Tuesday, 10 February 2015

When they met in Paris part 3

Serveur’s efficiency in delivering the sandwich and the juice was commendable. For by now Yuvi and Avni had barely decided on the table yet. Yuvi helped Avni to pull their luggage bags. All these years he had been thinking about her, about her (rather their) fate.  Couple of common friends would at times tell him about Avni and how she was finding it difficult to cope with her married life. He cared for her. But he never mustered courage to call once. He knew Avni was a free bird who could not be caged by social and cultural boundries. She indeed was.

“Voici votre sandwich et jus Monseur. Souhaitez-vous ajouter quelque chose d’autre?” The serveur was back with the sandwich and juices.
“No Merci monsieur” It was Avni now, thanking the serveur for his services.

When people are hungry, people feel they are alone in the world. Avni was no strange to this fact as she quickly pounced on the neatly cut sandwich. “Yummmm, Yuvi! This is heaven.” She said. Yes indeed, Yuvi thought. For how else could he describe heaven? He was sitting there with the woman he loved in the beautiful Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris, alone away from the prying eyes of any one they knew in common. He allowed Avni to munch on the delicious sandwich while he sipped the Orange juice. He just wanted to clock to go slow on them today, at least today. He remembered how they had missed the train once, and once more all due to his mistake. He so much wanted to compensate the journey today.

“So what are you going to do now?” Avni asked at her howling and munching best.
“I wish I could do any thing” Yuvi said sheepishly.
“Sorry?”
“I mean I wish I could do any thing to the flight that left early. I guess I will have to take another one now, unless there is another way.”
“There is, if you wish to try.”
“How?” Yuvi knew she is going to mention the TGV.
“You can take a TGV to London. But I dont know if there is one from here that goes directly to London.”
“Okay. Good idea! That way we can…” Yuvi stopped. Was he making it too obvious?
“We what?”
“We can travel together. Can we?”
Avni could only smile. Yuvi indeed was making it obvious.

They spent the next one hour discussing about IT projects, abbout what Yuvi’s job profile was, about how Avni’s last trip tp Lille was so boring… the topics were endless. When the serveur came to clear the tables, Yuvi asked him about the TGV schedules. There was indeed a train to London about 2 hours from then, passing Lille. Avoiding the smile was now getting difficult for him. He checked Avni’s tickets to make sure if she was traveling by the same train, which wasn’t the case.

“Oops! But can we not travel by the same train? You will end up reaching early. Is it not.”
“Yeah… but.”
“Now common. It is possible right? Please Avni. We have met after such a long time and you are doing this to me. Spoil sport!”
“Now dont start okay? What spoil sport?”
“Yes, you have always been like that. You couldn’t even…”
“Yuvi!”
“Okay okay… take your time till I clear the bills.”
If only he could understand what Avni was going through. He hadn’t changed a wee bit. He couldn’t understand her then, 4 years back. And he couldn’t understand her now. ‘But then he has always been like that’, she thought to herself. She finally agreed, much to Yuvi’s joy.

Charles De Gaulle indeed is a beautiful airport. It served perfect rendezvous for the two lost lovers in disguise. Their talks meandered from the college days to projects to economies and then to Yuvraj’s marital status. He avoided it with his guile and chivalry. But threw it back at her asking her about her marriage. Avni was stunned. A ten minutes silence walking past the series of branded stores and some comforting words from Yuvi brought her back to the composure. Avni wanted to talk. And she did. She just exploded.

They spoke about her marriage with Sujit, about her discomfort with the traditional household, about the forced child and about how much she missed the life before marriage. She wanted to tell him how much she compared him with her husband. But he retained her composure. “I was going around with some one else. I mean not exactly having an affair… but thinking about some one.” Yuvi was taken aback, but this time knew who the guy was. It was him! Within an instant they were standing looking at each other… holding hands. It felt like the lost love had come back. And the silence was broken… by a sound. It was the ring tone of Avni’s mobile and the CLI software in the mobile was reading a name sending chills down her spine. “Sujit”

To be continued…

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