I stepped out of my apartment gate and the sun blazed into my eyes making me literally blind for a few seconds. Ahhh… Chennai and its weather! I shrugged. I managed to keep my eyes open and started walking towards the near by super market which i have noticed on my way home yesterday evening.
As i entered the super market i could find the cold air caressing my body and i felt heavenly that very instance. It was a big and spacious supermarket with seperate depatrments for all the items that has been neatly displayed. I went straight into the groceries department and started filling my trolly with the grocery items. After a solid half-an-hour i was finished up with the groceries and wheeled the trolly for billing where a huge queue was waiting and i joined them.
While i was waiting, i heared someone calling my name and i turned over to my back to check who it was. There i found Johnson standing with his hands crossed accross his chest and a smile that lingered over his lips. I was shell-shocked. I haven’t thought i would meet him again after 5 long years.
“Hey Anu! How have you been all these years? Hope you remember me?”
“Johnson! Hey… I do remember you well and it isnt that easy to forget a person like you actually. And i am damn good. You could see it by yourself”
“Yeah i can”
“And by the way what are you doing up here in a supermarket? You live nearby?”
“Hmmm i live in Shenoy nagar as my kid’s school is over there and i own this supermarket. Just came for a short visit to check on things. Have you finished with your purchase?”
“Yeah, waiting for billing. And that’s great to know its your supermarket. I recently shifted to my new apartment in the next street and so i didnt get know about it. By the way, am sorry about your wife, i heard it from our friends. How’s your kid? What’s his name?”
“That’s okay Anu. We have been much better in the recent days. His name is Danny and he’s is fine too. I have to pick him from school in few minutes. I need to rush. Sorry i couldn’t speak much and its nice meeting you after all these years. Keep in touch. Here, have my card.”
“The pleasure is mine Johnson. Take care both of you. I’ll call you soon. Drop by my apartment when you are free and dont forget to bring Danny. “
“Sure, i will Anu. Bye-bye”
“See you soon”
I watched Johnson rushing towards the parking and pulling out his Volkswogan and racing it towards the road. There i stand in dead-silence after that brief conversation with Johnson. I didnt know what was i feeling right that moment. Am i sad for his current situation or happy for meeting him after some long years or surprised to see him being so kind or shocked to find himself changed into a new person whom i havent seen back then when i was doing my graduation with him. I didnt actually know.
My mind raced back to my memory lane fetching few memories of Johnson during my college days. Johnson was like the hero of our college back then. He was 6 feet tall with an athletic body and had an attractive profile for which the girls went crazy over him. He had sharp eyes which would pass through you which will be filled with self-confidence and it makes people have a high regard for him. Usually when he enters the college, right from the watchman to the Principal would treat him with respect though he never cared about it much. He was always found with a cigar in his lips outside the campus and i used to think that smoking makes men look mannish especially when it comes to a person like Johnson.
He rarely visits the classrooms and he was always found with a group of followers who follow where ever he moves around the college. He used to organize all the events in the college with such an ease. He is well known among various colleges for his extra-curricular activities, as he is a writer, orator and a dancer, by winning various trophy’s for the college on his behalf. Though he never attends any theory classes he still managed to get through the exams.
After my completion of graduation, i got the invitation for his marriage which I was not able to attend due to my change of work place. It was an arranged marriage by his family with some girl from some village. I was puzzled how he was able to stay away from the cluster of girls who were fascinated and completely in mesmerized in love for him and marry a girl from a village of his parents choice. I thought that was the kind of respect he had for his family and that made him stand away from usual guys who take up the available chances of messing up with girls during college days. After 2 years a mutual friend of ours delivered a news that his wife was expired in a car accident leaving back the new born boy child. I felt sad for his situation.
Its been 2 years i have heard about him. And here i stand after seeing him all changed. He has become so lean and he is growing beard which makes him look older than his age. He seems so calm and his voice is soft and his eyes filled with an unsaid pain. I thought he would have opted for a second marriage having a little kid, which most of the men in our society does. But i am surprised to see him taking care of his son all by himself and he doesnt complain over that and instead he seem to be happy doing this. I was totally lost in my thoughts about Johnson when i heared the guy in the counter calling for billing my things.
I billed and paid the amount and started back home. I realized that i was left with a heavy heart that evening. I had a thought that men look into their own happiness and get themselves married to another women once their first wife expired leaving back a small kid. And mostly the kids fall to be the reason for men getting married. Johnson proved to be different right from the day i met him in my college till this second leaving me speechless with his acts.
I believe Danny would have a happy life with his father Johnson. *Sigh*