We set out on our journey to Paro Airport. It was still before dawn and all dark. That’s the thing when we’ve to catch early morning flight. Actually I was accompanying my friend Sonam till the airport as he was leaving for studies.
It was raining considerably in Thimphu. Sonam was driving and I sat in the front seat and was feeling pretty woozy. In fact, we were traveling in a stark silence. I tried talking to him but I’ve nothing to say, so I kept quiet.
But it was Sonam who broke the silence, “Hey Riku, get married. When I return from my studies after three years I want to see you complete. Settled down.”
I knew he was pushing on me, jokingly though. So I just smiled at him.
But he was quick to react on his own statement, “But you know what? Marriage is all we wanted in our life. That’s what everybody wanted out of you.”
He pulled down the window glass and the deep chill air gushed into the car. This is exactly what happened to me when people inquired me about marriage – a deep chill runs through my nerve.
“But you’re different, my friend. You are taking your own time. Marriage is not everything. If you think you don’t want it, stay single. That’s also life,” so he comforted me.
In fact, that’s got to be the nicest thing anybody’s said to me in recent time. Then he played on his stereo. Well, it was Bon Jovi and his track You had me from hello. It went on,
At the mirror you fix your hand and put your makeup on
You're insecure about what clothes to wear
An' I can't see nothin' wrong
To me you look so beautiful, when you can't make up your mind
Meanwhile Sonam began singing to the song. As he sang, he strummed his hands on the steering wheel and shook his head to the melody his eyes focused on the road. Now and then, for a brief moment, he glanced and smiled at me in an excited way.
The rain kept pouring down. I watched the nonstop drops of rain tapping on the windshield and how the wiper pushed them away. At the same time, Bon Jovi kept on singing from the stereo; but this time I too hummed it and together we sang it loud,
The first time I saw you, it felt like coming home
If I never told you, and just want you to know
You had me from hello.
We rode through the road on and on. Sometimes bumpy and muddy, other times foggy and dark, but most of the time it was a smooth ride. Our friendship too has been suffused with a bittersweet passage of time. We had highs and lows but often did it sail smoothly.
When we reached Paro Airport the rain stopped and dark sky gradually opened up for a beautiful morning. After bidding Sonam farewell at the airport, I began my journey back home.
As I drove, I played on that song again. I rolled down the glass and the deep chill air gushed in the car, but this time it felt different – very pleasant and comfortable.
I spread my hand out the window and craned my head too - receiving the air full on my face. Oh, it felt simply amazing. That is it. I needed to open the closed window of my mind and break out to embrace change in my life.
Eventually, the morning sunlight gently flooded the entire valley. It’s a fresh morning and new day. For me it’s new take on life; hopefully marriage and having my own family.