I have a small motorcycle shop next to a bus stand. I was living my dream when I invested my humble savings of eight years at a factory to raise that three walled structure with a white metallic door. I remember leaving no effort unturned to make it look like a decent repair shop for a man who rode a proud Enfield or a Karizma to stop and get the bike repaired. In first year of the shop I cribbed, cried and wiped the careless grease or oil that landed on my floor or on my white door. My hard earned money. This place justified my eight year slog and the first year of business which was now slowly reaping thin but steady profits. Spotless it should be.
All this meaningless cleaning became a complete waste the day I saw a heart scraped out of the white coating of my garage door. As if mocking my disdain the culprit had written his and his beloved’s name along with the date- 16/10/05.
I was grumpy the whole day and following morning I forced myself out of bed to walk and open that distasteful door. “You are too prim and proper for a garage man” my customer poked his nose into my issue. “If I left the grease uncleaned on your bike how would it feel?” I responded without looking up and continued to fix the carburettor. His hand rested on my back with a pat of pity. “Arreh, seems like you never proclaimed your love Arshad Bhai! Let them write their hopes and scribble their names your door. Roshan loves Divya! Aha! Beautiful Arshad Bhai, beautiful! I mean good thing nobody scribbled that F word or some lame thing on your door.”
At that moment I was too hurt to know some thing worse could have happened. But as if my customer’s tongue marked its way onto my door the next day I saw an incomprehensible word scribbled along with few more hearts and love declarations. I painted that part of the door but in vain, here came the rains and the words peeped through with a rusty finish. But over the past five years with seven more additional labours and another garage space I had little time to be bothered by these scribbling. In fact I had converted it as storage for spare parts and it remained shut most of the time.
It had finally planned to get rid of the door and replace it with new one. A fresh white metallic sheet with its hinges fastened leaned on the wall as it was scheduled to be fit the next day. That day morning as I sipped tea monitoring the fitting and cleaning of couple of bikes a lanky young chap came by. “What?” I asked almost annoyed by the incomprehensible expression on his face. Hesitatingly with a sheepish smile he enquired about the old garage with a white door. “Arshad motorcycles, yes, there was a small garage na uncle?” Worried about the recent government poaching of the land areas I stood firm of feet and replied pointing towards the structure, “That belongs to me. Why?” He followed the direction, quickly took snap and walked by, “Five years since I first scribbled our names on this door. Tomorrow I get married to her. This photo will be a sweet memory of how it all began!”
Before I could gather what happed he muttered a polite thanks and walked away. “Arreh, bhai! What’s your name?” I shouted in an attempt to know at least one of the culprits. “Roshan and Divya” he smiled like a little boy when he said that. I stood there and stared the priceless marvel of the rascal whom I scorned day and night for many months. I broke out into a smile and decided to leave the door standing for few more days -a journal to bring alive the rusted memories of loving souls.