The Jumbled me. What i say, what i heard and what i feel. This blog is about me. These are some of my Short Stories.

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Protidhoni is an echo!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Wanderer’s Home

Blank! Many times I have thought in so many different ways to start and here I am. Blank! But the thoughts haunt me since the day I saw the Headlines in the newspaper the faceless man was reading that stirred my mind. Correction. I was reading the Headlines and he was finding out the crude prices. I would have done that had I had the newspaper in my hand on any other day. Was not the crude price creating a global turbulence? Or perhaps the person was looking at the redefined low of the stock markets. Was his money not at stake? But I stood there being badgered by the Headlines. It seemed that the letters were not in black that day but in the darkest shade of red. Could I remove my eyes off the newspaper for did I not know the news already? Have I not called all my friends and family to get every detail of what was mentioned in the Headlines that day. Maybe I should have taken the newspaper and thrown it out of the window in the dark tunnels of human rush. Or rather I should have used the newspaper to polish my dirty pair of shoes I wore to work that day. But the faceless man read on and pity I had to live with it for the next fifteen minutes. Why could I have not held his hand and told him that what he has already read in the first page was standing right in front of him and that I seek his sympathy. Was not the Headlines that day not about me.

Noise! Slow! Girish Park. I have wondered many times as to why this place was called so. How am I supposed to figure out when I have never seen beyond the clean platform? What lies beyond? In all probability the polluted sky and noisy roads and chaos in between. This was another new city for me and they were all the same. Exiled by choice. Meant to be happy. Destined to be rich. Struggling with the loans. Many school kids get up here. The school kids did not bother to look at me as they continued their merry conversations. Algebra was waiting for them in the classroom and they were fearlessly venturing into it. Luxuries of having comrades equally ignorant of what the future holds. I remember how I wished that day for them to look at me and make me one of them. Child! Careless like the butterflies that once used to sway away with the wind from the flowers in my mother’s garden. Sweet like the olives shared with salt and friends on top of the tree that struggled to grow amongst the other trees. Carefree like the rains that used to shatter on the tin roof of the house where I was born. Ignorant like the bleeding boy who hid his wound for fear of being called off by his mother from hiding under the old culvert. But the children never even looked at me. I was a grown up now and they have denied me their companionship. Do they not read newspaper these days? Can they not see what was going on with me after reading the Headlines about Me and my Home.

Noise again and slowed down again. My hands grip the steel rail above. I could feel the sweat brewing reminding me of the Headlines about Me and my Home again as I reached M G Road. Every city in India has an M G Road. Kolkata has a metro station too there. Gandhi might have pitied me today. But did Gandhi like all heroes not choose his audience selectively. Was I not as faceless as the man who was reading the last page of the paper now? The faceless man seemed busy finding out the sports news encrypted amongst the countless advertisements. There was an AIDS awareness advertisement inside the metro train. The character Bula di urging people not to have multiple partners. Would she have been able to pity me? There I was surrounded by scores of people and I was struggling to figure out whether Gandhi or Bula di would take pity on me. Two non existing entities. Two mere thoughts. But then I could think of more. Shylock’s predicament in the court. He would have pitied me had he not been a Jew and a victim of Shakespeare. Mojart’s illness. He would have pitied me had he not realized that music was not for ears but the heart. The young poet who died would have pitied me. But then Yeats wrote him a beautiful Epitah. I was alone that day. The Headlines about Me and my Home danced as red as ever.

