TODAY -

THE GIRL

By James watson*

I was waiting for a bus that would take me home. It was a hot and humid day despite the slight drizzle earlier during the day. I was so anxious to reach home before 9 o' clock. A friend was waiting for me. With the newly introduced BRT and metro works everywhere and the water loggings, traffic was moving at a snail's pace. It has, in fact, become a common phenomenon whenever we have rain these days. It took more than half an hour for my bus to arrive. And when it finally arrived the bus was overflowing with people or passengers or whatever name you want to name them. One would, at first sight, assume them to be a band of bats or monkeys hanging on the fence in a zoo. You could say the bus was full to the brim. There were people hanging with one hand at the iron bar and a foot on the steps to the door of the bus, with the other foot either in the air or being dragged along. I managed to squeeze in through the little gap that I found in the door. I was almost suffocated inside. But I am very much used to such journeys now, though I am not comfortable at all.

It was while I was pacing up and down the road at the bus stand, overcome with anxiety in my hurry to reach home early. It was there at the bus stand that I saw her once again. Again. She was with a friend. She's still the beauty that she used to be. It was her beautiful face that reminded me of her all the time. It was indeed her beauty that made me recognize her again. She was walking barefoot with her sandals (heels, I guess) in her hands. Maybe the heels were broken. Maybe she was more comfortable without the heels, though that's very unlikely to be the case. I couldn't see clearly. It was dark. But I could see her glowing face.

It was in the final year of my graduation that I came to know of her existence. It was while walking towards the POLITICAL SCIENCE DEPARTMENT for my subsidiary class that I saw her for the first time ever in my life. It was August of the year and the new session had just begun. Obviously there were lots of new faces in the campus.

I was alone that day. Usually I have few friends whenever I go for that class. But that day I can't remember why and how but I was alone and I was walking down clumsily, unsure of myself and quite timidly. It was at the GEOGRAPHY DEPARTMENT lawn that I saw two young pretty girls seated on a cemented bench. They caught my eyes instantly. I must confess I have an eye for beauty and I really appreciate beauty being an admirer of Keats. I was dazed, yet I kept on walking and went past them. I couldn't say a thing to them.

From that day onwards I started looking for them everyday though I knew I would never ever be able to speak to them. Everyday, I made a point to go to the GEOGRAPHY DEPARTMENT just to see them. And when I come home I would tell my room mates that I saw two beautiful girls in the campus and talk about them the whole night.

They are both beautiful girls. If I am allowed I'd choose them both. But I had secretly chosen her in my heart ahead of her friend. That's because she's taller of the two. I must make another confession here. I prefer taller girls. By tall I don't mean …6 feet. Generally, when I look at a girl I look for beauty (that includes height and figure), intelligence, character, and family, in that order. I have a firm believe that someone that's so beautiful to look at (externally) cannot be ugly in any way. I believe that external beauty is the manifestation of inner beauty. Your face or your outward appearance reflects your heart and your mind.

Everyday I kept bumping into them. Everyday I thought I'd say something to her the next day. "Maybe tomorrow, maybe tomorrow I say it everyday/ maybe tomorrow, maybe tomorrow I'll find something to say.." But everyday it was the same case of wasted opportunity. Sometimes I was with a few friends and at other times she was with her classmates. Well… obviously I was not going to speak to her either in front of my friends or her friends. My story remained static. It was the same everyday. But one can't stop or manipulate time. Life went on and finally it was December.

One day as I came out of the reading room after a good session of Johnson and Coleridge, I saw them sitting there on the same bench where I had seem them the first day we met. It was almost 5 in the evening and the campus was quite quiet and lonely and it had a deserted look. The first thing that came to my mind was, what were they doing so late in the day? Waiting for me? He he he… I couldn't have got a better chance. I could have even turned that into a date.

I felt a tingle in my heart and butterflies started flying out of every organ in my body. My heart was beating at such a high speed and so loudly. I thought it would burst out of my chest. My ears were burning red hot and my face was as red as the mighty sun rising strong and bright between the hills early in the morning

I threw a quick glance at them. They were also looking at me, (expectantly?). Her friend was in fact looking at me and smiling. (What was she trying to say?) I had a strong feeling that I'd manage it that day. And I was wondering what I'd say to them. Words were playing hide and seek in my mind as I kept walking. But before I knew and before I could decide what to say to them, I found myself right in front of the gate. By the time I came to my senses I realized I had walked a good 50-60 yards beyond the campus! I cursed myself and the day I was born. I called myself names and chided myself for being such a coward.

That day at the bus stand, I saw her again and memories came flashing back. It reminded me of those days. Times have changed and many things have happened in between. But I am still the same old Hiyang. She was also waiting for a bus. She stood at a few feet's distance from the spot I was. I stole glances at her and was contemplating an approach from my side. I wouldn't have been sorry at all if she had taken t he first step. He he he….There were many others, young and old, waiting for their respective buses. They intimidated me and like always I was scared and didn't know what to say to her. The yes and no was still playing on my mind when her bus came and she hopped in quickly with her friend without looking back. I stood where I was and took one last look at her as she climbed up the steps of the bus. My eyes followed the bus till it was out of sight, ruing for another lost opportunity.

Times and the world will change. But maybe I will never change.




* James Watson writre to e-pao.net for the first time. You can contact the writer at musingamong (_) cauliflower (at) yahoo (dot) com.
This article was webcasted on September 17, 2008.


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