he never had the courage to convey. I am even more shocked to listen to it because it was the same with me!”
Tara was touched in tears, often gazing at Rudra. “Sometimes, all you need is surrender, to become vulnerable. Else, you might be missing a whole new life in the blink of an eye. Though I come across many people, the sight of Rudra always felt unexplainable. And that’s how we met as our older selves, expressed love, and embraced each other,” We are full of love on fool’s day.
“We roamed all night, unstoppable. We ate at food courts and stargazed together. The passion we had for each other is unique. Gossiping from Kalidasa to Cricket, It felt like a lifetime had passed in a single night. And that itself is marriage for us. A total surrender of both of us into something larger than ourselves.”
Listening to this, many stood calm. Rudra’s face appeared motionless. I continued.
“And that’s the thing about love. It comes in unexpected forms. When it comes, it comes not in waves but in storms. It destroys you and rewards you with something priceless, the joy of love. Eight years down the lane, we still live every moment the same way. A joyful ride on a night gave it to us and I hope you will get the most beautiful life ahead, Ravi.”
“That’s how fate operates,” I thought. I had to narrate my own story to guide them to begin their new story. Everyone was emotional, I got down and Rudra came all the way to hug me and we went on for another ride, joyfully.
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