Petrichor.

petriThey were never meant to be. And they knew it.

Smoke. Loud music. Hazy lights.

They were standing in one corner of the club, giggling and guzzling down beer. Her eyes shone like a bright star. The multi-coloured lights created abstract patterns on her face. He looked  into her kaleidoscope eyes.

She puffed the cigarette absent mindedly and let out a cloud of smoke. His face was hazy. But she could see him smile. His lips parted, and then he looked down, shook his head and gave an impish grin.

It was late. The DJ had started playing Bollywood tracks. “Tu mera hero” boomed all across the club. It was cramped. Everyone around were swinging their hips. He took her hand into his, and made their way towards the bar.

“One vodka. One whiskey,” he shouted across to the bartender.

“Now I want to dance!” she yelled loudly above all the noise.

“Is she your girlfriend, bro?” one of his friend winked and asked him, at the dance floor.

“Are you?” he took his mouth near her ears and whispered.

They kept looking into each others eyes. The lights faded.

________________________________________________________________________

“That star over there. That is Bellatrix,” she pointed it out to him.

“Like the witch?” he asked.

“Like me, yeah”

They were lying down on top of his terrace, as the night sky looked down upon them.

It was 3 AM. There was complete silence in the neighborhood, apart from their breath, and the occasional sound of a cricket.

“The sky isn’t so clear in Mumbai,” she said.

“…and it was all yellow,” he crooned.

“Don’t even try. You are a horrible singer and you know it,” she teased, as a smile creased her lips.

_______________________________________________________________________

“Nahoy kichhu shukno paata chhoriye chhitiye thaak,

Nahoy kichhu na pawa ta naa pawai thaak..

Kolkata’r ei shoru golita, moner bhaaj e thaak,

Amader ei shopno ta ogochhaloi thaak..”

She read that out.

“Wow. Heabby,” he said.

“Heabby? That’s all? You bring the poet out of me. And all you say is heabby?”

“Poet out IN me,” he corrected.

She threw a pillow at him, disgusted.

He ducked and engulfed her into a hug.

_________________________________________________________________________

“Are you sure?” she asked.

“Never been so sure in my entire life,” he panted, while taking off his tee shirt.

The ceiling fan was running in full speed. But they had sweat droplets all over their face.

It was a warm summer afternoon. Their bodies became one.

A tear drop trickled down from the corner of her right eye, as he clasped her palm tightly.

“I love you, you know that?,” he whispered.

“But.. I am leaving.. ” she tried to say something.. her eyes welling up.

“Shhh.. Don’t say anything,” he said, and kissed the top of her head.

_______________________________________________________________________

She isn’t a morning person. She has never seen such early mornings before.

The turtle top Calcutta cab, yellow and black in colour, sped towards the airport.

People were getting up to start a brand new day. The hawkers were stacking newspapers on their cycle.

The street urchins were taking bath near the roadside tap.

She could hear the morning azaan from a faraway mosque.

Her kajal was smudged. Hair tied in a careless bun. Eyes puffy.

She was wearing his tee-shirt. Souvenir?

She took out a cigarette, looked out of the window and let out a ring of smoke.

They were never meant to be. She was always meant to go back to where she belonged. They knew it, didn’t they?

_______________________________________________________________________

He was still in bed. Lying down on his chest. Hair disheveled.

She didn’t want to wake him up. Goodbyes are always tough.

It was difficult to face him for the last time. She decided it was better this way.

A note was shoved inside his fist. A quickly written note on the golden paper, taken out from his cigarette pack.

The letters were red. Written sloppily with her lipstick.

He moved uncomfortably on his bed.

The note fluttered out of his fist.

It had two words written on it.

“Bhalo Thaakish..”

Author’s Note: A lot of stuff in the post is in Bengali, since the protagonists are Bengali and the story is set in Calcutta. Feel free to hit me back, if you need help with the translation.

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