Entry For TOI Competition

Two Strings.

-Nishita Agarwal

Syed and Gayatri didn’t mean to fall in love. But love happens when you least expect it. It creeps up suddenly. When someone needs attention, care, conversation, laughter and maybe even intimacy. Love doesn’t look at logic, or at backgrounds and least of all, religion.

Gayatri was from a very conservative South Indian family that went to a temple every Saturday. Syed bought goats for his family every Eid. That said it all. Their paths would never have crossed if it hadn’t been for that fateful day. That day when he walked into the coffee shop. Gayatri wondered if destiny chose our loved ones for us. Did we have any role to play at all?
She looked at her watch. Syed was late. They met every Thursday at five pm to catch up. Their conversation lasted for hours. Sometimes at the cafe, sometimes in his car, sometimes in places that she could never tell her friends about. They would never understand. And yet Syed made her happy.Suddenly her phone beeped. He had sent a message. “On my way. Have something important to tell you.”

Gayatri stared at it and realised she had knots in her stomach. Thoughts flooded her mind. What did he want to tell her?

 

I met her 5 years ago, in the same café where we meet every Thursday. We didn’t know each other and there was no reason for us to ever meet. We went to different colleges, we had different temples, we had distinct childhoods, and she was vegetarian I was not.

 

It was the 5th of July 2005, this café I knew had the best soufflé I had ever tasted, so to let my thoughts calm I went there. And as for her, I think she , she was brought

there by the forces of destiny.

I entered the café and it was filled with different colleges. It was the start of the year, everyone had their reasons to be emotional and touché.

Emotional cries everywhere. I remember this quote ran wild through my heart that day, “School is another kind of social media”. All one could here while sipping on their coffee was the comments they made on the A listers and the big-bad kids. None of them were concerned with their lives. It felt at if our names never belonged to us but to those who didn’t know us in-prompto.

The sky was all set for one’s romantic period, clouds twisted laid down there by an artist to sleep who wanted to give privacy to the to-be bride. Lovely it was.

I had never been in a relation with an organism from Venus, this made everyone think weird things about me, but I guess I had not found my Cleopatra.

Besides that I think all was fine.

 

When I first saw her she was with a group of 5 beautiful men, not boys, but men. Like any other girl she was quite comfortable with them, she was not the sensitive Barbie doll, she was beauty with brains. They all shared a strong bond and it seemed like she had always been more of a tom-boy than a girly girl, and I being the viewer admired it.

 

Little did I know that my eyes had almost refused to look anywhere else but at her divine smile and little was I to realize what I was calling for me, in about 5 minutes from when she walked in, I was beaten blank and blue, noone asked me or rescued me, they just bombarded me, in the void I was placed.

Aaah it pained for 3 days, what injury marks I had!

But I was to find my way to her again even if the woods were going to be dark and tempestuous.

Being in college you are the father of the constitution for your respective life. That’s right. I slept with internet for the following seven days to trace her, result oh don’t mind I didn’t mind it too. I could not find her.

It was the freshman’s party on 17th of July, all my friends helped me on their shoulders to the gates of the occasion.Besides the scene, that took place in the café our group of people were quite respected, my friends were rather shocked when they heard the news.

My friends and I had a major time there, we had each dish and each song of ours served to us, and we lived life better that day. Just when we were departing I saw my Cleopatra again, she looked different this time, it was as if she had a tamed twin. Or maybe she did.

As far as my friends were concerned they wanted me to go ahead and ask her for a dance the very same evening.

I walked upto her in the middle of the road and before I could utter words of invitation she fled from there. She was gone.

The very same afternoon I received a text message in which someone had written a quote “We live in cities you’ll never see on screen
Not very pretty, but we sure know how to run things
Living in ruins of a palace within my dreams
And you know, we’re on each other’s team”.

 

After hours of stupid numerology and astrological hunts I found out what this actually meant. And this was how I replied back to my stranger’s message.

“I’m kind of over getting told to throw my hands up in the air, so there
So all the cups got broke shards beneath our feet but it wasn’t my fault
And everyone’s competing for a love they won’t receive
Cause what this palace wants is release”

 

And this was just the start, to a new kind of technology love.

In minutes I got another message: “Dancin’ around the lies we tell”.

I was hooked to my phone, we sent each other all kinds of quotes and song lyrics and sayings, without actually knowing each other, and somehow we didn’t even care. We started to connect with each other deep down and I think you can call it love, I’d call it springing attraction. Yes.

