Watch Out for Love!

Rahul was not happy in life. Unlike his namesake on the silver screen, Shah Rukh Khan, he was not at all lucky in finding love. A string of bad relationships, well as all strings of bad relationships do, made him lose belief in the concept of love.

I must make a digression at this point. Who am I? You would ask. Well, I don’t know the answer to that question. But simply, I can be regarded as the writer of this story. Let us not delve deep in metaphysical shit. That does good to nobody.

This was not the intended digression. Coming back to the point, Love. We humans are a complicated mess of hormones and synapses which induce this feeling in us we term as love. And people define love in so many ways I doubt if they realise what a bunch of fools they are. But that’s how it is, right? We are living in a trumped-up world of our creation, why not define love as we want it to be. As many theists preach, “Faith is the key”.

Back to the story of Rahul.

It was a sunny morning, but that didn’t matter to Rahul, as he woke up once again, thinking about his failed quest of love. Stubble, hair pointing all out, his Pink Floyd tee worn out from constant wear, Rahul made his way to the nearest Starbucks.

Yes, Rahul was unhappy but filthy rich.

All over the way, he thought about how this was just another day in the life.

So wrong he was.

I must make another digression to say that I am an atheist. The relevance of this statement may dawn upon you soon enough.

As many people say, “Faith is the key”. Rahul did not have faith, and in hindsight, that was the problem. As he walked into Starbucks, he saw these words written on the board outside along with the specials.

“God Is Great”

Well, if he is so great, then he could find love for me, thought Rahul.

People underestimate the power of thought and words. “Faith is the key” was really the key. The collective faith of six billion believers had created a God who could harness the psychological energy of this thought and well, create “miracles”. So, when Rahul had Faith, God decided to help him out in his quest for love.

“Son, I am manifesting my power into your Apple Watch such that it act as a timer when you will meet your love.”

It was a haze, leaving him overwhelmed. When he regained a reasonable control of his senses, he saw his Apple Watch reading ‘27:34’, meaning tomorrow at 11:12am, he would meet his love.

The next day was a new day. Rahul, in fervid anticipation of the moment, had let go of his sleep. However, lethargy was the last feeling in his limbs. His blood was pumping to all kinds of organs in his body, resulting in a mess of emotions hard to classify.

When the clock struck eleven, there was a sudden rush of panic. He had been given the time of the moment, but the place, he had no clue. He decided to wing it, go where the flow takes him. Down the apartment, he had to choose left or right. He went right and the watch changed from 11 minutes to 45 hours and more.

Left it is.

Using the watch as navigation, Rahul found his way straight to Starbucks. Funny how God works, he thought. He opened the glass doors.

The usual hustle-bustle of pretentious coffee-lovers welcomed him. It then struck him that God was just plain cruel, putting him in such a situation. He scanned the café and counted like 15 women. That was a pickle, wasn’t it? In the anticipation of the moment, he had forgotten all the logistic issues that were the part of the moment. He had expected to enter the place and like you see it in movies, the protagonist looks across and magically, focuses on a girl, as if she was under the spotlight. The voices would fade until one voice, one beautiful voice which would make the ends of his hair stand upright, would make it out of the din.

This was a mighty let-down. Goddammit God.

Baffled to the core, Rahul just sat down, praying for a miracle. Since he had been provided his share of miracles, God nonchalantly ignored the prayer. Rahul sat there all day, his watch changing times every minute, highlighting the unpredictability of Rahul’s life trajectory. At closing time, a battered but resolved Rahul went back home, knowing tomorrow would be a new day.

It was indeed, a new day.

The sun rose in the east, and Rahul, unfazed by yesterday’s disaster, stood irresolute outside his apartment, basking in the eleven o’clock sun. As he started walking in no particular direction, the watch started behaving erractically, the time jumping up and down. God, it seemed, had tested Rahul enough.

The watch read 00:00 and on cue, a car stopped at the curb and a lady of breathtaking beauty stepped out. She was no Cleopatra, but to a thirsty man in a parched desert hit with drought, a glass of water can act as a extremely simulating drug.

This is it, thought Rahul.

He approached the lady and said, “Hey, this may seem weird, but were you by any chance at Starbucks yesterday?”. His heart was pounding so hard, he was afraid his ribs would break.

She looked at him peculiarly and answered in the affirmative. Rahul felt one of his ribs crack.

“Oh, that’s wonderful. I am Rahul and you are the love of my life, according to God.” In hindsight, he felt he could have handled this with more tact.

She was amused and decided to play along. It didn’t happen everyday that strange guys on the street walked up to her and said things like that. Plus, he was cute and had an Apple Watch, so probably rich or stupid. She said in a tone used by mothers when their kids would say that there are monsters under the bed, “Is that so?”

It was a daze. Rahul, in a act of turbulent passion, decided to hold her hand. Mistaking his intentions for aggression, she reached out to the spray in her pocket, and sent him into peppery-hell of pain. She didn’t have much tolerance for such guys, she realised.

So much for true love.

Rahul painfully huddled back to his apartment. As he fumbled with his keys, he heard a small voice cough to his back. As he turned around, his neighbour, a petite woman with curly hair looked at him interestingly, her interest piqued by the red circles around his eyes.

“Bad day, eh?”. In a matter-of-fact tone.

Rahul thought about the last encounter with her. I don’t think this is going to work between us, he had said to her. He was surprised she still felt the need to pull his leg. He wouldn’t have bothered to.

“You know, the quest to find love is tough.”

“And brutal to your Apple Watch”

Oh yes, Rahul, in his pepperspray-induced madness, had smashed the watch. The numbers made sense no more.

She chuckled and murmured something about doing something to his face, and was closing her door when he instinctively asked the question, “Would you want a watch that told you the time you meet your true love?”

She looked at him with curious intent, gave a thought about the question and answered. Rahul, however was preoccupied in his thoughts. He thought about why he had ended things with her, strangely, he couldn’t recollect. He just thought it wouldn’t work. As he listened to her say something witty, he had an epiphany.

All he needs is Faith.

The Beginning

Love is a curious thing. The Who’s song “I Can’t Explain” comes to my mind when I think of love.

Who am I? Thats a story for another day.

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