It was just another Delhi evening while I was commuting in Delhi metro. Travelling in metro has always been boring when I am alone. Worse, I am not addicted to the headphone music listening. So, normally I forget them and then have no choice than to keep going back to my phone to check new FB notifications in every 5 minutes. I was addicted to both- the Facebook and my phone. You might have heard a story where a king’s life was in parrot. My cell phone is my parrot.
This evening, luck was far away. I was in Yellow line that goes all the way from Jahangirpuri to Gurgaon. I was going to Chhatarpur and the stations on that route are underground. So, connectivity was at the minimum level. 3G signals, well, obviously were absent.
For 30 minutes, doing nothing, standing and shifting balance from one leg to another is a tough job. All you can do is to have a quick nap or look at others. Gen X, grunting and complaining about the Delhi government, Kejriwal and scams. Gen Y, like me, engrossed with their mobiles. I wonder how difficult a metro commutation would have been without the mobile phones. 80% of the travellers have their headphones fixed to the ears. More innovative watch half the movie as they cover the distance from home to office and vice versa. More techie people play games.
Scrutinising the coach, my eyes stopped at a girl. She was not far from me and I wondered why I did not notice her first. May be, a lot of crowd was the reason. In a red suit, you won’t say she was looking hot or sexy but she was good enough to be noticed. And....cute as well.
The metro halted at Central Secretariat station and the more ‘cattle-class’ entered. My destination was still far so I moved away from the door to the inside the coach. This brought me a little closer to the girl and I looked at her a bit more carefully. Well, like many out there, she was beautiful. Everything fixed on the face on right place with right size. And there was a certain innocence which was appealing that made her a little different. Going through her, suddenly, my FB sent a notification. Damn, I forgot to turn the auto sync off. I usually stayed away from FB chat. Rarely, I am online. This one time, I have not turned it off and now, some so dude (who is in my friend list because I met him just once in a friend’s marriage in half drunk state) will fuck my mind with his totally broken lingo – “hello, hws mah brotha? Long time, kinda sad”.
I prepared myself and unlocked the mobile. Instead of a dude, there was a small “Hi” from somebody named Golden Silence. Due to bad connectivity in the metro, the profile picture was taking time to upload. There was no one with this name in my friend list. Moreover, this was a message, not a chat ping. So this person was not in my friend list. I replied- ‘who’s this?’ The reply said- “accept my friend request and then we will continue”.
This was getting weird. The profile picture was still not available and I had no option but to accept that request. So I did.
Me- “so now, who are you?”
Person- “I think u know me. U were looking at me a moment before.”
I looked up immediately. So, it was she. What was happening?
Me-“how did u get my name”
She- “The I-card said it”
My I-card that was usually in the pocket was hanging out. How fortunate (or unfortunate) it will be, time will tell.
Me- did not notice. :D
She- can you come this side? It will be easier to talk.
Why would I have said no? I went near her and had a good look at her this time. She really looked too innocent to do some goofy stuff. We started then.
She- so, mr Agarwal, you are a banker?
Me- yes, wat about u? And what’s up with the name on Facebook? Golden silence?
She- why? Cant this be a name?
Me- it can be a Christian name. But you are not a Christian.
She- how are you so sure?
Me- that small Om bracelet on your left wrist is the culprit.
She- You are pretty observant. What’s in the name? So, a boring job, banking, isn’t?
Me- you bet. But how do you know?
She- my father is in bank. And so too my fiancée.
Fiancée. That last word struck me hard and I think she noticed it. Why, even I do not know? Even I was committed. What was the big deal? May be, this whole influence of Hindi movies throughout the life was taking over. Guy and girl meeting at random places like bus, weddings, offices and that famous happy ending- this was all we have seen in Bollywood. Good for movies only.
And then her picture loaded. Exaggeration you might consider, but she looked real princess. Far prettier than what was she right now.
I left all those thoughts behind and recollected myself to resume. I was curious now.
Me- ur DP is much better than what you are right now.
