STRANGER IN DELHI







“You’re not going to sit, right?”

I rose my head upon the voice. If its near 7, I would be travelling in the metro, and most of the time standing. Delhi is like that!

She was holding her one earpiece in her hand with raised eyebrows. Interested but not concerned. She tapped at the seat beside her. I was trying to adjust that “adorability” with my genuine hearsay about Delhi girls. She was cute. No, actually beautiful. You could make a portrait, of course if she permits you. For a second her flare had convinced me. But as usual, I get confused in front of sheen girls. I looked at the board saying, “Ladies”.

Her gaze followed mine.

“Oh come on, no one’s doing a sin here”, she insisted. Her jabbing seemed non-adjustable. In fact it was me who was not used to this attention. Being new in Delhi, you can only guess how vibes change.

But my fair amount of judgement had already surpassed the things which could be at stake, her request was undeniable.

“That’s like a man, see, wasn’t that tough”, she giggled. Her eyes had a lightening of freedom. She wasn’t dressed like a punk, but wasn’t that traditional too. The confident glamour, a swag of Delhi, I can say.

But clearly it was a mock. Insulting, no, hurting, no, just like a cold scold. I already liked her. She is Delhi. I like Delhi.

“You don’t talk much right?”

She tapped her phone, and a slight hum which I could hear from her earpiece till now, stopped.

“I do, but.. I am new here, so..”. I didn’t know what to say, I was not clear at all, still wanted her to understand. It doesn’t work that way.

But she totally ignored, like she never wanted the answer.

“Ohh, you are new here, so welcome to Delhi, you liked it?”, glimmer in her eyes came back. Her smile broadened like seeing a very old friend.

“I am still checking it out, so far its nice, just the third day today.”, I wanted to hold the conversation.

“Cooool”, she was paddling her legs. Like waving it inside the water.

Rajiv Chowk. The sweet voice beamed inside the cabin. I knew there would be rush here, so I adjusted a little. The speed just got to hold, and you could hear the jamming thrusters. As it stopped after two seconds, the doors opened with a whoosh. I looked at her, she rose up from the seat, smiling.

I could see the huge rush outside the cabin, with a lot of noise.

“That’s my stop.”, she mouthed.

I wanted more, but she vanished with the crowed. Just after a second I heard a tap at the glass. I turned and saw her. Something was pulling me, like I had to stop her, but it was too late.

“Name! Ask her name!” my head rang. She was already waving her hand and doors were closing. I jumped towards the door but it was too late. She can’t be seen now. My Delhi is gone.

It was not love, but definitely a start. But that’s what it’s all about, incomplete stories, unconditional acceptance, joyful moments.

For them, just close your eyes, and you’ll see a stranger, who wasn’t that much strange.
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