People say love makes everything seem wonderful; if it had been a thought twelve hours earlier I would just have laughed it off. But now so much has changed. Sitting on my front porch now, at dawn, listening to chirping of the early birds waiting for the sun to spread its sparkling wings on the world, nothing was unusual but it was all surreal for me today. I couldn’t stop beaming while reminiscing about the events of the last day, all the while twirling a precious ring in my fingers. In the freckles of the light that shimmered on the shiny surface on the metal I saw the glimpses of my platinum day of love.
“Nidhi let us go for the reunion, someone definitely wants to meet you today, can’t you see?” Vrinda chided me. Someone had just sent me flowers with a weird note on it and asked me to come to the Reunion of our school. I had a fairly clear idea who this someone might be because the note had a poem with no head or tail; a poem just like the ones that made every day beautiful for me eight years back; a poem just like the ones Rishi wrote for me.
Crimson petals with freshness undefined
But nothing beats your shy yet radiant smile
A heart beats fast in some corner of the town
Waiting to see you again now, after eight summers and falls.
The poem still made me smile but now, after eight years of drifting apart form each other, it made tears brim in my eyes and I was scared Vrinda would notice it soon. So I simply agreed and rushed into my room with an uninterested “whatever.” I read the lines on the note again and again and found it really amussing how his sense of poetry and rhyming was still as bad as ever. Back then his poems were always compared to Roshesh Sarabhai’s poems by all our friends. Roshesh was a character of a very famous comedy show that aired on TV back then and so Rishi took pride in the sarcasm also, but now even after so many years guess he is still in awe of that show.
Rishi had a peculiar habit of dropping clues to me in his poems and I was sure there was nothing different in this one. I read the lines a couple times more just to realize the ‘crimson petals’ was actually a reference to the dress he wants me to wear. But why should I? We had not talked in two years and had not seen each other since four years after we decided to break up. Our break up was not messy but instead was sad for both of us. He was going to UK for MBA and both of us being scared of long distance relationship just decided to call it quits. But I never really got over him and today gave me some hope that he too was sailing on the same boat. And just for the hope I decided to wear a red saree with black lace border, little did I know that would be the topic Vrinda would latch on to for the next two hours.
In the party I kept looking all around for Rishi with a perennial background story of the flowers and the poem that Vrinda recited to every friend we met. People began admiring the tinsel and blue decoration, the amazing food and discussed their life after school while my eyes were lost in the search of Rishi, who was still nowhere to be seen. I lost track of how many times I had to ask “What” to people to repeat what they were saying as I kept phasing out and loosing hope slowly. Maybe someone had just played a prank on me and I had fallen for it; fallen bad. And so when Vrinda and my other friends asked me to pay a visit to our 12th std. classroom I decided to tag along. Our class had changed so much. The boring black board was replaced with a less boring green one, the windows had cream curtains the walls were hidden behind bulletin boards screaming the importance of 12th grade. Benches had changed too, but all had scribbles and sketches on them. I totally forgot about the people who were with me and went for the last bench of the row near the windows. That is where Rishi and I sat in our final year and Rishi always scribbled some weird poem on the bench. Our bench must have looked like Wordsworth’s rough note book back then for sure. But now the bench had a lot of sketches and just one poem!
Ravishing red, and the peachy blush
My wait could not be satiated with anything more
The twinkle in your eyes searching what is already yours
But let the library first earn, its freedom from boredom.
He is waiting for me in the library! I hear Vrinda scream my name as I run towards the library without informing them anything. But he was there, and I had so much to tell him ever more so much to be angry about and scream at him for. But right now I just wanted to see him once. I went to the library but there was no one there. I stood there in the dull yellow lighting, searching every corner of the room I could see, but he was nowhere. But then my eyes fell on the thoughts board and there were four more lines on it.
The freaky jitters of the first kiss
And the hunt for a place for solitary bliss
For you and I search every turn and dome
Till we were found that quiet and windy home.
I knew the place! How could I ever forget that place where we shared our first kiss? The small green room on the terrace that we usually used for annual day practices. I reached there to find the whole room decorated with lanterns and a small table with a white ring box on it. I was sure by now it was Rishi but I still couldn’t see him anywhere. I went ahead and opened the box only to find a folded paper in it. I unfolded the paper in a hurry and read what he had penned.
What you see is far from an illusion
But your wait for some hours is like my waits compensation
A glittery future awaits you right now
If your anger is quenched, meet me down
After all this he wanted to meet me in the party hall, how irritating! Was my anger gone, I really didn’t know but what I knew for sure was I could wait no longer to meet him now. I rushed downstairs and saw the whole crowd facing the entrance. “Just the way you are” was being played in the background and there near the DJ station he was standing, smiling nervously as if afraid of me but still his eyes clearly conveyed that he had been waiting for me. I literally ran towards him as if Dil wale dulaniyan lejaenge’s spirit had entered me, and didn’t really know why. But all I could see was him and him waiting for me. But I stopped right in front of him and he chuckled.
“And I knew this would happen”, he said. He didn’t even get me a chance to respond but kneeled and pulled out a ring.
“Naïve in your love I surrender myself
And ask you to accept it if you agree yourself
The ring aint a bribe for you to yes
But eight years of unconditional love is the reason, I guess
I tried over and over to forget and move on
But my heart stayed with you even when I was gone
And something kept saying you waited for me too
So here is my weird poem with which I woo you
Tears welled up in my eyes and I stared at him with a blank face. I was rendered speechless by his words, not to mention his best poem so far. But what mattered was he had waited for me and loved me all this while. He was still mine and I was his when we were not together. But my thoughts were interrupted by his sudden words.
“Now would be the time to say yes or no. Plus if you want to say no just look at the ring, it is platinum”, Rishi said.
I couldn’t help but smile, “So you are bribing me with the precious white metal chunk.”
“The precious white metal cannot be a chunk or anything. It is a ring of platinum cause it is very precious and nothing better could suit you as you are the most precious person to me right now. It glitters just like your eyes and would not wither away so will remind you of this day forever, well only if you say yes. Also…”
As amused as I was at the fact that it was still so easy to distract him from a topic I decide to shut him with a kiss, because I had waited too long for this moment. I didn’t care a bit about the people who were staring at us. I just wanted to hold on to this moment forever.
“So it is Yes?” He asked nervously.
“If you put the ring on my finger right away, it is a YES!” I giggled.
And without wasting a second he slipped the ring on my finger and my reunion just turned out to be my engagement day.
“What if I was still angry and had said no?” I asked him.
“Even if you were angry you would not say no I knew, cause somewhere I was sure you still loved me and wouldn’t want me to be embarrassed infront of so many people” he joked with a straight face and I could see the sincerity in his eyes.
“A bit over the top but, right?” I asked Rishi.
“I told him about your liking for movies like 27 dresses and When in Rome!” Vrinda screamed from behind. And Rishi was sporting his cute dreamy “Guilty as charged" smile. I realized Vrinda was a part of this whole plan and she was the one who had told Rishi about me still waiting for him. Love! It is an amazing thing for sure, just a bit impish sometimes. The ring would always remind me of this day, of my Platinum day of Love.