“Why didn’t you come to pick me up?”
She bawled at her husband who was already present at home.
“Really Sorry, I had to go somewhere urgently that i forgot to inform you”,he answered meekly.
“Great, Do you know i have to take a bus?”
“Oh! Thank god, you got one.” he ignored the disguised feeling of her while she said bus.
“Yeah! Sorry,actually it was my mistake that my car ditched me and that i expected a help from you”
“But you got a bus and reached safely that’s more important”
“I don’t want to argue any more if you are completely oblivious to how filthy buses seems to me”
“Shruti, It was a Bus”, he said disappointed while his voice attempted to fill the word “bus” with an old stress acquainted to an intense emotion in him.
He left their living room with his renowned calmness which always have made her feel guilty after their sweet- salty fights but this time he left her mind boggling with memories, which she has otherwise overlaid meticulously with her career. The time trickling by the clock seemed to be moving in past to her. The wall drowned with her favourite colour, pink, slowly started fading away. Her Heart started thumping then became calm, once she reached where the word “bus” has destined for her .
She is standing at her bus stop waiting, although her mind is not at all in a waiting state but is well preoccupied by what she was going to do at her office today and also about her fight with her mom, who was exaggerating advantages of being married and finally concluded that she should get married soon. She looked at her watch and cursed Delhi bus service. Then, she saw him coming with an old lady whom she assumed to her grandmother. When he came close to her, she tried to evade away from him but he unknowingly stood besides her with some distance between them as he would have done any other day. She murmured few words to herself then again got lost in her thoughts. He, as usual, shyly gazed her. She knew it but never tried to humiliate or insult him as her inner voice always said to her that he wasn’t a flirt kind of person and the care he was showering on her grandmother somehow created a soft corner for him in her heart. But still she had planned to scold him in future.She has observed while he left the bus after her, his grandmother’s stop was first. She wondered, “might be his grandmother had to visit some temple daily as her age certainly couldn’t allow her to work”.
Next day, She saw that only his grandmother was coming towards bus stop and it seemed too obvious that she was struggling hard to move without his support and company so she went close to the old lady and helped her to board the bus.
They sat together. After some stops passed by, she collected enough courage to ask the old lady,”why today grandson didn’t come?”.
Old lady started laughing, leaving her stunned, then, answered “Oh! Arjun, he is not my grandson, in fact, he is just a stranger who has once helped me when i was about to faint on road one day”, old lady words started to roar with bus.
While her jaw dropped and a cold sweat drenched her but she further asked,” but where do you go daily?”,hiding her concern for Arjun, the name she has just acquainted.
” temple else where? He advised me, not to come daily but then what will i do the whole day at home so when i declined his advise he said that he will accompany me daily till bus stop”,old lady continued to blabber about him but she felt speechless hence said nothing just nodded her head but lady further said,”A good boy, who are rare now, anyways bye, my stop has arrived.”
Old lady left the bus when it stopped, with its well known jerk, that made her conscious again. Her mind was now occupied by his face who daily gazed her with a hidden innocence and shyness which she had always ignored ruthlessly. Old lady made her to feel proud of him as if he belonged to her, this bizarre thought gave her goosebumps. She left the bus too but with a firm decision to talk to him the following day.
Her favourite piano tune “Love Theme” by Richard echoed in her ears and with a strange smile, she readily ruined her sleep on sofa. While rubbing her hazel eyes she searched for her cellphone to know the time and to unreveal the mystery of that tune coming from her bedroom. Her phone showed “12:00 a.m 3 Dec.” She felt a jump from the sofa while her mind started scolding her. Somehow, she made her mind to calm down and finally she stepped down from her cuddling sofa to reach to her room.
The room was brimming with enlightened candles with a cake on the table, she felt overwhelmed but then observed the cake and a wave of laughter blew her off.
“Ahem Ahem ok, I know it looks disastrous but c’mon what else you expect from me” her husband, Arjun, uttered, standing besides her while gazing her with the same eyes which were now some years old for her.
“No, Its so cool although it has eaten up “i” of my name, Shruti, but i know this cake didn’t have that much space” she teased her while her eyes were busy in being wet.
“Sorry Shruti, I was making this Shapeless Cake for our Anniversary all the day that i couldn’t come to pick you up”
“Shut up, don’t behave extra sweet now, it was my mistake so i reserve all the rights of saying sorry”
“Ok ma’am but don’t you think you should say something else now?”
“Oh! Happy Wedding Anniversary”
“Pretty smart, that means i have to decode it as “I love you””
Both burst out in a laughter but she ,inside her heart, was promising herself to find time for her “this” life too, apart from her career. She thanked her mother who had proven right, god for Arjun unconditional love and,of course Bus, that was the sole reason of their meeting up,while he was busy caressing her hair.