I don't know if it was a dream or a reality, but I found myself lost somewhere in a beautiful world, a world filled with the freshness of nature, the sizzling wind blowing along with the dry leaves dancing to its rhythm. Birds flying and singing happily as if they were released from a cage. The woods, standing out so beautifully that made paths where one can be lost forever. The sound of the water flowing through the stream leading to a place unknown in this beautiful world. Deep inside the woods, walking through some path I saw a girl rounded by the forest creatures as if she was like their mother and they were her children. A beautiful young lady, so pretty like a diamond, that my mind got hypnotized and I kept looking at her, completely lacking the knowledge that she's been looking at me too. I was drowned so deep in her beauty I didn't even realise she came near to me. Coming to my senses, I got a bit tense and nervous, and could be seen in my tone by which I greeted her 'Hello'. She smiled back and left towards the river side. I followed her, and found myself getting into a small village. The people over there smiled at me, and an old lady, maybe the elderly one greeted me and asked to come into their village. The people over there were so kind and pure like the ocean pearls. They gave me a shelter to rest, food to eat, wine to drink. It got late by the evening, the most beautiful sunset ever, the sky painted with orange-red colours like an art of picasa, birds singing the evening song, lamps getting back home, the sun as if it had been drowned by the river. Soon the sky turned dark, the moon came shining bright as if someone from the sky was glowing up a light bulb, the stars reminding me of the nursery poem, “Twinkle twinkle little stars, how I wonder what you are”. The river was so calm and the reflection of the moon was so clear as if it was made of mirror and not water. I looked up to the sky wondering where I was and so came the girl I saw in the woods. She came by my side and said this is the beauty of nature, when seen through the depth of a human heart. She knew I had lots of questions and doubts inside me that kept rounding like a loop. She said her name was Ellie and asked my name to which I replied, “My name is Jack”, and then looking back to the sky I fell asleep. Suddenly I heard a knock at the door. As soon as I opened up my eyes I found myself in my room over my bed. I kept thinking all by myself was it just a dream or a reality of the world far away from here lost beyond the mountains covered by the clouds.
जब तुम मुझसे मिलने उस दिन वो पिले रंग का सलवार कमीज पहनकर आयी थी तो मानो ऐसा लग रहा था कि देवलोक से कोई परी उतर आई हो । तुम्हारा मुझे अपनी कजरारी आंखों से देखना, मुस्कुराना और फिर नज़रे झुका लेना, तो कभी बस एक टक देखते ही जाना, अपने गालों पर आती हुई लटों को हटाना, तो गुलाब की पंखुड़ियों से भी नाज़ुक होंठो से मेरा नाम पुकारना, तो यूँ ही मस्ती में कभी अपने दुपट्टे के साथ खेलना । मैं बस ये सब कुछ अपनी आंखों में बसा लेना चाहता था ।
और फिर जब मैंने तुम्हारा हाथ पकड़ा था और हम घंटो एक दूसरे का हाथ थामे उस चाय की टपरी पर बैठे थे, नजाने कितने लोग आए और चले गए पर हम एक दूसरे की निगाहों में, हाथों की गर्माहट में खोए रहे, वो एहसास मुझे आज भी याद है, मैं आज भी वो दिन, वो पल याद करके तुम्हें महसूस कर सकता हूं।
तुम्हारा हाथ पकड़कर तुम्हे महसूस कर ही रहा था कि प्रिया ने कंधे पर हाथ रखकर कहा "भैय्या चाय तो पी लो पूरी ठंडी हो गयी है, आप नजाने किन ख़यालो में डूबे हुए हो ।" इतना कहकर प्रिया तो चली गयी पर मैं तुम्हें अभी भी महसूस कर रहा था जैसे बस अभी अभी तुम्हें छूकर आया हु, तुम्हारा एहसास मेरे हाथों में रह गया और मैं भी प्यार की इस अठखेली पर मुस्कुरा दिया । तुम मेरे साथ नहीं होकर भी मेरे साथ थी और तुम्हारी मेरी पसंदीदा वो अदरक वाली एक कप चाय । ☕
Getting late for a meeting, need to run’, he said, as he slung his coat over the shoulder, and bounded out of the house. As he drove away, she came running down the stairs two at a time. ‘Wait, wait’, she said, but he had already left.
Her mouth crumpled like used wrapping paper. ‘He forgot to give me a goodbye kiss’, she whispered in a voice that trembled under the weight of her hurt. She called him, ‘you left without giving me a kiss’, she said accusingly. ‘I am sorry sweetheart’, he said, his voice contrite. ‘It is okay’, she said, trying to be all grown up as she cut the call.
‘I am sorry I forgot’, he said, as he picked her up and hugged her. She said nothing. Her jaw ached from smiling.
Twenty years later, no one would remember he was late for a meeting, but a little girl would never ever forget that her father drove all the way back home just to kiss her goodbye!! ❤️