IITx diaries. Episode-1

smoochHe and she were sitting adjacent, actually more proximate, well frankly smothered into the other, on the rear-most step of the Open air theatre in-campus late at night. Let’s step back a moment. Well we do literally need to so as to give them some privacy. Now literal-qualms aside, metaphorically taking a step back to ponder a deep philosophical injunction, why need it be a he and a she?

No, now don’t get all creative and start imagining plural forms of either or both pronoun. Did you know mélange a trios used to be an accepted, or rather still is, a form of social co-habitation in Europe? I want to go Europe. To see the Eiffel tower ofcourse! What were you thinking? Back to business with the he and the she, why need there be this gender duality in a relationship-duo. Given we are liberals in the 21st century, we take no issue if it were a he and a he, smooching the life out of the other! Did that scene where the Dementor sucks the life out of Harry’s luscious lips flash in your head? Did I spoil Harry Potter for you forever? Let’s hope not. Or it could as well be a she and a she (giggles!). What? I am no intolerant bigot! Isn’t humor an inexplicable thing? People find humor in death. Well, some do. Crimes-against-humanity did not sell-out for no reason. A she with a she can’t be more ominous than mortis can it?

2000px-sexual_orientation_-_4_symbols-svgNow having established it could just as well have been a he with a he, or a she with a she, let’s just contend with the fact that on that particular fateful night, fateful as because we voyeurs trained our telescopes upon them, the them, or grammatically speaking, they, chanced to be a he and a she. And we shall not judge them for sticking, quite cloyingly, to conventional gender duality of the most populous binary relationship-type in society. So what where they doing? They were smooching (giggles!).

They were at it, for quite a while now, and one could almost see that despite the flushed face and bated breath, their lips pressed against were drained of blood and deathly pale. The guy actually wanted to just hold hands and peer into her eyes, the gateway to her soul (sigh, clichéd, I know!), but the girl wouldn’t hear of it. She was a progressive she said, whatever it meant, and she wanted this thing, which for reasons of propriety and censorship shall not be juicily detailed. But it suffices to say that it involved lips, tongue, and human saliva- a slightly alkaline fluid of pH-7.4, that aids in deglutition (fancy term for swallowing) and got amylase (an enzyme aka biocatalyst) that initiates digestion of starch. But she wanted it, she was bossy and a feminist, both traits totally unrelated, and he being a gentleman listened and complied with shocking readiness.

The pale lips in due course got numb, not unsurprisingly as anyone with experience would know (do I smell pride? Envy? Disgust? hey, its fiction remember). And with numbness comes an irking lack of satisfaction and that concomitant veil of boredom. The guy wants to go back to his room now. He got to study electron wave function for the quantum electrodynamics test the next day. But he can’t tell her that. She was too cool, and above all, was a girl. He knew given his brilliant track-record with people who carried two X chromosomes, the probability of he getting within two feet of another women in his lifetime was slim at best, and non-existent on a more conservative estimate. Does this make him desperate? Aren’t we all desperate for love (emphatic pause for effect!)?

wave-equation(After an unnecessary split of paragraph to exacerbate the pause!) He wondered what if she was the one, that it was meant to be. Just then the girl does something unexpected. Why, because the narrative required something dramatic to happen. It had gotten into a slog for a while now. The dramatic thing, yes, the girl does it. She picks up her phone, takes a pic, and sends him a copy. She doesn’t upload it with a string of cheesy cheery charming smiley’s on the social media, which is enormously unexpected and a tad dramatic. Less significantly, she says, remember me, and she disappears in a blink.

Too dramatic? Well, who’s to say. What, you? Give it a break. What happened of creative freedom, free speech, tolerance at least? Let’s stick with the fact. And the fact was, as we now shall believe, she disappears. Poof! And the guy blinks. Well, the girl disappears in a blink too. Whether she blinked at that precise moment she disappeared stands to reason. Given it isn’t of any importance, her blink, as much as the guy’s blink, let’s let it slide. (Disclaimer- No, we are not giving any less importance to the girl’s blink because she is a woman. She just was so super-awesome-adroit-quick-skilled in blinking that we couldn’t record if she blinked.)

