It was a balmy Sunday evening. I was waiting outside the Mumbai International Airport to meet Monika, my beloved! She was returning back to India after 8 months. The furore grew more with a thousand butterflies fluttering within my stomach. 5 PM - My wrist watch displayed! We were not in talking terms after our recent breakup. But through her friend Ayesha, I got to know that her flight would be landing sharp at 5.15 PM. Despairingly waiting outside the airport, I wished if she could forgive me. My phone beeped with an email notification message – King Julian has commented on your post – ‘The Song of Life’
24th April 2011. How could I ever let this day slip from my memory? That day I interacted with Monika for the first time. Monika Juneja was a blogger who blogged at a blog called ‘The Song of Life’. Our first virtual encounter happened on a blogging website named The Write Up Cafe! The enigmatic world of blogging had mesmerized me. Monika was a popular blogger and had a huge fan following in the blog world.Coincidentally, that day I had logged into writeup cafe. I was randomly strolling through few blogs. During blog hop, one particular blog post touched me.
“Circumstances change people around us. I’m feeling weak and broken. I feel a thousand invisible knives being jabbed on my soul by people close to me! Why do people change when someone trusts them blindly? Perhaps, I feel blessed that I could identify such fiends under the label of friends! My blog is my new best friend right. Come sing with me the song of life!” It was something intense and profound. Perhaps her life had been invaded by backstabbers. She had already started embracing melancholy, I thought! I quickly typed a comment on her blog.
“Your post has touched me deep. Of course, life is all about identifying true people. Life would have been great if it lets us to classify people whom we meet. Unfortunately things don't happen as we wish. Maybe we should be smart enough to identify people. First time here, I loved this blog – The Song of Life”
Our initial interactions were through blog comments.
“ : ) Yes, it is easy to say but situations and things change everyone. A big hello to you – Mr. Another Blogger!” She had replied to my blog comment. I used to write by the name – Another Blogger!
Those days I used to spend my weekends reading her blog posts. I found most of her articles to be sad and dark. Sooner, I turned out to be her regular blog reader. I was growing into a big fan of hers! Even she started reading my blogs. Days later we exchanged our email id’s and soon we even connected on Facebook. Her display photo suggested me that she was beautiful. But looks can be deceiving in the social media frenzy world. I kept staring at her profile photo for a while. At the same time, she pinged me on Facebook chat.
Monika– Hey Mr. Blogger
Me - Hello Singer :P
Monika– You write so well.
Me – Not better than you. But Why gloomy and dark posts?
Monika– I had been at the receiving end of something disastrous that happened in my life. Maybe I am not that great.
Me – Cheer up! You rock and you know that.
Monika- :) That’s so kind of you to think like that.
With our every single interactions, I got to know her minutely. She never hesitated sharing all her dark secrets with me. With each passing day, our friendship grew stronger. And that was when we decided to exchange our phone numbers.One fine day, we mutually agreed upon to meet.
It was a fine Saturday evening. I waited for her at a coffee shop in Vile Parle. Having booked a table for two, I incessantly poked my mobile phone and checked my blog for blog comments. She arrived two minutes later. Gorgeous, Elegant, Chic, Pretty and many more adjectives would define her. She had a long hair that cascaded down her back. An arched eyebrow, long nose, and full red lips framed her face. In fact, she looked prettier in reality than most of her Facebook profile photos. We exchanged smiles and shook hands.
“Finally I see the face behind the song of life ,” I said.
She laughed and said, "Same here Ankit!”
She looked reticent to me at first.
“What are you up to Mr. Blogger?” Monika asked.
“All good, between we never formally introduced ourselves. Why don’t we do that now?”
“Why not!” she replied and at the same time the waiter interrupted us, “What would you like to have?”
By then she had already surfed through the menu and it didn't took much time for us to decide on the order.
“One Chocó frappe and One Cappuccino,” she said.
“Monika Juneja, the name is enough, you see,” she joked and added, “I am doing my final year Engineering and I have big dreams. I am an occasional short story writer unlike you and I love poetries.”
“So would you be singing a song too?” I joked.
“You write at the song of life, no?” I laughed.
“Bad joke!” she said, her voice terse.
“Ankit, what about you?” she said.
“I work as a software developer in an IT Company. There is nothing interesting to say about me. But for a fact I love writing short stories.”
“What genre?” She asked. The waiter arrived at the same time with a tray containing two cups.
He neatly transferred the coffee cups from the tray to the table.
“Mostly love relationships,” I said brusquely.
