It was cold, chilly, a usual December night. And it was silent. It is indeed weird how silent it can get inside an air conditioned train compartment.
There we were, talking. Things that lovers spoke. Things that still kept them together. Things that still made them pine for each other. After mistakes, repentance, anger and forgiveness. After the initial hunger of bodily pleasures and sexual gratification dies down, its conversations that keep lovers sparks aglow.
Nearly a decade of being with him had taught me this.
Under the blanket provided for traveling by the railways, we dint play footsie.
We still held hands, entwined fingers. I still loved to feel his warmth, look into his eyes, the way they always gleamed, of his hair that was all fast turning white.
But something that never changed is the heady smell of romance. Of knowing him by his smell. Of running up to him and burying my face under his jawline and proclaiming every time that he still smelt the same
And never forgetting it. Even when he was long gone...
And so we spoke.
The train pulled in somewhere. I checked my watch. It was 2 am. I peeped out across the window opposite us and read Itarsi.
"You want tea?"
"I would love that"
And he ran out and came back with one kullhar (earthen cup) chai (tea).
He never drank tea.
He smiled back.
"Are u happy?" he asked.
I cupped the kulhar in between my palms to feel its warmth. Sipped slowly on the average concoction called train ki chai (trains tea).
It dint matter if he was seeing me in a worn out cotton salwar kameez. The 'dupatta', my keeper of modesty tucked away to pave way for comfort. Without make up or moisturiser.
As we spoke...
He took the empty cup and went to the common dustbin outside the compartment to discard it.
I lazily went to him, and put my head on his lap. Looked outside through the glass sheeted windows. Astonished I wondered if the measurement of the window height from the seats were such that lovers could gaze out with their head on their lovers lap??
He ran his fingers on my head, my hair, on my course raven lack hair. I could see nothing out of the window, save the occasional lights.
We were both silent...
First time journeys together...
In such a long, long journey..
Of love and longing,
Of tales and stories...
and conversations in Itarsi