‘The Lunch’ was an unforgettable event. I barely knew what I was up to. I always, as a rule, worked on my instincts. But my instincts were malfunctioning that day, I suppose.
The sudden knock on my door brought me back to the reality. I saw the door opening and saw my ‘knight in shining armor’ emerging slowly. I thought I was day-dreaming or something. But his voice confirmed his presence.
“Annika, did you plan anything for today?” Shivaay sir’s sweet baritone ringed in my ears.
“Nnn…no sir, no plans after work.” Why was I fumbling?
“So you have any issues if I invite you to a lunch?”
I think I had heard ‘lunch date’. Unfortunately it wasn’t so. Still I was thanking Bappa, as my innate wish had somehow realised itself. Be it just a lunch, I could at least have a good look of him, and it would give me a chance to find out if he really looked a hundred notch handsome while eating, as the rumors had claimed.
“No issues, but a formal or….. ”
He cut my line abruptly and exclaimed “Informal, very much informal. We would just be friends then. You agree?”
“Agreed…. agreed sir.” It was my heart singing a love-ballad and thanking Bappa repeatedly.
And there we were in his Car, he seated beside me and drove to his favorite restaurant. I took it as a location in my mind, noting it down, very correct for a future proposal. We went on and while the manager came to him to show the tables, I excused myself. And then I did what I shouldn’t have done.
My mind raced like an over speed truck, ready to bunk into anything, giving me the worst idea ever. But the worst now, was the best one for me then. Love makes you do stupid things, it is a first hand experience.
Without giving it a second thought, I wrote a note on a “tissue paper” (urgh, so bad) and sent it to my sir through a waiter. By then he was waiting for me on the table, and here I was, functioning a disaster. Only after sending it, I remembered, I had forgotten to write my name on it. I thank Bappa for that mistake now, for if he knew it was me, he would have fired me then and there.
I saw his chirpy expressions turning into coldness gradually. My god, I knew my plan was dead long ago. My mind asked me for the future course of action. Further to increase the misery, I had written the direction he had to see after reading it, and look at me waving at him. He did so, and I got a mild blow displacing me and I turned around to kick back the person.
The woman stood in my place and my plan had come to an end. The horrible plan had a horrible ending.
I knew I had to go to him. Turning my head down, I walked slowly to him and sat down on the chair facing him. He was in a state of utter shock and was trying hard to figure out who the sender could be. I thought he’d call the manager and complain, but I saw an indulgent smile and he looked at me.
He showed the note and I burst out nervously, “oh my God, my horrible handwriting!” I was loud enough and he heard it.
“It’s your handwriting?” He asked, the smile ebbing away.
“No.. Nnn….no sir, I was actually reminded of my own horrible handwriting.” I gave a sigh of relief realizing it wasn’t my handwriting at all. So who was it?
“Yeah, but who has sent this? You know anything about this?”
“I… I don’t know sir. Do you know who has sent this?” My brain had definitely stopped functioning.
“Only if I knew Annika, I asked the same question.” He just gave a smile and was about to throw it away.
“Can I have a look at it, Sir?”
“First of all, I’m not your boss now. See it.”
I read the shayari written on it and I wanted to bang my head with that flower vase. It went as-
“Humre dil ke thele ko tum dhakka maar gaye,
Low speed gaadi ko over speed kar gaye,
Puncher thi jindagi humri, Stepney tum ban gaye,
Pyaar karte h sanam hum tumhre ho gye.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY BABY ??”
I was baffled to know it wasn’t my note. But I was more surprised of this note and burst out “HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY BABY!?!?!” I was doubting if there’s someone who has been loving him before my entry into this scene.
He said “Yeah, I couldn’t figure it out, whether it’s an advanced wish or a belated one.”
“I just can’t do this sir, this is much more stupid than I am.” I gave a triumphant laugh, but realised that I had said the thing. He was looking at me with narrowed eyes.
“You wrote a note, so is it you?” He exclaimed, questioning me.
“No Sir, Puncher, stepney and whatever, I did not write this damned note! In fact I didn’t write any such note sir!”
And suddenly, a woman shouted at her husband showing a note that read I Love You, and THAT indeed, was my note. I started looking somewhere else and he kept on smiling and asked me to eat. The notes had wrecked havoc in someone’s Life, I still feel bad for that poor man. If only I hadn’t had this stupid idea, our story wouldn’t have been a fun adventure.
I think he had believed that I didn’t write that note. But he kept on smiling throughout the day, I think that couplet was funny. It was embarrassing though, I still doubt if he knew I had written a note for him. And may be he had read it too. He just wanted to play a prank I think, so that I could blurt out my feelings. Or was he really aloof? Did he really get the note? Was it a real mistake? Be it anything, I’m thankful to Bappa for making everything turn out good. I still thank my Bappa everyday, as I sit down in our room, looking at our photographs. Those days are a memory, sweet as well as bitter, but beautiful indeed. We go back to those days to remember the madness, and somehow, I feel I’m lucky to have Shivaay in my Life. It feels great, to have someone to grow old with. It feels great, to have someone, whose stories you can tell to your grandchildren. It’s great, to actually realise the beautiful Spring of Love you’ve always dreamt of.
A small story, which came up naturally some months ago. Hope you all have enjoyed this one. Do comment and don’t forget to hit the like or dislike button before returning to the home page.
Lots of Bhalobasha,