She walked ahead of him relishing the wind as he enjoyed the view in front. They were walking on queen’s necklace, the best place in Mumbai. He often came here when he needed some peace, not that the area was a quiet one, it was in fact one of the busiest and most crowded places. Nevertheless, the vast sea and love struck couples who lined the barricade brought him happiness.
He saw her hair dance and sway in the wind, like they were rejoicing their new found independence after being held in the clutches of her hair clip for so long. He instinctively felt the urge to untangle a lock of hair that got caught in the zip at the back of her dress. He longed to become a strand of her hair, to be able to gently kiss her neck and face, to be played on her fingers.
His train of thoughts got suddenly interrupted by the cry of hawkers.
He knew he was in love with her; he just couldn’t put his finger on a word that described her best.
She was like Mumbai.
Like any person visiting Mumbai for the first time, he too was warned.
She is going to be rude, mean, and will not give a damn about you or your feelings, they said.
At times like the city she was his best company, they could talk/laugh in length for hours or have fun at each other’s expense or sometimes just sit beside each other in comfortable silence. But there were times when she would suddenly get cold, would argue and disagree on everything that he said, would push him to his limits like she was testing him.
Similar to Mumbai, she had her many moods, there were days when she would be bright and sunny, days when her fury shone and erupted on him like the sweltering heat. But on some days like the monsoon she would wash him away, make him feel like he was having the best day of his life, refresh and rejuvenate him by sailing paper boats or jumping right into the puddles of water or by sharing a cup of chai and samosas making him reminisce his childhood.
Like the city she was always bustling with energy, hardly did she ever have a dull moment, she possessed an undying fun loving spirit.
Her best attribute was that she could be warm and friendly as well as cold and frigid; it all depended on how much effort you put in to make her notice. No matter how many people walked in and out of her life, she always moved on.
Looking at her from afar, by the way she was dressed; one would judge her of being glittery and shimmery, of showing people dreams that they could not achieve, of making a laughing stock out of them when they fell on their face, true to her word, she was all of it. She only rewarded the ones who worked hard and never lost focus amidst the sheen.
She challenged the ones who dreamt of conquering her, she was a mystery, someone unattainable, someone who was not fazed by cowardly acts of people trying to get at her.
Yet he was deeply and madly in love with her, fell in love with her the day he met her, but to him too she remained elusive.
After all she was his wife’s sister.