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For the first time i encountered with him at a café. Not so noticeable, quite a regular guy he seemed to be. Yet i couldn’t take my eyes off him. Inheriting a good physique, decent height, he was managing his t-shirt when he noticed me staring at him. I broke eye contact almost instantly. But, what kept me stuck to him were his eyes. I had seen many guys, but those eyes were different from all. Unadulterated, flawless, without a tinch of sin or malice, as clear as that of a child, immaculate, untouched by the filthy world and its influences.

Well, we both were introduced and then we had a formal in fact kind of express-conversation . Like work, education, likes and dislikes, in food, in places etc. Nothing in detail, as there were merely 15 minutes those we were provided with and we spent them almost as quickly as possible. And he disappeared….

Next time we met at a family function and that time as well, we were not supposed to talk to each other for long. As we were busy managing all the ceremonial chores. It happened when he almost pushed me off the stage as i stood beside him along with some relatives for a photo session. Frankly…. I didn’t expect him to be so strong as merely his elbow’s touch could almost threw me off the stage. Urghhhh….i bent backward and some how managed to balance my whole weight almost dancing on the heels of my wedges as swiftly as it could be. Ergo i avoided a funny click of mine in some unbalanced whimsical posture. Howbeit he was hiding his smile…or i guessed so…

We had exchanged phone numbers in our calculative first meeting, but it never happened to start the conversation that way….Days passed and as they passed, i started feeling a urge to see those innocent eyes again i didn’t care whether he felt the same way? But there was no reason to satisfy the futile craving and without a reason nothing happens in the world. So the reason appeared, yes.. finally he called me. It was my birthday. He called on my land-line number. I didn’t own a personal cell phone by that time.

So, as the bell rang my sister picked up the call and with a quirky wink she passed it on to me. That was the first time i heard him so clearly, right into my ear. And it was soothing and exciting at the same time. Though we had not met enough yet, but by that time i had started feeling something for him. I don’t know what was that?  but yes, a lust to listen to him, to see him, had inched within me. And so we started talking on phone every now and then and guess what?.. the same day we talked for the first time i got my first cellphone as a birthday gift….

Time flew and he got married…me too…we got busy in our relations…. but didn’t break the link….then, we met once again. I was ‘on my honeymoon’. Actually i programmed to visit the Vaishno Devi shrine before starting our actual vacations at Manali. We were tracking towards the peek to reach the holy temple through the walkway devised for the pedestrians as well as ponies…yes, i don’t get it why they had not made a separate track for ponies and pedestrians to avoid pilgrims get through the rows of ponies every now and then? So.. i was in high spirits, getting each step faster than the earlier as we had to reach the peak before the aarti time so that we could avoid waiting in queue right outside the temple premises.

And then..suddenly a monkey jumped towards me. There were aplenty of them but one abruptly got attracted towards me out of the passel of people walking on the same way. I was flabbergasted. For the moment i couldn’t react but stood still. And then this guy emanated out of the blue, grabbed my hand and slid me towards him with the speed of light. To my surprise he almost caressed me rolling in his arms and landed right at the metallic fence at the corner of the pathway, when i judged that he had just saved me from a batch of ponies in speed, heading across.

I blinked. He was gazing at me. We both were breathing heavily and his breath touched my face for the first time. I smirked. ‘Thanks’, i whispered, regaining my balance and breaking the spell he had on me..for that moment at least. He smiled back. This time he didn’t disappear any where, but reached to the top and came back down with me…

That feeling was idiosyncratic, amazing, beyond words… To be in his cuddle felt so entire yet so avid, so enticing yet so hankering…that was the moment, i realized what it feels like to be in love, to be in someone’s life, to have someone in life..and to be alive…that day i discovered love out of the so-called arrange marriage of mine..discovered the best friend of my life out of the Husband of mine..i don’t feel myself so worthy to be blessed by such a gem of a person, yet i cherish him to be mine..He is the best gift  one could ever get in life. …many times i tell him that i love him, but what we share is actually far more than that…Thanks for being my friend…dear husband..“Happy Birthday”


in the misty dark hours of night

i don’t feel dismayed,

hand in hand i know

that we’ll traverse gleefully..

you are the blaze of hope

enriching my soul,

with strength and bliss

to the sate it could be..

you are the incense

of each of my breath,

and you are the grace

of the almighty to me..

you are the twinkling 

of the star in the dusk,

likewise you are the one

sunshine within me..

Smriti Srivastava

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