The Girl I Owe a Denim Jacket

posted in: Short Story - English | 0

We both did PG program in the same campus. She pursued mass communication and I did management studies. 

I rated her BBB. Bubbly, brainy and beautiful. 

She had the habit of using her Rynolds pen as a hair pin, to put up her unruly silky hair.  

She called me Sidh, except when she wanted to put across a serious point. Whenever serious, she addressed me formally like, “You know what Sidharth…….” 

She loved me. 

I was always ready to bunk my operations research class to hang out with her. We shared Ardha Chai (half tea), Vada Pav and the seat of my bike.  

It was during one of those light moments she suddenly looked into my eyes and said, “You know what Sidharth…you owe me big time from our past life. You have a karmic debt with me.” I neither agreed nor disagreed with her statement. 

She was a storyteller, and I was a listener. 

She made me watch three times the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan romantic comedy movie ‘You’ve got mail’, while I preferred to be with her in the silence of the Zen garden of Osho. 

October was fragrant. 

Christmas was bliss. 

Under the starry sky of January, hand in hand we watched Hariprasad Chaurasia and Shiv Kumar Sharma performing live in the Sawai Gandharva Music festival. Late night entry was not an issue in the hostel she had stayed. 

On the week exams were over, on a full moon night of March, she asked me to take her to Parvathy hills. She wanted to check out whether she could see the peaks of Chathurshringi temple from Parvathy hills. We together watched the majestic moon raising above the hills of the Goddess. Then she faced me and asked.  

“Sidharth, when do you think you would pay me back the debt you owe me?” 

I said “Come to my arms” 

She did. 

I was shocked for a moment by the sudden realization that how the sweet weight of her body perfectly balanced the unbearable lightness of my being. 

I kissed the crown of her head and said “Listen to my heart” 

In my arms, she tilted her head to listen to my heart…. 

My heart talked to her, begging forgiveness of many lifetimes …… 

How helpless I was when I sinned to her 

How mean I was when I used her 

How hopeless I was when I abandoned her 

How selfish I was when I took her for granted 

How wretched I was when I cheated her 

How worthless I was when I refused to protect her 

I begged forgiveness to the girl child, sister, woman, wife, and mother she had been to me, through lifetimes…. 

Pressing her face to my chest, she cried like a rainy night of monsoon. Late night she slept in my arms like a child. I stayed awake, watching the moon and her face transforming through the night, without disturbing her sleep. 

Early morning, I drove her back to her hostel. Getting down from the bike she removed her denim jacket and gave it to me. 

“Wear it Sidh, you won’t catch cold” 

I wore her jacket and warmth. 

She touched my hand and said…. 

“You know what Sidharth……I will let you go…” 

I was still wearing her jacket when I took exit of the city, to the express way, riding my bike full throttle. I had my backpack, and I rode alone, leaving behind the city I transcended.  

The city, which was modern and ancient for me, at the same time. 

Riding under the scorching sun of Deccan, I never wanted to have a stop until I reached. 

Under the same banyan tree, I met Master. Graceful, with an unfathomable gaze.  

I bowed to him. 

“You’re done with her?”, he asked. 

I staggered and hated him for asking that question. 

But answered, “Yes” 

“You still carry her vibes” he said, “Go, get a bath and come back” 

I was still wearing her jacket. 

Bathed, I sat by his side. 

He recited the universal master 

“नारीस्तनभरनाभीदेशम्, 

दृष्ट्वा मागा मोहावेशम्। 

एतन्मान्सवसादिविकारम्, 

मनसि विचिन्तय वारं वारम्” (Bhaja Govindam Verse 3, Jagat Guru Adi Sankara) 

(Do not get attracted on seeing the parts of woman’s anatomy under the influence of delusion, as these are made up of skin, flesh, and similar substances. Deliberate on this AGAIN and AGAIN in your mind) 

“Repeat the sloka thousand and one times” he said. 

My whole existence resisted. She was no skin, no flesh, no substance……… she was a beautiful and intelligent woman, made for me.   

But I obeyed him and recited the sloka and it tasted utter bitterin my mouth. Bitter than the most bitter substance in the whole world. 

I closed my eyes and repeated the sloka endlessly.  

World started receding around me…… 

Then, with each count, the bitterness dissolved 

I went on reciting until it started tasting sweet in my mouth 

Sweet as the heavenly honey 

Heavenly honey, straight from the divine heart 

Divine heart of the mystic blue forest 

‘Where a single day is better 

than a thousand elsewhere’ (Psalms 84:10, Bible

Where I yearn to dwell forever 

Where I yearn to dwell forever 

Where I yearn to dwell forever

Name : Rajesh M Jose

Company : ThinkPalm Technologies, Inforpark

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