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The Souvenir

**The following chapter contains a lot of cheesy stuff. Viewer discretion is advised**

Feb 2017

A young man in mid 20’s is gathered with a group of people waiting for their tour guide to arrive. He along with others have enrolled for a walking tour around the city. He was already in 4 layers of clothing as he wasn’t used to the cold weather. The tour guide finally arrives and makes his way through the crowd at the centre and announces “Welcome everyone to the most romantic city in Central Europe! Anyone who visits here once is bound to come again with the person they love”. The young man shrugged thinking this walking tour is just going to get cheesy from now on. Only if he had known how much this beautiful medieval city would impact him. The city known for its stone bridges on the river would always be imprinted in his memory . The city the guide was thinking about is Praha or better known as Prague.

Feb 2017 was a month long vacation for me. After attending my friend Sahu’s wedding in India, I had a solo trip planned across Central Europe starting from Munich and ending in Amsterdam covering 6 cities in 4 countries. It was a 10 day trip and Prague was the second stop. A school friend of mine from Germany came along in this trip. As I was German illiterate she was a big help.

After completing the walking tour I couldn’t help but stop everywhere across Charles bridge overlooking the Vltava river. Beautiful and scenic as it was it overlooked a palace which was like a painter’s dream if they are looking for something artistic to paint on their canvas. There were a number of padlocks on the bridge which my friend explained that people lock it and throw the key in the river believing they will find their true love. And I thought India was superstitious . My friend went ahead and actually did it, while I was like yeah I don’t believe all that so not going to throw or lock anything . While returning back we stopped at a small shop serving warm honey wine under the bridge. It was the best tasting alcoholic beverage I ever had. While drinking I noticed something shining a light in my eyes. I went ahead to inquire and it was coming from a small gift shop area in the same shop, a small face makeup souvenir with it’s mirrors opened from where the light was being reflected. It had Prague castle, the Charles bridge and the river painted on the cover iconic to the city. Something very simple but yet felt very unique and special like I am drawn to it. And yet instead of me possessing it , I wanted to give it to someone I truly liked and wanted her to have it. Only problem I didn’t have anyone like this back then. I purchased it anyways thinking probably someday I will find someone who is weird in her own way, someone who I don’t want to let go once I meet her, someone who I want to willingly spend rest of my time.I guess in a very cheesy way and keeping up with Prague’s traditions this was the 🗝 to unlock me but instead of throwing it in the river I rather give it to her

Exactly 3 years later, I found her and that little souvenir resides in her home now along with my unlocked

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