Memories of a decade…

July 15, 2010 Off By Manjil P. Saikia

He had met her only twice in those ten years-ten very long years. Although he assumed that she was a very good friend of his, but still the call of duty and the paths of glory that he lead forced him to leave up any hopes of meeting her in his unearthly busy schedule. On the other hand, she also lead a very busy life with classes, friends, a boy friend and the ubiquitous heat of the nation’s capital.
He vividly remembered his meeting with her of all places in her house comfortably seated in the sofa of the first floor while her mother was busy preparing them lunch and her father busy supervising some repairs going on in the house. It was exactly seven years ago. Its highly unlikely that he would have got the date wrong, because much as he likes to dabble with his students, everyone will agree that he has a flair for anything to do with numbers that seems too good to be true sometimes. And then he is here, now at the moment after having travelled half the world. Its a happy and at the same time a sad occasion for him. Happy because she is getting married and sad because he is not her husband to be.
Now that he comes to think of it, he had never seen her as anything but just a friend all the time that he spend with her at school. It was that meeting seven years earlier when he realized that he has misjudged a very important fact. If only he knew perfection was possible, he would have known exactly where to find it.
Now sitting there surrounded by zillions of people, he let his mind wander as he often does when he has nothing to do. He remembers with a smile that he took the one hour bus journey to her house in the scorching heat just to get a glimpse of her beauty after three years and that he was not disappointed. But one lingering thought remained in his mind, something pricked him and it bothered him that he could not say what it was.
His thoughts turned towards a guy who appeared in the doorway wearing his wife like a crown jewel. She gave him a kind smile, the smile you often give to a person who is dying of some disease and you know that he is not going to live much longer. It ached his heart to feel that way. He had foolishly thought in his youth that he could get her love. But like everything to do with love, he was wrong in that too. His arch enemy had stolen her away.
Now coming to his current muse, she looked stunning in her wedding like an angel and he could not help but wonder how some people can get so lucky. He saw the lucky guy and a pang of jealousy hit him. Perhaps without any lights on they would have been able to discern his green colour. He approached the happy couple wishing to say a few words and then decided against it as he almost always managed to say the wrong things at the right time for those words to cause the maximum damage.
He thought he would just give the gift and run away. But alas! He remembered he had forgotten to bring anything at all, just like he had forgotten for that happy luncheon date seven years ago. With swift steps he turned to his bike and went to the city to search for something nice. He saw a florist and decided to buy a red rose for her. With rose in hand he entered the venue again. He was forced
to sit down by the children who were having a rampage as if the nation has won the cricket World Cup.
Sitting there he thought what he would do next. He would return the very next day to the University and continue his teaching and research. He hoped to win the Fields’ Medal someday and many believe that it is just possible with over 30 papers before he completed his PhD, he was a rising gem. Still he also longed for company and like the great Irish mathematician Hamilton he had also failed desperately in love. His only wish was now to either prove the Riemann Hypotheses or find a suitable girl to marry. He doubted that he could do the later, but he wasn’t certain if he could do the former either.
He took a few long steps again putting on a mask of happiness for everyone to see and gave her the rose. She took it from him and almost immediately cried out. He took her hand and saw the blood dripping. Perhaps it was a omen that he should not be present there.
He left silently like the sea breeze and was never seen again.

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