I met him in an Art exhibition. The kind of exhibitions college students go to bunk their classes without buying anything. Yeah ! Those kinds! It was not even a meeting, I guess. Actually a collision! Yeah, we actually collided with each other exactly the way asteroids collide with other planets. Yeah, exactly that way, like you know my world was shattered too surrounded by all those sparks flying out brightly and illuminating the surrounding and burning everything that dares to go near it just like the post effects of an asteroid collision. I know, normally it happens to guys like you are used to watching in a movie where the hero falls for the girl every single time. But get a life dude, we are talking about real life here! Girls can also fall for someone. It’s not some sort of taboo that we can’t. Come on!
But anyway that is not the point, point is that I was smitten by his broad shoulders, tall frame, masculine face and curvy lips. By the way his olive green uniform also played a huge role into my destruction. Yeah! Did I tell you he was an army officer? At least that’s what I could make out of his uniform like normal people don’t wear fake uniforms and roam around unless they are terrorists. His boots were shiny and his olive green shirt was tucked very neatly into his trousers.His stars were providing him some kind of Aura shouting out loud that ‘Hey I don’t belong here!’ But then what was he doing there?
Actually what happened was this that I along with my gang of friends decided to bunk Mahapatra Sir’s horrible physics classes or rather his horrible self imposing, rowdy,rustic self. He belonged to some village in Orissa and loathed all the urban dwellers. Basically he held all the city dwellers responsible for his childhood miseries of belonging to a poverty stricken , drought prone village near Subarnarekha river.He would always find ways to torture us through his weird assignments or surprize quizzes.
So we actually hopped into ‘garia haat‘ for a while which was the nearest market to our college and ended up buying few quirky skirts, palazzos and cool tees there. Then we decided to check out the ‘Celebrations of life’ art exhibition by some Subroto Mukerjee into the nearby building because of two reasons firstly the entry was free and secondly it was really hot and humid outside. Kolkata heat can be really killing especially at noons. So it was cool and either way we were all bored by then after our shopping spree.
Though I was not sure initially that whether my harem pants and sleeveless tees along with my osho chappals fulfilled the dress code or not, infact nobody in my gang of four was properly clothed. The usual jeans tee sorta casual college attire!. But then I realised that there was no dress code mentioned there to visit the art exhibition but everybody else looked really neat out there. We looked out of place or may be not but you see people actually bothered to stop and gaze at us for a moment or so. What does that mean? Either we were looking really cool or may be …umm not so cool. Whatever! Huh!
So I stopped before a beautiful vibrant oil painting on canvas that I felt a sudden push and I lost my balance. My bag slipped out of my hands and I started falling onto the ground violently and all because some jerk pushed me hard and bad.That time I wished to kill him if I don’t die of the approaching head injury. Wow! It’s not like you can’t think during falling and in fact millions of thoughts can cross your mind in a flash of second right from your will papers to your pending revenge! But Ahaaa I actually bumped onto someone else in that flash of second and taking him with me straight to the tiled floor.
I could feel two strong arms wrapping me in between them, very strong musky masculine smell filling my nostrils ,my gaze resting onto another set of chocolate coloured eyes which were may be in shock as they were gazing me intently without blinking and I could totally feel warm breath touching and leaving my neck and hear that heart beat loudly just beneath me. And can you actually believe it all happened in a minute? This entire world, the whole universe and the existence of entire human species stopped existing in that one minute. I did not wanted to move nor did I could see him making an effort.
But then why do we make friends? We have our personal little devils to ruin every perfect moment designed exclusively for us. So yeyyy there entered Susan ” Hey Oh my God! Swapnil! Shit man! What happened? Are you okay?” And she lifted me up away from him and there ended that perfect trans, that perfect moment.And then I turned again to look at him properly. And I saw the most gorgeous view and the most handsome face ever of my life.
“Hey, I am really sorry ma’am. Hope you are not hurt.” I could hear him saying.
‘Ma’am??’ Oh he is referring to me. ” Oh, yea, yea, I am absolutely fine. I am really sorry for my clumsiness.” What am I saying?
That is not how I talked to people then. I mean my usual reactions were suppose to be “ Oh, you!! can’t you see? You ***! Where is the police? You trying to eve tease? Listen Mr. I am a punjabi kudi and I will beat the shit out of you.” You mess with me or I mess with you, It was always the other person’s fault for me that time.I religiously followed this code of conduct of mine. But something was not right.
“Are you sure ma’am? I am really sorry that I could not see you.” Said that exotic man again.
“Oh, no no! It’s actually my fault. I could not see you. I apologize.” Something’s definitely not right. Sigh!
” No mam, you don’t need to. I could not see you coming. I am really sorry.” He said.
” I should apologize. By the way I am Captain Saurabh.” And he spreaded his hands before me for a handshake which I gripped and we actually hand shaked. But then I am not sure whether we actually hand shaked or it was my momentarily coma moments. As you see I should have died after that handshake because electric shocks are suppose to kill people. Right? Yes, the shocks were powerful which I could feel spreading across my body instantly. And guys seriously I am not a pervert nor I have been devoid of male presence in my life like I had a string of boyfriends by the time I reached nineteen. I mean nothing like head over heel kind of relationships and actually all my relationships were pathetic or lousy mostly because of my non committal nature but yeah! It was not all that bad. I had relationships at least but then what was happening that time man.
” Hi, I am Swapnil.”was all I could utter.
“Isn’t it a guy’s name?”He asked.
“Yeah,I know people keep asking me this question all the time but my parent chose it for me and honestly I quite like it” I said.
“By the way what are you doing here? “ Shit! Did I need to be poky all the time? Damn!
