That Was Seat No 302

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 flew, 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, 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.

 I was 10 and Rohan 12, and not a day would go when I would not meet him. We were into our own cauldron, our inner childhood pangs were boiling with deep emotional intensity. I remember that afternoon of 15th October, when I returned home from School, dropped my bag on the desk and rushed out, stumbling over the stony narrow path, laden with raspberry bushes, on both the sides, red and purple whose shades made 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 at the end of the curvy path which touches the narrow edge. I can see Rohan sitting with his legs stretched towards the pond. He threw a stone in its very middle, disturbing its silence. Sudden thrust caused ripples and made the white swans flutter their wings in anguish.  The cool wind was slyly touching his cheeks. Rohan was sweetest of all in the class, 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 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. 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 wild, 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 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 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. Our lawn 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 him came rushing with a paper in his hands.   

He was behaving very weird. I understood he wanted to share some news with me, something which I might not like. Instead of saying anything he began to tread from one end to the other, with his head high and arms wrestled behind his back. I kept watching at him silently, but my eyes were moving with him. When I intend to speak, he stammered but then opened up, “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 appeared in front of me and kissed my cheeks. Since I left school and joined college, I had not thought of anything else except of 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 move to Delhi to join a multinational firm as an assistant manager. From that day our life drifted, away from our Gulmohar, raspberries, squirrels, and swans who were the only witness of our childhood love.

Suddenly I was shaken by an air hostess.  Attired in red apron and dark blue skirt with the matching silhouette, an air hostess stood smiling with a 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 whole lunch as a small child. 

Initially, Rohan would call me often but soon his calls began to get lesser.  My job would also made me remain awake late at nights. I was longing to be with him. Ten years had passed, I was promoted 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 a voice of a man from the back seats. As soon Air hostess reached him, he whispered something in her ears. Suddenly he stood up, he was wearing a black shirt with blue trousers and a hat that almost covered his head. He sculled towards me, requested a young stout lady for the exchange of the seats, which she accepted with grace. I was shocked, why would he come to sit next to me?

The man silently placed his hand over my mouth with a grin. I felt 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 off, instead I closed my eyes. We remained in this position for few minutes. He brought his head slowly near my chest. I can feel and listen his heartbeats. I pinched him and he shrieked, which made other passengers alerted and glared at us.

I swiftly removed his hat, which twitched his eyebrows and made him give me an angry look. I picked my handbag and took out a coco-pie. He immediately grabbed it from my hand like a hungry child, and smile returned on his face.

Suddenly, to my disbelief, he hold my hands tightly and pushed me towards the cockpit. Taking the mike from the air-hostess, he make a sudden announcement that jerk the entire crew and the passengers. He had proposed me, with a pledge of never to be separated again. We embraced each other with the claps and applauds from the passengers, and the entire crew.

I was engaged to my Rohan, above the earth, amidst the heavenly abode where there is no witherings or any social obtrusion.

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