You never know what you might find under the facade of a confident and pretty gal who gyms regularly. Ever since I changed my timings to suit my writing schedule, I came across this girl. She complemented me one day, I smiled and we started small talk. It started happening every day. Though we never ventured beyond small talk.

She could be doing anything beyond those 15 minutes that overlapped our work out sessions. She became a permanent fixture, an inevitable piece on the small time jigsaw puzzles that my days are these days. She could be a homemaker, She could be a BPO gal, she could be a business executive. She could be any strong woman of today. But it was today that has changed all that I used to think.

And today looked like just another day. I greeted her, she showed me some tricks with sticks and I was almost on my way out. I required to speak to some confident young women for an article I’d slated out to do today. She seemed to fit the bill. I walked back to her. She was cycling as she smiled.
Me: “Can I disturb you for a minute? I’m doing an article for Femina and I thought if you don’t mind being interviewed and photographed for that, I can give you further details of it.”
She was taken aback. She started fumbling through sentences which had nothing to do with getting some media exposure. She asked me for more details. I enquired about what she does. She said: Nothing. I had to ask her if she was married. She simply answered: “My mom and dad are finding a groom for me.” As she said that her lips and hands had started shaking. I couldn’t believe myself she was shivering with watery eyes as she said: “I’ll have to ask my parent’s permission for this.” After uttering this she suddenly seemed like a close book.

I smiled and patted on her back sympathetically as I told her there was no problem. I wish she understood that I didn’t mean to disturb her or unsettle anything.

Perhaps I had opened some wounds. All that existed between us had suddenly changed. She no longer smiled like a potential friend. I’ll meet her again tomorrow. Her parents might agree or disagree for the article. Nothing matters to me now except for the fact that I have lost her.

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