‘The golden apple with a red shade along it’s curvature is slowly setting in Kashmir’s Dal lake sprinkling saffron across the expanse. Flock of birds form a ‘V’ shape and fly back to their nest silhouetting against the golden sun. Small stars show up here and there in the sky and twinkle, rather wink at you after a day long sleep to welcome the night and their queen of dark, the moon, who is faintly visible in the receding sun’s peach coloured rays.’
As she finished reading what she scribbled in the small writing pad, the handsome chocolate boy remarked,“Wow! I never thought you could describe this dusk so beautifully, so poetic. I’m lucky to have a better half like you who can admire and vividly describe the beauty of nature”.
Saying this he sliced the placid Dal lake with the oars splitting the setting sun’s reflection that formed golden ripples and the shikara pulled forward through the lake slowly. A mild wind blew and she gently adjusted the strand of hair that disobediently fell over her rolling doe eyes, with the tip of her finger.
”Is it so? So sweet of you. Thank God at least now you appreciate & admire my writings. Never did during our college days and till now.”
“I always did, but never said it explicitly. I preferred to be your silent admirer. Because if I had admired and praised you a lot then, you would have stopped nurturing your talent. Since you consider my word as the final word. I wanted to see you grow and you did. And became a writer loved by millions. You have woken the poet in me too.”
“Really! let me hear.”
She tilted her head to the left and placed her cute chin inside her left palm. And they locked eyes with each other. The boy cleared his throat and sang.
“Hum tum ek shikara mein bandh ho aur raastha kho jaayeh” (Hindi song)
The girl plugged her ears with her fingers in distress, laughed and pleaded.
“Oh not again. I’m fed up listening to your parody songs since college. Please don’t sing at least now and spoil our honeymoon.”
The boy laughed and stopped singing. After a few seconds looking into the horizon he said.
”When you smile, a thousand roses bloom in your face. Your black, aromatic, curly tresses flow like a river. You are gentle like a musk deer and has sweetness that put a pudding to shame. When you frown and quarrel your cheeks go red, cute and pretty like an apple.When you sit by my side holding my arm and resting your head on my shoulder, I feel like heaven.Oh doe eyed beauty exuding serenity,you are my elixir of life. You are not my better half, you are my whole and soul. I love you.”
Saying this he looked straight into her cute eyes.
She raised her eyebrows and exulted in happiness.
”You…you love me so much?”
The boy nodded his head in agreement to her query.
“I can’t swim and this lake is deep. If this boat capsize and I drown, will you be my oxygen?”
The girl asked, expecting the boy to express his love for her again and to hear it once more, like the climax scene of Titanic movie.
The boy stared at her seriously and replied, “No,never”.
Her eyes protruded, her strawberry red luscious lips made a capital ‘O’ and her jaws dropped in awe, as if it almost said,
” What the hell are you saying? ”
A faint, wicked and mischievous smile played in his lips. He took her soft hands carefully like a flower in his and said,
“Why should I be your oxygen? When your heart is safe and secure in my heart and I breathe your oxygen. If I live, you live and if I don’t, still I’ll make sure you live happily.If possible,I will not let even death conquer you my sweetheart.”
She leaned over and collected some water in her palms and sprinkled the ice cold water on his face naughtily, in happiness.
”You are naughty and I too love you. I’m blessed to get a hubby like you”.
They hugged each other and gracing their cheeks,with arms over each other’s shoulder, they gazed at the purple night sky being decorated by colourful fire crackers, red green, pink, it went on illuminating the night sky. They wished each other Happy Diwali and continued their journey of trust and love in the shikara through the romantic Dal lake.