A Date With Solitude: Part 2 has been edited by Abha Mehra.
In case you missed the first part of A Date With Solitude, read it here.
I drove myself to SP ring road, to that place, my place, from where I could see the entire city. I took out my diary and opened a random page. As soon as I saw what it was, I burst into tears.
It was a note from my best friend.
“Life, I am writing this because I want you to be bad to him in a very good way. I want you to make him feel very special, and at the same time, I want you to teach him certain things that I am unable to. Life, you are amazing but if I compare you and Vyom, he is a little more amazing and lovable. Please do not put him in a situation where he has to change.”
She handed me this letter three years ago on my birthday. And in that moment, I promised her, that I would never change. Perhaps, all of us have a tendency to make false promises. We make promises when we are in a good mood. Well, I committed the same mistake.
We always existed as friends, the close ones. But soon, I started expecting more from this platonic relationship. My expectations were leading me down the path of self-destruction. I made the decision to walk away. I left, without even talking to her, or conveying any of my issues. Today, I realise how wrong I was.
It has been 3 years since then, and I have lost all touch with her. I do not know where she lives, nor do I know how to contact her. There is no sign of her presence on social media either. We had no common friends, so I could not ask anyone how she has been.
I sat thinking about her for a while. Suddenly, I had an urge to write. I took my pen out, opened a page of my diary, and wrote ‘Dakota’. I decided to start writing again, beginning with her story, I wanted to write something for her one last time.
I sat there for a very long time because the weather was amazing. The winds were kissing my cheek and the leaves were dancing to the tunes of the cold breeze. The sky, full of stars, was the sole witness to my tears and urged me to enjoy what I was here for, a date with solitude. Today, all I need to do is explore the vivid corners of my soul and listen to all they have to say. Sitting here, alone, amidst nature, I learnt the meaning of self-love.
Soon, I realised I was hungry. I left and was driving while listening to my favourite band, Indian Ocean. When I have to eat by myself, I usually go to Subway. However, today I decided to splurge.
I ended up going to Vishala. It has a very authentic village ambience. As soon you enter, your eyes are drawn to the hundreds of lanterns that light up the entire place. A puppet show is happening in one of the corners. And on the other side of the restaurant, Rajasthani folk music is performed live. All the staff is dressed in traditional Rajasthani attire. And my favourite part is sitting on the khatiya (bed) to watch all performances.
Indian food has its own beauty. The menu consists of Makke di roti, Sarso da saag, unsalted white butter and masala khichdi. I think I gained a lot of extra weight that day. Before I left, I clicked a picture with the man who slathered my roti with butter whenever I asked for it.
After eating what felt like ten days worth of food, I went for a walk to the riverfront.
As soon as I got there, I saw a bunch of kids playing football. I asked them if I can play and they agreed. I was given the role of goalkeeper. Even though I saved four goals, my team lost.
When I had to leave, I gave them all a hug, clicked a picture with them and started walking. Suddenly, I heard someone shouting, “Sir! Vyom Sir…Sir! Wait a minute.” The moment I turned my head, …
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