The rhythm of Chaar Kadam chases and haunts me. There are many reasons I want to run away from its tunes, the lyrics, that mesmerizing voice. On-screen, Shaan sings the song, and off-screen, there is your soul breathing out the verses, stuffing my ear, making my nerves go numb.
I remember that night. I was on my bed and in the same position as I am right now while writing this. The blackness of the room and the void outside were in sync. As usual that Diwali, I was waiting for you to come online for me to feel lively again.
I remember that I waited for you for two hours. I was shuffling between the pages of my diary, trying to write many things about you, so at least one thing will eventually make sense. But it was as challenging as looking for a needle in a haystack to express what I feel for you.
My phone screen blinked, and it showed you ‘typing…’
You were typing; you were finally sending a message to me! My heart leaped out of my mouth. I went into agony and aspiration at the same time.
There was an audio message with text written beneath it: ‘Please listen to this.’
And I listened to it. I was charmed by the magical tune of the song. I felt my body leave my room and go back to the lanes where we had walked two evenings before.
I recall confessing many other random things along with my love for you. I don’t know why I mentioned those unnecessary things when I only wanted to tell you that I love you. You know I could still smell your whiff from the air. Fresh as tea.
Later, after listening to the song, I was in awe and confusion. I was not sure if I should take that as a nod. A yes for the question asked a thousand times in silence– could you love me back?
You were online but silent. You were, I guess, not sure about what I was thinking.
I was thinking about consent. I hoped you would tell me ‘yes’; you would say that I was the world you wanted to tour and live with, I was the person you look forward to sharing happiness with, I was the one whom you would like to be part of everything. You wanted my company for laughter and love; my presence was the courage you were still struggling to find.
But you were just not ready to walk with me or take on the journey of sharing a life together. You had no courage or any idea about loving people and expressing it in words. So you were trying to please me or hint through a song, asking me to accept that you meant every word of the song.
You were still typing.
I took every bit of the song, every word as a token of your love. I was amidst the clouds of assumption and was living a life that was impossible to live in reality.
You sent me a message then,
‘Can we meet tomorrow? I am interested in someone and want to dedicate this to her.’
And at that moment, the words that were making me feel alive just a while ago hit me like a stone; icy waves of winds lashed against every inch of my body.
You then sent me another text after that, a consolation prize, for you lacked affection for me.
‘This is a beautiful song, Chaar Kadam; we can both have our chaar kadams tomorrow and in many coming tomorrows.’
And at that moment, I wanted to halt. Stop everything from existing.