Memories of past always bring a latent smile and decrement in cortisol though present is stubborn to extent of being messed up. It had been more than 5 years being married and having surrendered to a common-man outlook. The good think - I always appreciate secretly – is my wife’s desire to go out for lunch. She keeps it alive despite so many domestic destructions.
That day, we agreed to meet at a restaurant on sharp 7:30 PM. I rushed after office and she had to come there from home. I was so scared of being late and subsequent consequences that I reached there before time.
I got hold of a table and sat happily. A group of students were celebrating birthday of one of their friends at a nearby table. I took my cellphone to call my wife for whereabouts but later decided to wait. A mix of young chuckle was drawing my attention. Finally, my eyes rested on the smile of a cute girl. It resonated with my heart beats – quite similar face like Komal and even more similar smile. Komal and her family used to live in my neighborhood at my home town. Later, her father got transferred to a different place and they left. He was superintendent of Police but that was not the only reason why Komal and I never had a common story. Once I gifted her a perfume on Valentine’s Day and she returned saying she had never thought about me that way. So many things flashed back my eyes within moments. Similar budding flawless beauty!
Somebody called from the entrance, ‘Oh Rahul’. I just stood up and saw Aditya there. We used to work together in same organization about 7 years ago. We had enjoyed couple of official trips together and had been good friends.
He came and sat before me and said, ‘Hey, tell me how it is going?’ I said, ‘Good, how about you?’ He switched the topic and said, ‘Hmm, quite old aroma. It reminisces me with some of the old days with my girlfriend. You know memories associated with aroma long last.’ The aroma was so intense that I could recognize it. I said, ‘It’s Ralph Lauren. I know.’ We laughed together. He said, ‘Hey, I have come with someone and will catch you later.’ He left and sat on a different table at other corner of the restaurant.
My wife came from back and put her hands on my shoulders. She smiled and said, ‘sometimes you get so involved with some of your friends that you even didn’t notice I passed by you.’ The aroma of Ralph Lauren was persisting. She continued, ‘I came and saw you talking with someone and directly went to washroom for touch-up. You didn’t notice, did you?’ I asked, ‘You have used a different perfume today, or it is the same one?’ She smiled, ‘I was arranging your Almirah and got this from your stuffs. It smells nice. Isn’t it? This was my favorite brand before marriage. I have changed in many ways with you‘. She smiled and continued, ‘I remember you brought something for me that day but we had a fight and you didn’t give it to me. This is the same one. Right?’ I said, ‘Hmm’.
We had dinner together, though she only enjoyed it and I again got stuck with lots of cortisol. While returning I couldn’t resist the urge to look back for Komal’s smile.
- Amit Roop