A Love Story That Doesn’t Include My Wife!

Of course such a title is an attention grabber isn’t it?

Not long ago, part of my job included that I see the earliest possible shows of all the Telugu films that have been released or were ready for release. And once such a show was done, I would be the first person to rush out of the theater –  not necessarily because most Telugu movies deserved running away from the theater, but also because I just like to get into the light as soon as possible, and if possible try and skip the crowds too! Most often I would use such an occasion to stand outside as people slowly came out of the theater discussing what they liked (more often it would be what they didn’t like – deservedly so – it’s Telugu movies!)

One such movie was Villain (a dubbed version of Tamil Raavanan). While for many others it was a Mani Ratnam film, for me it was the rare combination of Santosh Sivan – Mani Ratnam – A.R.Rahman, but otherwise the name of A.R.Rahman would generally be enough! While I sat watching the movie, sometimes fully attentive and most often bored, I was fully into Rahman’s score. Fortunately for me the climax of the film caught my attention. Just when the film ended I, being I, was ready for my Olympic sprint to the exit, but then Rahman caught me off guard with his song Egiripo (Jaa Re Udjaa Re from Hindi Raavan).

I was so amazed by the beauty of the film ending and of course the song – I didn’t move an inch off my seat. The song was slow, and the end titles rolled even slowly. When everyone else left and I was left alone in the theater, I started walking towards the exit, very slowly. I was giving myself maximum chance to listen to the full song, which wasn’t released with the general audio of the film.

As I found myself all seriously smiling in myself with Rahman’s beautifully egoistic rendition of his own tune, I sensed a figure moving towards me. It was a girl. Like me she too didn’t notice another person’s presence until I noticed her. She didn’t say a thing and I, being I, increased my speed of walking towards the exit, away from her, and stood at the exit door, to savor the song alone, until I could. When finally it was done, I gave a look towards this girl. She was twenty something, who on any other day would pass me by and wouldn’t even notice me, and viceversa. But for a moment there, if my memories aren’t pulling my legs, she gave me a half smile. Half because I was a stranger to her, and smile – not just as an expression of how the intensity of the song moved her but also as an understanding of how my face looked after having heard that song. Partly I also felt that the smile a way of fighting her tears, and partly an appreciation of the fact that we were the only two left in the theater until that song finished!

Now I being I, didn’t smile back and left the place almost hurriedly, even though for a moment I did allow myself a moment of wonderment! Today I don’t even remember seeing her face clearly. I’ve never told this to my wife or may be I did, but that love story of that couple with Rahman’s background score ended there, in that moment.

For reasons unknown to me, I keep telling my friends that ‘love is never between two people, but between a human and his-individual-self’, or sometimes that ‘love is just a moment of wonderment’! Most often they don’t get it, and infact I don’t it get it myself. I guess that’s what makes a love story interesting – a bit vague, a bit complex, a bit too simple and a bit too contradictory to all that is called the ‘norm’!


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