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There were rows of stones on the side of the mountain road. There a girl was sitting alone with a sad face lost in herself. A boy was watching him from far away… This painting in the art gallery was of Ashish Kumar! Zeba was staring at the painting on the white wall for a while. I don’t know what was it that was being pulled towards them.
“Zeba, look at the rest of the paintings too. How long have you been standing here.” When Divya Ma’am touched his shoulder softly, Zeba started looking at him silently.
Actually this picture was reminding Zeba of his past. Yesterday was 20 years ago! At that time, Zeba must have been 17-18 years old, Papa’s posting had become Darjeeling. She started feeling depressed due to the loss of friends and lack of interest in the new college. There was a mountain road in front of the house, where sometimes a bus would be seen, otherwise there would be silence the whole time.
Zeba would sit for hours on the stones on the side of the same road. Papa does not get time from work and mother…” Zeba had not even seen mother.
Meanwhile, Zeba started realizing that someone is hiding and watching him. who is that? Mountain roads, steep slopes, between distant lifeless stones… Who was it that gazed at him secretly and hid as he turned with lightning speed? As soon as this thought came, Zeba’s delicate heart throbbed, his eyes too stealthily started waiting for the one who saw him.
At last the game of hide and seek is over. The name of the boy who silently gazed at her was Pinky. Blonde, pink, shy boy and name Pinky! Zeba had doubled down on laughter. When did the first love happen to Zeba while laughing while meeting. And Pinky… He was giving heart to Zeba at first sight.
He used to say, “You look like burdock flowers, I used to look at you for hours lost in my senses.”
Zeba laughed and said, “Hey, why didn’t you speak idiot? Call me once You also know how scared I was in the beginning…”
“Thinked that you should not get angry, don’t stop coming here,” then thinking for a while, he said, “You know, Zeba, you look like a painting sitting here silently among the stones. One day I will make a picture of you. You are very beautiful.”
Looking at her, he spoke in a lost tone as if he really had a brush in his hands and a canvas in front.
Zeba would see the face of this innocent boy where there was love and belonging, where the light of truth was scattered.
Out of the whirlpool of loneliness and sadness, Zeba had found the ocean of happiness, but where did she know that these wishes were only for a few days. Don’t know why smiles last so long?
Only a few days had passed that the peon Baba had given all this news to the father. Those two pairs of palms, whose two hearts swelled with joy as soon as they met, were separated forever.
Dad made a hasty decision. Anyway, the father of the daughters of a mother without mother, seeing the cold and warm of the world, becomes very hard-hearted.
Immediately Zeba was sent to Delhi, the aunt’s house. She kept crying. Leaving his house and being forcefully sent elsewhere was making him sad.
Some days Zeba kept crying, the smile of that mountain boy, staring at him, he would often miss his words… How difficult it is to forget the moments filled with love.
It is said that time is the biggest healer. Days passed, the gloom of the passing years made those footprints lighter. New college, new friends… Zeba missed that ‘pink boy’ now.
Putting the memory coins aside, Zeba took off the pink frame glasses. His eyes were still on the same painting. His eyes were getting moist, he felt annoyed at himself. Being the mother of two children and the wife of famous physician Asad Gilani, such a weak heart? This childish act? Missing the love that happened at the age of 17-18? Quit! Is it good to be so emotional at this age?
But why did you want to see that pink-faced boy again? Not even this heart! With a forceful smile, he looked at Divya Ma’am, who was indicating to him to come towards her.
“Meet them, famous artist Ashish Kumar. I was telling them that our sister is doing her PhD on your painting. Madam, watching your painting for half an hour.”
Divya Ma’am laughed and said.
“Hello” said Ashish Kumar, bowing his head slightly.
“Hello, my self…”
“Zeba!” Ashish Kumar completed Zeba’s talk.
She was watching in surprise. This face… are prayers accepted so quickly? How much the slender pink boy had changed. The long brown hair was now neatly cut. Full face… But the pink chikan kurta worn with jeans was still bringing the same pink color to his face. Zeba couldn’t take his eyes off her.
“You two know each other?” When Divya Ma’am asked, Ashish smiled and looked at Zeba.
“No, I don’t know Ashish sahib, I only know Pinky.” As soon as Zeba said this, Ashish Kumar had the same old smile on his face. Years later, today was a pink meeting. A pink streak was visible on both of their faces.
– Sabahat Afreen
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