So yeah, this day was Kalpeni Day… We were visiting our second island after Kavaratti. That island was called Kalpeni. Kalpeni came to be everyone’s favorite. But mine. Because I was still ignoring Abhinav. He didn’t realize anything at all till lunch time. This was when I couldn’t go into the water, but went anyway. The instructor, Asif sir, had taken special liking to me and came and took me snorkeling personally. Kalpeni was his island. He had been born and brought up here. He knew everything about it. So I saw the best sights, best snorkeling sights and the best fish there were. He showed me everything by specially taking me himself. He took me the deepest. I didn’t even think of Abhinav the entire morning. I was too engrossed in the marine life. It was beautiful. It was better than the scuba diving and snorkeling at Kavaratti. It was best of the two islands I had seen so far, though that’s not much for saying. And my toe stopped tinging after the first 15 minutes. I didn’t even feel anything later. At all. And I already knew swimming so he Asif sir took me as deep as possible for snorkeling. When we came out of the water, Sameer sir specially took me in. He showed me eels and a lion fish. He also had taken a liking for me. I learned a lot from these instructors. It was their island, and who else would know better about them?
Anyway, lunch came and we were going to go sight-seeing after lunch. So no more water. We had lunch, and the locals were showing us their traditional war dance. I was sitting and watching them. I saw him come and sit behind me. I didn’t even turn. I had seen him from my peripheral vision. He came right behind me and put ear-phones in his ears. I completely ignored him. Then I saw someone else come and sit next to him. I turned to see who it was. Vaishnavi had come and sit next to him. She pulled a earphone out of his ear and put it into her ear. He gave me a quick pensive look. It was then that I came to know that he finally realized that I was angry with him. I made a face and turned away. I saw him smile from the corner of my eye. I internally cursed myself- Shit! I had given myself away! When he saw me making a face at him he knew that he could make it up to me. He knew that I was a bit jealous and wanted more time with him. It obviously made him more desirable. He was desirable. The Lakshadweepan air suited him, just like it suited me. We had both become darker, with smoother skin, brighter eyes, thicker and lustrous hair and leaner bodies. So he stopped the music, looked at Vaishnavi, pointed at a little outcropping of an island and said- Vaish, you know we should buy that piece of land and start living there together. It would be really beautiful. Vaishnavi made a face and said ‘What?’ I sniggered as I realized that Vaishnavi hadn’t even realized what he was trying to do. I think he made a sign to her and attempted again. ‘Vaishnavi? I think we should make a big house there and live in it. A big white house. And maybe we can buy that little other island near it too, and build a house there for Vaidehi and Anmol. They can live there and visit us sometimes.’ My eyebrows arched, because the truth was that the island belonged to Asif sir. He had bought it long back. And that little island that he was talking about was actually a sand-bar. No one could build anything on it. I turned around, looked him in the eye and said so. He gave me a triumphant smile and just crossed his hands in front of his chest. Shit! I had done it! He wanted to provoke me and make me talk to him. And he had succeeded! Angry with myself, I gave an exasperated sigh and whipped my head around. I resolved not to be influenced by his chatter. Their banter went about for some time, and sometimes it was so funny and ridiculous that I did not have an option but to laugh. Exasperated again, I finally got up and went and sat on a rock outcropping near the water. I felt him come and sit a little behind me, just outside the horizon of my peripheral vision. I could hear him breathe just as I could feel the wind brush against my hair. I felt his presence and silently smiled. We sat there silently, next to each other. We didn’t say a word. There was no reason to speak. The silence was beautiful. We just sat together staring out at the blue ocean. No one came and disturbed us. And if Vaishnavi or Anmol had come then, I would’ve broken their heads. But no one came. After some time I turned to look at him. Our eyes met and smile formed by itself. Suddenly shy, I lowered my gaze as my smile widened and my blush found a way to show itself through my tanned cheeks. He kept looking at me, finally getting up and sitting right next to me. His arms almost touched mine, tickling me and teasing me. I looked away, not willing to reveal how desirable he was at that moment. Not willing to reveal how deeply I felt about him. But I think he knew. So we just sat there with the wind, staring into the depth blue ocean and thinking about what was to come next.