MIDWAY: Red rose

Even a small incident can leave an indelible impression on your life. It also depends on how you deal with the situation or visualise it. It was a fine spring morning when I was on my way to Kathmandu from Dhulikhel. The bus stopped and I dragged my feet inside and threw myself on a vacant seat near the window.

Soon I started going through Harry Potter. After sometime, the bus came to a halt at the next stop. A person came and sat next to me. I didn’t care initially and persisted with those black lines, but within seconds, a fragrant smell caught my attention.

I began the guesswork on what it might be. No, it wasn’t an artificial one — it was a pure, natural fragrance. I turned my head and saw a beautiful girl with a big red rose on her silky hair. That sweet smell made me relax and I couldn’t stop myself from taking occasional deep breaths. From time to time, she would adjust the rose, which made me assume that she had a great fondness for roses.

Being shy of girls, I had to gather enough courage to start a conversation. Soon, I mustered courage and whispered...”What’s your name?” There was no response and I was stunned for a while.

But to my surprise, she gave a mysterious smile, which I didn’t know what for? Maybe, she didn’t hear me well and didn’t bother to ask again. It’s the usual habit of girls, I thought. I couldn’t muster enough courage to question her again. Soon the next stop arrived and the driver pressed the brake so hard that we all jerked forward. At this moment, her rose came off and fell on my knees and then on to the floor. She shrieked but I picked up the flower and placed it inside my book. I even collected the broken petals for her. Her smiling face transformed into sadness. I am not sure whether I made a fool of myself?

“How about keeping them intact with glue,” I queried. My God! She burst into a ringing laughter, took the petals and disembarked. My eyes continued to follow her steps from

the windowpane.

The bus restarted and she was out of sight. Today, when I turn to Harry Potter’s page 342, I find those petals. Though they have dried now, they still refresh those memories. That incident continues to haunt me in several ways.