Two & A Half Meetings

Sometimes few incidents triggered a certain memory which has a strong impact on your mind. Or should I say, makes you remember that one thing which strongly influenced your life. Walking on the beach, I passed by one couple who were discussing their planets. Astrology, precisely. They were so engrossed in their conversation that they didn’t even notice my presence. I heard a few words as I crossed beside them and it brought a slightest smile on my face.

A few years ago, I went to meet one of my childhood friends in Delhi. He had just started his new business venture, a restaurant/bar in the outskirts of Delhi, and wanted me to visit. There he introduced me to one of his friends. I was meeting my old friend after such a long time so I hadn’t cared about getting to know his other friend keenly.

As far as my relationship status was concerned, I was freaked out with an ‘on and off’ thing with my boyfriend. So, I kind of started hating people, especially men, back in those days. That first meeting with that guy was just a passing event. To be exact, I didn’t even remember his name after that meeting. A few days later, I went to the same place again, to meet my friend, and was surprised to see that guy accompanying my friend. We exchanged pleasantries, as by that time I knew he was important to my friend and I should act mature.

“Why do I feel so much of Saturn energy around you?” He asked within a second of my sitting there.

I was amazed that he had pointed out something which was quite abnormal for others. Also, it is a very strange feeling to know that someone right in front of you has deep knowledge in what you’ve just started learning. But I shrugged off my amazement casually with a smile.

“And who are you? Angel of the equator?” I asked him in his language.

“Yes. But that’s not my answer.” He was equally amazed, but now he has a silver line in his eyes.

“I’m the devil of the equator.” I replied and was about to turn to my friend when he asked his next question.

“Neptune?”

“Devil, not the savior. Pluto.” I replied

“Ah, Scorpio?” He found it somehow relaxing that I didn’t have the Neptune personality.

“Yes, Mr. Cancer. I am the most misunderstood sign of the zodiac, Scorpio.” I looked at him and that was the first time our eyes met. I found a beautiful set of oceanic eyes filled with much warmth.

“Accurate! How come? I could be a Piscean or Virgo?” He raised his hand and I gently accepted it in the form of a handshake. “Vikram Seth.”

“Written all over your face. Alia Mukherjee.” I smiled and replied.

“Astrologer?” He asked again.

“No. A student. You?” I enquired. As of now I knew that he was brilliant in reading planets.

“Same. But why did I feel so much of Saturn seriousness around you?” He asked the same question again.

“That’s because my ascendant ruler is Saturn.” I replied.

“Thank God! For a second I seriously started doubting about my learning.” He smiled and scoffed about himself.

“Can we now talk in a language which I can understand, please?” Rehaan, my friend, who was there listening to our conversation without any interest, finally spoke.

We turned towards him and started talking in a language which isn’t alien for Rehaan. But I wanted to explore much more about Vikram.  It was not that I hadn’t met astrology students previously, but something was exceptional about Vikram, which ignited my curiosity. We spent the whole day there enjoying each other’s company. Then I came back to my home. In those days I was living in Delhi. So that small studio apartment was my home. I worked there for a consultancy firm as an HR Manager and studied astrology as my hobby.

At night I could not sleep, thinking of the same person over and over again. Trying to find the answers my curiosity questioned, within me.  It was the instant magic of his oceanic eyes that drew me towards him. I shrugged that thought aside and slept over it. The weekend was over and life was back to normal routine. I was again busy in my daily chores and totally forget about the instinct and feelings my heart revealed after I met Vikram. Until one day I met him again in a coffee shop.

“So, the devil is sitting alone today?” I heard someone speaking from behind; I turned around and saw Vikram standing there with his bright smile plastered on his lips, like always.

“Why am I starting to feel that you changed your hobby into stalking?” I countered him. Normally if someone asked me something, I answered properly. But with this guy I liked to play with words.

“Stalking… You? No, I have better things to do in my life.” He scoffed.

Then, I invited him to join me for a coffee. I was amused to see him again suddenly. It was a good surprise and a sign for me. God wanted to tell me something. I preferred to surrender to God’s wishes. I was a huge believer of destiny and its magical concepts by then.

“Then what brings you here?” I asked him without even realizing my question might be harsh on him.

“The same thing that brings you here… coffee!” He replied and made eye contact with me.

