Her name was Ardara. We met in the college. Our first encounter was non-descript. She sat next to me in the college bus and accidentally stepped on my headphone cord. I was immersed in my music when the cord got disconnected. She said “Sorry for disturbing you.” Those were her first words to me. I saw her. She was beautiful. It would not be an exaggeration if I say, she was as melodious as the song I was listening to, if not more. We started talking. She too was an engineer like me. I am not good at small talks. So, after we were done with our introductions, we had nothing else to talk. I got back to my music.
Next, we met on a college trip. Our college had arranged for a one day trip to parliament. There, I saw her again. This was a month after our first encounter and we had not talked at all in between. She was spotted randomly and I knew she was still on the campus. That day at the Parliament, I told her “One day, you would frequent this place.” In our first discussion, she had said she wanted to be a politician and I remembered that distinctly. Mostly because when she said this, I could see that spark in her eyes.
Later as we became good friends, she confessed that the trip to Parliament was where she first noticed me, mostly because I remembered what she had told me in the first encounter. After the trip, we were strangers again. I did not even remember her name. Or did I?
As distiny would have it, we ended up in the same literature class. That is when I realised that we were made for each other. No, not because we both were good at literature but because we both sucked at it. We had our own backbenchers’ club. The teacher was equally disappointed with both of us. We would not do pre-reads, would not signup for contact hours and would be the last ones to submit our assignments (if we did). She would meet me in the library on the day of submissions, both of us sruggling to figure out our thesis statments while all others would be proofreading their assignments. We had our own support system. She would give me hope that it was not that bad. We could still make it.
From library to dining table conversations, we soon became very good friends. Apart from the apathy for literature class or the literature teacher, our taste of music was also the same. She would complete my songs, which no one else had ever heard of. Our sense of humour was equally good (that’s what I believe) or equally pathetic (that’s what people around us thought). We would laugh at the same jokes, while others would still be awestruck.
For rest of the college life, she was my support system. She was the best friend I ever had. I cared for her. She cared for me more. We were together for whatsoever time we could find in the day. She taught me volleyball, I taught her badminton. She was one of her kind girl. She was multitalented. She could sing, dance, act, mimic. I was in awe of her talent. I still am. I have never come across a girl as talaented and humble as her. She would meet and greet support staffs warmly and would care for them too. More I knew her, more I was impressed with her. To the world she was an introvert, to me she was a power capsule. On days when she was happy, she would fill my entire universe with happiness and on days when she was cranky, she would make my life a living hell. All in all, it was a roller coaster ride.
But, soon that roller coaster had to end. Our college ended. We parted ways. I took up a job in Bangalore and she went to her hometown in Hardoi. She later joined a public bank.We had promised to keep in touch. Little did we knew that the promise came with an expiry date. Initially, we talked over phone. Gradually, the calls got shorter and infrequent. We both got busy in our lives. Fast forward to today, we do not talk at all. Does it hurt? Yes it does. It hurts like hell. It hurts to have lost a gem in life. But what hurts more is what happened today. I got a call from an unknown number. Truecaller told me it was Ardara. I was esctatic. I do not know how or when we grew apart, but I always wanted to talk to her. I picked up the call. I couldnot hear any voice from the other end. I called back. No one picked up the first time. I redialled. This time I could hear the voice that I was always so used to. It was Ardara. She said, “Sorry for disturbing you.” I was still trying to fathom out what was happening when she added, “I was trying to delete the number when I dialled your number by accident. Again, Sorry for disturbing you”. That is how life came full circle for me.