First time it happened, main college mein tha. Which college? Here only, Podar College of Commerce, in Matunga. She was a girl in my class. Bahut sundar thi…I liked the way she would walk…swaying her hips, like Bipasha Basu in that item number, Beedi jalayle. Picture ka naam bhool gaya…Imperial Theatre, Lamington Road mein dekha maine.
She would be gossiping, chatting, doston ke saath. Accha laga.
Sometimes I helped her with exams. We got to know each other. So ek din, I asked her if she wanted to have ‘chai’ with me…saath saath…near the college only. Usne mujhe dekha aur hasi, then went and told her friends...they also laughed on my face.
Mujhe bahut feel hua. Insult kiya mujhe.
For one week, I was in depression.
Ek din woh bus stop par wait kar rahi thi. I passed by on my scooter. Jab mein pass aaya, I just threw it.
I was wearing helmet, so no one saw my face. And her face…nobody will see that now.
Woh pehli bar tha. Doosre time, aur aasan tha.
There was this girl, Reshma. First job mein hum mile. Woh Chartered Accountants firm mein stenographer thi. Meri girlfriend ban gayi aur hamari shaadi ke hopes the. Then one day she told me her parents had found a boy from a paise walla family. So, she just left me. Ta ta bye bye kuch nahi. Sirf boli, “Please understand, yeh mere future ki baat hai.” What about my future, I asked her. That is day I decided, she would be nobody’s, if she could not be mine.
I waited for her, at the station, bahuth bheed thi. When she bought the ticket, I tapped her on the shoulder, she turned around, she saw my face ek last time.
First she showed surprise, and then when I threw the acid, unka expression, slow motion jaisa. Mazaa aaya.
See sometimes, it is also my mistake...like that time at Ghatkopar station, I thought it was Seema, chehra ekdum same to same — meri galti thi, main maanta hoon. I wanted to visit her in hospital, maafi maangne. But they would not understand ki mistake tha. Mera bad luck hi kharaab tha.
You see I am not a close-minded person. Bahut open hoon main. In Jharkhand, the men have put up posters, ki if women wear jeans or Western style dresss, they will throw acid on their face. Mera aisa koi problem nahin hai. Women can wear anything they want, mini skirt, T-shirt, sleeveless, sari, salwar kameez. Woh mera attitude nahin hai.
But they should not ignore me. Main bhi insaan hoon.
Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller.
Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper.