La La Land by Amisha Rajput

It was a cold winter evening. Connaught place has its own charisma and in winters, it only intensifies. I was strolling along from one book store to another in search of a book named 'Fangirl'. The vendors were selling reasonable things, from the notebook to dream catcher.

I got tired after a 1-hour long search operation. My stomach was grumbling. So, I decided to eat. After 15 minutes of a long discussion in my head, I decided to eat MC Aloo Tikki from McDonald's. It was just a few metres away.

As I was walking towards the destination, I observed people. Some were busy in bargaining from the vendors, some were eating ice cream, couples were getting annoyed by the flower sellers while some were holding hands. Cliché, I thought.

How overrated love is! I've been single from a very long time and people ask me whether I'm in a relationship or not. They make faces when I reply in negative. Also, no one is worth it. I have met a number of guys. Everyone gets bored after a week. So, I accepted the fact that relationship isn't really my thing. Neither is marriage. Also, I don't believe in forever. So, you can see the problems. I definitely need therapy. When you learn to live alone, you learn to have a conversation with your mind. That's exactly what's happening now.

I checked into Google maps. MC Donald's was just 100 m away. I bumped into some people and then apologized awkwardly. I was looking at the store's names and checking the winter sale offers when my eyes stuck to the name of a cafe. Tafri cafe. Memories. I hate memories. Basically, I hate everything.

I once came here for a date. That ended at a good note. There was light music and we talked about real things. There was so much in common with him. He liked science fiction movies and we even discussed Interstellar. Then, we talked about our families, friends, past relationships. We kissed goodbye. Then, we met twice. And, one day he just texted me that he couldn't see me anymore. I thought about all the possibilities of why he couldn't. Then I gave up. As who, ever liked me in real?  My parents abandoned me. Best friends walked away. No one ever fell in love with me. So, eventually, I gave up on people. Self destructive jokes are my only coping mechanism.

I didn't realise that I have been staring at that café name for a little longer. I shook my head and walked ten steps. There were not many people there. Just two couples listening to someone's song. I ignored it first as it's so common to bump into singers when you are in CP.

But, then something happened. MC Donald's was just a few shops away. A voice was coming, through all the walls and pillars. It was going straight to my heart.

"Staring at the bottom of your glass

Hoping one day you'll make a dream last

But dreams come slow and they go so fast"

I just stood there for a long time. Whoever was singing that song, had something about him. I decided to go to that cafe. I didn't care. I just wanted to see who was singing that fucking song? It was like my La La Land moment.

I took the stairs and opened the door. The voice was clearer now.

"You see her when you close your eyes

Maybe one day you'll understand why

Everything you touch surely dies"

I entered and looked around. There he was. A guy, wearing a tint polo t-shirt, holding the guitar and singing. He was lost in his music. I chose a table in the corner from where I can get the best sight of him. I ordered one cup of coffee so that waiter could keep his eyes off me.

And, I sat there. He ended that song and I clapped. He asked for any recommendations. Someone said 'Cold mess'. He smiled a little and played the guitar. I didn't know till when I sat there, looking at him. He looked at me twice during the whole jam. Not in a romantic way. I was just a stranger staring at him like a creep.

After him, someone else took over. I drank my coffee and the appetite was gone. Some people complimented him and he said thank you in a humble way. I thought about complimenting him. As I move forward, he started looking at me. I got awkward and thought if I was walking properly.



"It was a fun jam. You were amazing."

"Thank you so much. I love performing here."

"You perform here often?"

"Yes. Monday, Wednesday and Saturday."

"Oh, that's great."

I was about to ask his name when someone else came over to chat. The evening ended

After that, every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, I went there to watch him perform while secretly wishing for my La-La Land moment to come true.

by Amisha Rajput