She- that is my engagement picture. Bridal make-up does have that advantage.
Me- btw, congrats for the engagement.
Me- so, ms silence, what makes you ping me out of nothing?
She- if this was your first or second question; I would have considered you a flirt.
Me- and what now?
She- nothing, just that you are a nice guy.
Me- still, the question remain unanswered.
She- well, I have a long way to go and was getting bored. Looked around, found you the only one as bored as me and pinged you then. Blame it on your FB profile. If you would have not been up there, probably this would not have been happening, Gooner.
I did not ask why she called me Gooner. It was obvious. She saw my Arsenal tattoo.
Me- you know what does it mean?
She- I guess I do. One of my friend talks about it. Some football club, is not it?
Me- yeah. That is the only passion of my life. So, got inked.
She- good that is. Apart from that, what else?
Me- well, I play football and sometime write too.
Me- my blog
She- what exactly in there?
Me- whatever I feel like.
She- so is this sudden conversation going in there?
She- on what?
Me- let me see how it goes and how it ends. And maybe I need to know more about you.
She- in that case, let me fill in.
She told me a bit about previous life and hobbies. She was pursuing masters in fashion technology and liked painting and cooking. Homely girl, as she put it and was ready to get in an arranged marriage. She has travelled a lot throughout her life. Born in India, her father’s job took her to 5 countries around the world and then back to Delhi. Talking to her, it felt as if we were talking since long time. Only the announcement made me realize my station was the next one. So, I decided to ask what had to be asked.
Me- I have to get down at the next station. Before I leave, let me ask you this. You pinged me, I was surprised. It does not happen with me every day. And you did not even answer me then. Now I need an answer. Say the real reason.
I was desperate for an answer. She sensed it.
She- Well, I can’t put it up in words. It was something sudden. I never believed in love and this love at first sight is too strange to handle. But right now, I love this feeling of feeling for somebody. I know it’s too bizarre that is happening and it’s too late for me and should not have pinged you. But in any case, now that has been done; please do not make me regret it. You look like a sensible guy. I am getting married in a month. I will keep this conversation as a sweet memory, nothing else.
Needless to say, I was speechless. Frankly, it was way too abrupt. Impulsive from her side, if you may say.
Me- I do not know who you are and what your name is. But you can trust me over this. This will be a secret forever. And as strange this is for you; it is that abrupt for me too. You really do not need me tell me your name. And thanks for making this evening memorable. Have a happy married life. Bye.
She- Thanks and I know you will have a busy next 15 minutes now.
Me- Why? You think I will be thinking of you?
She- well, I think I am good enough. But do not blame me if you do not forget me for long.
Me- sure, you are. (I will surely be thinking about her, 15 minutes are too less for this). And as I said, I will not be blaming you. I really won’t remember whether I met you or not as soon as I step down.
I got down. The usually busy station looked quiet. I was too involved in thinking last 30 minutes. Miracles do happen. Life is not that bad.
Before I could go further, I got a call from my friend.
He- that was too good.
He- I can’t control my laughter. Awesome.
Me- abe batayga kya hua hai. I will laugh with you.
He- trust me, you won’t laugh on this.
Me- dude, now you are irritating me. Tell me what it is or I am disconnecting.
He- ok, ok. You were on Radio just now. You have been made a BAKRA.
The last word, it said it all. I did not need to ask anything else from him. I recollected the trip. It was all too easy for the girl. In fact, it is always easy for the girls. I have been fooled. She could not have found an easy target. SWEET MEMORY...bloody hell, although she did put up a great show.
She was wrong. I was not busy for 15 minutes. My phone did not stop ringing for next 2 days. Calls, messages and FB pings kept coming in. And my very dear cell phone has to take a days’ rest after this. I switched it off.
Few days later, a friend of mine mailed me the recorded transcript of it. Frankly, it was funny. I still remember that day. A Delhi metro trip it was.
This one is inspired from my daily commutation in Delhi Metro. Comments appreciated.