“When you mix butter with vermillion then you get the complexion of his face” She was trying to explain his flawless complexion to her friend.
“Okay, so the off white Amul butter or the dazzling white one that mom churns at home?” Her friend smirked with a feign interest in the conversation.
“Come On!! Try to understand what I mean to say!” She was annoyed at her leg pulling.
He was nothing sort of her perception of Mr Right. Tall? On the average side. Dark? Naah..not at all! Handsome? Hmm..at times! Puffing cigarettes..volleying smokey circles at her face? No!!! He was a wine connoisseur! Right from the country of their origin to the glasses and measurements in which they were supposed to be drunk, he knew everything about the beverages. One thing that was complete opposite in them as a couple was their take on the measurements! She could not even tell whether a dupatta is 2 metres long or 2.5 metres, She was at loss of words when someone asked her the distance between her house to railway station. She would gaze aimlessly when mom asked whether the milkman had given 2 litres milk or 3 litres, while he was extremely particular about the measurements. “You have cold? Take 10 mm of water. Boil tulasi leaves and a julienne of ginger in it and keep boiling till it is left 3mm,” And she would just nod on phone.
“Don’t tell me you never tasted wine all your life? Inspite of the foreign trips? Never mind! It is an Art of tasting and relishing wine. You are supposed to take 120 ml of wine and sip it in an hour. Then you will enjoy the real feel of the wine.”
“Achchha you start with Vodka! Absolute is the best one. I will gift you a bottle.”
And then that bottle was constantly on her study table, filled with crystal clear water. Her friend would banter, “Just the bottle is enough to intoxicate you” and she would quote the song, “nasha sharaab mei hota toh naachti botal” (had the wine been intoxicated, the bottle would dance!)
He was particular about almost everything. He loved to have his opinions. He was candid, assertive and extremely certain of his views. But the only thing that he was not so sure about was whom did she resemble!
“I vaguely recall your face resembling somebody,” he would say and rack his brains to concretise his assumptions…but in vein.
It was not very long since they came up, close and personal. Though they were acquainted for a pretty long time but they started interacting of late only. Because of their long distance relationship, they didn’t have the privilege to meet but the charisma of ICT was assisting them to its best. This was their first meeting after the confession of love between them, exactly after eight months since they last saw each other. He had his meetings in the city and she had a friend’s engagement. Keeping it his top priority, he had planned his time accordingly, being a meticulous man. Mr Brown’s bakery was the easiest choice because of its proximity to her house. He came at 9.40pm and left at 9.52pm. It was a short date..12 minutes to be precise! They checked each other with their eyes. Both were immaculately and effortfully dressed…with the sole intention of impressing each other. Coffee was ordered..fingers were brushed…helplessness of not being able to do more was betrayed through eyes. Their conversation was being mainly done by the four senses..they had already talked too much on phone. They could hear each other breathe..smell each other’s masculine and feminine perfumes, see each other’s smiling and appreciating glances and touch each other’s blood capillaries, resonating with love. He looked at her forehead and glanced down to her eyes and concluded.” Now, i recall, who do you look like!”
“Thank God! Finally the mystery will be resolved today!” She beamed with joy.”Tell,Tell!”
“You know I was again flipping through my Mom’s album and then it struck me that her face seems familiar to me. I have seen this white forehead and dark eye brows over such doe eyes somewhere.” He paused for a moment and carried on, “ Now I know the place. I can see the similarity. You look like my Mom! Such a divinely strange thing!”
She was touched beyond compassion and felt overwhelmingly honoured with this compliment. She understood what his mother meant to him..considering the fact that she had left him when he was not even three. The only memories that he held close to his heart could be seen only in albums.
She instantly wanted to hug him but she thought better of the situation and remained intact. The wrist watch was ticking fast. She knew he had to go in a formal dinner but he didn’t have the heart to leave her. So, she offered to get up. He rubbed his thumb over her knuckles as a parting gesture. It took herculean effort from both the sides to resist the temptation to embrace. They hugged each other tightly through their eyes.
Night was throughout a smiling affair..recounting those twelve minutes twelve thousand times to her best friend and mentally replaying each and every moment spent together.
She woke up the next morning with renewed vigour. She took the phone to greet him good morning. She was a little surprised to find his profile picture missing. She selected a good one from her hidden folder and sent it with the message, “Hey! Handsome! Make this your DP!”
She waited for a few seconds for the single tick to double. Anticipating something devastating, she checked the status. Her fears were right. She could not see one! Then the reality dawned on her. She was blocked! She couldn’t breathe. She immediately called him but probably her number was sent to the auto reject list.
It’s been two years now. Every mother’s day, she remembers the honour given by him. Can somebody love a girl so much that he finds her resembling her most loved, departed Mom? And he had said that with complete honesty. The reasons behind their relationship going kaput remained shrouded in mystery. She has chosen to thrive on the happy moments..resisted to hanker after the heart breaking ones. Her measurements are perfect to a tee. She knows the distance between her house and the railway station. But still wonders whether she would ever fathom the distance that has come up between her heart and his! Mother’s Day always gives her a feeling of Valentine’s day. Afterall, what could be mushier a compliment than a ‘you look like my mother’?
“Happy Mother’s Day, dude! I know you remembered me today!” She whispered to herself.