A Modern Day Cinderella Story
Life for a techie is not as colorful as one would imagine it to be. Many people struggle beneath a heap of monotonous work and a boring lifestyle. The struggle for survival and competition begins right from childhood. In high school, I had been misled with the sweet lie that it was enough to struggle hard through school and get into a reputed college. Once I got into a good college my days of studying and suffering will finally be over.
The cruel fact is that the pain doesn’t stop there. I was merely transferred from one prison institution to another. The fight for survival was still very much on. Without proper grades, there is no security of a rosy life. Then they told me another beautiful lie. If I do well in college and get good grades I will be settled in life for good. This would be the last stretch of my marathon run.
Sadly, it took me a lot of time before I realized that I had been tricked… again! No good grades are enough to get you a job. The struggles you overcame to finish your homework, get perfect scores and attend all classes is useless unless you prove to someone that you are perfectly capable of doing a job which you hate in reality. All that in under 20 minutes.
Ironically, this is when I finally realized that I will get no respite in life. It is never going to be easy and it was never supposed to be. Working in a field you love is awesome but things get dull pretty quickly. You wind up in an endless loop of doing tasks that look exactly the same as when you first joined. My life was pretty much slogging at work all through the week and sleeping all my weekends away. It's pretty cruel on how much time elongates on weekdays and practically vanishes on your days off.
Well, you may say that there are lots of things to do other than just work. Like love maybe? That, however, is a lot harder to find than expected. There may be plenty of fish in the sea but they all seemed to be deep underwater. Far out of my reach. Besides I had never experienced love before in my life. There are many women whom I would consider as attractive and I have had a crush on a few girls in my life. But I never felt like taking it beyond that.
A Welcome Break
I had occasionally tried talking to my crush but it never really felt special or magical. I was beginning to feel that love was not something magical like you see in movies with all its hype. That all changed on the day I met her. I was planning to go to Bangalore from Chennai by train and expected nothing special as usual. After all, fate always has a way of ensuring that my co-passengers were as boring as can be possible. This time, however, things were a bit different.
As I boarded the train, I quickly found my way to my window seat and sat down. This was the moment I first saw her on the opposite seat. She was sitting cross-legged and reading a novel and didn’t even notice me. However, to me, she was a sight I could never miss. She was engrossed with her book and had a serious look on her face. I can still remember the streaks on hair which fell over her face, constantly flying around with the wind. She was absolutely drop dead gorgeous and I couldn’t help but gaze at her flawless beauty.
She seemed somewhat different from any other girl I had seen before. Personally, I never believed in love at first sight but that day I could understand the feeling behind it. She was wearing a black T-shirt and blue jeans and carried what looked like a laptop bag. From this, I could guess that she was also in the IT field like me. A lot of thoughts were going through my head. How can someone be so beautiful? Has destiny brought us together? And why am I staring at her like a creep?
It might have been God who was writing my very own love story but I was not gonna take any chances. I had to start a conversation with her and take my chances or this would be something that I would regret for the rest of my life. So after much thought, I introduced myself and enquired if she was also traveling for work. To my delight, she was very friendly and chatty. I guess she too was getting bored of the long journey ahead.
Breaking the Ice
Her name was Sharon and she was working for a startup company in Chennai. She was on her way to Bangalore for a family wedding. This opened up a whole lot of topics to converse about for me. I wanted to look as interesting as possible in the time available. This would be my toughest interview yet. So for the first time in my life, I took the steps needed to seize the moment.
She was the most amazing person I had ever met. Each and every second that I spent with her was worth a lifetime of happiness. I wanted to know everything about her. Where she was born, about her family, her studies, her likes/dislikes and every trivial detail. She must have known that I was into her as I was quite open about my feelings. However, she did not object and let me flirt with her a bit. I didn’t know for sure if she was just playing with me or if she was also interested. However, the time we spent together was something that I would remember for the rest of my life.
We talked, laughed, shared and made memories in what would become the best train journey in the history of mankind. However, time was flying by and it was almost time for our train to reach its destination. A million thoughts raced through my head. I was upset that our time together was this short and wanted it to last forever. But I was also happy that I had finally found the love of my life and spent time knowing her. As I was processing all this information, the train slowly inched its way inside the station and came to a halt.
The momentary silence was drowned by the rush of people leaving the train. Then I saw her getting up and start packing her bag. She was still as pretty and hypnotizing as the first moment I laid eyes on her. As I was standing still mesmerized by her beauty, she said farewell and walked away. A sudden feeling of grief struck me as she left me behind at the train. I had to pick myself up with the reassurance that I could still talk to her over the phone. That’s when it struck me that I had not even got her phone number!
Before I realized my blunder she had vanished like a ghost. I searched all over the train station but had no luck in finding her. I was extremely upset and angry at myself for letting go of the angel of my life. I had spent so much time with her but forgot to get the one information which was the most essential. She was now like the Cinderella of my life. She came into my life like a storm and vanished without a trace.
A few days passed as I pitied my plight and tried to recover. That’s when I came across this quote - “If you think you have blown God’s plan for your life - Rest assured in this: You, my beautiful friend, are not that powerful”. This was a powerful message and gave me a lot of strength. The moment I met her, I believed that it was God’s plan that led me to her in the first place. If it was God’s plan, then I did not have the strength of capability to foil it.
A Cinderella Story
However, I still didn’t have any lead to finding my Cinderella. The prince ended up finding her with her shoe but I didn’t have that option. It was quite ironic that I knew so much about her but none of that was useful for me in locating her. I did not know her full name and the name of “Sharon” was quite common to locate on social media. I was also unsure about whether she had registered in any social media sites or posted photos of herself there. I sat down and slowly tried recollected our whole conversation.
I tried narrowing down the search with details like her place of schooling and her interests but had no luck. I knew about how many plays she took part in pre-school but didn’t know her current place of work which was so frustrating. Finally, I found out that Monica, one of my colleagues had also studied in the same school as her. And since Sharon was so energetic in participating in school events she was quite well known around her school.
Monica immediately recognized the name Sharon and even all the descriptions I could come up with of her also seemed to match. I was beginning to get excited as I had finally found the shoe (clue) to find my princess. Monica didn’t actually have her contact details not was she in touch with her but after going back and forth with her school friends we were finally able to locate her. We got the name and address of the company she was working with and I decided to go and surprise her the next day.
That night I realized a major flaw in my plan. I was obsessed with Sharon and madly in love with her. This was something I knew and came to terms with. However, I had no clue on how she felt about me. For all I know, I could just be some random stranger to her and might not even be worth remembering. The thought of being rejected by her hit me hard as I had not even thought of it as a possibility before. I was too engrossed in searching for her that I didn’t have time to think about anything else.
That night I couldn’t get a wink of sleep. It was the longest night of my life. When the sun rose up finally I was exhausted but made up my mind to go through with my plan. I went to her office and informed the office receptionist that I was there to meet Ms.Sharon. After a few moments of anxious waiting, she came out and our eyes met yet again.
From the look of joy in her eyes, I knew exactly how she felt. The expression in her eyes said it all - ‘Where the hell have you been for so long!?’. She ran towards me and hugged me. We never spoke a word to each other but we both knew how much we had missed each other. My fear of being shot down faded away as I hugged her and finally uttered the words, “I love you”.
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