Santanu stood still. The pavement was fluttering in the last vapours suckled by the Sun God...it was mid may and Kolkata was blistering. It was 12PM sharp, Time for the pavement dwellers of Sudder Street to cramp underneath the shadows of the Indian Museum. Santanu stood still infront of JONG's! The heat was extreme, with the cars diverting either up the Park Street flyover or moves down the JL Nehru road towards the Park Street connector. Even a few stray dogs wondered - tongue hung out - "How can this fellow, dressed well but drenched, fair but tanned in the sun...stand in this immense heat?"
Resident of Kolkata.
He was 5'6", weighed a mere 61Kgs, fair with brown iris and hair, which was distinctly well combed! Santanu had great patience for he knew that the fruit that patience bears is the sweetest!!!
And his fruit came, 1 hour late though...An Apple! She was clad in a red saree, something Santanu always craved to look her in but never got an opportunity at all. The locks swayed in the warm breeze that hurled into her face, thanks to the passing traffic. Each car passing by made her look sweeter, beautiful and she touched her locks, that swayed disobediently from her left ears to her nose and with intelligent sweep of her right fingers she made herself grow more awesome in front of Santanu.
Santanu and Juhi were mates since the days of high school. It was the same old story, as featured in a good-to-see family Bollywood movie, with the good guy never ever speaking his feelings to the extrovert girl: scenes where the music composure get undue advantage for the sober music. Santanu never told Juhi that he liked her . God never gives a second chance in these matters...but our Santanu was lucky. This dude got an ample of three years, during his graduation when both of them were classmates, but the words kept locked between his lips...
"Today, I will tell her something...atleast", thought the lucky dude who was getting a third opportunity. The flashback made Juhi take some more steps towards Santanu and when he looked at her- her nonchalant eyes spoke deep into Santanu's ears...
Santanu had been into a relationship, intimate and pure..or so he thought. The girl made a run for a better husband who was an executive in a MNC..leaving Santanu behinf with bad tastes. He was re-newed for over two years when Juhi pinged him one fine afternoon, January 2010. The first lines were: "Santanu..are you there?"
The Yahoo messenger along with the ID Juhipriya was there in the log, since Santanu was in school...but for the past four years, i.e after graduation, that ID remained invisible and inactive for SantanuRoXX.
-"Yes I am online...how are you?"
-"Its being a long time..."
Somebody shook his hands... he was still standing infront of JING's. Juhi was perspiring profusely, when Santanu said..."Sorry, are we standing here long?"
Juhi nodded her head. The tainted brown glasses fit perfectly around the contours of her nose and cheeks. Her ruby ear-ring dazzled, mesmerizing Santanu. That smell was same, her voice was same...
"Lets go to Hobby Center"
They walked in silence... No one can ever say, without knowing that these two have been knowing each other for over 9 years, with an intermediate break of 4 lost years...and they have been incessantly talking over the phone for the past 3 months or so...
The silence loomed heavy over the Duet of Love sundae... The mass was eaten cold...and then after the cups were empty, Juhi looked up and smiled... "are we here to each the sundae?" She touched Santanu's hands. The water that drained down the throat of the good guy, now started to well within his lower eye lids. The touch had such a warmth that it made him feel that his conception of girls running behind fat purse was wrong. His emotions for Juni was still there, which he thought was a fluke and infatuation. The hands moved upwards and grasped his elbow. Juhi uttered:"What happened?"
"Nothing...", Santanu said. That dumb fellow still didn't wish to talk.... will the third opportunity be wasted?
The girl, stood up and rubbed the tear or two with her handkerchief. She also had lost all fate on relationship, but this guy was her friend, where she now feels the best she ever had. Her beauty have always played tricks with her but not this time... she had known him for years... her belief let her fingers go down deep into Santanu's near receding hairline... Its all that the students and their parents can gift you these days!
He stood up. His right shoulder rubbed against Juhi's earlobe. The touch was hard for Juhi compared to Santanu, but it seemed that Santanu felt it more than Juhi. Caring, warm, lovable...he held the lobe withing his fingers and his eyes asked in the most tender manner: are you hurt? Its a frequency that was meant for Juhi only and she smiled away, affirming No!
Santanu made his voice clear: "Should we go some place else?"
"Yes, thats a good idea..."
They called a cab and decided to go to Princep Ghat. Its Taxi that the gatekeeper of Hobby Center heard, but there was again that silence.... The cab sped past the busy crossing, leaving a trail of the carbonaeceous smoke to wherever it halted or moved to.
Both of them had one thing to say...and yet both feared the same. A time came when both have had given up the hope of relationship...and then a time came when each other tried to cling back into the main streams of life... It was easy for the lady, who never had a feeling for the gentleman before...but for Santanu, it wasn't. One day, he had given up the hope to get the lady...pinned on his hope on another, only to be broken. To fall back on her, wasn't easy.
The car turned left. The evening sun was setting fast, throwing His Red Radiance on the her lips...he who cant watch it, better practise reading Sydney Sheldon... but Santanu, who was timid for his previous 5years to say anything to her, gathered the boldness of thousand tigers and touched her hands... He pulled her towards her, the glow of the sun shifted to the glittering ear rings.
. Juhi stared at this mad who was entangling her shoulders, [the Light was RED], the eyes smiled [......AMBER]. Santanu felt her smell...stronger than the perfume... [....GREEN!!!!]
The cab sped past towards its destination, without the smoke trail behind......