Water water everywhere…not a drop to drink. No one realized it more aptly than Vicky, a merchant sailor, sailing for six months continuously. Although that was his first voyage, yet he felt as if he was aboard for ages. That afternoon during his scheduled break, he decided to browse the net. It was his only way to stay in touch with his friends and relatives, back on land.
He logged onto Facebook, a social networking website and found quite a few friend requests were pending. He lazily started to approve and reject the same until the last name, which left him enthralled. The request was from Jessica. Even before adding her to his list, he quickly clicked on Jessica’s friend list to search if “she” was present there or not! The list contained 330 names and he went through each profile and pic, making sure in case “she” was using some nick name. After about 15 min of research he succeeded. He was spellbound, thinking, was she the same cute sweet girl he knew a year back? He couldn’t believe his eyes, the girl he knew was now a lady…as beautiful as always but the childish outlook has been encapsulated into a more matured cocoon.
He immediately checked her profile and as the life size of the profile pic flashed on the screen, his eyes froze. He looked straight into the eyes of the lady in the photo. Those eyes always made him crave for her; her smile made him always think that she was the sunshine of his life! All that was still the same but it was all meant for Rishav, the one Ria was married to. Instantly he felt that it was Rishav, for whom she left him alone amidst all blues!
He clicked on all the pics in her album, one by one and couldn’t stop envying Rishav for having such a beautiful wife like Ria. There were almost 50 pics, taken at different locations, all over the world and she looked gorgeous in all of them. He couldn’t control his eyes when a pic from Switzerland occupied the screen. Ria was posing alone amidst the snow and by her expression anyone could say how happy she was. Her smile made him nostalgic yet again and he could not stop the overflow of memories from the past.
Those days, he felt, were the most lovely, happening and memorable days of his life. He first saw Ria in a western dance class, which they both attended. Ria was a prolific dancer but Vicky was nothing lesser. They soon got into a pair for some of the songs. Their dance school was competing in a national level competition. Along with others both of them too represented their institute and truly speaking they made the best dancing couple amongst all the available pairs. During that period Vicky was captivated by her charm. Ria was very extrovert in nature, fun loving, good looking, out going and ofcourse not to forget good at heart. Vicky, on the other hand, could be attributed through three suitable adjectives only … smart, handsome, and genuine! As days went, Vicky’s love for her increased and by the time their programme ended he was madly in love with this girl. The chemistry showed on stage and as a result their dance school won the second prize in the competition. It was celebration time and members from the dance class planned for a picnic.
Suddenly Vicky was back in the present and found it was time to go back to work! He needed to rush and quickly sent a friend request to Ria simply driven by reflex before moving out of the internet room.
After his scheduled duty hours, when evening was setting in, he went to the deck and stood there alone looking at the deep blue sea. It seemed as if his sorrows were submerged into the depth of the ocean. Even before he could realize, memories of Ria, flooded into his mind.
He couldn’t ever forgot the picnic congregation. It was indeed his first step towards the deep emotion that he developed for Ria. Vicky’s mom came to the dance class before they left for the picnic to give them some pakoras and paranthas to be consumed during the couple of hour’s journey. It was the first time he introduced Ria to his mom, whom he loved the most in the whole world.
Picnic was quite good too as Ria declared Vicky to be her best friend in front of all and the declaration did not please a few, needless to mention that Vicky had few competitors in his class as quite a few guys were trying their luck on the most happening gal in their group. After he was back from picnic, Vicky couldn’t stop himself from asking his mom, whether she liked Ria or not. Vicky’s mom said , “Ria is a sweet girl, but tell me something truly, Vicky… you like her, don’t you?”… Vicky was stumped but since he never lied to his mom, he said shakily “Mom, I don’t like her, but I love her”…and his mom smiled back and said “you are my son Vicky, I know what you are feeling, I too liked her, and I think you couldn’t express your feelings to her.”. He gave his mom a sheepish smile, while his mom said, “Go boy, go and propose her!”
He suddenly felt his eyes were getting clammy! This time not for Ria, but for his mom. He could feel the sea breeze brushing his face; he felt cold as he missed the warmth of his mom’s affection; he was missing his mom like hell. Six months were elapsed and he did not see her, he did not taste the delicious food she makes for him. He instantly walked away from the deck and went into the radio-room of the ship. He dialed the number … his mom picked up “hello”… Vicky tried to hide his tears and tried to speak normally… he cleared his throat and said, “Hey mom, how are you? I don’t know why but I am missing you maa!” As he uttered the last words, tears rolled down his cheeks. His mom could feel from the other end of the line that her son Vicky was very sad, she knew what pain her son went through in the last one year, her eyes instantly became moist too. She said, “Son, don’t get upset, you were my brave boy. Why are you crying? My son is in merchant navy, within couple of years, you will be the captain of the ship, and you made us proud. Distance doesn’t matter, my blessings are always with you” Vicky felt a load off his heart and said, “love you mom” and disconnected the call.
