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Love @ 7

By Tanya Sehgal

"How much for the potatoes Bhaiya?" a feminine voice asked.

He looked back and saw a stunningly beautiful girl buying groceries. Mayank was an assistant manager at a leading bank. He usually reached home by 8, but since it was Saturday he was home early. And much to his dislike he had to buy some vegetables for his mother, but it soon turned out to be a blissful memory.

"20 Rs for a kg."
"Weigh 2 kgs please" came the reply.
She took the bags and went her way across the street to the left.

Mayank was brought back to reality when the vegetable seller asked "How many kgs should I pack?" Leaving him behind, Mayank hesitatingly ran following the girl, but she was no where to be found. He felt disturbed and couldn't sleep the whole night. His mind muttered the same words again and again, remembering the beautiful eyes, the accentuated lips, lovely fair skin of the angel in disguise.

"Shit !! Where am I gonna find her now?"

The next day went in a jiffy, but he did not forget the sweet voice even for the fraction of a second. At 6:45 he dressed perfectly unlike his usual track suit and went to the same spot where he had seen her the previous evening. He waited till 8:30 and the seller was ridiculed like hell. 

"What do you want Sir?"
"I will tell you in a while."
"How long will it take?"
"I will tell you in a while..."

He waited for half an hour more and at last said, "pack me a kilo please", to which the seller replied "Here is the packet. Please leave now, I don't need the money."

Monday went with usual office chores. In the evening, he asked permission to leave early, to which the manager agreed. Back at home, he got ready again in hope that he might see her again. He reached the market exactly at 7 and  voila ! There she was, looking pretty as ever.

She stood near the fruit seller, bargaining in her mesmerizing voice, laden with sedatives (or that's what seemed to him). He kept staring at her. When she began walking his way, he realized his mistake. After all, which decent girl would feel comfortable, at being gazed upon, so contently by someone?

She made a face and left. A week passed and the same routine followed. By now the girl had also started liking Mayank. The way he dressed up was suave and  sophisticated. Mayank was also a bit calmed now. He knew, he must not stalk her publicly, making her feel uncomfortable.

Both of them used to stare at each other, from time to time. When he stared, she looked in the opposite direction, biting her beautiful red lips. When she looked back, Mayank looked down. But they both knew they wanted each others attention.

A month passed and still nothing happened. Both of them were shy like hell. Both sober, polite and had awesome personalities, yet each feared the rejection (everybody in love get chills down the spine when it's time to express there feelings. Right?)

Photo credit - Vasudhaa

At last after 6 months Mayank gathered the courage to follow her to the end of the street. She knew she was being followed, but she wanted him to make the first move.

"Excuse Me"
"Yes" she stopped.

"Can I please know your name?"

"I want to tell you something, girl."
"What is it?"

"I come to that shop everyday at 7 just to get a glimpse of you. I am Mayank and I am not a loafer by any means. I think I have fallen for you. I love everything you do. I know you live at Rose Apartments, 6th floor and I would really like to know you better."

"I know you come there just for me. I noticed you, standing there, looking at me like that, a long time back. I would like to confess - sometimes I don't come here to buy any veggies. I come just to get a glance" she said shyly.

"How can you be so sure that you love me? You hardly know anything about me? Maybe after knowing me you would not like me anymore?" Ananya asked.

"Even after knowing everything I am sure I would love you even more. There is something about you, that keeps pulling me towards you. I am sure its not only your beauty, but the inner soul. We are destined to be together." Mayank replied.

"What if I told you that I am a widow" she said.
Mayank was speechless, "What?"

"Yes, I know I should not have acted, the way I did. But my husband died after a week of our marriage and my in-laws say that I bring bad-luck. I am not very well educated girl and my religion would not allow me to date another man. I have to live with my destiny no matter what!"

"Can't you fight against the customs for our love...? Oh! I am sorry, you don't even love me, right?"

"I don't know, but those 15 minutes around you make me feel free from all the chains, society had imposed on my heart. I am not allowed to love, I am sorry."

And she began walking her way, tears flowing down here cheeks.

"Wait", Mayank screamed.

"Please leave me alone. If anyone saw you with me, it will be bad for both of us", she sighed.

"Love is not about letting your lover go. Ananya, just tell me that you love me or not?"

"I don't know, Mayank but you deserve someone better than me. Some one who can unconditionally love you". With these words she left. It was the last that they saw each other.

Next morning Mayank went to her apartment, but the guard told him that Ananya left at 4 in the morning.

It's been 8 years since the last conversation they had. Mayank has a 6 year old son and a lovely wife. But he will never forget those 6 months of constant staring at 7. Maybe his love will be like this forever, constant, secretive, hidden somewhere deep in the heart, not letting any one know how much he miss her even today, 8 deadly years....

About the writer : A soul surfer, a dreamer, innately passionate are words that describe Tanya to some extent. Love & romance are her forte, which is very well reflected in her writing style.


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