Guy blinks, girl disappears. Let’s replay, the guy blinks, he notices a stern rap on his shoulder. No, it’s not parallel universes. We abhor the multiverse hypothesis. The two needn’t necessarily be mutually-exclusive in the same universe (pardon the double negative, I know it’s a crime. I should be hanged! maybe after am dead)- he blinks, she disappears, and he notices a stern rap on his shoulder. The next moment, he’s up, wiping the copious drool from the corner of his mouth, the left cheek, in fact his entire face, and from the notebook with the half-scribbled quantum wave equation, staring back at him in dreadful disarray.

No, he wasn’t dreaming. We shall not have an anticlimactic clichéd end. It wasn’t a dream. She was real, she disappeared, and as he blinked, he was teleported through time-and-space into the quantum electrodynamics exam next day. You doubt it? Think it’s too convenient? Consider this. For the sake of sanity, he checks his phone and there she is, with him beside, in the pic she had shared. Convinced? At least he was, and a foolish smug smile lights up on his face. He looks at the test paper again. Matter is a particle and a wave. The pitiful Schrodinger’s cat is dead, and is alive. The probability distribution for an electron at all points outside nucleus is non-zero, even for large distances, though howsoever infinitesimally small the probability gets. Disappearing, poof, in a blink, while unheard-of, could be extant. As could teleportation, with no device or wand or Dumbledore’s watch. Beyond all, there is a non-zero probability, howsoever close to zero on the numberline, of him having a girl who would walk along by his side, be-it-may by chance, for at least the measure of a good long 2 feet. Having said that, he could totally nail the smooch. The pic proves that he did.  The bell rings. Exams over. The probability of him flunking the test is 1 (definitive!). He strides to the door, gets out the hall, and blinks at the bright sunlight, just as a hand appears, linking its fingers with his, and the body attached to that hand is the girl in the pic. Sure thing, quantum doesn’t make sense. And here is why, it needn’t!



Alone time

sunlit-cafeOn the Sunday morning of the Orionid meteor shower, the young bloke, our protagonist, was sitting in a sweet sunlit spot at the local café. He was cradling a hot steaming cup of coffee. After a delicious sip of the fresh brew, he lets his ink-pen glide with delight over the crisp roughness of his journal page. A fleeting glimpse of the day’s entry before he turned the page read,

“Off today. Might go for a ride up the hill. Life’s a little mellow. And yes, ex got married, and brother’s having a daughter.”

He took another sip, wondering if he got anything more to write. You could almost see that he wanted the idyll to stretch a moment longer- the morning, coffee, journal entry. But his mind couldn’t thread thoughts any further and a lugubrious silence seemed to falls within. He closed his journal and looked afar, lost in thought while thinking nothing. A voice beckoned him to the present, to which he heard himself reply, ‘of course’. The owner of the voice, a girl, sat across and opened her book titled ‘The unbearable lightness of being’.

Yes, he had read it. He greatly admired the adroitness with which the author manages to capture subtle emotions and convey with deft nuance ineffable moments. Yet the philosophy touted, he thought were a bit airy. The premise wherein the central character of the novel could continue loving his wife only through his infidelity, for one, was stretching credulity a bit too far. While our guy was having this mini book club discussion inside his head, the girl looks up at him, smiles in acknowledgement, and turns to the next page.

Yes, she was beautiful. Though more than beauty, what caught him in enrapture was the unassuming charm of a beautiful girl who doesn’t yet know how beautiful she is. He longed to listen to her thoughts, see how beautiful they were. But that would require holding an actual conversation. And therein lays the complication. It’s easier to not start a conversation than otherwise, despite the possible merits of the latter. What would he say? How should he start? What if she replies in a monosyllable and the conversation comes to an abrupt uncomfortable end? The sheer enormity of untoward possibilities compelled him to quit the ordeal, finish his coffee, and go fetch his mountain bike. As he was unlocking it, unbeknown to him, the curious gaze of the girl lingered on him awhile. Not looking back, he began to pedal at a brisk pace.

