Picture prompt: I wish I could turn back the clock. I’d find you sooner and love you longer.
It was the season of love in our perfect world. I met Sakina during the heavy rains in Bandra. I still remember the viral smile and how she made the Paani Puri wala smile. I stood in the queue behind her when she made way for me. “Aaye, aaye, yeh mast pani puri hai,” before she asked if I am scared of her. I thought she was some crazy woman who speaks to strangers as if she has deep connect with them from the past birth. She cast her spell on me that day.
Ours was a Monsoon love story, getting stranded for hours in the local train and staying overnight at the railway station. We would often joke while cuddling and kissing each other that our love story should be called, ‘Monsoon honeymoon.’ We would often drenched,from top to toe in the rain. Sakina was so crazy and wild that she craved for ice-cream after getting wet and which made me go along with her choice, forgetting my steaming cup of coffee, at Baskin Robbins, opposite Marine Drive. We loved roaming the streets of South Mumbai, walking for long hours past St Xaviers, Crawford Market, past JJ flyover, VT station, Fort and Colaba. I loved the way Sakina would laugh and blush at the same time, ruffling my hair in the restaurant. I faked anger and irritation but deep inside, I loved every childish prank of hers.
Holding hands and walking past the hawkers on the pavement at Fort, stopping for cutting chai and ghane ke juice (sugar cane juice). Sakina loved haggling with hawkers on the pavement to buy paper back books, stole and what not. When she got a deal, Sakina would blush and smile, ‘Yeh acha price hai, theek hai yeh maal (I made a good deal right and it’s good stuff). Sakina would always look for approval. I loved every moment I spent with Sakina with her that seems like seven births completed together. I never wanted the moments to elapse from our lives. She completed me as a person, waking me in the morning, singing ‘You are beautiful in my ears.’ Sakina would call during Ramzan and slowly whispering in my ears, far from the preening radars of her parents, “Meet me at 5 pm, Marine Drive. I want to break my fast with you.’
We loved every moment of life like the ice cream before it melted away. Life and love was an ice cream which melted into water like the furious Mumbai rains much before we realized. Our love was a life time memory. Then, one day she mysteriously disappeared and moved cities. It started with frenetic calls and sms-es that was never returned over days, weeks and months. Sakina disappeared out of thin air. It freaked me out as I set knocking on the doors of darga, temples and churches. Sakina just disappeared and felt relived when I found out that she moved to a new world but was happy and safe.
Sakina’s absence left a gap in my life. She changed me as a person and every time, memories of the city struck, moments spent with her flashes back to my mind. She is a live wire and her angelic face appears in front of me. I miss my life in Mumbai with her. How I wish I could turn back the clock! I’d find you sooner and love you longer,
Turning the wheels of time in this amazing city called Mumbai where I found love. I longed for Sakina and waited for her, pinning for a miracle that shall never happen. Perhaps in another world, we shall seek ourselves and love each other.
Disclaimer: I stumbled upon this amazing picture on Facebook and decided to make a prompt. The story is 100 per cent fiction but the city is not. Mumbai is an obsession and gave so much to me. I tag you, readers, to do a prompt and use the picture, giving due credit to its rightful owners.
Keep the faith. With Love