Disjoint Episodes of a Love Story

The June heat began early morning. With the mercury rising higher and higher, all you wanted to do was sit indoors, in front of the desert cooler with the constantly wet mats, sipping chilled Rooh’afza and lime.
They met that day. Clandestinely.
* * *
Eyes met, hands locked, lips met.
Faint scent of musky perfume.
Neat hands.
That taste of Rooh’afza again.
* * *
They were at their favorite outdoor café. The heat was milder.
Did it rain? Bikers drove past them, college kids strummed guitar songs.
He had his cold coffee while she played with a broken keychain.
It suddenly began to pour. They raced towards the car. Strains of a familiar song floated in from the distance as they sat beside each other, holding hands, watching the rain.
* * *
Late night.
They were at the famous chuskiwalla’s stall in front of India gate. Weaving their way through the mob, they got crushed-ice-candies. Khatta-meetha. He recommended. She made a face because she does not like anything tangy. With sticky fingers and stained lips, he stole Khatta-meetha kisses from her.
* * *
Winter afternoon.
It snowed outside while he cooked for her. Whatever he cooked, his first ingredient that appeared was salt. She stood beside him and watched him in action. Steamy rice and vegetables materialised. Some paranthas, some pickle. A complete meal. She made a mental note of the dishes to wash.
* * *
She sits in cafes and watches people pass by. Alienated in a different country; in a different world.
He goes through each day thinking similar thoughts in the distance.
Both waiting for the next episode to unfurl.


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