Like A Sunrise…

What was so amazing about the falling rain? That all lovers claimed that the monsoons were the most romantic season of the year? He hated it, the rain, the water logging, the slush, the endless traffic jams, the humidity and the stench that enveloped the entire city like a hangman’s noose. Accidentally stepping into a puddle and losing his footing, he cursed the universe in general and trudged along, still a long way from home thanks to the auto rickshaw breaking down. As if on cue, he spotted a couple walking along hand in hand blissfully getting drenched in the downpour and seeming not to have a care in the world. Disgusted, he changed direction and decided to pay a visit to an old friend, she would certainly cheer him up he thought and quickened his pace as much as his heavy backpack and umbrella would allow. Reaching his destination, he rang the doorbell and waited. She opened the door, took one look at his face and just silently waited for him to stomp in and flop down on the sofa, he would take care to discard the dripping shoes at the door since that was the only thing she was particular about but that was about it. He sat down, laid his head back and closed his eyes and just felt grateful that she would understand without him having said a word that he had had a crappy day and was in no mood to discuss it, she would pry it out of him anyway but that would be later. He listened to the sounds of her moving about in the kitchen and knew instinctively that the food cooking would be delicious, and she would somehow have managed to make enough for two. He was content for the moment to just sit there and let the tiredness of the day drain out of him. She on her part continued with her chores without paying him any mind, she knew him only too well to recognize the ‘had a bad day, don’t want to talk about it’ face so she let him be, for now that is. He was as predictable as an alarm clock which meant that in exactly 20 minutes he would be recharged, restless and getting in her way, asking about the food. She smiled at the thought, the man still behaved like a child sometimes, and added more ingredients to the sizzling pan. The 20 minutes having duly passed, he decided he had rested enough and rose to come and stand at the kitchen doorway. Perfect timing, she thought, just as the pressure cooker gave its final whistle, and asked him if he was hungry. The slow nod told her that today must have been more tiring than most, she would take extra care to see that he cheered up before he left. They sat down to dinner and the silence with bits of conversation thrown in was comforting, these were old friends, there was no need for the pomp and show that was reserved for the outside world. Eventually, he wasn’t quite sure how, he got around to telling her about his day and the incidents that led to him arriving at her doorstep. She suppressed a smile, he would always do that, insist on explaining why he came over, it wasn’t often but it wasn’t a rare spectacle either but he would always explain himself as if in a court of law. He for his part knew that she was listening to everything and in her head disagreeing with quite a few things but wouldn’t say a word till he had had his say. Then they would clear away the dishes and sit down on the sofa and talk about everything under the sun. From interesting bits of conversation, to news about mutual friends, to world politics and business, to books and music and then back again to how the day had been. By and by, he would get up to leave when they would exchange a hug and he would thank her for making his day better and she would just smile tell him to sleep well so that it would be a better day tomorrow. In all that time if he ever even fleetingly thought of her as anything more than just a friend he dismissed it as impossible. She was a romantic, and he a pragmatist, they would never be right for each other. At the time he wasn’t to know that one day they would find that they were perfect for each other for just those reasons, that they wouldn’t be able to imagine life without one another. It had been like watching a sunrise, the journey from darkness to light was so gradual that you didn’t notice the change until it was broad daylight. He took in a deep breath as he watched the sun rise from the east and turning back towards the house, saw her standing at the door smiling at him and he knew that she too was thinking back to those days of shared laughter and conversations late into the night. He walked towards her and back into the house, the same place where their story had once begun…

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