He rode out the city toward the hills. The sun was up and the cold of the night had begun to dispel. He rode taking it all in, the green of the hillside, the blue of the sky, and the springy lightness the memory of the girl from the café seemed to evoke. After a couple hours, he reached the lake with a green grassy mound that seemed the perfect site to pitch his tent. He munches through the sandwich with the quiet of forest and the occasional plop of a frog diving into the water forming a backdrop to the silence in his heart, which lay sober and subdued in his sweaty steaming body. He decided to go for a swim and wash up. The cool wetness of the water felt welcome against his skin. He dries himself and lies down in his tent for a nap.

The Sun makes its day’s sojourn across the sky and nears the horizon. His nap is disturbed by a voice. Yes, it’s the same voice. The one from the cafe. But no, it isn’t addressed to him. In fact, it isn’t anywhere near either. He steps out his tent to find a little party on the opposite shore of the lake, with a bonfire and good old bonhomie. Yes, she was in the midst of the group, and he could catch sight of her smiling face from across the pond. Suddenly he longed for her company. He longed for any company. He wanted to go talk to her. Hear her speak. Hear anyone speak. Having conversations with self makes cracking jokes a difficult if not impossible ordeal. And that intolerable monotony of familiar landscape and known tunes inside one’s head is another minor detail he had come to detest. He wanted to experience the mental landscape of someone else. His mind wavers in uncertainty. He wants to go over, sit by the fire, have a beer, and hang out. He wants to participate in life. He makes up his mind. Gathers his stuff. Ties his tent to the back of his bike and begins to pedal, just when a brilliant streak of pure whiteness flashes across the sky in an arch to disappear in a blip near the horizon. It is soon followed by few more. And then many more. He looks up in awe, in admiration, in happy cheer. It’s the Orionid.

He turns his bike and sets out to ride in the direction of the falling rocks from the very heavens. He doesn’t feel as mellow. He feels fine. In fact, he would attest that he feels happy. Hard to argue when we can see a stupid smile pasted across his face. He knows he is riding opposite to where the girl is. He knows it will get him further away from her. But he is fine with it, for he isn’t unhappy anymore. He doesn’t feel in need for a human connection, at least, this moment. He has a distraction to keep him occupied, the Orionid. And he rides away toward the horizon.

As he is gaining speed, though the girl from the café on the other side of the shore gets smaller and smaller, she just manages to catch a glimpse of the sweet guy from the café, the one who was sipping coffee and scribbling into his journal, now ride away, further from her. She should have spoken to him at the café. When she had the chance. She wanted to. And as the noise of the people gathered around tugs her back to the moment, she returns her gaze to the sky streaked in dazzling white with the Orionid shower. And wonders where he is pedaling away to.



Cheese-burst pizza, starry sky, and cogitative overflow

pizzaThe slice of pizza was dripping cheese. It’s buy-one-get-one-free at dominos today, thus this pact of momentary friendliness with this random stranger. You had walked into the campus eatery which has a dominos kiosk. It’s a lazy Saturday; the sun is dipping down the horizon, and your body aches from the bout of basketball from a moment before. You came alone, as you often find self, and while intently running the topping varieties and flavor-types against their stated price, you felt a gentle poke. Assuming it as just another strained muscle sighing, you ignore it and continue with your mental computation. The poke, a little more strong and lingering, recurs. As if to assuage the actomyosin fibers of the modest bulk in your right deltoid, you try to rub the region when long spindly fingers, soft, squishy, definitely feminine, get caught between your hand and your shoulder. You turn your long lugubrious post-match body to behold a pretty thing.

May the feminist readers not rise up in arms. The ‘pretty thing’ reference is not out of insensitive objectification, nor because of haughty demeaning arrogance. Rather, it’s just a gentle colloquial quip within, over a random fellow living ‘thing’, in plain purposeless assertion of the fact.

So returning to the narration, yes, she was pretty. Tall, svelte, with a healthy glow of soft nutmeg, her black locks sported what they call a layer-cut. Yeah, I have had ample feminine company in a once remote past when I was more socially involved to know what a layer-cut is. I am fond of its patterned break in symmetry. Her lips were moving as I was busy observing, admiring, and probably withholding a possible spike in heart rate that inevitably happens when a guy beholds a pretty girl; I know, petty biology and stuff. Breaking self from the trance, I tried to force focus on the words that those moving luscious lips were forming. As it started to make sense, though with a definite delay (blame the slowing of cogitation the palpitating heart had brought forth), it seemed she was suggesting we share the price and order a pizza, as we will then get another for free. Seemed a sane deal. I said sure, and  soon we found selves sharing two pizzas, both non-veg, and a bottle of coke at the open-air theatre that forms a comfortable retreat just beside to consume the sustenance, with a black starry sky forming the canopy.

