Let Life Surprise You
by Neha Singhal
(Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India)
It was eight in the morning and I was late by 15 minutes. Above that it was Monday morning the hardest one to get up and go for work. The morning on which you counsel yourself with pretty good reasons to go for work. However, somewhere your inner voice keeps on echoing inside "You Liar". But, I never knew that this Monday morning is going to give a new turn to my life. Hi, I am Shweta Khanna, an MBA working with an Events Management Company at Noida.
Every morning I take a metro at around 8:05 am from Patel Nagar (Delhi)so as to reach my office on time. But, today this seems unrealistic. I was hopping the stairs of metro station quickly so that I can take the earliest possible metro. At that time my eyes could only see the picture of punching machine at my office with time running on it. Presuming all the adversities that could happen today on being late I reached the platform. The doors of the metro were about to close. At that time I was feeling like a bull and the metro doors were a red cloth for me.I ran to attack and I jumped into the train before the doors could close. Wowwwww!!!!! I made it.
A storm of happiness overwhelmed me and I awarded myself in mind for this achievement. While I was busy in celebrating my success I heard a heavy voice from behind calling my name Shweta!! I turned around, oh my God, he was Ravi.
"Is that you Shweta?? I really can't believe that its you." He asked me with a gesture of surprise and happiness.
"Hey!!! Ravi, how are you? Its been such a pleasure to see you after a longtime," I said. Ravi and I were batchmates in MBA. His main stream was Finance. But, to me figures were the biggest horror. So, I opted for HR. We shared a casual friendship.
Me: So, what are you doing these days?
Ravi: Well, I work in Accor group as Manager Finance in Gurgaon.
Me: That's good.
Ravi: So, what about you? What are you doing?
Me: I work in Noida for an Events Management Company in their HR division. So, are you in touch with other people?
Ravi: Yes, but few ones only that too occasionally. Get too engrossed with work so do not get much time.
In between this chit chat, the hard working lady announcing every station reminded me that my station was arriving.
Me: I need to get down. It was really nice meeting you, Ravi.
Ravi: Hey give me your contact number.
I left my number with him and got down in a hurry.
I was lying on my bed recalling my best ever Monday morning. Meeting Ravi was not less than a treat to me. It reminded me of some beautiful memories which were like a secret treasure in my heart. Ravi was a simple and honest person. I always admired his simplicity and down to earth nature. His well focussed approach towards his goals and an optimistic attitude towards life always attracted me towards him.
I was working on my system, struggling with all the monotony of my work, when my phone buzzed. It was an unknown number. I felt like screwing the person if he would offer me any medical insurance policy or a free credit card. With all these things in my mind I picked up the phone and said "Hello". Needless to mention that the word "Hello" carried all my frustration at that point of time.
The voice from the other side came "You can be a little polite, pretty lady".
Me: Thanks for complementing me, but, may I know who is this?
The other side said, "It's me, Ravi."
Me: Oh Hi! How are you?
Me: How are you doing?
Me: Since it was an unknown number so I thought it might be a promotional call.
Ravi: Oh that's absolutely fine.
Me: So, how come you call me?
Ravi: Just wanted to tell you that, you were looking gorgeous that day.
Me: (in a state of confusion) well thanks!!
Ravi: When do you get free from work? Let's catch up.
Me: Yeah sure, but some other day. Today I am very occupied.
Ravi: This weekend?
Me: Not sure. Will try
Ravi: This weekend done. I know you can make it.
Ravi: Great. I would be eagerly waiting for this weekend. Bye...
I kept the phone but his last words made me a little restless. Hearing such words from Ravi came to me as a surprise.
After two days he again called me up to ask about our weekend plans. We decided to meet at United Coffee House in Connaught Place.
"What would you have?" Ravi asked me.
Me: A Capaccino
He ordered two Capaccino and some cookies.
"So, what's up?" He asked me to start up a conversation.
