I never thought I would propose. Never thought couple of years back that I would do something what I thought was so absurd and stupid like this. Never thought I would make news that I reviled to hear about before. I never understood the proper sense and intent of a “Proposal” till then. In fact, I don’t understand it completely even now.

The cool strong breeze kept my eyes only half-lit, which sighted the beauty of the gloomy, dim illuminated dusk. There was a slight sprinkle around the corner, soothing and keeping the romantic effect of that magical evening at ease. It was an ideal state. It was my favorite day, preferred time of the day, proper weather and best place to be and of course she was there, the apple of my eye. The stage was set for a Perfect Proposal.

It was not that I had waited for a day like this but it just happened. I arrived there little early and kept wondering “Am I really going to do this?” The entire idea of a proposal kept me troubling all the time. This was simply because I did not intend to do this anymore. I was sitting on one bench. Slightly elevated place from where a diminished view of the entire residential area around could be seen. It was urban outskirts, I will say. No sounds, except that of the gentle breeze. No light except the fading daylight. No tribe except me. It seemed strange that I came here often and hardly saw any people around. I wondered why…..but I wasn’t here to figure that out.
I turned and eyed at the sloped passage that led me here. In fact I was waiting for her. I turned back again and started recollecting all that I had thought, I should say. As I had almost finished I heard someone walking up.

I turned. “Hi”, she said a little loud and walked closer. She was wearing her favorite blue jeans and a red short T-shirt. The cool breeze kept dancing with her silky long hair which she had let cascade over her shoulder. She came and sat down next to me on the bench. I kept looking at her and replied “Hi.” Soon she asked “Why did you call me here?”

I was expecting this. I got up, treaded two steps ahead and sat down on the small rock in front of bench. Now I was facing her. She kept wondering what was taking me so long to answer.

“I thought….., I would propose to you”, I said boldly. I just pretended to be bold. The eager looks on her face turned to those of confusion. She didn’t know what to say. Initially she laughed and then got a little serious and exclaimed “Are you kidding?”

“No, I just said what was in my mind.” I said quickly. “I mean, I am serious I called you here to propose you.” I added. I was looking at her eagerly to get the reaction. She
kept laughing.

“I think you’ve gone crazy, I mean how can you just call me somewhere and out of the blue say I want to propose to you! I just don’t believe this. I think you are kidding as you always do. Oh God! Is this April 1st or something?” She said a little frustrated. But the smile still remained on her face. She looked back at me. I was looking at her seriously letting her know that I wasn’t kidding. I waited for her to calm down and get ready to listen.

I got up and walked close to her. I stood in front of her and she was still sitting on the bench. I silently looked into her glittery eyes for a moment and put my hand out. She looked surprised as I said “Promise me.” “Promise you……….. What?” she asked.

“Promise me that …., that is all you are going to speak for rest of the evening. Promise me that you are not going to answer to any of the questions that I ask you now.”

She was confused. “But why?” she asked.

“Just think I am making it easy for you”, I said.

“Ok, I promise”, she said still confused.

“So that’s it, I am going to speak from now on and you are just going listen, ok?”

“Alright, carry on, I am all ears.” she said.

I started. “Before you were here, I was wondering how a guy, actually proposes to a girl. Does he get close to her! hold her hands in his hands, look into her eyes deeply, get close enough to whisper the traditional “I Love You” or be a little creative saying things like “I wish I was one of your tears so I could be born in your eye, run down your cheek, and die on your lips.” or “If I had eleven roses and you, I’d have a dozen.” or something of that sort. I would have probably gone by one of those ways if I weren’t quaint about the entire idea of proposing.” She kept listening as her silky long hair was constantly fleeting with the breeze.

I paused a little and then continued. “I’ll tell you what was exactly in my mind about a proposal. It’s like, a guy proposes to a girl and if she says “Yes”, they become better friends calling each other their crushes until mostly they breakup someday and look for someone else to propose. Or rarely resulting to marriage and account for the few love marriages that we hear of. But if the girl says “No”, they breakup even as good friends and stop talking to each other for the rest of their lives. After all even if they become lovers, what difference is it going to make until they are going to marry, they’ll still remain the friends they were before. So, why propose now? Go propose when you plan to marry.”

