(Created & Written by: Jitesh Donga)
(Edited by: Saunak Dasgupta.)
Manav, a 22 year old student of Economics in Mumbai University, was a chilled out, smart guy, happy in his own terms. In the exhausting heat of Mumbai summers he used to roam at the beaches just like enthusiastic beach comber. He loved it. He loved it because Mumbai beaches were full of hot girls ready to give their heart out to anyone with few kind words and a patient ear.
But today was different. He wasn’t enjoying himself as much as he would have liked to. Whole day he spent on the hot sands of Juhoo beach, but couldn’t find a single girl who would get trapped in his charms. His mind drifted to Zola.
Days before at the same place, he spotted Zola. She has been just like his other catches, beautiful and trusting too easily. With black goggles and a wooden stick he walked in her direction, imitating a blind person. He did a small tumble when he reached her and as he had thought, she came running to his help. With sympathy on his side, he easily convinced her to take a walk with him. Now there are hardly few things more romantic than taking a walk on the beach, the ocean washing your feet and the evening sun setting in. Soon he made her fall deeply in love with him. She asked for his number and from then on Zola used to spend long hours daily taking with him over the phone. She often confessed to him that how deeply in love she was with him, and that she wanted to meet him again. She even told her parents that she might marry him.
After being in touch for about two months, he changed his cell number. She tried to call a thousand times but couldn’t reach him. Each time she would dial the number in hopes of hearing her love, but the only thing she heard was: The number you have dialed does not exist, please check the number! She was betrayed. She had fulfilled her use and Manav was on another journey.
This was his attitude to life; it goes on and so must we. Take everything you can out of life because there is only one life. And you have to make the most out of it. Live, love, smile, cry, fall, fly, use and throw and don’t give a shit about anyone else.
Today was weird though. There were so many girls roaming on the beach, but not a single girl who would fall prey to his tricks. There was yet time for the sun to set, so he decided to take a last walk on the beach and then leave for dinner alone. His bare feet in the cold water gave him relief from the heat of the day and frustration of being without a girl. He kept walking.
“Excuse me!” voice came from nearby. She was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. It was as if an Apsara had descended from the heavens. For a while his mouth remained open on the sight of a beauty his mind couldn’t fathom. Her eyes were closed and her face was radiating a heavenly glow which could make the whole Ocean to ebb back.
“Yes.” He replied energetically.
“What color it is?” she asked him.
“Then?” he asked curiously.
“What do you mean- what color the ocean is?”
“I mean if it’s not too much of a trouble then could you please tell me what colour the ocean is right now…”
“Well then why don’t you open your eyes and see for yourself. Don’t mock the blind. I don’t like such girls.” Manav replied, his frustration evident in his outburst.
“Sorry sir…. I admire your thoughts, but the truth is that I can’t see.”
“Oh”, Manav cried inside on his Waggish treat. His irritation vanished. He regretted the words he had blurted out of his mind without giving it a moment’s thought.
“It’s blue… um…. Sorry I didn’t want to hurt you but…” he said.
“Don’t be sorry” she paused. ” Does it look great?”
“Yes. Certainly…. This whole beach looks great.”
“Would you please walk with me for a while?” Girl requested.
“Um…. ok.” he hesitated for a while. Today was surely a weird one because unlike all his schemes with various girls on this summer, today that the devil didn’t arise. Instead he felt a genuine care for her.
“Could you please talk me through about what’s happening around us as we walk?” Girl requested him. Manav was still regretting his comment. He was just glad that he could be of any help to her.
“Sure”, he said “why don’t I carry your slippers so that you can feel the tides and ebbs on your feet.”
He took her slippers in his left hand and with another he carefully held her hand, just like sagacious child holds his parents. He told her about the family playing with their kids, a couple walking hand in hand and birds flying against the backdrop of the setting sun. But mostly he remained quiet. She broke the silence.
“Sarah…. I ‘m Manav.” He said.
“So… Sarah what do you do?”
“I’m studying literature in Andh Jan School. I love writing poetry. What else a blind girl can do, who doesn’t know what color ocean it is?” She said. Words stabbed the boy’s heart. With his pale face he said.
“Wonderful. Quite impressive” he managed. He glanced at her. The open locks of her hair flying over her face and closed eyes made her look so stunning that it could make even Kelpie fall in love with her.
