Jonathan: This is the ultimate blend to drink. How’d you find this place?
Sara: I first came in because of the name: Serendipity. It’s one of my favorite words.
Jonathan: It is? Why?
Sara: It’s such a nice sounding word for what it means: a fortunate accident.
- From the movie Serendipity (2001)
His elbow struck the iron sidebar, as he jostled with his suitcase on the luggage shelf to get it out. Curses flew hard and fast off his shivering mouth on the cold winter morning, when nothing seemed to be going right for him. He missed the train, had to pay twice over to the autowallah because of the strike, and now he was bumping around in this fidgety old bus, going at a snail's pace in what seemed like an eternal traffic hold up. Just as he sat back in his seat after pulling over a jacket that he had just managed to get out of his suitcase after a few scratches on his elbow, he saw an air-conditioned bus pull alongside the one in which he was traveling. It was a huge thing, an imported Mercedes-Benz body with large glass windows that never opened and beautiful blinds that blocked all the passengers from view and real world lights.
"Queer are the ways of the rich and the famous", he said to himself as he wished in his heart that he could have boarded a similar thing in the kind of weather... But that was not really possible, so he went back to listening to James Blunt on his mp3 player...
"Yes she caught my eye, as I walked on by... " he was humming along when he suddenly saw the blinds being unfolded for one of the windows, from the corner of his eyes. She was beautiful indeed. As she flipped through the pages of the book in her hand and fiddled with her locks falling on to her face every now and then, he was caught in a dilemma - what to concentrate on - the book or it's reader. Suddenly he realised she was reading Marley and Me, an original cover hard bound. "Must be a rich man's daughter", he thought to himself again. He had a pirated photocopy version of the same book in his backpack too, one he had been compelled to pick up off a vendor on the sidewalks after watching the movie on his friend's laptop, of course, off a pirated DVD.
He hadn't been able to finish the last few pages in part because of the almost unreadable print and more because of his recent disenchantment with the book, the movie he thought was better made. Now suddenly, he felt the urge to read the rest of the book. He got up again to reach for his backpack on the luggage shelf. Surprisingly, he got to it with ease, and there were no bruises to show. As he got down to reading, the words started floating in weird three dimensional patterns once again and he was reminded of his childhood days as a dyslexic kindergartner who was a riddle to parents and teachers, alike... Aamir Khan hadn't thought of directing his own movies back then!
Realising that he couldn't really concentrate on his reading he thought he would better concentrate on the beautiful reader than the book. So he began stealing glances every once in a while, until he saw to his surprise the cute damsel from the other bus waving the book's cover. He saw around himself to ensure that the call was for him indeed. With a sheepish grin, he nodded back with his copy of the book in hand.
She gestured back showing four fingers of her hand and then making the 'too good' sign - that was her favourite chapter from Marley and Me.
"What's your's?", she waved back with her hands, as if asking the question. "Same as you. Four", he gestured back. And they both shared long, admiring smiles.
to be continued...
Listening to: About A Girl, Nirvana
Images courtesy: deviantART
Dedicated to: James Blunt and You're Beautiful