The thing is, I never got to talk about it.
Not the way they all did.
I never got to speak of the way we both walked into the midday summer sky, the crunch of the leaves beneath our sore feet as we sat on two separate benches beside each other and peered into our cellphones.
And then the evenings, when we would just lie together on one small, dusty, brick red bench, our heads on either side of it, and our bodies sprawled across it effortlessly. It was honestly not big enough for the both of us, but when things are meant to fit, they somehow just do.
The sky there looked different, no, I don’t remember how it looked. I remember how I felt though, as we laid there and it wrapped itself around us. I felt safe in its velvet embrace. I felt galaxies away from everything that spelt out the life that I knew I didn’t need underneath my feet right then.
And right then, through the entangled bottle green mesh of the trees that canopied us, peeking out of the warm, dark night sky were salt like grains of stars and I was certain I was with everything I needed.
That was eight months ago.
That was the master’s project I never did turn in.
That, was our Kundgol.
I’ve never really spoken of how you sang to me as we left the city sitting beside the original superstar, because no one would ever understand how the sweet melody in your voice was more succulent than any Renuka samosa would ever be. But oh! Those Renuka samosas hidden away in the little town of Hubli, setting goals for samosas across the nation!
And I’ve never again spoken of your ugly neon cap and ridiculous loafers paired with pattialas. Because how could I ever expect anyone to believe that those set benchmarks for our emancipation?
I have never explained how our minds raced when we walked into a large, empty meditation room and stared at a blinking red dot. Could this red dot possibly be what garners us our J school diplomas?
I didn’t talk about the way I felt when we walked into the Inspection Bunglow room for the first time, when we saw the warm wooden walls and dark, worn out sofas, it was the most perfect room I had ever seen in my life. It was the room I had seen in my dreams a thousand times before. I could see us there, after exasperating days, laying down on four pieces of uncomfortable furniture and falling asleep, just as we did the very first time.
I told everyone about Baba, they all know. And I will continue to talk about him until my dying breath. I wouldn’t even be surprised if he would be in some of the last thoughts I ever had.
I didn’t ever speak about that lunch we had in a restaurant that could have been a hole dug up by a really cool rat. That papad-like, stale tasting Kundgol roti or that disgusting watered down raita. I didn’t speak about the ancient tape recorder that belted out old Hindi tunes which you so beautifully sang along to, no one would understand how that moment made its way into every cell in my body and etched itself there for eternity.
I couldn’t ever dream of telling the world about our Yeraguppi adventures, how we caught our breath as we rode on in a bullock cart and picnicked with five Pandava stones, and a beautiful family. How would they understand the way your face lit up when you ate the world’s best vada or how my soul lit up the first time I touched a cotton pod? How would they ever know how precious it was when Sagar taught me to fly a kite and I spoke to his sister about my sister?
How could I explain to them how blazing hot the sun was, how we refused to do anything but skip around the village, how everyone waved to us and led us to each other when we were lost within a few days?
How could I tell them that we said and thought the names of Kareem, Naveen, Shivaji anna and Suma more than our boyfriends and best friends? How would that even make any sense?
They would never be able to understand the kind of justice IB breakfasts delivered upon our mornings or the way walking for hours together to find cow bells was suddenly so much more important than finding out why the man I was in love with hadn’t spoken to me in a month.
I didn’t talk about our 8 pm walks before dinner where we missed the city moon but were happy we had each other in this remote hamlet, miles and miles and miles away from anything we ever called home.
I didn’t talk about the boundless laughter that held our days together or the merciless tears that tore them apart.
I didn’t talk about that Passenger sunset we hid away at Unkal Lake, or how I see you in every sunset by every lake now.
I didn’t talk about Jiye Kyun or Stay. I sure as hell never spoke about the Mathew Mole dance, who would not judge us for that?!
I didn’t talk about how our hearts wandered off a million miles away sometimes, to people we thought may have been our homes.
I didn’t talk about how right then, I knew I was actually home.
I didn’t talk about you and me, and how we became you and me.
But that was eight months ago in Kundgol.
That was the master’s project you did turn in.
You got your J school diploma, and I got you.