” Haha! What do you mean? Exactly the same thing which you are doing here.” He smiled.
“No, I mean you seem on duty. Uniform and all!” Oh my god Swapnil ! Phew! Really? You have just met him.
” Haha, yeah, actually I have been assigned to buy few paintings for our officer’s mess and seriously I know nothing about paintings. So you see just mugging up with these creative things and trust me firing bullets are easier.” Then he started gazing me expectantly and I realised I should laugh even though I couldn’t make out anything but yeah, he looked damn cute saying all these things.
And I laughed. May be little too much but he looked pleased.
“And I am sorry that I told you everything and did not asked anything about you.” He said
” Oh, no problem.I am doing B.Tech computer science from Jadavpur University. And we are here for urr….. some educational excursion.” Well telling him about our bunking quest did not look like a good idea that time.
“Wow, That is so nice. Swapnil could you please help me out buying few paintings. I mean of course if you are free.” He asked very politely and I could not have said no.
Honestly I felt like dancing there, jumping in the sky and doing Bhangra. Some more time with him! Yeyy! God you truly exist. I love you. Okay!
So now was the problem of ditching my friends. Like I am not a despo or something who would ditch her friends over a guy but I was just not myself that time. I was elated,overjoyed or may be dreamy too. Or may be this happens to everyone who fall in love or may be this is how love at first sight is suppose to be when you meet a stranger who become your friend forever. That time hanging out with him seemed a nice idea. Though I hardly knew it that time that this chance meeting was going to change my life forever.
So I asked my friends to leave without me and soon after they left.So finally our dalliance with those colours on canvas began. It is amazing that how each painting has the language of its own. How pink,blue, red evokes passion in your heart and agitate you to the very core and how brown and black smeared ruthlessly on the canvas would make you sad and disturbed. Art has its language of it’s own. And may be this is the reason why Neanderthal men painted their caves and also why we hardly find any early civilisation with words, all that we find are few pictures made effortlessly on those stone age caves. How many stories and emotions those little caves would have held? I wonder!
It was magical. We talked about how the painter has done injustice to a particular painting and it feels incomplete and sometimes we just stood transfixed before another painting appreciating every single colour and emotion that painting held. Finally he ended up buying five beautiful contemporary abstract paintings for his officer’s mess. And right then the reality hit me hard that we are still strangers and that is it we might never meet again. But life not always break your heart sometimes the chance encounters change the course of your life for good. Such encounters are destined by the Gods who change everything about everything else that existed in your life ever. Yeah ! That’s true.
“Hey, Thank you so much. I really don’t know what have I done without you..urr I mean without your help. My Commanding Officer would be pretty happy I guess.” He said
“Oh, No problem! Pleasure! Anyway time to go now.” I actually tried to say it very brightly.
“Hey no! I owe you a cup of coffee. You can’t just go.” He said
” Well, my hostel would be closed in an hour. I am really sorry but I have to go.” I said
” Oh no no! That is not done. Okay give me your Whatsapp number.” He said
” Umm! Well! I am actually very busy and I hardly do Whatsapp.” Oh what a lame excuse even I was not convinced.
“Hey, Don’t worry I am not a stalker. It’s just that I owe you a cup of coffee as a token of my gratitude and also I will ping you some of my super hilarious messages sometimes.” He said.
“Haha! Seriously? Couldn’t you come with something better?” I smiled.
“Actually, I have never tried it before so you see it’s just a beginner’s skill. Grant me there.” He smiled back.
And then in spite of all my efforts he dropped me back to my hostel in his gorgeous black Sedan and said he will ping me soon as I have this serious obligation of a cup of coffee with him.
That day was the best day of my life ever which is still fresh in my memory. After that chance meeting we started hanging out very frequently and soon we became best of the friends. Yes friends! You know it’s very important to have friendship into relationships and friends into partners. Those kind of relationships are best kind of relationships. No compromises, no limitations only free flow of emotions which help you unite into one being with so much happiness. I know it, because I have lived it!
My stranger became my friend and then one day he proposed me in public. Yes,it was not like I did not expect any drama from my Bae in uniform but it was really unexpected when he visited me into my examination center where no one was allowed and this Mr. stranger oops Captain Saurabh climbed onto the wall right before my exact seating position near window (well,of course it was not a tough task for a commando) and started flashing these huge placard with “Will You Marry Me” all over it. Now can you imagine it? I mean I am in the middle of my paper and I have to suppress all those anxiety boots, focus on my paper,control my beating heart while praying to Gods that the examiner don’t see it. Phew! But thank goodness the exam was over soon and I ran like a mad person and jumped right onto him. Slapping,kissing,complaining and what not I mean that was really not done okay! And I did not even realise when did he slipped that huge rock onto my finger Yeah a 22 carat diamond ring which is still my most cherished piece of jewellery. And yes we were engaged!
Then everything from convincing parents to the Pheras it was all a standard Indian marriage procedure for us and soon we became Mr. and Mrs! Sorry Captain and Mrs Captain! Life has never been better. It’s just like a dream which sometimes feel so unreal. But then I pinch myself and realise that it’s a reality.
You know girls when you will find your Mr. Right your heart will always know it deep down. The chirping of birds,the noise in the city,the glittering of street lights and a sleeping city will all make perfect sense to you. Life would never be bad again. You will only rise in love.
There is no fall ever in love. You always rise and only rise in love. The prince charming would only treat you like a princess none less. The tears are part of life but the Mr. Right will always be there to wipe those off your face. And that is when you will realise that he’s the Mr. Right for you. And remember that stranger will always turn to best of your friend and that is how it all begins.
Best of luck sweeties!
Here is a book on a thrilling romance of an army officer and his army girlfriend you must not miss.