Their semester exams had ended. He was happy that he’d done well and she was happy that it had ended. He was dating another girl. And she was dating another boy. After every exam, it was customary for them all to take a trip to Mysore and spend a couple of days with a friend who lived there. Or that’s all they had the penny for. They did this twice every year, without fail for four years. As usual, they didn’t realize how those two days flew by and before they knew it, it was time to head back home. A three hour train travel was all that they had left of their little vacation.
They were laughing, singing old Hindi songs and making fun of each other, journeying. An hour into it, she decided to spend some time by herself and navigated her way to the door to watch the sun disappear. She walked swiftly toward the door and there were a few men at the door already, enjoying their evening smoke. Wind plus tobacco, a combination that she hated. Ignoring the stench, she made her way to the door.
She was wearing a sky-blue checkered shirt with black trousers. Her rough wavy hair made a mess of her face equating with the wind. She held the door handle for support, stuck her head out to feel the wind and stretched herself out of the door, feeling a loud swoosh of air hit her face almost instantly. She laughed and bent her head upside down to watch her curls dance to the tune of the gushy wind. She wanted to scream loudly with joy, but, smoking middle aged men gaping at her as if they’d discovered a new planet sort of made it difficult. As you can see why.
He couldn’t stay in his train compartment after she’d left. He made up a lame excuse and walked toward the door, searching for her. He was shocked to see her skillful acrobatics at the door and rushed toward her, gripping her by her arm, drew her inside. “Are you crazy?!” he said with eyes wide open. And smirked. Swinging his forefinger at her face, he warned her to stay away from the door. She laughed boisterously at his tutelage and obliged.
He was wearing a black full arm shirt that day. He looked magnetic in black and she always made it a point to tell him that. Always. He was not much of a compliment taker, so a casual shrug was all that she got in return.
They stood by the train door and talked for the remainder of their journey. They had been friends for years and they had spent a lot of time together just by themselves by then, but that evening was profoundly different. Because that day, she saw that he was in love with her. His words were controlled by his coy mind, but his eyes? Boy, his eyes were such a giveaway. She neither heard him say Love nor did he catch her say Yes throughout their conversation. But, that day, she knew.
So, nine years later when people ask her about the day he proposed, you can see how it can get confusing for her to answer this question.