[Excerpts from my new book]
[Also part of Manoshi’s Story series]

“Are you over and out of love?” He asked Manoshi!

Manoshi wasn’t expecting such a deep question at such an arbitrary time, I mean she had lost the parking ticket and the car papers all in the same evening, her friends were currently busy arguing with the security guards of the hostel gate and he thought that was the best time for some soul searching.

“I don’t know, how can you ask that question just like that. You should’ve given me time to prepare for an answer.” She said it calmly but was restless inside.

He remained silent. She quickly spoke again. She does that a lot, can’t handle silence. “How does it matter? Does it matter?”

“Well we are spending so much time together. I mean…I am a part of this…”

Manoshi’s friends came back to the car and he couldn’t finish what he was saying. I am pretty sure he didn’t know what he was saying. And I think Manoshi knows that too. The conversation on this topic thus interrupted was eventually drowned in rum and smoked away with hash for the night.

I asked her in the morning at our place, “So really, are you over him?”

“No! I am not.” She said. “I love him! To the extent that I can do anything for him. Well, anything that is pragmatically doable for me, I mean I wouldn’t give my life or any thing of that sort. I guess I wouldn’t give him my money either, that sort of love is beyond me. And then I don’t have a lot of money to give anyways. But apart from not being able to give him the only life or the small amount of money I have, I can do anything to make him happy. Ya, I love him to the extent that I feel happy seeing him happy and  I love him for the person he is and the person he wants to be.”

“You stole that line from Jerry Maguire.” I couldn’t help pointing that out.

“I know. Its a good line.” She said with a smile.

“So what now? You want him, you don’t want him? And how come you are sleeping other men…man…either?” I asked her.

“I think I have learnt to not desire him anymore. I have him in my heart, I don’t have to claim him or anything. I have learnt to love him but be detached from him at the same time.”

Manoshi said those lines in a manner as if the thought behind them were still in the oven, she was baking them but they were not quite prepared, she was not so certain if she was saying exactly what she was feeling.

Of course, she can’t hide that sort of ambiguity from me. I know it well enough that she is still confused. And then she said it.

“Here’s the thing. He keeps saying that there is nothing, yet every time he stands a bit too close to me, I feel something. Every time his breathe falls upon my cheek, like the times when we both try to fetch something from the back seat of my car or when we try to whisper in each others ears in the movie hall, every time he touches my fingers while exchanging the cigaret, my heart skips a beat and tells me that touch was different, that he is someone else. Every time he looks into my eyes, my heart tells me there is something about that look. It happened today, it has happened before. What is it? Please help me understand!”

She asked quite helplessly.