Motocycle Drive By.
I thought about the times I have sat at the back of a bike, feeling on top of the world, inhaling the air that forces itself into your lungs bringing about a feeling of freshness, however polluted it may be.
I thought about June, and how much time I spent on a motorbike, going from one place to another in Bangalore.
I thought about Bangalore, and the people in it. The people that I now know, and have come to care about, and love. I thought about the care and love I receive when I go there.
And suddenly, I thought about my birthday, which just passed me by a few days ago. Abrupt change of thought? Not really. My birthday was made beautiful by a bunch of my friends in Delhi and Bangalore, who kept a really really big secret which exploded in supernova style on the day of my birth.
I woke up on my birthday, expecting it to be just another day. I spoke on the phone. I accepted good wishes.I met my grandmother.I went for a chinese lunch with my parents and sister. I met other members of my extended family. And I bought alcohol and food for a get together that I thought would be like any other.
On reaching home in the evening, I found a few friends already home. I talked with them for a bit, and I went in for my bath.
Only to realise that there was no shampoo. Stepping out of the loo, I walked cautiously to my parent's bathroom, and picked up a bottle of shampoo when my phone rang.
It was Nishi..."Cuddlesome..where are you?"
"I'm at home...where are you? I've been waiting for you since five o'clock!"
"Ah...I'm just two minutes away!!"
"Ok...so I'm going in for a bath, so just come upstairs and I'll see you in a bit"
"No no...wait! I'm only two minutes away...you can take my birthday present and then go for your bath"
"But...people are starting to arrive, Nishi...and I'm in my bathrobe!"
"Noooooooooo....wait! Just two minutes...I'm almost there. Just wait."
"Good...and you better like my present."
Another sighhh, this time accompanied by what Nishi and Harsh would call a motherly smile.
"Yes yes, dont worry. I'll like it."
Ten minutes later, Nishi had still not arrived. Meanwhile Naveena and I were chomping on some noodles that had been made for the evening. Then the doorbell rang and I heard Nishi call, "Cuddlllleeeeeeeeeeee!"
I wondered why she wasn't just coming up to the room and instead, calling for me from downstairs.
Now when I think about it, I don't know why I didn't suspect something...Perhaps because it was above and beyond my wildest imaginations.
I peeped out of my door. The secret stood revealed. And in beautiful tandem, I realised that there had been one, all this while.
What awaited me, accompanied by Nishi, Anupam, and a few others, was beyond my realm of understanding, imagination, expectation, or hope. And yet the secret stood smiling at me, mischevously. I simply could not believe what I was seeing. I shouted. I gaped. I went back into my room. I wondered if I was dreaming (this is not a figure of speech. I really did). I told my sister in bewilderment. I came back out. I was hugged. And kissed. I told mama. I told Abba. I cried like a baby, with happiness and disbelief.
What followed, just cannot be expressed in words. So I'll leave it at that.
It's been the best birthday ever. When I looked back and thought about it while driving, I still couldnt believe it had actually happened. And when I think about it now, I feel like it was too good to be true. But it was. Too good, and very true. I don't even know how to thank those who made it possible for me to experience what its like to sob with inexplicable happiness.
And to my birthday secret - I love you. I cannot even begin to tell you how much.