“Tell me about you Manav, How is your life?”
“My life? Well same like yours!”
“Blind?” She smiled.
“Do you have any girl friend?”
“Not any permanent. I don’t believe in prolonged relationships. I just use a girl to my minds fill and then move on to another. You see, they come like this tide, rushing to me and touching my feet, but not my heart!”
She couldn’t control her laugh.
“Seriously I am probably like the best womanizer around”
“No. I am laughing because all these girls were just as blind as me! ”
“No. They weren’t”
“Then what else?”
“Their love was!” boy said. Sarah smiled. Manav had never opened himself so honestly to any other girl. He was an expert liar and could convince others anything he wanted, but today somehow he didn’t feel like deceiving this blind girl. Today was somehow different. He thought he was in love with her. May be a Blind love! Their chat went on.
“Do you have any boyfriend?”
“It would be an ugly joke then”
“Why? Anyone can have a boyfriend. God must have created a guy who would fall in love with you and cherish you.”
“ Yes, right !!” She smiled.
As the sun was yet to sink in, they took a long walk. He decided to spend more time with her. He told her that he wouldn’t let her go until she had dinner with him. She was enjoying the company, so she accepted.
“What’s your dream, Manav?” She asked.
“Dreams…. It’s a tough word for me”
“Should blind people have dreams?” She asked childishly.
“Oh God”, he almost skipped a beat.
“You okay?” She smiled to him. In the cool evening breeze, her hair was flying towards the ocean. The last rays of the sun were touching her moony face. She was looking more beautiful now.
“What?” She again smiled curiously.
Manav turned towards her throwing their slippers away. In his heart throbbing, he held her hands in a gentle touch. He wanted to kiss her eyes and hug her so tightly and never let her go away from him. This time it wasn’t lust, but pure love.
“Manav….” Her smile vanished. She wanted him to speak.
“Promise me Sarah; we would keep in touch forever” His eyes were eager for her reply.
“Oh… ” She smiled.
“Is this boy being blind behind me?”
“Yes. I am” He said. His oceanic expectancies were waiting for her promise.
“Manav…You said all that girls weren’t blind- their love was.”
“Yes” He feared.
“Then you must add my name on the top of that list. Blind in both ways” Her voice heavy. She tried to control herself. She hugged him tightly.
Manav couldn’t speak anymore. He almost choked on his boundless joy.
‘Dream’ was not a heavy word anymore. After that first and last walk, they exchanged their contact numbers. He was mad for Sarah. He often said to her on call; “I am just like the poems created by you. Just like words of your poems, you give meaning to my existence …My soul is connected with yours. You are blind . But so is my love.” And in return she always laughed on his craziness. He wanted to meet her again, but Sarah hesitated.
As days passed he grew more fond of her. He wanted to marry her. He often told his parents that he wanted to marry her, but Sarah was not ready yet.
But things began to get weird between them. Sometimes she was totally avoiding him. She had changed. She wouldn’t answer his meaningless questions and used to get annoyed by his ‘I love you’. She wouldn’t agree to even meet him. Ofcource he couldn’t see the change in her as his love was totally insane. He feared; what if she broke up with him? Manav begged her “Give me your address; we would fix all things” but she wouldn’t! Two months passed.
On one cloudy day, Manav was sitting on the wet sand of Juhu beach, his eyes waiting for her. Today he was extremely happy because Sarah promised him that she would come. Beach was full of hot girls but his eyes were searching for only one, Sarah. He decided that whatever it takes, he would never let her go away.
Sun was sinking in the ocean, dusk was yet to fall. He waited for six hours but she didn’t come. A deep pain of betrayal was stabbing his soul. He tried to call her about hundred times but she didn’t answer. In rage of being trapped, he ran towards water to throw his cell. He was yet to throw it when one message beeped in. She was Sarah!
“Neither was I blind nor was my love…..Blindness was all yours” it read.
He threw his cell and cried out in rage. He realized what pain Zola had suffered because of him. He looked towards the ocean and yelled:
“No…Love isn’t blind….Romeo and Juliet are”
One small fish was dying on the shore. Water had left her…Betrayed her. He cupped that dying fish in his palm and put her carefully in water. As the fish swam back into the ocean, his rage also washed away.