The bureaucrat finished his speech. His ideals seemed to have struck a chord somewhere. She switched off the television set and walked over to the open balcony. The skies were clear; the meteorological department had predicted a ten percent chance for showers. In the distance, the lights of the Eiffel tower had an eerie glow. “Why had they named it as the iron lady?” she pondered. Does love eventually leave people stone-hearted?
Paris, the city of dreams, had always been her favorite destination. It evoked a mixed bag of reactions – old friends, conquered dreams and forgotten promises. The date had passed, passed a decade ago.
She had fallen asleep. The first rays of dawn brought her to her senses. She vaguely recalled her thoughts from the previous night. The wine had probably got her thinking. Drinking wasn’t an addiction, although she enjoyed good red wine. She chided herself for not restricting to more than a couple of glasses. Rummaging through her pile, she picked up an old book. The covers were dusty. Though she had managed to keep the termite off, the book seemed to have caught up with old age. “Time doesn’t spare books either”, she murmured. Each time she opened the book, her mind had wandered off to the past. She read the covers for the umpteenth time, “This book is an act of love, and it is this which makes it haunting.”
They had named her Venus. Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. Ironic that those feelings seemed to stay adrift of her, always. Her gaze fell upon the open book A message was scribbled on the third page, the date was signed as May 2nd 2007. The book had been a birthday gift. A gift from an acquaintance; he was more a stranger then. Initially he had struck her as arrogant, selfish and proud. And in due course, she had expected him to end up as another misanthropist, adding to the original list of narrow-minded peers.
Over the next couple of years, they had bonded well. The contrast in personalities hardly seemed to have an effect; he was ruthless, she was a bundle of emotion. Nevertheless, she could depend on him during her bouts of fury and loneliness. He was one of the very few who could bear the brunt of her rage.
They had not met each other barring a couple of occasions. But they spoke frequently and discussed topics pertaining to their lives. She found him intelligent on the subjects they touched upon, and he considered her an earnest student. Time had moved them apart, set them apart on their quests. She had rebelled against the orthodox traits in the family and pursued her passion. It had been hard, but she spent her energy wisely. She had concentrated only on the goal ahead of her and ended up on its summit. The recognition that heralded a professional dancer was incomparable. But all that sacrifices that she made, never ending. She had promised to take him to Paris; promised to read that book. Promises were plenty. Sadly, not all of them were meant to be kept. (to be contd)