Then he went out, walking on roads. This is one thing he enjoys. He walks with his own thoughts, with ear-plugs in, often playing no music.
“Will it ever be the same?” He thought for a fraction of moment, and felt a half tear behind his lashes. But he was calm again soon. “It is for good that it happened” he said to himself.
He started the music – something classical – he was listening it for the first time. It was beautiful – Raga Tilak Kamod – he googled. “Beautiful.. isn’t it?” he said to himself – again felt something like a tear under the eyelid.
He stopped for a panipuri, and kulfi perhaps. He likes the feel of sweet, cool, milky kulfi after the hot panipuris. panipuri and Kulfi is a routine.
“Isn’t she beautiful?” He looked at the veiled girl having panipuri there. “These girls with hijab look good eating panipuri”, he thought. Was he staring at her? The girl – who seemed standing alone there – walked past him to her boyfriend standing a little away. “Hmm”, he thought – “these girls with hijab don’t seem married.” He always thought hijab means married.
The panipuri-waali lady knows him by face, so does the kulfi-waala. He paid for the panipuri/kulfi, and again went on walking.
He was a little calmer now. He knew it will be difficult – the consequences will be long-term rather than immediate – over a relationship in one evening – she knows it’s not that simple. There will be many such evenings and he will still have those half-tears. But does that matter?
It was getting dark – he started walking back towards home. Ustad Bismillah Khan playing Tilak Kamod in his head. He looked at the sky. The moon was bright. “It’s Buddha Pournima” he thought.
He had seen many such moons – different phases of it. On the ninth day of Chaitra – when she was sitting right in front of him and the moon was exactly above her head. The crescent on the dawn of Dhan-trayodashi – while he was talking to her on phone. “Different moons, different girls..” he thought.
But this moon was different. He somehow never noticed it earlier – the full moon of Buddha Pournima! He didn’t give it much thought, and started walking back to home again.