It was exactly five years to the day that I had visited this place. Nothing seemed to have changed, the same decor, the same seven star service, the same hustle and bustle. The feeling of extravagance emanated from the atmosphere around .Even the manager was the same. The only thing that had changed was me. I am five years older, no longer a graduate, but a successful consultant, in partner ship of the most prestigious IT Company. So much had happened in the past five years that it was impossible to recall each and every success, but the one memory that was permanently etched in my mind came flooding back. The memory of those seventy two hours, 5 years ago….
In this very place Avinash and I had come to the IT Seminar representing our company. We were both ambitious and thirsty for knowledge. We worked diligently to have our efforts acknowledged by the boss. Our post graduate year was a platform to glean and digest as much knowledge as we could muster. So when our boss had last minute personal problems Avi and I were put on the next flight to represent our company.
Whilst our rooms were being prepared Avinash (Avi) and I sat in the coffee shop planning the next few days .Avi engrossed in his lap top was lost to the world. It was at this moment that I caught the first glance. Stepping out of the pool, like a goddess, tall slender, bronzed. The water pellets glistening on her sun tanned body, wet hair clinging to her perfectly almond shaped face. Big brown eyes and rosy lips completed the perfection. She grabbed a towel, dried her self and sat on the sun bed, I was mesmerised. Taking a bottle of Piz Buin sun cream she meticulously started creaming herself. She struggled to cover her back. I almost had the urge to go and assist her. I wondered what nationality she was, maybe Brazilian or Mexican surely she couldn’t be Asian? She had poise about her, she appeared confident and uninhibited by her surroundings.
Suddenly I was jerked back to reality by Avi, “Hey Nish did you hear anything I said, where are you man??” “Sorry Avi I lost concentration for a moment, why don’t we check out our rooms and meet up for lunch, we can finalise our details then.”
I turned around to see if she was there but to my dismay she had gone. At lunch again I scoured the place hoping to catch a glimpse but to my sheer disappointment I didn’t spot her anywhere. After lunch Avi and I worked on our presentation late into the night so that the weekend should be free for us to explore. My thoughts had been captured by her vision and I was finding it hard to concentrate.
Early next morning I went to breakfast and this is where I spotted her. Wearing white three quarter trousers, a pink sleeveless t shirt and white sandals, perfectly manicured nails and her hair now dry and styled was loosely held in a soft ponytail, she looked casual but smart. She was sitting at a table for two, but the chair opposite her was vacant. Not sure what to make of it I tried to see any tell tale signs that would highlight her status such as a wedding or engagement ring but none were visible. She breakfasted alone.
After breakfast I planned to take my camera and explore, I booked a taxi at reception and went outside to wait for its arrival. The taxi arrived as I was about to step into it I heard a voice “Hey I called that, that’s mine” I turned around and was face to face with those magical brown eyes. “Oh I am so sorry I replied you take it, I will wait for the next one. I am not in a hurry I replied.” “No no it’s OK me too, I was going to catch the sights.” “Oh in that case why don’t we share, I too was going to do the same.” I suggested .She smiled, paused “umm OK I guess that’s fine.” We bundled in to the taxi. “Oh by the way I am Nish,” “Hi Nish I am Sandy.” “Sandy I repeated,” she must have seen the look of puzzlement on my face, “yes Sandy short for Sandhya.” This was the beginning of our friendship.
That day we spent doing what most tourists do, visited temples, forts, spice farms, the elephant sanctuary. Our conversation flowed effortlessly and with ease. We were total strangers yet we felt we had known each other for years. Sandy was a good sport, she did not fit into the weak helpless woman category. I guess that was because she was older, maybe in her early thirties, more mature. She radiated independence and a strong will. I was totally awed by her presence. Each moment we were spending together I wanted to savour. Neither of us found the need to discuss our present lives, who we were, what we did; it was almost like a mutual unspoken understanding not needing to know.
The day was really enjoyable, tired and exhausted we returned to the hotel. The thought of not seeing her again made me nostalgic. Not knowing if someone special was waiting for her at the hotel made me fearful, I wanted so spend more time with her. “Hey Sandy why don’t we explore some beaches tomorrow, what do you say shall we meet up tomorrow after breakfast?” I casually asked her, holding my breath and wishing her answer is a yes. “Yeh sure she replied, goodnight, thanks for super day Nish I had fun.”
Back in the room Avi was on his lap top, “Hey where have you been Nish, haven’t seen you all day.” “Oh I went to catch some sights you know me and my camera!! I didn’t want to tell him about Sandy.”
The next morning Sandy and I set off bright and early ,we found some awesome beaches. White pearly sand and azure waters greeted us welcomingly. We snorkelled and swam, barbequed on the beach .Sandy swam like a fish, we played volleyball and walked for miles along the shore freely chatting about everything and anything. Sandy was like an excited child she picked up shells and drew pictures in the sand she squealed as she danced in and out of the waves as they tickled her toes. She was like a free spirit carefree and relaxed .I was feeling envious of the gentle breeze that un shamelessly cajoled and played with her hair. I held back the urge to brush away the loose strand of hair from her demure face. I yearned to hold her hand, caress her but not wanting to jeopardise our friendship I reluctantly held back. I was falling in love with her.
The day came to a closing end we watched the crimson sunset emerging and cascading across the horizon, I felt I had lived the most memorable moment of my life. I couldn’t quite comprehend the euphoria ,the exhilaration , the warmth that had overwhelmed my mind and soul. Can you fall in love in such a short space of time or is this infactuation? Suddenly jolted back to reality by a scream from Sandy, I watched in fear as she was hopping on one leg. “Ouch ouch she cried in pain” a crab had just nipped my foot.” I held out my hand to stable her and helped her to a near by rock to sit. Massaging her foot my heart was pierced with pain seeing tears the size of pearls roll from her brown eyes. I gently cupped her tear stained face holding her trembling body, comforting and embracing her, our bodies entwined. No words were necessary as the passion of the last two days was apparent in both our eyes.
The next day having an early start I left a note for Sandy to meet up for dinner and hope her foot was better. The day was demanding and despite my thoughts that kept reverting to the previous days events I didn’t have time to call Sandy. At last I managed to return back to the hotel, immediately I went to knock on Sandy’s door, the room was vacant and was being cleaned. I was puzzled and rushed down to reception enquiring where Sandy had moved to. To my horror I was informed Sandy had checked out at noon and had taken a flight back home to Canada. She had left no messages for me nor a contact address .I was in turmoil but there was nothing I could do to catch her, her flight would have taken off by now. I just had to wait till she landed .I requested the reception to give me her address and after much persuasion I finally obtained a contact telephone number for her.
The rest of the seminar I forced my self to concentrate and tried to engross my self in my work, my mind was in turmoil. Avi noticed my disturbed state and started questioning me.I think he was puzzled and couldnt understand reasons behind my sombre mood.I just couldn’t under stand why it ended like this .Our last night together was so wonderful. It was mutual, both of us were consenting. What had gone wrong? Maybe I will never find the answer to these questions, maybe this was part of the unspoken agreement we had chosen not to disclose our lives to each other. Maybe this was fate, the time we had shared was a memory that was to remain etched in our lives fore ever……….The unforgettable 72 hours….
Now here I am 5 years later, I never managed to track Sandy down, life moved on but our time together was unique, special, locked away in that corner of my heart for safe keeping may be fate one day will allow us to meet again ….
copyright © 2009 Nayna Kanabar