He was walking along the Besant nagar beach. The trip to Astalakshmi temple this time did not calm his nerves as it did for past years. He sat there on the sandy beach, looking at the setting sun, it was here it all started six years ago, he had just joined his friends after a day long work, that was when he saw her, at first she was only a outline against the setting sun, slowly when the figure emerged he saw her, she was as simple as any other girl or was it that smile which first captured her imagination. That was just that as his attention went back to the hand cart “Mobile murugan idly”. He came back to the present, with the words”What the same dream again” .He took the ice-cream from her hand and returned back to gazing the sea as she sat beside him.
Six years have passed by, he had returned to Chennai, from US to visit his father or was he talked in to this by mini, He wondered how the relationship is going to patch up. How strange it is going to be to face his family which kicked him out or is it that he dumped them. He had not contacted them after that ill-fated fight with his dad when he had called his father to share the news of the Krystal’s birth. As if reading his thoughts mini held his hand and patted him, it was her method of re-assuring him that what ever he was doing she was with him. He sighed and they started to walk towards Murugan idly shop, the old hand cart was now in shambles, probably the boy who drove it has now joined the shop.
It was a rainy day when he saw her again, as he was rushing to the near by theatre,He stood there for a min ,she looked special this time ,was it the skirt she was wearing or the dimple when she was smiling, there was lightning and then with the thunder came the voice of Ram, “if you do not make it to theatre in time I am going to kill you” it was his favorite heroine’s first Tamil movie (she was a superstar in Malayalam by then).Ram was waiting with wet tickets in his hand and they handed it over to the gatekeeper who seriously tore them and sent them in. For him the movie was nothing new except that the heroine’s image kept changing from Meera to the girl in the rain. Attributing this to the lack of nicotine in the system, he moved out for a smoke. It was then he saw her while entering the movie, but was it a guy there with her? There was a panic or what was it? Why should it matter it him, he went back to the seat but still could not help himself from checking out their proximity every now and then.
He woke up next morning, it was a 2 hour ride to his village from there, the road was severely damaged by recent rains, he was still not sure if his family would embrace him again, the place had not changed much but for the rust on the gate, the old tractor which he liked so much was no where to be seen, as was the Rammaiah the watchmen, the gate made a strange noise and seem to protest his entry as it resisted his attempt to open. He glanced at mini and entered the house; he could now see the cattle shed, his smoking haven.
TO Be Continued.......