Central. There is another busy Central in Mumbai. I was there before I came to this city of joy. Mumbai was the city of rush. People do not read newspapers often on the trains there. But there the people would have pitied me that day. They are many like me there. But it seems that were none here. The father gripped the young hands of a small child rubbing off the dirt from her handkerchief pinned to her blue uniform. I wished those tender hands would rub my cheeks. Would it have not feet soft like the green blades of grass under my feet which screeched with alarm when I sneaked to catch the dragon flies to tie on pieces of strings? Would it not relieve me like the first gulp of cold water that slowly streamed through the rocks fighting away the moss? Would it not comfort me like the deep blue sky under which I used lie down figuring out the shapes of the silver clouds? But there was no comfort for me that day. The Headlines about Me and my Home screamed. Slowly a face emerged from behind the newspaper. His eyes were neither black nor brown but it seems as if they have faded just like his eyebrows and hair. The transitions from black to white is not grey it seemed but the color of dirty. The hair oil made it even worse and I could imagine how smelly it would have been. I hated him and everything about him. Was he not the messenger of the Headline about me and my Home? Wish I was in Mumbai. Mumbaikars would have pitied me. There are many like me in Mumbai who has had headlines about them and their home. And the headlines had much bigger fonts. They had pictures too. The whole world pitied them. Maybe they will see today’s headlines and remember their own wounds. Until you really have to wait outside the public toilet for your turn you don’t realize how your spouse at home feels every morning. But then when it is over do we still realize? Who would have pitied me? I was alone there. The Headlines about Me and my Home now being read by the person besides the man now with a face but equally nameless and unfamiliar.

The noise that was followed by slowing of the train almost went unnoticed as the train crept into Chandni Chownk. That was where the Twins got up every morning. The twins never talked to each other. They do not talk to anybody. They get up in Chandni Chownk. Before I came to Kolkata I never knew that there was a Chandni Chownk here. There is one full of food in Delhi. From parathas to chaat to samosas it was a maha kumbh mela of Hindus and Muslims trying to stuff their tummies. The first time I went through the serpentine lines of human hunger and greed, I realized what it means to be in the capital city of India. Red fort the red symbol of Indian freedom, from where the famous speech of Indian independence was delivered stands steady to scream “yes” we can be around people. I was denied that from the very day the bombs ripped the bazzar near my home. Crowded places were a strict no. Festivals ceased to mean shopping and new clothes. Cinemas came bundled with a free adventure trip to a scary house that might blow up any time. But then as I read the Headlines about Me and my Home and the Many Bombs that ripped apart the sanity of the tens of thousands of people I realize that event he capital city has had the share of such headlines. The inner circle of discount sales and cheap pirated DVDs in developed Delhi was treated the same way as the square of economic growth in upcoming Guwahati. The Headlines about Me and my Home and the Many Bombs that ripped the city continued to dance as my eyes became tired of watching it. My dirty pair of shoes was all I could stare at fearing the very sympathy I seek. The tear drop fell the six feet and looked like a black sun. Black sun with no hope of ever rising. Black sun with no hope. The Twins do not talk. Wished they had that day?

Esplanande. Never heard of any Esplanades in any other city in India. A colleague of mine stays somewhere in Esplanade but he takes the cab. Otherwise he would have asked as to why I was feeling like the way I was. But that day there was no one. I knew that there was no one. I was to hold on to the rails with the sweaty hands and stand tall with the weak legs till I reach my destination. Espalnade was not it. Esplanade was for the man with the newspaper. Come back I felt like screaming behind him. Don’t take the Headlines about Me and my Home and the Many Bombs that killed my brothers away. Come back please. Don’t take my pain away. Was it not my only companion? But it did get away as the steel doors closed with a ring. I tried closing my eyes trying to remember the black letters on the white paper. The letters were white then, the paper black. It was still screeching louder than the rickety metro. If I was doing a movie on how I felt I would have covered my ears like a drug addict trying to quit and shaking like an epileptic. I was not in a movie but I was amongst people and I held on. The school kids continued their merry conversations. The character Bula di continued urging people not to have multiple partners. The father continued gripping the young hands of a small child. The twins continued their silent journey. I closed my eyes. The Headlines about Me and my Home and the Many Bombs that ripped away the hope of so many was strangulating me.