No, it was no love at first sight. I have no faith in the concept of love. It’s an endearing artifice, an artifact of biological evolution, a lie if you may in plain simple terms. And also no, we didn’t have sex right after pizza. We were too full for some physical action. All we did was share a moment of our existence, and left carrying within us a little of the other. For, ideas communicated through conversations that get entrenched in memory accrue real physical change in one’s neural connectome. Put differently, while you are talking to someone, you are making change in their brain. Amazing isn’t it. And that is precisely what we did that night, making and breaking connections in the others brain.

people“I think it is a flawed premise to blame a guy as being superficial as because he likes a girl for her looks”, she said. Yes dear readers, it was the girl’s dialogue, and not this guy’s, as you might be bound to believe. While given the fact that she did have good looks and I did like her, her statement seems a motivated assertion well placed in context, patronizingly placed if to be put blunt and frank. But then, she followed her assertion with a reason that appealed. She said, “When you think about it, introspection is an illusion. While your like for certain things and dislike for some, your inclinations if you may, though totally real, your conscious consideration about the reason for those likes and dislikes needn’t be. And as it turns out, aren’t indeed. You might like an apple. But you do so because it smells good, tastes good, looks an alluring red, feels crunchy in texture, or just because of its oblong spheroid shape, is always a guess. Your stated reason for why you like an apple, needn’t be, and as it turns out, often quite isn’t, THE reason for your liking an apple. Now given that such introspective considerations are illusions, what wrong is in it to say you like a woman just because she looks good. Chances are, you like her for some reason else, but her looks is what you consciously think as to be the reason. Or rather, at the other extreme, you may think you like her because she is well-natured and open-minded, but your like stems from your inherent appreciation for her, let’s say, body odor. A totally sane contention wouldn’t you say.” And as if for dramatic effect, she smiled a broad beaming smile, and bit into her pizza spewing the cheese from within, a drop of which fell on her skirt. She wiped it with the tissue, and had a gulp of coke.

Beauty with brains is an enormously captivating company. But then, I did score in the top 0.1 percentile on the IQ scale. Her smarts gave me a high. And I couldn’t help myself joining in. “Your premise and the reason as for holds. But you oversaw a caveat in your chain of logic. One’s self-image. While the introspective reason for your inclinations may sure be an illusion, assuming you remain honest to self, your reason for those inclinations conjure your self-image. While your like for apples sure might be because it’s crunchy to chew, you think you like it because its nutritious and keeps doctor away. Thus, you build a self-image of prioritizing a rational reason motivated by prominence to nourishment over a petty feeble reason as about its crunchiness. In human terms, you think of yourself as a person who likes a woman because she is well-natured and open-minded, even if unknown to self the real reason might have been her body odor. So, your conscious image of self, which affects your decisions, is different. Thus, rather than neglecting conscious censuring as about the virtuosity of your reason for your likes and dislikes, you totally overseeing them as they might, and probably are untrue, and giving-in to primal instincts demotes your position as a civilized being. True that it’s a lie, this conscious censuring, but the lie consequents a good, your sense of self-respect. And this latter comes a long way in your making pro-active socially-conscious decisions.”

I was looking up at the stars as I went through my turn for monologue. This is the trouble with heavy arguments. To completely make sense as a stand alone assertion, one needs to quote the caveats and define the context, and that stretches it into a laborious monologue. But then, the argument that’s put out results to be robust. She knew it, and she knew that I knew that she knew it. She had been lying beside till then. She sat up, and leaned over, hiding the stars with her pretty face bordered by her locks, and her eyes glittered. I smiled an understanding smile. We understood the other. It’s not often to have someone understand your ideas. Yes, there is a lot of noise about people understanding you, as a person. But they forget that a person is but a bundle of ideas, notions, concepts and contentions. And to truly understand someone is to understand their thoughts. A means vital to this is to converse. Here, we had, and we did now get the other. She bent down and we kissed. Our kiss tasted of cheese. Can one ask for more in life.

