Balmy, long blue nights. Ancient, narrow roads. Chants and bells. Stubborn cows and flea bitten dogs. Toothless old women with flowers wrapped around their braids. Blue boats. Many blue boats. Yellow lights bleed into the black silk of the river. A furry fat sheep lazily looks at them. She can’t pronounce sheep and ship. He can’t pronounce lasagna. They sit on the ghat steps, next to a small red temple, in a shared silence, overwhelmed by the moon, longings and love. Life is funny. Hurtling through the years, through the hurt and disappointments, the past loves and the long waits, here they are now. Yes, here they are now. Found, finally. Two quiet hearts learning to love each other.
He takes her hand and leads her through the narrow lanes into a tiny, ramshackle restaurant. They laugh and squeeze themselves into the cramped chairs, thighs comfortably resting against each other. He makes her ditch the spoon and fork and shows her how to scoop up sambhar with the dosa. It delights her to see him heartily enjoy a meal with messy curry-stained fingers, a boy remembering his home.
It’s always in the little things.
It’s in seeing him in the sliver of pale moonlight creeping in through the slight gap in the curtains. It’s in the absolute quiet of the night listening to each other’s breathing. It’s in the wondering how can eyes be so kind. How can a heart be so full of love? It’s in the sudden flash of a smile. It’s in the vulnerable and lost eyes after a fight. Why do they even fight? Seriously, why? It’s in the carrots and beans he teaches her to eat. It’s in their crazy escapes. It’s in their midnight bike rides. It’s in the always turning back on hearing his name. It’s in the instinctively looking out for each other. It’s in carrying on. It’s in hoping. It’s in seeing him getting exasperated by her compulsive shopping, his forehead adorably creased, and yet accompanying her. It’s in the magic of a shared glance across a crowded room. It’s in the slowly unearthing passion and desires. It’s in the promise of a life together. It’s in the quick goodbye kiss every night. It’s in the way they can talk about everything under the sun. It’s in the slowly unravelling vulnerabilities, dropping off masks, giving in to each other.
It’s in everything between them.