Next day during his duty hours he couldn’t stop contemplating, whether Ria had accepted his friend request or not? As soon, his schedule was over, he almost ran to the internet room, logged in and to his surprise, he saw that Ria had not only accepted his request but actually even scrapped him saying a little hi! He felt very happy from inside, almost felt like singing and dancing as if he had solved one of the unsolved mysteries of the world. He scrapped her back asking about her whereabouts and other routine stuff. As days went by, quite frequently they started scrapping each other and Vicky during his off hours either used to stay online in anticipation that Ria too would be there or he stood in the deck looking towards the deep blue sea and thought of the wonderful days they spent together.
He would stand there for hours looking at the blue sea searching for Ria’s reflections in the water. He felt the magnitude of void every time whenever he thought of her. He thought of the jokes they shared and which left both of them guffawing till the tears were out. He thought how easily she became friendly to his close ones and how everyone appreciated him for having a friend like Ria. They loved to drink the same masala chai and every time they went to a local mall, they wouldn’t miss an opportunity of have it together. How they both went for shopping and every time it was Ria who picked up the perfect shirts for him. He missed the way she use to hug him, saying he was her best friend and he missed the way she would come well dressed and would nod at him as if to ask how she was looking. It was always thumbs up from his end which made Ria smile, for which Vicky would die for. The reflections of Ria in the deep blue sea made him crave for her even more.
Two more months elapsed and although their conversation never went beyond formal scraps but something from within made him happy. The deep blue sea became his best friend sharing the memories of his past and present. One day when he stood on the deck, there were dark clouds, he somehow saw a silver lining in that darkness too, which otherwise gave him a feeling of being engulfed by it. Deep inside he had already created a world of their own, hoping someday Ria would come back to him. Suddenly it started to drizzle, Vicky looked at the sea, it looked mesmerizingly beautiful, it seemed to be without any boundaries, it was similar to the non stop memories that he had of her. He did not bother to take a shelter and sweet memories of Ria started to pour down on him.
Around a year and half year back, one day both of them after their dance class went for shopping. They were walking side by side when suddenly it started to drizzle, they both didn’t bother to take shelter and enjoyed the first downpour of the monsoon. Both kept walking hand in hand, laughing, singing, and bopping. Vicky could not ignore Ria’s beauty, her wet hair and she was looking like the goddess of love. He tried hard to control his emotions but something in him was insisting, “hey boy…propose your girl… She will be all yours”.
He told Ria that he had to take some good CDs for his mom and they both headed towards Planet M, a leading music store located nearby. After entering the shop Ria went to the other end searching for some DVDs for herself. After a while, suddenly she heard Vicky was calling her by her name. She tried finding him through the CD racks but it was all in vain. When finally she located Vicky, she saw he was listening to something with a headphone plugged to his ears. Vicky offered her the other headphone, to listen to the song that he was listening to. Ria put it on and found it was playing the lovely track, “Nothing gonna change my love for you!”. They both enjoyed the song till the end and finally when Ria was removing her headphone, Vicky said, “Hey gal, its dedicated to you, I never thought this will ever happen to me, but I love you baby, I want to marry you!”
Ria didn’t knew how to react, tears appeared in her eyes, and soon it was rolling down the cheek. She tried to be normal and somehow said, “Hey we are best friends, I never thought you would do this! I thought at least you would be different from others! All men think alike!” She rushed out of the shop, Vicky ran behind her to explain, but she was too stubborn, too angry! She left for home, leaving him alone. Vicky tried to contact her, but she didn’t respond and within 6 months Vicky heard from Jessica, their common friend that she was married. It left Vicky’s world shattered into pieces.
He felt cold, it was still drizzling, he was totally wet by then; he came inside, went into his cabin. Next day he went to the internet room, logged in to check if there was any more scraps from Ria. He got lucky, Ria was online. They chatted for almost an hour about each other’s new lives and then suddenly Ria logged off saying she had to cook dinner for her husband! The last word tore his small world of hope into pieces and he felt Ria was very happy with her hubby, in her new world! To his surprise, he started feeling the same pain he felt two months back, before he restored contacts with Ria. He didn’t knew what to do, where to go for an explanation. He thought, the deep blue sea, his best friend, would definitely give him some solutions! He ran on to the deck, looked at the sea and started searching for Ria’s reflections, but to his surprise there were none! He stood there still, looking at the sea and as if the rumbling of the sea gave him the answer. He knew it always was only friendship from Ria’s end! It was a mirage that he was running behind and that had made his life miserable. It brought back the world of pain, sorrow, and tears!
He immediately knew what he had to do. He rushed back to the internet room, logged into facebook, went to his friend list and opened Ria’s profile. He smiled at her profile pic for one last time and then deleted her profile from his list. Suddenly he felt happy, he felt light, he thought there would be no more anchoring but just moving on like his best friend …the deep blue sea!