A Girl with crinkly-eyed smile

Photo by Mike Giles

It was his first visit to Delhi. He has tons of friends, seniors residing in national capital. He, a small town boy never had any exposure to a big city. A sense of agitation ran through his veins. As a result, he informed every single friend of him regarding his arrival. It was a fleeting stay, he can’t meet them all but he definitely wanted to meet one. The only one whom he found on Quora, who imbibed in him a sense of belonging; like there’s a home away from home, who strengthen his thoughts towards love. A girl with crinkly-eyed smile.

I landed at the magnificent IGI airport, collected my luggage and planned to move to Gurgaon at a friend’s place. Belonging to the second largest population in the world and second biggest smartphone active users, I was fighting a battle with other travellers to book a ride through Uber. Suddenly, my Whatsapp message popped

“Hey, You reached ?”
“Meet me at Kashmere gate metro station”

A dilemma arises. A quarrel between mind and heart implodes. Former, suggesting me to go to Gurgaon, relax at friend’s home and scale down the last night hangover. Heart, on the other hand imposing questions. What if you never meet her ? What if you miss the opportunity to know her better ? Is she the only one ?

Heart, my friend is a bitch. I picked my baggage, enquired the route for metro station and the journey began.

I took the airport line metro, switched to yellow line at New Delhi station and reached Kashmere gate. I was waiting at the exit gate, drenched in sweat thinking about her, picturing her in the visual fantasy world in my head. What am I going to talk ? What if she doesn’t like me ? Am I stinking much ? As she arrived, all my reverie was shattered. She was wearing a checked shirt, denim and carrying a guitar with herself. Her nails had been done neatly. She wore no rings. Her face was cute as a doll and her straight hairs was an add-on to the mesmerising beauty, jolting me with a force of tornado.

“Hi, Let’s go”, she said. I followed her in complete oblivion and unaware of my surroundings. Like a rat running through the street engrossed in the tune of pied-piper.

I settled my belongings at her hostel and proceeded ahead with her. Maybe she had a plan for me or its just vague thinking ? I decided to go with the flow. We entered a music store, while the store guy was busy in replacing the strings of her guitar. She said, “This is my favourite place in Delhi. Do you play any instrument ?”. I nodded and said, “No, but I think I can sing”. What the hell you mean ‘you THINK’ ? This isn’t going well, why didn’t you ask her for favour to teach you guitar ? Never mind you are a fool. Now think before you speak.

Then we moved to fill our appetite. We had an amazing tibetan street food, ‘Laphing’. Further we went to a tiny yet happening cafe. She asked, “What kind of pastry you’d like ? Cupcake?” and I answered, “Yes”. I really didn’t care which pastry or sweet-dish she served me, I just wanted to live these moments with her.

Time to part our ways was approaching. We took a rickshaw back to Kashmere gate. It was a cloudy day, even in the stark light, there was an aura of calmness about her — a gleam of integrity. I took a chance and said, “You must have a boyfriend, don’t you?”, she looked at me, brushing a lock of hair from her eyes “I had, but not anymore”.

He never had been in any serious relationship. Maybe he doesn’t want to involve in any or maybe he want to. He don’t know. He is a confused soul, but he was astounded by her reply. The girl is perfect, he met her only for few hours yet learned a lot of things from her. She had a great habit of saying ‘thanks’ to the people whoever she take service from. Despite she was sick, she arrived as promised to meet the guy she never met.

She loves dogs. He loves dogs. Maybe loyalty will work for both.

He doesn’t really know what love even is, and maybe he never will. He love himself and is finding the one who can beat him in this battle. Maybe the girl with crinkly-eyed smile.