Something was there in his eyes that sent shivers down my spine every time our eyes met. Though, we had just met twice. The more I tried to ignore the fact that I was attracting towards him, the more I felt trapped in serenity of his soul. He was an ocean trapping me in its vortex and I was hopelessly drowning in it.

We discussed a lot about ourselves and then conversations turned personal. Neither of us found it necessary to hide anything from each other. Over a coffee our astrological conversations started and soon it extended by few more cups of coffees.

While discovering one planet’s deeper facets, he suddenly asked me, “Why did you always seem so serious? Every time I meet you, I found a certain kind of depressiveness around you. It’s like you fear something.”

I look straight into his eyes and wondering how could be a person become so close in just two meetings, “Going through a rough patch.” I exhaled.

“Boyfriend or Job?” He asked, while putting his book down.

“Job is ok. It’s my boyfriend who’s troubling me. We haven’t talked since the last 6 months and now I am not even sure what I’m supposed to do! Either wait for him or leave him.” I took a deep breath and replied.

“Then leave! You are stretching something which was already over. Deep down you know but fear of losing something precious is holding you back.” He advised me.

I kept looking at him without blinking my eyes. He said something so casually which I was unable to understand since long. The only thing that was making my life hell then was, I couldn’t figure out whether to stay or move on. His two simple words seemed so sorted out. I kept pondered about his advice in the back of my mind. When he stood up to leave the place. I wanted to stop him. I wanted to say that I needed to share a lot more. That I might need him by my side. But instead I just spoke, “When we will be meeting next?”

“Whenever you need me, I’ll be there.” He smiled and left.

I stood there thinking how will he approach me? We hadn’t exchanged our numbers. Our mutual contact is Rehaan. May be he was indicating towards him.

After a few minutes, I left the cafeteria too. That guy fearlessly knocked on the doors I had kept hidden for long. He left me puzzled. Invoked the desire which was hidden inside but I hadn’t dared to bring it out. In a simple way, he solved my misery and left me with few new curiosities. I left from there astounded.

Two days later, I got a call from an unknown number. I looked at my phone and secretly wished it would be from him. I wanted to talk to him. He was the only mystery I wanted to unfold. There was so much about Vikram which was undiscovered and I was adamant to discover it.

I picked up that call, “Without giving you a chance to call me your stalker, I want to tell you something. We need to meet, right now. Come down.”

“Coming.” I was thrilled and excited by his sudden call. I got up and wrapped a stole around my neck, pressed the flairs of my skirt and ran outside the door.

There he was, standing right beside his car. He looked at me and smiled. Our eyes met and numerous silent conversations took place. In some connections you don’t need words and repeated meetings with someone, you just connect instantly, much deeper than usual. Our connection was like that. He took my hands in his. I felt his soft palm and a silent shiver ran inside me. I looked at him, trying to read the reason of his sudden arrival in his eyes.

“I am leaving for Mumbai, today. Thought I should come and tell you personally.” Silently he said these hard words which ended everything we felt between us in a nanosecond.

“So this is it? Two and a half meetings? Are we destined to fall and tear apart?” I asked with heavy heart and choked voice. My heart didn’t want to believe that everything would end up abruptly.

“You are not meant to drown somewhere you don’t belong. You might be the most misunderstood creature on this planet but your destiny can never be an Earth. You’re destined to find your Ocean. And if I’m that ocean, we’ll meet at the shore.” The intensity of his words spell bound me. I kept looking at him with eyes full of tears. The warmth of his eyes mesmerized me.  He kissed me on my fore-head and drove away.

I kept looking in his direction but Vikram had gone far away. His purpose was done. He came into my life to teach me the very thing I was always searching for. He was my soul mate, and soul mates are meant to meet you at a strange point in your life to guide you about the things you’re unaware of. I cherished our two and a half meetings. So much that I didn’t want somebody to come into my life and destroy the feelings I once felt about true love.

It’s been 1 year since I moved into Mumbai and I am still hopeful that one day my destiny will let me meet him again. Maybe just for one more time to tear apart. He came into my life to give it a meaningful direction.

I looked up at the sky and wanted universe to listen to my pleas when a voice interrupted my silence.

“I told you we’ll meet at the shore!”

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