The Moonstruck Columns


What was so special about that one particular night, he could never figure out. He could definitely explain a few things, maybe it was the sound of her voice, or how the weather knew when not to rain in a typical monsoon night. But he could never pinpoint it out. Calcutta is not a place for his kind of flings anyway, he knew that. Yet, there it was, that one night, from years ago, that wouldn’t let go of him.

It wasn’t quite dissimilar to a typical August day. The weather was gloomy as usual. It happened to be a Sunday too. He had almost run to meet her near the subway station gate where she was supposedly waiting. In all that haste, he almost tapped someone else on the shoulder because he had been preparing a rather cheeky entrance in his head. After all, they were meeting for the first time in seven years and all they’ve had were conversations over the internet. He had asked his friends to join them because he didn’t quite want to make it awkward. And his friends did oblige. They knew how nervous he gets at times. They had a lot of fun too. Made faces through the large glass window-pane of the shopping mall roof to the people below; Ran a race in the parking lot. Something he hadn’t done in a long time—have fun.

But the part he remembered the most was the walk after his friends took the cue and left them alone. She enjoyed walking. Something about her he didn’t know before. A strange coincidence too. He loved walking too. He recalled the amazement at the little discoveries which once revealed will never occur again. He remembered how he tried to stretch the time as the streets started to empty around quarter past nine. And since it was Sunday, they were even more deserted. He had helped her atop an abandoned stone-slab that the street food hawkers used as benches during daytime. She had squeaked a laughter of glee as she finally managed settle herself on the top. She took her long hair down. He remembered staring at her dark eyes and felt searching for something he wasn’t sure of. He loved how she was comfortable with him running his fingers through a few stray locks that fell over her shoulders as she talked about her boring days in office and he listened as if she was confiding her deepest secrets. He remembered the levitation he felt in the awareness that he was merely caught in a rare moment.

Years later when people asked him about love, he simply shrugged, claiming that he was still waiting for it. For people would never understand that perhaps love also exists in certain minuscule moments that stay on with you long after the people have faded from your life. Or perhaps they do understand and they, like him, are too selfish to want to keep it a secret, just for themselves.

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