Monday, July 12, 2010

Salutes and Half Waves -III

Day 5- My Man has a name

We were relocating to a new rented house as our current landlord had asked us to vacate, and so we were slowly shifting to the new one, which wasn’t too far away. My mother had filled a bag of some of the utensils that weren’t used regularly. A thought struck me that it could give me another chance to meet my man. I offered to carry the bag. My mother was pleasantly surprised by the gesture from her lazy son, but offered it graciously. My mother and father reached the house. They had to do some cleaning and all. I stayed put till 11 am, when I thought I had some prospects of meeting my man at the shop. However, as all the emotions repeated themselves within me as I crossed the shop, I only met with disappointment. It was around noon and my parents hadn’t yet returned from that house. I had been exchanging texts with Aagan all this while. Egged on by his support and encouragement, I decided it was time for me to make a move. I couldn’t be the helpless person that I was being and expect Cupid to strike his arrow. So, I decided to check at the shop again and start a conversation somehow. I peeped inside the shop, and he was working there, his back towards me; which meant he didn’t have the slightest inkling that I was there. I froze and instead of going inside, went a little farther along the road. I was exchanging texts with Aagan continuously. He sent me a message, “It’s now or never.” As if it stirred something inside me. I went ahead, my heart pounding so loudly that I feared a person standing nearby would be able to hear each heartbeat. By the time I went in, there was another person already inside, giving instructions to my man and his teenaged co-worker. I simply stood behind that person and kept eyeing my man. He had seen me, smiled at me, but didn’t wave; possibly due to the present of this foreign entity, who stood between us two; oblivious to my presence since he had his back towards me. He was shouting, “Shankar, didn’t I tell you to take these glasses to Sen’s house and get the job done?” By the tone of it, I guessed that he must be the shop owner.

“Shankar, so that’s his name,” I thought to myself.

I was elated at finally learning the name of my waving man, my joy knowing no bounds. I was constantly exchanging glances with Shankar, the two of us smiling at each other, as if we both knew the purpose of this visit. Suddenly the man turned and asked me, “Yes, what do you want?”

I was so taken aback by this sudden interruption that I didn’t know what to say. My mind went blank and I fumbled. My thoughts were still pre-occupied with Shankar. I tried to make some sense and finally got on track.

“Do you have that glass…..ummm…the plastic one that doesn’t break?”

“The fibre glass, yes we have it.”

“How much does it cost?”

Even as I was making this frivolous enquiry, I had my eyes transfixed on Shankar, who was standing behind the owner, smiling all along. I quickly raised my eyebrows a little, enough to be noticed by Shankar, but escaping that of any other man who didn’t have any idea of what was going on between the two of us. He saw me make the gesture, gave a big smile and blushed. That was enough for me. I now no longer had even an iota of doubt about what does salutes had meant.

“Where do you want it?” the owner asked me and I had to turn my attention away from Shankar.

“Our new home, we are shifting, a few of the window panes are broken and would need to be fixed. How much will it cost?”

“I will have to take the measurements and then suggest. I can’t tell you now.”
I saw an opportunity here and enquired who he would be sending. Even as I asked this question, I looked up at Shankar, who was giggling by now.

“I might go myself, or I might send someone form the shop.”

That was it, I had heard what I wanted to. I said I will get back to him later, and then instead of going back to my home, stood under a tree nearby, waiting for him to get out. As soon as he did, I went to the shop. Shankar was coming out and was surprised to find me there. He didn’t forget to salute me. As he raised his hand, I gathered all my courage and asked him in bengali, “Aage ki kokhun amarder kotha hoiche?” (Have we talked before?)

“No,” he said.

Even before I could ask him any further question, I saw the owner coming from behind me and I quickly walked away. I was a happy man today!

Needless to say, I remained jubilant throughout the day. I now wanted to engage him in a conversation. The first hurdle crossed, I now desperately sought a few minutes with him in isolation and exchange numbers, so that I could talk my heart out over the phone. Shankar had already made the first move, it was now my turn to take the next step.The whole evening I kept SMS-chatting with Aagan, who had by now turned into my Love Guru.


Hadi Hussain said...

Sho sweet :)

Sukhi said...


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