The Silver Lining to Burnt Toast

By Asmita Javdekar in Experiences
Updated 17:15 IST Aug 23, 2019

I could barely take my eyes off him.
6feet 2inches, chiseled to perfection!
His complexion was reeking of warm chestnut, perhaps a well earned tan from the Himalayan trek that he was brazenly boasting about.

Amma always told me that I was an innate revolutionary, my first shriek into this world was proof enough that I was here to ruffle quite a few feathers.
At 12, I picked up my first fight against Avva (my grandmother) for not allowing me inside the kitchen when I was on my period. At 15, the target was Amma and Appa for setting a 7 pm deadline for me to get home when my younger brother could gallivant at his heart’s whim.
This unfair, biased world for women made me sick in my gut. Ever since, I prioritised Women Rights and Welfare as a cause that I would dedicate my life to.

Kabir was a chance encounter.
I was working on a Skilling project for a community of Himachali women. A friend had recently trekked to our program site and wanted to update me about her experience.
For the first time in my life, I couldn’t hear a word of what she was saying. My senses were too busy soaking up the most beautiful living thing, breathing and existing at an arms distance from us.

“Meet Kabir, He accompanied me to your project, Radha. He was really impressed with what he saw and wanted to meet you in person.”

My heart began pounding against my lungs as the Greek God curved his lips and broke into the most charming smile. Like a fingerprint on the soft, luscious dough, a deep dimple sank into his left cheek.

All the knowledge gathered from years of watching mushy Romcoms was leading me towards, “He’s the one.”
There were bells ringing in my heart, I could smell roses at the putrid Chai Tapri,
I was imagining Kabir, lifting me off my feet and kissing me till I was a pool of molten passion. That’s it. I had found my soul mate and my soul was zooming into his magnetic field.

As if scripted, my friend hurried to run an errand, leaving the Man of my dreams and me, to pirouette into our very own Wonderland.

Kabir was a smooth talker. With every word emanating from him, I was falling a little more in love. Time was drifting by and before I knew it, it was the Golden hour; that little window of time before sunset when the sun is closer to the horizon. Tentacles of light spread across the sky, infusing a warmer, softer glow.

Kabir looked straight into my eyes and confessed, “I’ve never felt so close to anyone in the first meeting.
Radha, hope you don’t judge me.”

With my heart in my mouth, I promised I would not and prodded him to go on.

“The world doesn’t understand me. Only Hemant does. He is the love of my life.
I was almost going to abandon my Love for the sake of this heartless world but seeing your work in Kardang, made me reassess my life and my calling. Radha, the mountains is where I belong but not without Hemant.
We are both moving to Kardang and will be more than happy to volunteer as trainers for your Skilling program.”

My heart just passed through a shredder.
With tears in my eyes I said, “Sure, I will be more than happy.”

With the Sun going down, our magical hour dissolved into darkness. Only a thin glow line remained across the horizon. For some reason, it reinforced my true calling. Perhaps, The Silver Lining to Burnt Toast.

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