handsAnd well, more did happen. About we not having sex right after the pizza, well I did not lie. Though I might have misled you. We did make love, though not ‘right after’. It had to wait till the break of dawn. We both went for a jog. Hot, sweaty, we had a bath and spent the greater part of next  morning in bed. After a nap through noon, we were sharing coffee in the eve again at the eatery, by the open-air theater when she quipped, “You know, your argument about conscious censuring despite the illusion of introspection, it has a fatal flaw. That of motivated reasoning. That is, reasoning is not a purely objective rational process. While possibilities can be conjured honestly, the process of annotating to them a probability of occurrence, is a vague step that can be quite easily biased by one’s motivation depending on personal qualms. Given we cannot divorce the human in us, our reasoning in vague terrains as in the case of introspection is quite often motivated toward the conclusion most appeasing to one. Thus, the censuring despite the illusion is again rigged as because of this motivated bias in reasoning.”

Well, one might argue that recital is too long to be a quip, but then it was well rounded and a resilient stand alone opus. I just had one statement in reply, that I did put across quite unceremoniously. I said, “Will you marry me?” And she, well, crinkled her eyes and burst out into a good-natured laugh. She looked into my eyes with her dark black pearls for eyes and asked, hopefully in mocking jest, “Why not, but pray what is the reason for this like as your might surmise?”

The Epic Dilemma

images (14)It happens in life that we need face critical situations. Situations wherein, the choice we make assumes importance beyond measure. And being full of life as I am, such situations indeed have graced me often. While each one remains significant in its own accord, one particular incident stands apart, as it saw me verge on a nervous breakdown. And even today, as I look back upon, my heart shudders with primeval fright within. It was… ‘the dilemma at the Café Coffee Day’!

It was a day the Sun did not show up! Its not that there was a very long Solar Eclipse, just that clouds were strewn up in the sky blanketing the rays of the mighty sun from lighting the day. I should have taken clue but I did not believe in omens then. Not that I believe now either! Anyway, I was finished attending the class at college and was riding back home. And it was on Mount Road, close to LIC that I spotter her. Sheefali!

Sheefali was the most enticing and alluring of undergraduates to have ever walked in our college campus. And even in Open category, in mean, considering other such creatures in the City, she was a respectable force to beckon! And needless to say, I had an XXL size crush upon her. Believe me, I would have even let Tyson box me for three rounds to be blessed with an opportunity to have coffee with this beautiful wonderful piece of divine creation!

I braked my vehicle close by and called her out, “Hey! You are Sheefali ryt. Wat’s up?” And well, you know what happened next? The impossible happened! She looked back. She looked back at me!! And adding to that, she opened her mouth and spoke. Just so unbelievable! She said, “I went in to the Higginbothams and well when I came back my car had flat tyres. Have sent my driver to have it repaired! What about you?” She asked again, “Hey dude, what’s up? I asked what about you?”. And she actually had to shake me so as to rouse me from my dream! That small conversation attained the proportions of a nice sweet duet in my dreamy wonderland!!

I said, “Nothing. Going back home. Can I drop you somewhere?”. And when she said, “Sure!”, well I really swooned for a moment. She hopped on and I enquired where that should be. She said, “Anna Nagar”. I had a heartfelt intention to take the longest possible route to there, which being right round the earth! But I was still awaiting my passport, so I settled for the more conventional route. The traffic was quite dense and the noise kept me from conversing with that divine creation on the back seat! Pity that in bike the rear-view mirror doesn’t show the pillion-rider’s face as does in car!!

After about 30 minutes when we were coursing through Anna Nagar, at a red signal opposite the Café Coffee Day I looked at her and asked, with the most genuine of prayers I could have ever conjured in my heart, “How about a cup of coffee?”. And she just smiled and said, “Sure!”. “Wow!”, I took a double take. “God’s definitely showing-off!”.

images (15)I took a U-turn, parked and we two stepped into the posh cool lounge of the Café, with a whiff of coffee making my heart happier still, if at all it were possible! We spotted a comfortable pair of sofa and had self seated. My o my! I was still not believing all this. “I am sitting with the most beautiful girl in the history of my college, and she has just me along to entertain her!”. I was sincerely in bliss. She ordered a cold-coffee with cream and vanilla toppings while I called for my usual, cream with chocolate chips.

