It was 12th June 2004; I took my seat No 302 for California, wearing Light Brown Shirt, black leggings. With Goggles over my head, and as I stick myself on my chair to tie my seat belt, my eyes got wet.  The plane roared up leaving my dreams beneath. I peeped outside the window to give a last look at my home. The town was slowly receding into the timeless eternity of my memories, into my roots where I was born. It was a splendid view, out of the world. As the plane flew, I could see the Gulmohar trees getting shorter, covering the narrow track through which I would skid, slide and run as swiftly as I could, to meet my Rohan.  Now I was above all, flying to an unknown destination but I am wiping the last drop of hope, of my dreams with Rohan.

 Not a day would go when I did not meet Rohan. I was 10 and Rohan 12. We were into own cauldron, our inner childhood pangs were boiling with deep emotional intensity. I  could remember that afternoon when I reached home from School, dropped my bag over the desk and rushed out, stumbling over the stony narrow path, laden with raspberry bushes, on both the sides, red and purple whose shades were making decent flashes on the ground.  I was lurching like a crazy girl over the fallen leaves my flowing red dress floating through the path, mingling with the redness of sweet raspberries. I reached towards the end of the path which touches the narrow edge. I can see Rohan sitting with the legs stretched towards the pond. His little hand shot stone in its very middle, disturbing its silence. Sudden thrust caused ripples and made swans flutter their wings in anguish.  The cool wind was slyly touching his cheeks.  Rohan was a sweet boy, endorsed with a gentleman’s personality and features that could resemble a shepherd. His hair was short and curly and eyes blue.  His sensitivity and bit of naughtiness touched my tender heart.

I pinched him but only to get an angry look. I kissed him on his cheeks and handed him his favorite choco pie. A smile returned on his face.  He had an Einstein mind, and would always stand first in his class. But I was pole apart, very talkative and naughty. But we were a match. He was sober and I was carefree. Though there were other children also in the neighborhood, who would often play a prank at us, we would both hop into our own privacy, away from the world where no one could disturb us, only Rohan and me. Sometimes we would hide under the shades of the Banyan tree while sometimes climb on the Mango tree and scare away other birds. But the Hornbill was different. She would never fear us.  Her beak would also be propelling out of the nest, eying slyly on me as I would first climb the Gulmohar.    

Our moments at the banks of the pond would be arrested in the time, knitted in the bond of love, of which we were not sure.  We only knew that we both are happy with each other, running hither and thither catching a frog that suddenly would leap out of the pond over the grass.

Soon, we were grown up. I touched 18 and he reached 20. He grew as a throbbing boy, slim but heavy shoulders, and as other say, I grew up with the flair of shades on my face that commanded immediate attention. I had a wild emotional intensity while his emotions would only be revealed by the immense sighs.  Our intimacy continued to grow and intensify. He became more civilized, I became more wildish, not by my choice but due to my despotic tenacity to assert my beauty. But our minds tended to the same point-One learning and desiring to esteem and another desiring to be esteemed. My inner instinct was craving to make him mine, but he was always trying to deviate from his own self.     

It was the morning of 12th December, frost had waded and the sun was peeping from the beyond the red-bricked bungalow, which stood just at the foothills of Shivalik hills. In the front of the bungalow was the small garden, with the artificial fountains and bushes of different flowers, roses, lilies, jasmine, and many other plants, shrubs, and bushes. It was Rohan’s home. Rohan’s father was a collector and it was heard his grandfather was a landlord. So he was born of the royal family but we were from middle-class family and our home which was just towards the opposite edge of the narrow road that turned towards the temple displaying modesty and simple living. We too had a lawn but it was smaller than Rohan’s. I could see his house from the window of my room which was on the first floor.  Suddenly I saw Rohan came hurrying to me with a paper in his hands.   

He was behaving very weird, but his eyebrows were twitched. I understood, he wanted to share some news with me, something which I might not like. He was not able to utter a single word. He began to stroll from one end to other of the room to the other, with his head high and arms wrestled behind his back. I remain silent for a moment, but my eyebrows were moving with him.  When I opened my mouth, he stammered but then opened up, “I want to say something,” I asked, what? He slyly replied I got a job at Frankfurt.

 I looked at him with anxiousness but felt a sweat over my head. I asked, “When you have to join”, next month. A smile appeared on my lips, I said “Congratulations, but what about me? “Don’t worry, I will never leave you, honey, I could hear no more and turned my back.  He came in front of me and kissed my cheeks. Since I left school and joined college, I had not thought of anything else except for settling my life with Rohan. When our childhood friendship turned into love, I do not remember, but one thing was sure, I cannot think of my life without him. “What will happen to me, when he is gone, these thoughts were torturing me. That night I could not sleep.

Next morning I made up my mind to join in as an assistant manager in a multinational firm at Delhi From that day, we had drifted apart, away from those Gulmohar, raspberries, squirrels, and swans who were the only witness to our childhood love. He stepped on his materialism and I mine.

Suddenly I was shaken; when I drowsed I could not remember.  A beautiful hostess was standing near me with a small packet of lunch in her hand, oh! I exclaimed! I am sorry I will just have it. I opened the stand and took the packet from her. The meal was hot. It had rice, curd, chapatti, cabbage, pulses, and salad. I scribbled the bites as if I was a small child. 

Initially, Rohan would call me often but soon his calls began to get lesser.  My job also made me wake even in the nights, but somewhere deep in my mind, I was longing to be with Rohan. Ten years passed, and I promoted as a senior manager and transferred to the company’s branch in Sydney.

Now the plane was over the clouds, I felt slight dizziness in my head so I ordered a cup of coffee with black sugar. Suddenly, I heard the voice of a man behind me. He also ordered a coffee but said something in an Airhostess ear, which was odd. Suddenly he got up from his seat. I could easily see he was wearing a black shirt and trousers, and a hat that almost covered his head, He skulled towards me. A young stout lady was sitting with me. The man requested her to exchange the seats, and she accepted it with grace. I was shocked at such an act of a man, why would he come to sit next to me? I was going to call air hostess.

The man silently placed his hand over my mouth with a grin on his face. I felt a sudden sensation. And my heart started beating faster. As I was going to react, he kept his hand over my palm, as it nestled over the side. I didn’t dare to shrug his hand, instead I closed my eyes. We remained in this position for few minutes. Then he brought his head slowly near my chest. I can listen to his heartbeat. I pinched him on his shoulders and he shrieked. I removed his hat which made him gave me an angry look. I bowed down, picked my handbag and took out coco-pie. He grabbed at it with a  smile returning on his face. He took my hands and pushed me towards the cockpit. Taking the mike from the Air-hostess, he proposed me. We embraced each other with all the claps and applauds from the passengers. I was engaged above the earth, up in the sky where there is no witherings or social obtrusion.


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