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Saturday, 1 August, 2009

Not yet

"आँखों में सपने लिये,
घर से हम चल तो दीये,
जाने यह राहें अब लेजाएंगी कहाँ |"

"I begged for this", he sighed. "I cried...for THIS!" He wasn't sure if that was a question he was asking himself. But the words echoed through his head. He turned the volume of the player up a notch and crossed the street awkwardly, rocking clumsily to the beats. The world seemed to lose its charm when needed the most. Sometimes, even the need faded. Nothing was wrong in particular. But it was, in general.

Once home, he turned the player off as he dropped his bag besides his bed. The song continued on his lips, loudly. His roommates usually returned home a couple hours later and he liked having the place all to himself till then. Today it felt a little calmer than usual. A few violent splashes of cold water against his tired face, with his eyes open, left them blinking furiously and his lungs gasping for air, as if he had just been rescued from drowning in a cool lake.

Memories of his mother's scrumptious snacks sometimes flashed unannounced, more so while buttering his toasts in the evening, leaning against the kitchen counter.
"So much for education and career!", he sighed. He reminded himself to call his parents in India, before he slept tonight. In the last two years, since he had moved to the US, whether time had dashed or stretched – he could not tell.

On the couch, he sat looking outside the balcony. Past the clutter of window shades, trees, rooftops and wires, he scanned the visible patches of the sky for an early moon. On their way back, his eyes caught a brilliant gleam. The sinking sun had become a radiant speck in the thick glass of a round lamp hanging from the balcony's roof. The colossal ball of fury was tolerably visible in the glass. "Perspective!", he thought, amused at the beauty of simplicity and the power of perception. Smiling palely, he stared at it for a while.

The player was on again. Stretching along the length of the couch, he folded his knees slightly upward and rested his lower back against the side arm. He selected a soulful instrumental track. Punctuating the silence, the music slowly grew into it. Every rising note stirred his mind. Random, but warm memories beckoned a surge of emotions. The seemingly simpler life he had left behind mocked him. A few loved ones – some estranged, some closer than ever, some not so close anymore, some just the same and some new ones – all smiled. His eyes closed, but tears found their way out. Even before he could react to his emotions, his nose twitched and he sneezed as his head jerked ahead in violent obedience. He stared blankly in disbelief, panting, for a moment. His own body would not allow him some graceful solitude at times! He chuckled and adjusted the earphones. The music grew again and engulfed him completely this time. He slowly rested his head against the couch and every tired muscle in his body loosened. A tear tickled his cheek till it dropped down on his forearm.


  1. *sigh*

    "this guy rocks" she says ;)

  2. abe !! why the epiphora ??? chuck that, i'll give u some more reasons....i had ur mom's coconut chutney yesterday...i flashbacked to j.r college times..sense memory sure is strong that way....and unmask the identities of " a few loved ones "..are the annex bus drivers in it ??

    p.s - disbelief when i heard abt the untimely demise of ur p.c back here...a brave soldier has fallen...that space in ur hall will forever remain empty to me...(21-gun salute..Ka-POOW x 21)

  3. @meghana - your sighs are my prize :) I am keeping them.
    @deepti - Thank you :)
    @rohit - aaaah the chutney! prepare to die you imbecile mortal, for you have awakened the beast within me! but your timely salutation saves you this time! That space, and that machine, will always remembr our faces, or be confused between them? :)


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