She spoke! She spoke to me! And she spoke tender, with such a sweet poise! Does she like me! Well for someone for whom it was unbelievable to even behold this lady looking back to his call, this would be just a revolting thought, but it did seem true. She had that smile, the kind of smile that is usually pasted on the lips of a lady when she likes a guy and wants to convey that she likes his company. And the lady this time was Sheefali and the guy was me! “How many guys would have had been at my place till date”, I thought!

Well actually Sheefali was notorious at snubbing any and every guy who approached her! She was uniquely notorious for that. And this I feel was something that further adder to her fan-fare. The more difficult the deal is, the more you get to value it! And above all was her enigmatic silence about self. People knew very little about her. In fact, I must be among the few guys to know where her house was. And today, this lady, an incidental company was opening self to me, giving me that charming smile and making me feel great of her company!

I was quite puzzled! But then there is a saying that never think when you can actually have fun with what you are doing! So I kept my side of the train running on rail. And it was a whole hour-and-a-half later when with the sky dimming outside we felt we need moving! My mom would be concerned about what happened to her innocent he-knows-nothing-about-the-world lad! So we had the waiter get us the bill.

And it was then it stroke me that my purse was empty! Well not completely empty, it still had 6 rupees and 50 paise in it! But that was falling short of the bill at the Café!! But then, I can’t have my first date, I mean, first date with this wonderful lady(!!) end on such a drab note. I needed to do something, and do that fast!

I gave her a smile and picked up my phone, feigning to have got a call. I got up and mocking bad-connection-inside frustration, walked about to buy self time. I went up the door and walked out, thinking what to do! I just needed to pay the bill, and drop the lady home, sealing this lovely lively and wonderful evening with a promise of many more such!! But the money! I just needed a couple of paper notes with Mr. Gandhi on!  I was sweating!! God, show me a way! Give me a pass!

And it was during this moment of what-to-do what-not-to that I saw Betty walking across! I felt a bolt strike me!! She was so so so beautiful! She was my high-school cursh, and definitely the most beautiful wonderful divine creation to walk the grounds of my school! I waved to her and she took a moment to recognise but when she did, she ran to me and we embraced!

I asked were she was going and she said to PVR. Her car was parked down the lane. And she said, “What will you take to come along mate!”. It would have taken nothing even without the wink that she beamed along, but it did make my ear flush red!!

I let the whole world behind! Past is past! Let bygone be bygone! And I messaged Sheefali, “Emergency case at ward! Need to go. See you tomorrow dear! Hope you understand!!”. Praise the Lord!!

Honour me with your company, will you sweetheart…?!

imageshnBeautiful creations of God are a treat to the eyes, a pleasant present to the heart and a joyous elixir to the soul. Many men would have blurted similarly in their best of moods, at moment when we find self at the receiving end of the niceties of life. But, from a distant vantage point, from where one gets to see life whole, these cherished moments seem bracketed within tumult and tragedy.

Now not all philosophers are men rejuvenated from post traumatic depression and asked to reflect, but this one is one such. I was seated in the sanctuary of the modest college of mine, crunching through the essentials of life, my meals and the essentials of living, my notes. Half way through the former and done with the latter, I regained my senses to the regale about. The chatter and cross-talks missed a beat and then flared azure as just then, one of the most charming and lovely creations of God, my perspective! joined the congregation.

My O my! God indeed was an artist of excellence. She had speckless beauty and spotless grandeur. A radiance of vitality and enigma permeated her self. And she endowed a poise matched by none. She definitely had her charm cast forth on me, for her presence made my heart beat faster by about 10 beats and my body showed visible signs of tremor and audible signs of palpitation!

But why? What’s in her! All she is, is but a creature with finely carved physical attributes and closely censured demeanour. What need is it to be incited by her! Why notice her! Why feel different!

But I wouldn’t heed! Heart is not subject to the rationality of the mind. And I being a heartfelt soul, yielded. I joined the regale on the table. I proposed a toast. The chatter swelled. Enthusiasm is infectious said someone, not without truth! And in course of socialising and fine tuning my projected image, I tried to grasp the attention of this beautiful lovable creature. And I indeed did.

