The day had finally come. It was his time to go back to India.
Initially, when he came to Southampton, he was counting his days to go back to India. But with the last five months being an absolute treat in the company of some of his senior colleagues from office and also the multiple to and fro-s between Southampton and Lille, he did start to like the place. He felt sad to leave the city which had definitely accepted him with open arms. The warmth of the city, no matter the average temperature hovering between -5 to 5 degrees centigrade, had touched his heart a long time back. He wanted to carry sweet memories with him. But then, how could Abhishek not mess up his last day? He locked the main door keeping the keys inside. After some frantic calling and some more hiccups, his cab started moving towards Heathrow at about 5PM. He breathed a sigh of relief and sighs of despair.
He also had no idea about the next time he gets to see his love, in person.
Pooja knew how careless he was and was always on the phone. Without the video calling features and her guidance, he would have surely missed his flight just to complete his packing. She always wanted to come to Southampton to help him packing but he always denied. Deep inside though, he wanted her to come as he was undoubtedly the worst living packer in this universe. Pooja said she might give him a surprise to which he readily said no. He was really worried about her coming to Southampton or Heathrow, about how she would get back and such foolish stuffs and requested her not to do so. He was still worried, just being him.
He reached Heathrow well within time and handed over the luggage for check-in. He did not have anything at all to eat, the entire day. It was not that he was busy or something, just that he had to go out and buy some food, killed his hunger; a huge triumph of his laziness over his hunger. So he sat down munching a piece of cold bread covering shredded chicken, otherwise known as sandwich to civilized people. He was still worried about Pooja giving him a last-minute surprise. Suddenly, a four lettered precious and cultured word escaped his mouth and he saw Pooja coming towards him with all smiles and carrying two huge suit-cases.
“Shit”, that was all he said as his mouth was gaping wide. He could not believe his eyes.
Pooja was her typical self, not an iota of fatigue, after the journey, bubbling with an unknown source of energy. Those kohl-draped eyes, that open tuft of hair; for the umpteenth time killed him. That smile of hers can even melt the cruelest and heaviest of rocks, so what was Abhi’s heart! The shit-faced Abhi quickly turned into a smiling and romantic chap.
How long do you feel can two people hug? I mean, how long does the true essence, the feelings, the warmth, the yearning of a hug remain? It’s just a moment, a blissful instant.
In that one instant Abhishek felt that all his worries regarding the flight and all had been cured, all his sadness about leaving the city was long gone, all his insecurities about the journey and passengers were taken care, all his reservations about the safety of his luggage were no more.
All his dilemma whether Pooja should or not come was answered.
All his longing to see her was gone; all his pain about leaving his beloved was no more. He thanked God.
The ever-so-shy Abhishek who otherwise would not have wanted to hug in such a busy place wanted to be in her embrace forever. It was like time had stood still for him, it was like nothing and nobody else mattered to him anymore. He was lost somewhere between trance and reality. He knew that his time in London would be up very soon and clutched at the straws of time he was spending with her, the sheer passion flowing through his veins, the unbridled joy and excitement of being in her warm embrace, the priceless feel to hold her hands.
With his most favorite Bengali romantic number going on in the background, the mood got elevated to a whole new level. Then he uttered those 4 precious and cultured letters.
There were 5 missed calls from Pooja and although he heard his phone ringing, he was too numb to receive it. He was basically living the moment when Pooja came to stay with him, 7 months back. How he wanted the moments to come true but reality is always harsh.
He called her.
After withstanding the barrage of questions from Pooja who was too worried and concerned with him not picking her phone, he finally got a chance to speak. He spoke all about what he felt in those few moments, as much as can be described in words. When he finally ended, the ever so blabbering Pooja was silent. For a moment he thought that the line was disconnected and went on screaming hello, hello. Well, all he could hear was someone crying and desperately trying to hide it.
They discussed that entire day, the excitement of meeting again, the joy of being together, the long list of surprises each had planned for the other, the surreal feeling of being in each other’s cuddle, the hugs and kisses, the PDA-s and selfies taken, the journey back home and so many other things. They wished to continue forever but the watch in his hand told him that he needed to move. They disconnected the line with multiple kisses and words of concern, requests to take good individual care, with the hope of meeting again.
A dejected yet smiling Abhishek moved towards the entry gate.
Here is the link to my 4th installment for the same: Hunger and Love -4