“You better work Tish, now get to work.” Singing along with Britney’s track, which was her favorite motivator, Tish was sweating it out during a cardio session after returning from her work. She loved staying in shape, she was almost addicted to the appreciative glances she would get from the boys as she passed them.
At the age of 28, she was living in the suburbs of Bangalore, with a decent job to keep her occupied and independent, staying with the best parents in the world, having an understanding sister and an insanely cute looking dog. There is no dearth of love for Tish, from family as well as friends. Being an outgoing person and having decently good looks with a petite frame and a cheerful lively smile, she could be the center of attraction whenever she wanted. With intellectual and stimulating conversations as well as gentle humility she could win hearts, and that’s something she had prided herself about. Yet, she was unhappy.
“I feel like I am floating in space, without direction, purpose or end. It’s the lack of all these three that I find most scary.” Tish was pouring her heart out to her sister sleeping next to her under one blanket.
“I think it’s the lack of a boy in your life that has got you to this stage.” Nish tells her matter-of-factually. “How long has it been since you are single?”
“Aaaargghhh!!! You and your logic are beyond my understanding. Anyways, it’s been a year and a half, precisely.” Tish admits.
“Your lack of action is causing you these mood swings. At times you are elated and at others, depressed. You need to get a grip!”
“No! More importantly, I need to find a purpose in my life- ‘True Love’!” Tish exclaimed finally finding a solution to her problem.
“With all the pressure you have, to find yourself a suitor and get settled, your search for true love seems a bit far-fetched.” Nish says, with her one brow raised look. “You have tried to find true love, in almost 30 men, going at the rate of 1 per year and are still unsuccessful. What are the chances you will find it in a year?”
“Sigh! You’re discouraging me.”
“That’s exactly my intention. Stop fooling yourself. There is no such thing as true love so marry some rich-ass so that you at least live in luxury.”
“In that case, I think I should marry my engineer sister and live life in luxury with her.” Tish proclaims with a straight serious face.
“You’re such a jerk” her engineer sister growls annoyed “I’m off to sleep” and she turns around with her back to Tish and dozes off in a jiffy.
That night Tish stayed awake for a long long time unaware that she will soon be finding her answer.
Brina Neptune posted “At Hampi.”
Going through her Facebook page Tish is immediately transported to the mystic land of Hampi where she had been 2 years back with her third boy-friend.
“I’m going to race you to the top most boulders” she screams and they start their climb on the boulders. Tish is still behind Jaron. Every boulder Jaron would climb, he would look behind, stretch his hand out to Tish and hold her tightly and pull her to his boulder. Then, they both would look at the next boulder to be climbed. Every boulder was a small little milestone which they conquered together. Finally when they reached the highest boulder, out of breath, the view under them was breath taking. Holding each other close and looking at the sunset, they could feel something between each other which was magical.
A Ring on her phone woke Tish up from her little reverie. She looked at her phone. It was Jaron. They were no longer together, and she wondered why he was calling her. Like most relationships, this one also ended due to infidelity and ego issues.
“Hey, I’m leaving to Brazil tonight.”
“Stop kidding, Jaron.”
“I’m so excited; I’ll be at Brazil during the world cup.”
“If it’s true, then I’m so jealous.” Tish was green like cucumber with envy.
“Ha ha ha.. That was the point.”
“Well you succeeded. Anyways take a picture of you with Jesus the Redeemer for me”
“Sure. I will.”
Immediately Tish leaves for a shower and comes back and starts packing.
“Whoa! What’s this? Some major packing is going on!” Nish asks surprised.
“I’m leaving to Goa”
“Are you out of your mind?”
“No. I want to get back to my senses. That’s why. ”
“Even I want to come with you.”
“You have your job. I’m switching jobs and in between finding a new one. So I’m taking the liberty of a holiday.”
“But why this sudden…”
“Shush with all your questions. I’m leaving and that’s it.”
She then runs to her mom to give her this news.
“Ma… I’m leaving on a vacation. Don’t ask me where and when I’ll return back. Just know that I’ll be safe and keep calling you every day. Tell dad the same. Bye. See you. ”
“WHAT?? SUDDENLY!!! You step out of this house and don’t dare to come back again.”
Tish pretended not to hear that and walked off with her backpack. She was thanking god that her dad was out at that time. She did not have the patience to hear high decibel screams and threats of her father. She knew she will be able to convince them when she is back.
Wearing black spaghetti top and multi colored Goa harem pants she was all set for a transition to her hippie side. She looked like a pretty nymph in that attire.
Getting in to her semi sleeper bus, she found her seat which was unfortunately not window seat as she would have expected due to her late reservation. She tucked her bag on the rack above and grabbed the water bottle provided in the reservation. She was hoping she could find ‘True Love’ if she was alone.
