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Fate, and the shiny red helmet..

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


“The note just said ‘This is not working any more. We have to break up. I’m so sorry. I’ll miss you a lot.’ No reasons, no more talk. Just an abrupt goodbye was peeping beneath the shiny red helmet. it dawned on me that the best thing that happened to me ever, is getting over. We had drifted apart for a while and this was bound to happen. I didn’t want to see him so sent the helmet back with my note, ‘If it was meant to be, it would be. I’ll miss you too.’ Then I was crying and smiling ironically at the same time, thinking of how funny fate is. It all started with the shiny red helmet, and is now ending with the same…” I spoke dreamily as I stared at the broken pieces of the red helmet.

“Oh yes you never told me, how did it start?” Preeti asked me, cleverly changing the subject before I could start crying again.

“Hmm.. How do I begin? I was in the bus, going to college, and it was crowded. Only a privileged few were sitting, and as one of the ladies gathered her bags to get down, the other passengers waiting by her gathered around like vultures to get to the empty seat first. I am no saint, I glanced at the picture of the lady over the seat and slipped in...”

“was he one of them standing?” Preeti interrupted.

“if you want the full story then let me talk” I said and shot her one of my stern looks. She piped down, but I knew this kid will open her mouth again in a minute.

“anyway..” I continued “I took a book out and started reading. Serial killer story, I couldn’t keep my mind off it. Except when there was traffic and real life caught my attention. More than that, the red signal and the guy on a black bike right next to the bus, in a shiny red helmet. I looked down, he looked up and our eyes met for a second. I did not notice it till then, but his eyes were dark and chocolatey..”

“Is there any chocolate in the fridge?”

I got up to leave and Preeti pulled me back saying “OK sorry sorry… go on"

“Hmm.. where was I? yes, chocolatey eyes. Then I went back to my book, and I looked up at the next signal he was there again, the shiny red helmet. And we had our second eye contact. And also a smile this time. But at the next red signal when I looked up, he had taken a free left turn and disappeared into the traffic.

The serial killer was now prowling along the fence ready tp strike, and romanticizing was the last thing on my mind. The shiny red helmet would have been totally forgotten, but for the fact that I saw it again the next day, right next to the bus. We hear often of bus friends, bus stop friends, parking lot friends. This guy became my signal friend. Every day I looked into those chocolatey eyes and the day somehow got better. as he took his free left turn I would doze off until the conductor shook me awake at the last stop. Until one day, he did not show up”

“and you missed him….? Awww….. sho shweet………” those annoying faces made the kid look cuter. I ignored her interruption and continued.

Yes I missed him, but not for long. He was at the next bus stop, waiting. And grinning wide, as though saying ‘You were looking for me, weren’t you?’ I frowned and gestured to ask him ‘no bike today?’

And as though I invited him, he hopped into the bus and came to stand next to me! I stared at him blankly, when he thrust his hand and said ‘I thought you might want to see my face clearly. I’m Kamal”

‘I don’t even know you….’

‘Well, now you do! But my mother told me not to talk to strangers so will stop being one and tell me your name?’

‘Nidhi….’ I stammered, and he said ‘Ah ha..! I found treasure’

We were talking for just 15minutes but felt like we know each other. And two weeks later we were getting down halfway to have coffee.”

“wow… so forward!!” Preeti was gaping. Understandable, as she was 25 years younger and practically the next generation.

“Actually yes, it all happened quite quickly. He started dropping me to college, then we started going on real dates, and two months later he proposed.”

“aww..! He got you a rose?”

“Hmm no.. He gave me the helmet” I laughed. But the tears came down anyway. Preeti slapped her forehead and stomped out, grumbling “Mom… you’re completely crazy. I’ll get you some chocolate wait…”

“Can you not tell you dad about this……?” I called out.

“Not tell him that you broke the engagement helmet he gave you?? I can’t.. I love to see you both in all this emotional drama…” she groaned. “So how did you get back together?”

“About two years later I went shopping and I saw a shiny red helmet in the bag counter. The moment we came face to face we just knew…..”

“That he had to get a new helmet??” Preeti quipped and ran out of my reach, giggling.
Anyway, it all worked out somehow… I thought, happy tears still running down my face. Fate really works.