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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

THE TURNAROUND

"She loves me, she loves me not."

Here you are, standing at the bus stand with her. You know you have to tell her sometime. Yet, you can never gather the courage. Ever. Who knows how things will go once she does know? You can never tell.

She starts walking away from you, towards her bus. You look at her receding form with doe-like expectant eyes. You have this feeling that she will listen to your thoughts, just like how you listen to the radio by tuning in. You laugh at your foolishness. You want her to turn back and wave good bye for one last time before leaving. But, that only happens in Bollywood. Nothing like that happens in reality. She will leave you just as unceremoniously as Richard Parker. And you will not be able to do anything about it.

But, hope is a bitch. There is a faint glimmer of hope in a remote corner of your heart. It is like that ray of the sun which penetrates through the dense canopy of a rain forest and kisses the ground. You are so petulant that you refuse to leave unless she turns and waves at you. But she is only sashaying down the road, apparently nonchalant. Or is it your imagination? Does she also feel the same way as you? You don't know. You never will. Yet, you do not abandon hope. Hope is truly a bitch.

With every step that she takes forward, your heart sinks a little. From inside, you die a little. But you still stand your ground as firmly as you had before. You make sure that you keep your eyes wide open and do not blink, lest you miss the moment that you are waiting for so intently, so hopefully, so foolishly...

You look at the chignon at the back of her head. With every step that she takes, it bobs up and down. It is rhythmic. Ethereal. Poetry in motion. You smile as you think about the number of times you must have played with her hair in your dreams. You smile as the memory of you brushing away the strands of her hair from her face and tucking them behind her ear comes back to you. But, dreams are dreams. Do they ever come true?

She is almost there now, near her bus. Soon, she will be on it and off. The joke will be on you. What will you do? Will you wait there all day for her? You shake your head as if that will do away with all the unwanted thoughts ricocheting in your mind right now. It doesn't.

Suddenly, she stops. Your heart skips a beat. You realize you have held your breath. The world comes to a standstill. It is as if the Earth has stopped rotating on its axis. You wait, expectantly. Is she thinking whether to turn or not? Does she even want to turn? Will she turn?

Then, she does it. Slowly, she spins on her heel. You make sure that you don't close your eyes even for a millisecond. This moment is not to be missed. She has turned a hundred and eighty degrees. Her eyes meet yours. You stare at them, transfixed. You want to put your hand up and wave but you realize that it is made of lead. Slowly but surely, she smiles. Her lips curl up in that cute manner that you have always liked. You can swear that you see a sparkle in her beautiful eyes. Somehow, you manage to smile back at her. "Bye", she mouths. "Bye", you reply.

"Cut!", says the director. "Nice shot". But, you realize that you are still standing rooted to the spot and still smiling long after she has gone...

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