Taken via Nokia N8
I wasn’t sure what I was thinking about when I’d asked him if we could go to the beach at 4 in the morning. I did claim that I had wanted a photo walk there. It would be a wonderful chance for him to click a lot of pictures and rant about it. Well, I honestly did. And, I wanted to do it for the first time with him. After giving the idea enough thought, I realized that it would be brilliant if I could see the sun ‘rise’ with him.
After a good flopped attempt at making this happen, we finalized on the date for the second try. I woke up 6 minutes late, despite my favourite song singing endlessly as the alarm tune. Just as I took the phone in my hand, he called me and woke me up. That should have been the indicator of the day ahead for me – EVERYTHING unusual. I showered and put on a casual shirt looked into the mirror. I could’ve easily passed off as the dead walking.
After about 20 minutes, I was standing at the gate of my apartment and he came. Without a word, I hopped on to the bike and off he zoomed. My hair was still wet from the bath and the cold morning air hit my face. I could feel the moisture on my head cooling off with the wind and the feeling was out of the world. The chill air stung my sleepless eyes and for some mad reason, I was smiling a lot. To myself.
Usually, when I am on the bike with him and we pass by a place that holds a memory for me, I end up giving the history and geography of the spot. For the first time ever, silence weaved itself through me entirely. I wanted to be quiet. To just silently absorb in every detail of the roads we were riding through. Or maybe, all I could think of was the time of the day it was, the cold wind, the bike, the man and my hand gripping his shoulder.
After about 30 minutes, I could see the beach visualize inch by inch. The early birds walking with sticks and wives, the bikes, the cement slabs, the sand and the waves. He picked up his camera and switched it on. It beeped: Change battery. Swearing a little and hyping a lot, he walked beside me as I could barely control myself from rushing into the water.
I stood by the shore, the waves softly lapping my feet. It was still dark. And as I stood there, the sky slowly kept turning a different shade every minute. The pink blush set in first with an orange tinge developing slowly. I could see the horizon appear and as far as my eye could see, there was plain, pure water. The waves dancing away and jumping on each other, trying to rush to me. It felt as though time was transporting me across the plains and I was standing in the middle of the sea. A sense of ulterior calmness washed through me and in a long, long time, I felt a peaceful silence take the centre stage within.
I looked back at him. He sat on a plank, carefully avoiding the water and still looking a little grumpy about the camera. HOW could someone NOT stand by the waves after coming to the beach. It always beats me. I came and sat next to him and suddenly realized that it was all bright. The sun seemed to be nowhere in sight and he kept demanding to see it. Like I was hiding it inside my pocket.
About 15 minutes later, he points in a direction and says, ‘Ha, finally the bloody bugger comes!’ I look and see a small ball of orange flames emerging slowly. That, I am sure was the widest smile I’d managed to put on naturally. I was seeing the sun ‘rise’ with him!
He spoke about random things. My mind was still on the silent mode. I was just listening. We decided to leave at about 7 and as we walked back to the cement slabs, I sat down to put my sandals on. He spoke about some girl in his life.
I remembered Nikhil after a long, long time. Somehow, I felt the urge to tell his story. When I was in my 2nd std. Wearing a pink sleeveless and the white shorts. And how he had tried to kiss me and how I failed to understand what he was trying to do and kept trying to push him away. Weirdly, I still remember the combined smell of chocos and milk that hung about him, and how much I hated it back then.
Talking about it made me realize that I had opened up that story to someone for the first time. And it began. We spoke. And spoke. And spoke. Endlessly. The sun and the heat brought us back to reality and we drove back, had a tea and went to the park. We switched benches thrice. Only, the topics didn’t seem to cease. I was opening up my entire life history, and the guy told me his. One thing that touched me about it – it was honest.
After a few more hours and one more drink, he dropped me home. I literally skipped my way while walking. Strangely, I had spun myself around this guy. It made total sense and gave no insecurity to talk so openly about all the men in my life. Well, not all. Still. The wall clock at home said that it was close to 11. And I stood there, amazed, and wondered how he had tolerated me so long. Six hours! Easily, the best of my life.
Time plays a crucial role in our lives. Time in the duration sense. Time in a span sense. Time in every sense. How long it happens or when it happens. Or when it could have happened. And how very different it would have been! Pun intended.
The next time I think of 4 o’ clock in the morning, go to the beach, hear someone talk about the sunrise, go for an early morning ride or feel the wind wash against my wet hair, you know what I’ll be thinking of.
P.s: To contact the author, try searching behind all the curtains, sofas and beneath desks and tables. She’s hiding somewhere, scared if someone will slap across her face and claim all of it to have been a wishful dream. #deathbyhappiness
~ Just Someone.