Rotten Nostalgia

He called me at about 6. Closer to 5:30 may be. We decided the place he was going to pick me up from. It wasn't going to be the usual place, so he went on a bit with the detailed directions to the spot. But I already knew. I had been longer in the city than him, after all, I was supposed to.

I walked out of office early, didn't have to sneak out because everyone had left even earlier. Outside, there were lights everywhere. It was the Visharjan night. You know, when they carry the idols of Durga in trucks for immersion, and there is a loud procession and crackers, tens of hundreds standing by the road, watching. All traffic had been deviated. Nothing was plying as normal. That's why he couldn't pick me up the usual place. I got on a bus, somehow and walked about a ten minutes to our place. I waited, it felt like a long time. I took out my phone to call him, twice. But then decided against it. I folded my hands, like they do, chose a spot near the traffic signal and stood there. There seemed to be more cars on the road that night. Every time the green light lit up, I expected him to come. But he didn't just turn up. The procession got close, the music got very loud. It wasn't winter yet, but I began to feel cold, shiver. Soon, the idols would arrive one by one. The road would be clogged and I would probably have to go home without having seen him.

Just then, I saw a car, his color, taking a u turn from the other side. Like a dozen other times, I assumed I would be wrong. But it was him. He slowed down in front of me, pushed the door open, looked out and said Hi. It must have been him. It was such long ago, I can't even remember.

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