I paused as she kept listening silently. I was trying to sound as engaging as possible. I did not want to make it the filmy way. All the while, I had the feeling that any moment she would burst out laughing hearing my well-formatted and memorized lecture.

I continued “this was what I was having in my mind. That was probably why I never fell in love or thought I would propose to someone. But it all changed after I met you and got close to you. If it hadn’t changed I wouldn’t be doing this today.” She was still listening patiently. I knew I wasn’t boring her though I sounded a little dramatic. How much ever I tried I always had the feeling I was aping one of the Khans of bollywood. I got up and walked back to the bench and sat close to her as I had sat before I continued the lecture.

”You know what, though? I was a little confused about all this. I still preferred a love marriage. It was just that I didn’t want to marry someone whom I did not know well before. I thought that I would do all that once I could be independent. But then I met you, much earlier. It was not love at first sight. I knew you were beautiful on the first sight and ever after but that was not the only thing that made me fall in love with you. It was the result of your friendship and our togetherness. We have always been good friends and we know each other pretty well. That was when and why my ideas about the concept of love started changing. I thought if we have been good friends for a few years, why can’t we be the same for the rest of our lives.”

I could see her patiently listening. I thought she would forget her promise at some point and would speak out but she didn’t.

I resumed “Then, there was that thing which was bothering me! I do not want to propose until I settled down. So I thought, ok I am going to let you know my intentions when I wish to marry…..But what if you had different plans or may be you are already married! Then why should you wait for me? I would really miss you then…. miss you very badly……..So I thought I should tell you what was there in my mind now. Maybe that is what you call a Proposal and I started to understand it that way. Don’t you think we can make a nice pair?” I asked!

She kept looking at me silently. I thought she was surprised because it was probably the first time I was talking to her so seriously. I never thought I should be serious about anything unless I really needed to be. As the saying goes “don’t be too serious about life, you’ll never get out of it alive.”

I got up and walked slowly as I continued “You must be wondering why I asked you to remain silent and not even answer to my questions. I’ll answer that……..It wasn’t that I felt I should propose to you last night and just because I felt so, I called you here, today and ……..I paused for a second. I thought a lot before doing this. I had to. I had to think about many other things. Ultimately I also needed to think over “Are we going to make a good pair forever?” I thought about all these and more, deeply and only then I felt it was all going to be fine, I proposed. I know …, the outcome of this proposal is either a “Yes” or a “No”. But whatever it is, I didn’t want to hear it now. I want you to think about it and then answer. I thought a lot before doing this and I felt even you had to. That’s why I asked you not to speak. Think about it and call me back no matter what your answer is.”

She kept looking at me seriously and was about to say something but then remembered her promise and just nodded. I went back and sat on the rock facing her.
”No matter what your answer is, I am taking it sportingly. We will still remain good friends. It’s just that I don’t want to face the break up. That is because I have a small circle of friends and I don’t want to make it smaller anymore. That’s all from my side”, I said.

I gave a sigh of relief and got up. She followed me. I had to make it sentimental at the end. That was the only other ingredient I had to add to cook up my recipe. I walked closer to her and uttered, “Bye, I’ll wait for your call.”

She frowned at those words which surprised me a little. She then turned and walked away. I watched as she walked along. She took a few steps and turned towards me with a bigger smile. She started to walk back for me. She came close and stretched her right hand forward. I smiled shook hands with her.

“Great…You were just great”, She exclaimed.

I smiled again and asked “Thanks…., do you think it’s going to work?”

”I don’t know whether or not it’s going to be a PERFECT PROPOSAL but I’m sure this was the Perfect Rehearsal. All the best anyway…. I should leave now, it’s time and he should be coming. Bye and all the best.” She said as she started to move.

“Bye”, I whispered slowly as I saw her hurry back down the sloped passage. I walked back and sat on the bench.

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