 

I saw my Cleopatra again after a week she looked different , she was dressed in a different manner, it was as if she contained personalities in her, this time she was all alone, I tried to strike a conversation with her, and I succeeded but she was far different than what I had presumed her to be, she was a typical “I don’t care” girl. That hit me hard, but I couldn’t bring myself to believe this. It felt like she was being not herself, was she okay?

 

A month into crazy-texting sessions we started to call each other every morning at 4am, we were two stitched people, all my friends knew about us, and hers did too, but we didn’t know anything about each other’s origin, parents, past or future.

We were two poets and our conversations were restricted to this only. Still it was everything for me. I saw her again this time in my college beating up some of my seniors, she was crazy, by now I thought she needed some psychiatric help. I assure you.

 

College was as usual boring, I managed to be an above-average student. I was an athlete, that is what kept me here. I remember it was her(Cleopatra’s) birthday, and she gave everybody invitations to her grand party, my Cleopatra was turning 23. Just as I was reading the invitation I got a call from my secret messenger she decided that we had to meet as soon as possible. What was I to choose, infact who was I to choose.

I chose my secret messenger over my crazy Cleopatra, on my way to the same soufflé café my secret messenger sent me a photograph of herself so that I could identify her, I was shocked to see those set of pixels. She was my Cleopatra, the same girl who was psychic, and “I don’t care type”.

I sent her a message back: “I knew you from the time I never knew”.

I thought she was kidding me, so I ended up going to cleopatra’s birthday venue.

When I reached there, I saw Cleopatra dressed all differently I had my set of confusions but I had loved her quite normally. I walked up to her and gently kissed her forehead what followed was a thundering slap, I was again left on crossroads. When I explained her my little story she refused to accept anything I thought of her.

I was in complete fury and rage. For the next week I attended no classes, did nothing but tried to sting together all the events. Was my messenger making a joke out of me? If she is not Cleopatra, is she her clone? Why are the two so similar yet so different?

 

After a week of horrible loneliness, I decided to meet my messenger, and I dropped her a message telling her that it was important. When I reached the place there she was as if she was just playing riddles with me. I kissed her on her forehead just like I kissed Cleopatra to see her reaction but instead she French-kissed me, and told me she loved me incandescently. I blushed.

There we both sat looking at each other for centuries. Then I gathered all my courage and told her about Cleopatra, and after I uttered the last of my words, I saw Cleopatra or her look-a-like with the same set of boys, and there it was the truth, she was a clone, or a twin. When I looked into her eyes she started to recite her story and she told me her name was Gayatri and that she came from a conservative South Indian family and the last fact she told me was that she had a twin, I smiled lightly when she said that. On our way back to our hostels I spoke these words to her : ‘Ever thine, ever mine, ever ours”.

 

But we were not enough to decide our marriage, our families had customs which were so very different. They would almost neglect each other’s presence in their life. We two were left with the job to manage them, she managed mine and I hers.

Her family didn’t like non-vegetarians so I tried to lessen down my non-veg appetite whereas gayatri learnt how to cook chicken, fish and prawns. Her family had different ways to address to gods and mine too, we both worked hard pleasing and adjusting according to each others families. She went on to study further for another 2 years and I got a job, it was all very difficult coping up with everything. I earned a decent amount to take her to my favourite movies and buy her the most expensive brands. We both always spent our Sundays together and made plans so that we could follow them and lead a much happier life.

Once we went back to our old-texting days talking how we loved sending those random-irrelevant song lyrics, that we both loved doing. She told me that her sister had now understood all the confusion and was sorry for everything. But neither did she ever understand nor will I, about how my number reached hers. Destiny I believe. Cleopatra was gayatri’s sister. Reality!

 

It was a summer day, and Gayatri was waiting for me in the soufflé café, I messaged her that I had to tell her something important. I was on my way to the café when I reached there she was in tears, I was scared if somebody had told her the truth, I walked upto her and tried to calm her down, but she cried more louder, it was deafening. I took her out and tried to calm her again, nothing worked. By now I was convinced something had gotten into her, and then she told me that our families had agreed for our marriage, I was filled with tears of happiness too. But I never told her the point that I had to tell her, maybe that was best for both of us, we love each other to the best of our limits. We have 3 children today, all our as chubby and smart as both of us. This was my story of twin sisters and religion and love. My name is Syed, and I here pronounce myself a complete love filled human.

Even thine, ever mine, ever ours. I love you, Gayatri.

P.S. Apologise me but I wont be here forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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