It is neither Christmas nor Valentine’s Day. Nor is it the first day of any year. It is just one of those days. She says she wants to work on her painting and you tell her you want to go to the sea. She looks at the pending work, you give that puppy-eyed look and she smiles back which melts your heart. So, the two of you go to the sea. The evening is mellow and lazy. And you think about the lazy bed. The one totally wrapped in talcum fresh white sheets and big pillows and yellow poppies on the corner side table. Thoughts of the mattress taking the weight of your bodies and the sheets crumpling to the thought of your movements on her.
On the way to the sea, she talks about her new painting and whether to paint the thief first or the moon. She talks of her first painting and you think about the last lovemaking. She pulls you closer and tells you about her hometown. And her house, which has jasmine growing in all corners and the swing on the terrace. She talks about her sister and lemon cheesecake – her sister’s great recipe. And you wonder if she resembles her mother or father perhaps. You don’t want to know, for that could be scary, imagining them every time you made love to her.
On reaching the sea, you two sit on the shore. You feel like it’s just the two of you alone on this planet. She shows you the pictures of her first dog, a Chihuahua and her second dog, a golden Labrador or was it her third? The first one slept with her in the blanket and the fourth loved swimming in the river that flows near her parents’ house. And you imagine how delicious her hair smells this evening and remember your first dog, a Dalmatian called Tinkoo. You look around and realize the sun has set and stars are out playing. The earth is spinning beautifully on your favourite number while she is talking and you are looking, and she is looking and you are listening. And you do not think lady like. You think about taking off your clothes and hers; and swimming in the sea. You think about crossing the horizon and reaching the other side.
And then she brings you back and tells you that she wants you to read her Pablo Neruda. And you think about the poet and the words, her and the lazy bed. Every time you remember the bed; you make it fresh and white and lazy and you fall into its warmth with her, and every time you look at the garden you sprawl on the grass which is green and soft and tickles your feet and makes her laugh.
Suddenly she tells you that you resemble her first crush, her friend’s younger sister. She has gone pink in her cheeks seeing the twinkle in your eye. You laugh and sing ‘dekh lo humko kareeb se, aaj hum mille hai nasseb hai …’ She kisses your cheek and says, ‘You sing horrible’. You tell her you would compose a song for her, and she tells you she would make a painting of you. Together you go looking for music sheets, and the guitar, and the brushes, and the paint, and the canvas! You know it is a day for new tunes and fresh color.
On your way back you pick up a bottle of wine and she picks up tacos and cheese. Leaving the sea behind, you swing together arm in arm humming the composition, which is half done, and enjoying the painting that is etched in the moment. Alas! Love has met art; and you… have met her!