Predicament of Love
was totally confused. He went about doing his work like a robot.
He had to get back home. He had to sit and think and clear up the
confusion in his mind. Sameer filled out his half day leave application
in a trance. Thankfully his boss sanctioned his leave without asking
too many questions. Sameer hurried out of his office so that he
could take a cab to reach home.
His actions were
that of a desperate man. As soon as he reached home he flopped on
the sofa and let his mind free to think out what had been happening
in the last one month. He had completed his MBA and later joined
this multinational company. It was a well paid job and the work
was interesting. His colleagues were very helpful and he settled
in his job with ease.
His office was located
in a mall and so lunch was never a problem. The food court where
he had lunch was always crowded. A climb down the escalator and
he would reach the vast food court which offered a variety of foods
from various countries. Lunch was like an experiment for him as
he tried out different cuisines. His colleague, Lisa always joined
him for lunch and he had gotten used to her company.
It was on one of his
lunch expeditions that he had seen that girl. She had passed by
him to cross over to the other table. Her perfume had mesmerized
him.. Lisa was sitting across him chattering away and he had kept
on nodding, not actually listening to her. He could not take his
eyes away from that girl. Who was she?
He had seen her for
the first time. There were quite a few offices located in the mall
and most of the staff usually had lunch at the food court. Sameer
knew most of them by face, but this girl was new. Maybe she had
come to the mall for shopping and was having lunch. Or maybe she
was a new employee in one of the offices. It was only when Lisa
tapped him on his hand that he awoke from his reverie. Lisa thankfully,
had not noticed his interest in that new girl. They both finished
their food and rushed towards their respective departments.
Sameer had too many
deadlines to meet. He had to attend two meetings too. It was only
in the evening when he was leaving for home that the girl’s face
flashed across and he was reminded of the waft of her perfume. His
parents were pressurizing him for marriage since last month but
he had kept on postponing the idea. He was hardly 24 and he did
not want to marry so soon.
At college many of
his friends had fallen in love and were married now. But he had
not felt any special feeling for any girl, so far. But, today it
was different. He had felt attracted to that girl. If the girl had
come for shopping then he could very well forget about seeing her
again. He felt depressed and sad that his momentary attraction would
end like this.
It was only when he happened to see that girl again the next day
at the food court that his hopes enlivened.. Surely, she was an
employee at one of the offices. He felt quite cheerful at the thought.
She looked young, but didn’t look like she was newly out of college.
She must have been
working somewhere else before joining here. Today Lisa was on leave,
and Sameer was enjoying the chance of glancing at the girl again
and again. Suddenly, the girl looked back at him and smiled. Sameer
was so shocked that he had been caught staring that he barely managed
a nod. She had a great smile. Sameer felt even more attracted to
her. He just couldn’t stop thinking of her. He had to approach her.
Maybe tomorrow he would casually make acquaintance.
The next morning he just couldn’t wait for the lunch hour. At the
stroke of one he rushed to the food court looking eagerly across
the table, searching for the girl. Where was she? After a quick
glance, he realized that she had not come in yet. As he moved the
food across his plate with disinterest, he heard “Hello isn’t the
food tasty?” Sameer
instantly turned towards the girl and felt his heart beating loudly.
She was even more beautiful up close. He barely managed to speak
up words of invitation asking her to join him at his table. She
readily agreed and started a conversation. Sameer couldn’t believe
his luck. She was quite talkative and went on telling him all the
things he wanted to know. Almost all the things………
She had joined recently
in one of the offices in the mall. She was earlier working with
another firm and had joined here for better prospects. Sameer felt
that she was maybe older than what he had thought. He guessed her
age to be around 26 or so. He too joined in the conversation and
enjoyed every bit of it.
This tęte-ŕ-tęte continued for a couple of weeks. Sameer’s attraction
for Saumya (that was her name) had not faded but in fact grown tremendously.
He felt more close to her than to any girl in his life so far. Maybe
this was love. He eagerly awaited lunch time everyday and hated
the weekends when he couldn’t see her. Lisa had called in sick and
had gone on a month’s leave. He was getting to know Saumya and falling
more and more in love with her.
Must he propose to
her? It was while he was thinking of all this that the world came
crashing down upon him.. It was the regular lunch hour and Saumya
was sitting across him eating lunch and chit chatting. Her cell
phone starting ringing and she started digging in her purse for
it. She spoke fervently on the phone and suddenly her face lost
all colour and she turned pale. After disconnecting the phone, she
told Sameer that her son was sick and she had just now received
a call from the school. She also went on to tell that she had to
take her son to the doctor.
She added that her
husband was out of station since last month and wouldn’t be coming
for another month or so. Sameer just stared at Saumya in a state
of shock. Saumya did not notice the expression on Sameer’s face,
as she was worked up herself and needed to rush to the office and
take permission for leave of absence. She hurriedly waved goodbye
to Sameer and walked out of the food court. Sameer felt like his
life had come to a sudden halt and he felt waves of shock pass through
him as he saw Saumya walk out of the food court and his life.
He had not seen her after that day. It was two days now and Sameer
felt totally depressed. He had to go and see her at least for one
more time. Surely, she was on leave or he would have seen her at
the food court. Lisa was due to come back tomorrow. His mind floated
images of Saumya and he felt a wave of regret. She was married with
a 12 year old son! He had made a wrong guess about her age. She
must be around 32 or more. But she looked so young and youthful.
Now that he thought about it, she had never made any physical advances
or flirted with him.
She had always been
nice and polite to him. In fact she treated him like a kid and showed
concern and care. Now that he recollected, she had even asked him
about marriage plans. All the while he had not bothered to ask her
whether she was married or single. He had conveniently assumed her
to be a young unmarried girl. It was totally his mistake. Once,
in his life he had felt so much love and affection for a girl, and
the girl was married with a child. How was he going to come out
of this depression and self pity?
Why was he behaving like a love struck teenager? He was independent,
holding a good job, with great future prospects. Surely, he would
find a nice girl to marry and live his life with. He had to forget
about Saumya and the attraction he felt towards her. She was married
and out of his reach. He would be friends with her as she was truly
a nice sweet person.
He had to come out
of this predicament of love and start living his life. With this
positive thought, Sameer walked across the room to open a window
and let in the breeze to soothe his nerves. His future with many
more opportunities was waiting for him. He just needed to look.
There was no point in trying to reach out for the rainbow. Life
had to go on and ‘when one door closes, another one opens……
Naina Nair, Dubai, UAE. II completed my Post graduate
education in Mumbai, India and am presently residing in Dubai, UAE.
Writing has been my passion since childhood. I have been writing
poems, articles and stories of which some have been published in
newspapers and magazines.