I had but tumultuous violence in my heart. It was borne out of the uncertainty looming about the consequence of this future endeavour of mine. No asset of mine was on stake yet there was anxiety in my heart. No hurt was to be inflicted yet I was bothered by any infinite multitude of untoward possibilities. I took courage, put self together enough to endeavour and raised self.

I addressed her and asked, “My lady, will you honour me with your company for a movie tomorrow.” She looked lost. Stupefied. What little wind was left in my breathless lung was dead! She rolled her impossibly white eyes up and about. She locked sight with mine, and asked which one. I stammered, with great disgrace to all the lessons I had taken on voice modulation and phonetic intonations, “How about a romantic comedy! Have heard Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani is rejoicable.” She frowned. My heart stopped. And with the sweetest of smiles to be ever bestowed upon me, in her curly voice she said, “Sure sweetheart. But only if you promise to pay for the pop-corn and coke!”

My heart took a double take. I was ecstatic. But,…. lets face it now. The tumult was done. The moments then were joyous. But it rained, well yes, it did indeed and completed the cycle with tragedy the day next. Though another Sunday is yet to come!!


images (2)Life is not a bed of roses said some, and I never believed. This indeed was my conviction and I held it tight. Lively, happy, cheerful days speckled with laughter and fun were an essentiality of my life. I smiled for I gave my self a multitude of reasons to every single waking moment, and never cried for I never left self be given a reason to. Wish the life, my life was the same. But as humans, we are fated to see either side of this existential cascade.

It was a quiet noon on a Saturday. Unlike most, this noon was dim with clouds smeared about the vast expanse of the sky. Dusty winds blew through the corridors of my college and carried the yellowed senescent leaves on a tour. And the tree with a lush of green spotting an infrequent blade of golden yellow cast its lull over me as I found self seated on the cold stone bench with her. Yes, she was there beside for it was she who had me called there.

The hot wind, the dim noon, the deserted campus all had in them a strange sense that was making me dread an unknown. The very same unknown that had crept upon her beside. She was quite. As was I. For what she needed, she had spoken. She had come in a splendid red, with a big cheery smile pasted upon. I came and greeted her. And then it had happened. She held my hand and said things that it seemed she could no longer keep self from having told. She paused. Held self bold and then asked for my reply. I gave mine. And it took the wind out of her being, the smile out her lips, the twinkle out her eyes and the joy out her self.

The environment around rolled and roiled in the turbid weather. Her lips quivered every now and then. She no more looked at me. She held her gaze down, on the ground. As if by magic, she willed all her splendid splendour to be morphed into a sordid agony. A dull heavy gloom permeated her self and effulged off about. And in place of the sprinkle of joy that her pleasant presence would bequeath, I could feel but the unpleasant burden of sadness.

Her nose reddened slowly and her cheeks went flushed. There remained quiet, silence between us in that rumbling turbulent environ. The slick of tear that lined her eyes welled into a pool, and with a blink of her lid, slid down from the lateral canthus down onto her cheeks and rolled on and on till the bottom of her face. And it paused a moment, as if in hesitance, then dropped off into the air till in landed on her shirt leaving a trail on her face and a moistened spot on her shirt.

I felt a shudder shook my being. I never saw her cry. And never did I ever hope that I would make her some day. I felt sad. I felt gloom drown my being. But I felt helpless. It wasn’t my doing. But yet I was the reason for it. And her sadness was making me  in turn. It was so profound that I wanted to disappear from there and never return. I indeed wanted to. But then that would mean leaving her there alone. I knew not what was to be done.

tearsThen the wind stilled. The surrounding began to feel cold. And drops of rain as if to hide her tears started to strike down upon her, upon me and all around. It quickened. It then started to pour. I have liked rain, always. And I did today too. I rose up. I wanted to help the person beside. I wanted to wipe the wetness off her cheeks. I wanted to make her happy again. But today, this once, I wasn’t, rather couldn’t be of any help. I wasn’t supposed to be her’s.

I gave her one long last look. She looked back as if asking me to not leave. But I needed to. I walked off away from her. And on my way away, I held all my impulse to turn back, to walk back, to bade good bye…