7 pm ticked the clock, time to leave, Chandan said to himself. He knuckled, stretched and gulped the last sip of the day’s coffee. He picked his belongings, packed the bag, swiped off and reached the parking. He could clearly hear the thunder sound. It would rain heavily, he shrieked and rushed towards his bike. It already started drizzling but he was in no mood to stay back so he put on his helmet, ignited the bike and drove out. Everyday reaching sharp 9 am, guzzling back to back coffees, putting his head on finding the new maze for his game lovers and designing the toughest possible crackdown was his everyday routine.
Chandan lives alone in the city, grown-up all with 18 brothers in Kaakubhai’s shoulders. At least, till he was ten, he felt that Kaakubhai begot all of them. One day when Mr Sahani took away the youngest one from the group, he realized Kaakubhai was the owner of the orphanage and he and his other gang members were all orphans. He was invariably the most creative in the batch and had participated in many competitions since childhood. The entire orphanage was covered with his graffiti and his thoughts of hiding the gems in the hunting games, nobody could come apart. Those were the happy days, Kaakubhai was everything for the gang and Kaaku also didn’t leave any stone unturned in bringing the joy to their lives. Twenty years old Chandan left the orphanage to find his destiny and reached Mumbai. With his skills, he killed the odds and learnt the ways to lead a happy life.
Chandan was riding his bike with all the thoughts of his childhood and feeling the minutest drop of Mumbai’s rain. He was drenched, singing with the tunes of falling droplets riding on the wet road. The lights along the road were trying to cut through the darkness, the traffic was as usual boring. He broke off at the traffic signal, it was raining cats and dogs. He was totally in his thoughts when a cool breeze shivered him. He could feel the fragrance coming from his left and his eyes moved. He took off his helmet and couldn’t let his eyes get off from the girl standing near the bus stop. The girl saw him, the four eyes met, his eyes sparked. He tried to wave his hand merely the other pair didn’t give much attention. He shuddered when the guy behind him honked loudly and realized he was in the middle of traffic. The signal was green, he had to go. It was the shortest meeting, but for him, they were the unforgettable moments of his life.
Reached home, patched up, relieved, he started preparing for the evening merely his brain couldn’t stop calling back of those glittering eyes, roughly made pony, tiny droplets on the ingenuous face and deep eyes. He was totally into the thoughts of the girl; could barely sleep at night. Next day, he threw himself from the bed, got ready for the office, started working, but the thoughts were not getting off for a moment. “If she lived nearby, if she was there just waiting for someone, if that was her routine time at that place or if it was just a coincidence”, he muttered. The whole day he was not able to concentrate, his eyes were not getting off from the clock. He exclaimed, “I will go at the same time today, god knows if I see her today also”. His mind was the battlefield of those unknown emotions.
He started for the home, minutes earlier today, on the same route. Today, his mind was in a hurry to reach the same traffic signal. He was praying for the magic to happen again. He stopped at the same spot, started scanning the surroundings. He could feel the same fragrance, he turned, yes, she was there walking towards the bus stop. He couldn’t control the happiness, he waved his hands. The girl saw him, to his wonder, she recognized and acknowledged with a grin. His heart sank, on the clouds, couldn’t believe he was seeing her again. The moment just paused for him, he tried to speak, but his lips were sealed. He wanted to go behind her, but by then she already vanished behind the big advertisement hoardings.
Today was the fifth day of the same routine, Chandan leaves the office at the same time, stopping at the signal, waiting for the girl. As she arrives, he used to wave his hand. She sees him and smiles. All this, only they both never spoken a word. The fortnight passed but no change in the routine. Heaps of emotions were building space in his heart, he started thinking about her in his life as if she was the young lady destined to fill his solitude. He always used to think about how to share his feelings. What would she feel, what would his colleagues feel, what would his neighbors think? “Though we see the same world, we see it through different eyes”, his mind remarked. He had never found himself that alone in his life. “what are all these emotions”, he used to ask his ceiling fan every night but never got an answer.
It was raining heavily that night, there was no electricity. The lightning strikes of the Rain God were chipping off the darkness. Chandan was struggling with his sentiments. He stood up, took the air towards the mirror kept in the corner, looked at himself and his mind took in some determination. He smiled; a more determined smile. It was a clear morning after rains, he took a day-off from the work, went shopping, bought the stuff he could think of for the girl. Came back, he was all ready for the evening’s meeting. He was more confident Chandan today and his eyes were speaking more than him.
Evening, he rushed towards his bike, drove to the traffic signal. The girl was standing near the big pillar as if she was also waiting for him. He walked towards her, she looked at him. He waved, she waved. He smiled, she replied with a warmer smile. He reached near the pillar, looked at the pale face, the pony was roughly made, and the blue watery eyes were telling thousands of stories. He came closer, nervous, controlling his emotions, he counted down into her eyes. She didn’t react. He gathered all his courage, knelt and with all his affection said, “I am here to take you with me, I can’t see you like this anymore.”
His eyes were wet, he spread his arms. She smiled softly at him and kissed his forehead. The tiny little fingers of a seven-year-old have found a strong hand to hold. She found a father, she was not an orphan anymore.