On the way back from a friend’s place, we decided to take the longer, more obscure route home just because we had all the time in the world today and because every little nook and cranny of Bangalore was rife with the colors of spring. Jacarandas, rosy trumpets, golden trumpets, bougainvilleas, gulmohars, you name it, and it was all around.
We stopped somewhere on the way, in an empty part of town, to buy a bottle of Pepsi from a shack and noticed this beautiful bougainvillea tree nearby. While walking back to the car after our purchase, Nachi crossed the road a little before me, partly because he walks faster than me and partly because I didn’t want to leave. As he went and stood there waiting for me next to our tiny car, beneath the scanty shade of this rugged bougainvillea tree, shades of bright fuschia towering over his head… Time just stopped.
The deep orange 5 pm sun kept grazing Nachi’s shaven head, it must have made him really hot. But he stood there against the excruciating pink nonetheless, looking at me with his usual abundance of love and smile and of course, a tiny bit of curiosity as to why I’m not crossing the road yet.
In my desire to cling onto that moment forever, my legs had turned to lead. I needed that moment to last longer, way, way longer.
Well, maybe it did.
And eventually, I decided to let it go.
“May I take a picture?”, I asked him from behind my mask before crossing over.
When we boarded the car again and started driving forward, we didn’t say anything and just turned the music on as usual. But I’ve been with this man long enough to know that despite the blinding sunlight, despite the layers and layers of mask, sunglasses, hair… he could see my eyes glistening still.
I could see his too.