The woman in the picture below (the previous post, closure part – I) is one of Indiaâ€™s most well-known and respected animation artists. I saw her a few years ago one night sitting alone across from the bar from me and I thought she was the loveliest thing I had ever seen. After 2 long-island iced teas I found the courage to go and talk to her. All I wanted was to apologise for staring like a gawking teenager, and to tell her she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. It was the first time Iâ€™d done that.
(Years later I was to meet another woman who surpassed even this beauty. She had me spellbound. I gave her my everything. She had my heart but decided she didn’t want it after all. She gave it back to me, broken and damaged for life. Anyway, that is another story.)
She was charming, bashful and embarrassed as hell. At the time, her hair was cut short- cropped close to her scalp. Oh, it just made her look more beautiful. She gave goosebumps and her number. I made sure I didn’t lose her to the 500 million-strong throng of nameless faces in the chaos that is Bombay.
Nothing ever happened between us but we did develop a friendship. One I really cherished and nurtured like a delicate plant. Then one day she just cut me off. Completely. For reasons I don’t know, even now.
Recently I heard from friends that she had won 4 awards at Cannes for her short animation film. I remember her discussing that story with me; I remember her working on it and me watching as she worked. I remember how much I liked it. I remember the scribbles she showed me, I remember thinking at the time what a beautiful, talented human being I was sitting next to. It seems so long ago. Probably because it was. Time plays tricks with you. So does life.
When I heard she’d won I was so proud of her and wanted to reconnect and tell her. I retrieved her number and called her. She picked up the phone not recognising my number and said hello. Once she recognised my voice she hung up. I tried calling back several times, she just wouldn’t answer the phone. I still don’t know what Iâ€™ve done. I wish I did. I want so much to fix it. I feel I could apologise for whatever it was. Part of me is bursting with happiness for her and part of me just feels bruised and confused. All I can do is shut off and go back to the void that has replaced her in my head.
It had happened to me again.