I was driving home when I looked to my left to see that under a sign board that read “State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur” sat a statuesque man in dhoti and kurta. Shadows of 11 pm streetlights, pristine white shining under the moonlight, borders of red and splotches of rain. That’s when I thought - no, remembered - the waiting.
At the bus stop, I think? I don’t remember where. I remember what it felt like. Sitting under the sign of a bank on a Saturday morning, drinking endless cups of chai, the cold that is the early morning. The sun rising, counting down to 9 AM, 10 AM. Anticipation.
Then that long day at the bus station. 6 AM to 1 PM. Reading Paulo Coelho’s Zahir? The details are fuzzy, I finished the book. Waited some more and then boarded a bus. Regret.
That day when I saw the legs dangling over the wall near the bus stop. We’d been stuck in a jam for ages. Phones not reachable, the whens of our destination unknown.
Endless hours of hope - that he’d wait, he’d be there. And then worry - what will he do, how long will he wait. And then the navy blue checked shirt, the familiar torn edges of the denims and the dangling legs over the wall. Relief.