“Are you on your way to goa?” asked a girl trying to get to her window seat next to Tish. She was fair and about 5.4ft, blessed with a figure, enviable by many girls.
“No. Timbuktu. Am I on the right bus?” Tish asks faking innocence.
The girl is puzzled and starts pondering.
“Of course I’m going to goa. Where else would this bus take me?” Tish admits.
The girl settles down in her window seat and the bus starts to move. The girl looks at Tish and asks, “Are you alone?”
“No my three boyfriends are sulking at the back because I did not make a choice among them tonight.”
“Do you have a problem or something? Why can’t you reply straight?”
“Okay. I know. I’m sorry, it’s not your fault, but I’m a bit irritated today. I escaped home in need of a vacation. I’m not in the right frame of mind.”
“Oh! That’s alright. Is this your first time?”
“No. I’ve been to goa before.”
“No. I meant is it your first time at not having the right frame of mind?”
“Uh…. Sorta. It’s the first time I’m travelling alone. So, that shows the extent to I’m mind fucked.”
“What about you?”
“I’m going to meet my boyfriend and give him a surprise. He owns a shack there. Do you have an accommodation? If not, you can stay at my boyfriends shack.”
“Oh sure! If you guys don’t have a problem.”
“Of course not, in fact we’ll be glad to have a customer.”
“Thanks for the accommodation. I have one thing less to worry about.”
“I didn’t ask your name.”
“Tish. And yours?”
“Fish!! Ha ha ha…”
Tish was squirming her face. She got a lot of those but did not expect it coming from a stranger.
“Okay. Just playing with you. My name is Kunhi. ”
“Oh. Nice to meet you Kunt! Ha ha ha ha.”
Now it was her turn to squirm and feel outraged.
“Chill. Just playing. Night.”
Next morning, at the beautiful beach of Arambol- Goa, Kunhi stops their rented bike which they had picked it from the bus-stop. Tish is awestruck looking at the shack.It looked nothing less than a resort, with picturesque thatched roof huts within a wooden compound. Opposite the shack was the beautiful white sand beach.
Kunhi opens the gate and strides inside screaming “R…..ex!”
Rex comes out of the cookhouse shirtless, with outstretched hands, “Hey, my Poochie bear! What a surprise. I missed you my love.”
He gives her a tight hug lifting her off her feet and Tish wonders, “Maybe this is how being swept off your feet feels like.”
“Hey baby, this is Tish. I met her on my way. She needs an accommodation, give her a good room with some discounts na… she is a sweet friend of mine.” and she looks at Tish and hand signals her to come closer.
Maybe it was Kunhi’s last line or her innocence, but there was something about her which completely warmed Tish up to her. She usually did not make friends easily, but at that minute she knew that Kunhi would be her friend for many decades to come.
“Come, I’ll give you, our best room which is free at the moment at a price beyond your imagination.” says Rex and walks her down to the room. He is a tall, tanned good-looking guy, who looked like someone who misused substances because of his lanky lean figure and a very prominent narrow jaw line.
“This indeed is very beautiful. Thank you so much for this favor.” Tish says gratefully.
“Not me. My lady, here.” and he points at Kunhi.
Tish notices how loving the two are and contemplates on whether this is true love. She was about to know the answer soon….
With the door to her room open Tish was busy unpacking. She could see the beach from her door and reach the waves within a minutes jog. The view was beyond splendid.
Humming a rhythmic tune she was getting ready for a shower, when she heard someone running towards her room outside. Kunhi was at her door the next second, red faced and out of breath and with her backpack.
“Pack your bags. We are leaving from here.” Kunhi ordered fiercely.
Tish hated being ordered, but decided not to react, instead she just said, “Okay.”
Re-packing all her un-packed stuff, she was wondering what would have caused such a sudden change of plan and why was she behaving like a lunatic. But, thought it wise, to stall her questions till the situation was a bit calm.
Now they were walking down the beach of Arambol. Kunhi was still silent. Tish could bear this suspense no longer.
“Will you tell me what happened? Or are we going to walk our way back to the Bangalore.”
“I guess you prefer to stay silent about it, but don’t forget, I’m your sweet friend and deserve to know what’s going on.”
“Fine, don’t tell me. Suit yourself. I will go my way from here. Thanks for everything.”
“Wait! He cheated on me.”
“Yes. When I went up to his room to freshen and unpack I found a woman’s belongings there and under the bed I found used… Arrgghh… Gross…can’t even think about it.”
“But sweetheart his friend might have used his room. How do you it was him? He loves u so much.”
“No, he doesn’t. He was acting unnaturally weird today which actually tipped me off about something being fishy. And then I caught him red handed. I was just about to go to him and confront about this, when I saw him talk to a Russian girl, asking her to go away and not talk about it or show up till I am around.”