“I love writing poetries too but I am an amateur poet.” I added.
“But any day I would fall for a man who writes cute poetries. I know some guys who write amazing poems you know,” she said.
We spoke for 1 hour and then we headed for Juhu beach. It was after a long time that I was hanging out with a girl, a beautiful girl to be precise. She sat and rested her hands on my shoulder as I started my bike. She held me tight as I rode the bike on the Juhu Tara road. The sun had slowly started to set and a sea of slow moving vehicles almost made it impossible to reach the Juhu beach in 15 minutes. I zig zagged my bike through the intense heavy traffic. I parked my bike on the parking area and walked towards the beach. The beach was crowded with people, mostly family and college students. As we walked, admiring the setting sun, we came across many young little kids constructing sand castles.
“Isn’t childhood the best phase of our life, Ankit?” Monika asked.
“I second you!” I replied.
“You talk about childhood and I slowly start transforming into a little child.” I laughed and ran towards a little girl. I helped her in building her castle. She stood next to us and clicked a picture of us.
“Ankit, let’s go,” she said.
“Bye Bhaiyya.” The little girl bid me adieu as we walked further.
“This sea has no boundaries, Ankit,” she said and continued, “I wish even happiness had no limits and boundaries in life. But for me it was nipped in the bud!”
“I don’t even have someone whom I could call as my best friend. Guys entered my life only to break me into pieces. That’s why I hesitate before trusting any man!” she continued, “I will be the happiest person in this world when I meet a guy who would love me unconditionally and accept me for what I am.”
“You are good at philosophy too!” I winked. Philosophies do amuse me, but she had said something strange. How could she generalize all men? I thought. For some reason, I felt that I had all the qualities of being the man who would give her complete happiness.
“What are you thinking, Ankit?” she said. She looked at me. At a closer glance, I realized that her eyes were the most riveting feature of her face. She again asked me. She got me out of my reverie.
“What did you ask?” I asked, calmly.
“Nothing, forget,” she said and we sat on the sand. Out of blue, life started blooming flowers of happiness. Where was she all these days? I asked myself.
I wrapped my arms around her shoulder. She looked at me, perplexed!
“Life will be tough, Monika. It will give you bad experiences as well as good. We need to take forth the good ones and learn from the bad experiences.” I whispered.
She rested her head on my shoulder and asked, “What about rejections?”
“Rejection is fine. It is not the end of the world. People learn from it and move on!” I whispered again. It didn’t look as if I we were meeting for the first time.
“Ankit, you know what?” she said and continued, “It doesn't seem like we are meeting for the first time.”
“I was thinking the same.” She smiled back at me.
It was 7.30 pm. It was turning dark. The sun had completely set and the night sky displayed the bright moon and the multitude of twinkling stars. There was deafening silence for 10 minutes.
“It’s late! I think we should leave now,” she said and we got up.
“We should meet quite often.” I said to which she agreed. I dropped her till the Santacruz Railway station.
That night I couldn’t concentrate on anything. Like a fool, I was laughing without any reasons. I rested the laptop on my lap and stared at her profile photo. She was not bad, I thought. Maybe I had conceded defeat in the game of love! My liking for her had transformed into love. Yes, I loved her!
At the same time, I got a ping from on Facebook.
Monika - It was nice meeting you! : )
Me - : )
I was writing a poem for her.
“Sadness gripped me hard,
Melancholy haunted me days and night,
But now, after you stormed into my life,
Life has given me a reason to smile again.
Will you be my reason to smile?
Will you sing a song with me?
The Song of Life!”
I posted the blog post under the name – The Song of Life and slept soon.
The next day when I woke up, I checked my blog and was amused to see Monika's comment.
“Who is the lucky girl?” I read.
She had texted me the same message to which I replied, “You : )” I completed my daily morning rituals of shower, shaving and breakfast. By then I read two unread text messages on my phone.
“:-/ Let’s meet today at R City.”
My day at office went smooth. I didn’t have much work apart from training newcomers in my team. I did some Code Reviews and worked on the estimates. After that I left for the R City Mall where Monika was waiting for me. I saw her from a far distance and she was looking elegant.
“Hi, Ankit,” she said sans smile. We ordered our dinner and remained silent for a while.
“How was the poem?” I asked.
“Good. Was it for me?” she asked.
The dinner arrived and we never spoke much. I curiously waited for her reply.
“Let’s go!” She said and I paid the bill. As we walked outside, I reminded her about my question. My heart started pulsating rapidly with every single minute. I could feel it.
