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Saturday, 19 July, 2008

Hey, Shreya

I set my mp3-player up as I walk towards the bus stop. The song is "Asmaan ke paar".
I look up at the bright blue sky. Shankar's soulful voice blends with the brilliant music. The words melt in my eyes. I pluck a tree off the green, dip it in the sun and stroke a few golden on the blue. I take off towards the clouds. I can't continue floating though. I have a bus to catch, a job to be at. Alas! The flight is cancelled. I dash towards the stop. That's my daily glide.

The bus gobbles me up. I pay the fare and buy the day pass.
I see her sitting by the window. She waves to me like a four-year old. I smile as I sit beside her.

"Don't you feel like shooting loadsa caffeine up your arm daily morning?" she asks as she offers me a sip.
I decline. She knows I have already had my shot. Another awaits at work.

"You know, I was lying in the grass last night, watching the stars explode in beautiful patterns. One of them burst right above my head and showered me with the bright!" she brims with joy. I love that look of hers when she exaggerates her visualisations.
"Why didn't you turn up?" she pokes me. I shrug.

I share my earphones with her. We have a strikingly common taste in music. Her face lights up. It's "Starry eyed surprise". Her favourite track. She snatches the one plugged in my ear as well and enjoys the song in full stereo. She gracefully grooves to the beats. I hold the coffee for her till the track is over.

All of a sudden, she jumps out of her seat as a black Hayabusa shoots past her window. "Did you see that?" her voice all shrill. "You can race light if you are on one of those monsters. It leaves your shadow behind, looking for you!"
She wants me to buy one of those. Ambitious, I must say.

She returns my player and relishes the rest of her coffee as I keep the player in my bag.
"Aaahhhh....!" she slurps the last sip, loud enough to make me uncomfortable. We are in a bus, for God's sake! I look around shy. No one seems to have heard it. I look back at her. She hardly cares. She wants to lick the rest of the coffee off the entire cup. I can see it in her eyes. I look away. I don't know if she did.

One of my colleagues boards the bus on the next stop and we exchange the mundane pleasantries as he takes a seat right behind me.

"Hey, a quick question...," he asks, "what's the login for the guest account on the systems in the Lab?"

"The username and password are both 'lab'."

"Man! You IT guys have no imagination at all," he mocks.

"My friend, Shreya, here does all the imagining for me."

"What friend?" he asks puzzled, looking around me.

"Never mind," I reply, as I keep my bag on the window seat.

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