“Whoa! Such a jerk!” Tish was shocked at finding out that a girl as pretty as her could be cheated as well. “Anyways good for you. Well I always sort of knew there is nothing like love. Welcome to the group partner.”
“No. I still believe in ‘True Love’. I’ve been cheated more than twice. I still don’t lose hopes. My dream boy will surely come.’
Tish wonder how such a pretty and sweet nature girl could be cheated-on and her distrust in men increases.
They find another shack on the same beach, unpack and freshen themselves and leave to another beach to have their brunch.
In the beach restaurant, Tish is sitting on a chair, tired and relaxing with her plate of white sauce pasta, listening to the waves and psytrance playing in the back ground. “Oh! How I’ve missed this place and the trance.”
“My ex is a huge fan of trance, I never quite liked it much though.” Kunhi adds her opinion.
“To each their own, darling”
Tish looks around and finds a group of four guys smoking in the next table and is suddenly craving for a smoke. “I want to talk to someone in that group, Kunhi.”
“Well go ahead. I won’t stop you.”
“Okay. Which one?”
“There, that broad shouldered guy in lose blue tee. I think he looks perfect for you. Tall and Tanned, just the way you like she says with a wink.”
“And, what about you? Whom do you choose?”
“Oh! C’mon. You have to pick one.”
“Okay! I want the one in that maroon casual shirt. He is fair and doesn’t look too crass.”
“Good! Brave yourself up Tish, here I go” she says and leans in to the other table and says,
Her blue tee guy responds with a “Hi, there.”
“So, you guys here on a vacation?”
“Yes, for the weekend. What about you two? Waiting for your boyfriends?
“Well, no. We are single. My friend just broke up with her guy and I’m here alone so we decided to holiday together. My name is Tish and that’s… Kunhi, Come over here.”
After formal set of introductions, they were all at a single table, smoking. Even Kunhi took a puff or two. In a while the group of 6 were all laughing over the silliest matters and drinking ‘Kings’ beer.
Time passed after about a couple of hours everyone decided to go for a swim. And Tish found Kunhi warming up to her Maroon shirt boy and Tish’s guy was also trying his best to woo her with his charms. They all rode their bikes to Vagator, another beach perfect for a swim.
Tish and Kunhi were in their shorts and tees, while the guys in just their shorts ran into the water. The waves were rough and smooth and the six played to their hearts content.
The boys and the girls after the swim decided to rest for a while at their rooms and meet up at a common place to party at night till the morning.
On the way to their shack Tish was in an ecstatic mood. “How did you find your new guy, Kunhi?” she teased her friend.
“He is dreamy and sensitive as I thought he would be. Complete opposite to Rex.”
Who got caught having Sex”
“Ha ha ha good one Tish, I always knew you had potential. You can write rhymes for adults!” Kunhi exclaims, rolling her eyes.
“Stop it. Stop flattering me” Tish played along acting dramatic. “So, you think he is your dream guy?”
“It’s too early to tell, but maybe yes. He has all the qualities.So, tell me how was your guy?”
“He is jovial and I feel, after a long time I might have found someone, I don’t have to pretend liking.”
“I like the way you pretend-like me though. Continue doing that.” Kunhi laughs.
“For life, love.” Tish says seriously.
After resting for 3 hours they get ready. They were supposed to meet the guys by 9 p.m. By 8.45 they are dressed, Kunhi wearing a red short gown with matching pumps, adorned with bling. She looked so pretty that Tish was amazed.
While Tish wore a florescent green tube top with florescent orange short skirt matching with yellow and green pumps. She could be a show stopper to any show and stop anything with her brilliance.
Both the dazzling women headed out to meet the guys who were rather awed at seeing them.
Now at the party, dancing with her man, Tish looked around and saw Kunhi dancing with her new guy. The other two guys had found girls for themselves to dance with. She looked up at the man she was dancing with, who was the warmest, funny and caring person she had met and… He danced well too. She could not be happier. As she danced she wondered how life changed in a day for her, her new found best friend- Kunhi and her man.
Next day, as she sat alone by the white Arambol beach watching
The low ripples of waves come and go,
She wondered how life also was high and low.
One day, it was a crest of happiness and the next would be a trough of despair. But it was a combination of the crests and troughs that make the wave. Her quest for love finally ended sitting there on the rock. There was something she missed the most at that time. She knew at that very instant that she had found the answer she was looking for everywhere, at last. She ran barefoot to her shack, to her ‘True Love’.
Looked into her room.
Took, her book and pen. Eyes glazed with tears, she kissed them and walked back to her rock to pen down her thoughts and her discovery.