Me: Nothing much just routine things, office and all.
Ravi: Good and how is your life apart from work? Partying and catching up with friends and all?
Me: Come on Ravi, you know me. I'm not a party person and you know how reserved I am.
Ravi: Yeah I know and
that's what I like about you. Your simplicity and honesty.
I looked at him in surprise. The person who never used to give girls a second look is trying to flatter me since the day we met.
Me: Oh really!! Am I so??
Ravi: Yes, you are dear ( with a smile)
I felt a little shy. My heart started beating fast. My cheeks were red. Oh my god, I was blushing. It was the first time I was been praised by a guy and the person was Ravi, whom I secretly adored in my heart.
It was a wonderful evening. I enjoyed Ravi's company. I felt various butterflies in my stomach remembering about that evening. My heart was filled with joy. But, somewhere my mind did not want me to feel this joy. It didn't want this spark to get fire. I knew if I will continue to meet Ravi, I will surely fall in love with him. I already had a soft corner for him. He was the person whom I always adored. Although we shared just a casual friendship during our college days, still there was something unsaid between us. There was a tussle between my heart and mind. My heart wanted to feel this new colour in my life but my mind was constantly telling me to stay away from this. In the middle of this I got a text from Ravi. "It was great meeting you. I had the best time with you. When are we meeting next?"
On reading the message, a shiver ran in my body and I got goose bumps. I read the message again and again. I really wanted to tell him that being with him was the most wonderful time for me too. But, owing to all the ifs and buts which were already jumping inside me, I replied, "Ravi it's not that easy for me to make it up."
Me: I generally remain busy with my work and I don't freak out much often. It was just you insisted me so I came to meet you; otherwise every time it's not possible.
Ravi: Didn't you like meeting me?
Me: I do but...
Ravi: Then why do you want to stop this?
Me: Because it's not right. I have been raised in a very conservative atmosphere mugging up all the basic behavioural traits of an ideal Indian girl. Meeting and hanging out with a person doesn't fit into this.
Ravi: I got your point and I truly agree with you. But, suppressing your feelings and desires just to fit into the image of an ideal Indian girl is also not correct. If you like someone and enjoy his company, then it's nowhere wrong to move ahead. I like you and want to know you more. I would be waiting for you at the same place tomorrow. Please come...
His words started roaming around in my head. I could not sleep that night. Next day I took a day off from work. I was very restless. I read the messages we exchanged during night. Trust me it was really difficult to make my heart win over my mind.
I went to meet Ravi. He was already there. He smiled and said, "I'm glad you came."
I smiled back and sat down. "So, how are you?" He asked.
I looked into his eyes and just nodded my head with a smile. He made out the state of my mind. He immediately said, "Let's go for a walk." I was quite. "Come," he said. We went out in the fresh air. When you have so many dilemmas in your mind trust me a fresh air walk is the best. I was feeling choked inside but out here I was very much comfortable. Ravi started, "why you look so tense? Do you feel you are doing any crime meeting me?"
Me: I told you last night also that the values and morals given to me doesn't allow me to be with you.
Ravi: Leave everything apart. Just listen to your feelings and tell me what do you want.
I don't know what magic this person was having. In just two meetings and few texts he knew how to handle me and give me a sigh of relief. Just thinking all this and admiring him I kept quite.
He started again. "Okay, let me tell you first. Shweta, I like being with you. I adore your simplicity, since the day I met you in college. I am glad that God gave me another chance to have you in my life and I don't want to loose it. I truly love you and want to be with you for the rest of my life. Don't bother about anything else. Just feel free to follow your heart."
My throat was choked and my eyes were wet. Ravi held me in his arms. To me they were the best place to rest. Holding him tight I said "I love you too"...
We dated for three years and then decided to marry. Life is good and I am glad that I listened to my heart and not my mind.
To sum up I would say "Be open to life as you never know when it will surprise you." ***