She smiled at me and walked forward. I still didn’t understand anything and my heart was beating rapidly.
“What does your smile means?” I asked, curiously.
“Dumb! I will be the reason for your smile and let’s sing the song of life together.”
My heart skipped a beat. I had been successful in winning her trust and heart!
Months passed and our relationship was growing strong. We used to talk every day and meet every alternate day. We both had plunged deep into the ocean called Love. Relationships do have problems associated with it. Even we faced many problems and even fought several times. But those used to be petty ones. But I couldn't forget that day! I couldn't forgive myself. The day when my relationship crumbled into pieces. I never knew that Monika would leave me all alone. She wanted me to prioritize her and my work. Work gave me my bread and butter. But she was the fuel to my life! She failed to realize that.
That day I had asked her to get ready and meet me at Grand Hyatt at 5 pm! It was our 2nd anniversary. We wanted to spend some quality time together. I had informed about this to my boss earlier. He didn’t approve my leave, but he asked me to leave early. The clock struck 4 and it looked like there was a big mess at the office. The code failed in the production and the Telco guys were not happy. The company suffered a loss of $ 125 million and being a senior, I was my Boss's rescue ranger. I requested him, but he refused to buy my point. Even my own phone betrayed me. It ran out of battery at a wrong time. Being surrounded by my boss and my teammates, I couldn't even call Monika to inform her. It was already 5 PM. I worked on the fix, but it didn’t happen! I had to stay the entire night at the office. By the time I reached home, it was already 2 AM. I quickly charged my phone and tried calling Monika. All my attempts to talk to her failed. I quickly logged into Facebook and tried to ping her. But I realized that she had already blocked me though I got to read her message.
Monika– You know what? Like a fool I was waiting for you at the Grand Hyatt with a cake. I have never faced such embarrassment before in my life. I can’t explain you how I felt when people there stared at me. You didn’t even have the courtesy to call me. I tried calling you for 1 hour. I am sorry, Ankit! I give up! Have a great life!
Me – Pls try to understand me... You got it wrong!
You cannot message this contact. A message was displayed.
She had blocked me from every medium from where connecting to her was possible.
The next day I visited her apartment. I saw Monika and her friend Ayesha standing outside. She refused to speak!
“I am sorry. Please understand that I was caught in an unavoidable situation,” I said.
“I need no explanation, Ankit,” she said, “I never asked for one.”
“I only wanted your happiness. The first time I saw you, I realized that you were going through a difficult phase. I wanted to be someone who would listen to you, heal all your wounds and instill joy again into your life!” I said, "But sadly all I had to offer you was hurt!”
She turned backwards. “My love was true and everyone entered your life to hurt you and break you into shards and here I am pleading and requesting you to come back in my life again!” Ayesha looked at her, perplexed.
“You told me that you will be the reason for my smile and today I am the reason for your tears,” I said and observed that she wiped the tears rolling down her cheeks.
"But I am hopeful that you would be back.” I said and left.
We never met her again. I got to know through her friend Ayesha that she had gone to London for her MBA program.
My phone beeped again with another phone notification. “Serene Angel has commented on your blog post – The song of Life”
The notification message got out of the reverie. I looked at my watch and it was 5.45 pm.
I launched my inbox and read the comment.
“Hey did she say yes to you? That’s such a cute poetry! I hope she said yes to you. Awww!”
I smiled at her comment and I wished if I would narrate my entire story to her. Even she would feel pity on seeing my plight! ‘Times News’ was busy showing one news – British Airways A45 Jet collapses mid air. Infosol smells Al Kawida Links.” I broke into a loud shrill I couldn't believe my eyes and ears. It was the same flight through which Monika was traveling as per her friend Ayesha. The pain was unbearable! Dejected, not able to bear the loss, I sat on the promenade outside the airport. I turned around and saw Monika and Ayesha standing next to me.
“Real Men never cry!” Monika said and wiped the tears from my eyes. Ayesha was giggling at me.
“I missed the flight, Ankit!” She said and continued, “How can I leave someone who is the reason for my happiness and smile.” My own eyes betrayed me for the second time within minutes. Thank god she missed the flight and took the other one!
“I’m sorry, Monika,” I enunciated a sorry to which she cupped my mouth. She looked straight into my eyes. Our eyes met again and our lips locked.
“I am back, Ankit!" She said, “We are here to stay together.”
“We will sing the song of life together,” I said to which she nodded in agreement. We both hugged each other and Ayesha clapped!