Solo trip or an Eye Opener?
Megha looked at her watch. It wasn’t too late. She could make it to her flight. Gosh! What a day it had been. She had come back from work and had packed all the stuff needed for her kids and husband. She had ironed their clothes, instructed her cook to come on time and rushed out of the door saying goodbye to her family. Yes! This was her first SOLO trip. She had wanted to do this for a long time and Sandeep had finally pushed her to go take a break. After all, she deserved some time for herself too.
She had pondered a lot about the place where she could let her hair down and stay relaxed for a couple of days before heading home to the routine and the grind. Her mind conjured up wonderful places but her heart seemed to be moving in concentric circles desiring to visit GOA. She had been there a lot of times but this trip was going to be different. A trip in solitude, on her own. She felt guilty going without family but she did want this break badly. As she rushed towards the terminal she heard the last announcement for boarding. She rushed towards the gate and finally as she settled on her seat, she announced to herself – THIS IS GOING TO BE A MEMORABLE TRIP.
It was a few hours after she checked in into the resort. It was late evening and she decided to don a black dress for dinner. She went into the restaurant and started scouring the room for her favorite delicacies. She felt someone gazing at her. She turned around and came face to face with the delinquent. He smiled at her warmly. He would be in his mid-thirties, pleasant with a cheerful disposition. She wouldn’t categorize him as being handsome but yet he did seem attractive, in an unknown way. She snapped out of her thoughts only to find him gone – maybe he went to his room, she thought. Maybe her mind was just overreacting but she did blush thinking of the lingering gaze that he gave her.
That night Megha watched the waves brush the shores and wash away everything that the sand had conspired. Her mind was calm, she thought of her family and then her life which, at times seemed so lonely, even with everyone around. It was a decade of their marriage and though they loved each other immensely, yet those special moments were barely there. Time had taken a toll and the spark was missing from their marriage. However, the love that she shared with her husband was more than enough to keep the relationship strong and blissful. The sound of the waves calmed her mind as she slowly walked on the beach, feeling the water touch her feet, wet them and run away to the far away seas. It was indeed ethereal.
The next day she woke up early and looked at herself in the mirror pleasantly satisfied at the face that was looking back at her. She seemed relaxed and at ease. Time was her slave. She wore a floral dress this time to match her mood and went off to the beach. The waters seemed to beckon her again and again.
“Hello There", she heard someone calling her. She turned and saw the same person with whom she had a brief rendezvous the previous night at the restaurant. She could now see him clearly. He seemed intellectual and joyous. There was an aura around him that was so resplendent. “Hello”, she responded back. Thus began the small talk which then led to a long conversation that circled around marriage, relationships, children, family – it seemed like their enthusiastic talks engulfed everything around them till there was none left. She discovered that he was not married. However, he traveled a lot in lieu of his work and he was there for a business meeting. He asked her if she could join him to visit Goan markets that the day and she readily agreed. All through the day they exchanged thoughts, laughed a lot, discovered their likes and dislikes and enjoyed Goa in a manner that she had never thought possible.
Sometimes, it is fun to be with strangers as they don’t have any idea about you and they are not judgemental. You can be whoever you are. whatever you may desire to be around such people, she thought. It was an enjoyable day. As the day drew to an end, she realized that she had a flight to catch from Panjim the morning after. The trip was only for a day - one that was rapidly coming to a close. She told him she had to call it a night and had to return to her room. He looked into her eyes, took her hand and slowly started to walk towards the beach. No word was spoken between the two lost souls, no sentences exchanged at that time.
A ship in the distant horizon sounded a horn, so loud that it made Megha come out of her repertoire. She realized that it was time for her to go back to her room. She got up when he pulled her down, gave her a parting kiss on the cheek and moved away to disappear in the darkness. She was too shocked to react. She slowly came back to her room and started packing for her flight the next day. She seemed in a stupor.
As the cab started towards Panjim in the morning, Megha looked at the railway lines in front of her, they were parallel, never meant to meet, yet were prevalent for a purpose. Life is complex and so is a relationship. Many people cross our paths, the ones who are meant to stay will do. There are some who briefly come in our life, make us happy for some time and then go away leaving a spark that never fades. The stranger was like that spark – one who would never fade in her memories. He had made her stay indeed memorable. He made her feel alive and wanted after years and she was grateful for that.
As Megha stepped out of the airport, she saw her family eager to receive her. This was her world – her amazing little world. Whatever little had transpired in Goa was minuscule in comparison to what she possessed here. Looking at her contemplative face, her husband asked, “Is everything okay Megha? You did miss us a lot I guess “.
Megha looked at her husband’s face and said “Of course I am fine. Yes! I missed you all even if it was only for a day." A lie, one uttered in good faith yet one that made her feel a tad guilty. She shrugged off the feeling, looked at her family, took their hands in hers and made a run for their car... Yes, she was home! What a revelation her first SOLO trip had been.