The Name Under Wraps
A captivating story of two unknown young men who met in a bus and discovered themselves to get on an equivalent wavelength sharing common values, opinion and taste. Read on to know what happened……….
The bubbly young man in his thirties was ensconced in a window seat browsing through a newspaper when I was standing next to him in a crowded bus. Finding me, almost of his age, continuing to be on my feet for a long time his conscience seemed to have pricked him. He quickly got off the seat requesting me to sit and I readily accepted the offer as I was also itching for a comfortable journey. He began ìmaking overtures mentioning varius topics starting from sports to politics. I soon discovered that we were on the same wavelength sharing almost similar opinion and disposition. His warm cordiality and sweet demeanour touched me profoundly and we seemed to be bound by good friendship although I could not know him further as he alighted from the vehicle much earlier. I began to ponder how soon I could meet him and exchange our feelings and ideas.
Friends meet in a library
Days rolled by and I almost forgot my travelling companion. It was not the time for cell phone and internet which now allow anyone to easily contact friends and save their numbers even if they are located poles apart.
We had divergent ways of life living in different areas we could not easily get together except for a chance meeting and that happened a few months later when I could locate him in a library browsing through the newspapers. He could recognize me immediately and preferred to seat by my side and seemingly tried to relate many things while reading books. But since it was a big library with many restrictions strictly observed we could not indulge in private matters any how. My closeness was further reinforced finding in him an avid reader. Although i used to be not that much addicted but I had always deep respect for those persons having inclination for reading books and other printed works. Our friendship appeared to be renewed but alas! he seemed to be in a hurry as he urgently needed to leave and and go to a hospital to see his ailing sister. How I wished I could have reached there much earlier to spend more time with him! We could not know each other further.
Jolt in Striking friendship
After an extended gap of a few months I could again trace my friend near Rabindra sadan where we were attending a cultural programme. He was was accompanied by his wife and daughter. His daughter
appeared to be very bright and sober like her father. She was busy taking snaps. Finding such a perfect family added to my dream of getting such a nice friend and I thanked God for his blessings. As the programme was to begin soon we went hastily to occupy our seats. We did not have the least opportunity to talk and my intention to understand more about my friend was thus nipped in the bud. But still I took consolation from the belief that our friendship acquired a new lease of life.
As I received a jolt again in knowing my chum fully I started to contemplate on true friendship. Frankly I did not have good many friends. Being a bit introvert type I used to open up only to my intimate friends who were few. “What’s in a name? If rose is called by a different name it would smell as much sweet.” I pondered and was content on having his company very infrequently though. It enriched such true friendship where the two young men share common values and taste while they sought to connect further but other business and preoccupations were coming in the way.
I did not have to wait for long as I could trace him though from a distance watching a big Football match being played by two arch rivals of our city. I was a great fan of one of the two teams which dominated the match and scored twice. As I rose to applaud much to my exhilaration I could notice my friend was in a mood of ecstasy and clapping hands along side other fans sitting besides him. My happiness was more pronounced at the sight of his sharing again another common feature which gave me reasons to remain friends forever, cheer up and enjoy life. But when the match ended I tried by all means to catch hold of him and perhaps he had also such a fervent wish to meet me on that jubilant mood and speak about many things in life which we could not so far discuss. But despite my hectic attempts he melted away within the vast crowd leaving me only to celebrate the glory of our beloved team and fueling the urge for meeting him at the earliest to observe the victory in a befitting manner together.
I was again contemplating the fond idea how to contact him early for the much desired occasion in which my other friends and acquaintances having our football team allegiance were being invited the next day. The list grew large in size gradually as my child began to incorporate his friends also who were blind supporters of our team. But my friend occupied the top place in the list although not knowing his name till then I had to write ‘My chum’ instead.
While we were all ready for the revelry I received a call from the nearest police station to immediately proceed there. I felt totally annoyed but since such a summon was unavoidable I left for the job leaving others to enjoy in my absence for a short period assuming that the matter was casual. I headed for the officer in charge who had known me well. When I entered his chamber he handed over a photograph. I was baffled to find me along with my friend in it. As I was totally absorbed within the picture the officer held his arm on my shoulder saying “Very sorry, it’s all gone. Your friend was run over by a bus yesterday after the big event. We found the photograph very neatly kept in his purse”. I had forgotten but suddenly remembered how he had instructed his daughter to take the snap once we had met in a restaurant.
So long I had been longing to see him without knowing his yearning for my association but then I could now realize much to my sorrow and loss how much he had been pining for his friend while remaining anonymous.