The noise again as if the brakes are biting on the rails begging for the train to stop. The Park Street straight from the pages of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or so it seems. Half the people on the train gets down there. Was it not a busy place outside? I see people rushing for the Smart gates as if to save a second more would mean an extra penny of pay for the day. My destination too was not far from there and I was still early. Have I not prepared the pitch the previous week? What was I to worry about? Have I always not prepared what I need to do? And did I not enjoy my days through the colleges and through so many cities. The great things I did in my hostel were still shared and talked about by both old and new. It took me away from my home. But not far enough to return on holidays to feast on both food and old friends. Have I not traveled across the country after that and returned back to family and friends and gone away again. The butterflies have flown away. The tastes of the olives have left my tongue. The rains disturb the television signal. Gandhi is a movie. And two movies more. Was I not alone that day? Do I not know so many people all around that I need to make fake excuses to stay back on weekends? But there was none. The twins looked at me. I looked away. I looked back. They looked away. Silently I traveled with them and scores of people. Still remembering the Headlines about Me and my Home and the Many Bombs that ripped throught the souls of so many.

The next station was Maidan. The Eden Gardens. the place where God sent Adam and Eve. The place where the Original Sin was commited. The apple was eaten. Or perhaps The Lords of India. The mecca of Indian Cricket. The walls are full of paintings of people playing sports. Was it not the place where competition brews? The place where I would have come had I been born in this city. For I was not born here. Nor in the city where I was before. Nor the one before that and the one before that. Where am I from? I am from the place where the newspaper that day reported has been ripped apart. The place where perhaps the flesh was still burning along with the hopes of countless families affected. There was no God there on that day for fear of being shown the blunt reality of evolution of mammals with guns and bombs. There would be no sports on that day for there could have been no winners that day. Eden Gardens. It is another station. It is where the Twins got down silently. They never look. The steel gates closed behind them. I was alone there and remembering my home. But I was away. Here the grass is where I am not allowed to walk in the park near by. Stream water does not crawl its way through the rocks fighting the moss but finds itself trapped in PET bottles. Where they say the blue sky is to be found in New Zealand. The Headlines about Me and my Home and the Many Bombs that ripped the buildings and cars shouted at me again. Could it not have been like the Twins, silent and calm?

And then there I was getting down on the clear marble floor of the Ravindra SAdan. The ugly self portraits of Tagore, black and rough greets me. The train has left me behind. Tagore had ugly handwriting. But his thoughts still finds its place there on the walls of a station in a place named after him. The Headlines about Me and my Home and the Many Bombs that burnt my brothers back home will not find a place anywhere. It will soon be forgotten and become statistics as more such Headlines appear in dark red. Or perhaps in black someday when all the blood to be spilled will be spilled and none left to call us human. I did walk silently like the Twins that day. Except that I had no one besides me. I did make a good pitch that day and I did send the mails waiting for my reply. I did attend all the phone calls that day. I lived my day as I always did. Except that I did one thing more. I wept. Faceless as the man who was reading the Headlines about Me and my Home and the Many Bombs that screamed blood.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007




It was only when I saw it I started missing it.

“Why don’t you come and visit me?” My grandmother had asked me the moment I called her after coming back home after almost four years. Unable to make any excuses, for indeed I was on a long vacation, I had said that I would certainly oblige. What was surprising was that sometimes an obligation can make us realize the tolls of commitments.

“Will you be having a network there?” My team had asked me when I announced that any correspondence for the coming month would be strictly over my Blackberry as I would be on leave to visit my parents in Guwahati. I had sulked for I myself was not sure besides the affirmative I had got from the voice over the phone when I had asked the same question the night before. At that moment I started wondering whether I should be making the trip. It was only when my early morning flight was cruising besides the silver Himalayas as the April sun rose from the east that I realized that I should have done this more often.

“Don’t forget to call up Aita”. My mother reminded me as she drove me through the streets of the city where I was born. I however was busy reading a mail that was of no interest to me sent by someone who had very little interest in me. Delete. I was connected well enough I happily surmised. But now was the time for me to relax and start enjoying my vacation. I told my mother that I would call up everybody and try to meet every uncle and aunty. I realized that this time I would have to socialize a lot to compensate the years of my absence. First it had to be my grandmother or my Aita as we call her. She was getting old and missed her grandchildren. After my phone call to her it was decided that I would be going to visit her with my uncle that very evening.

“They have repaired the road now”. My uncle uninterestedly told me as we drove in the dark stretch that connects my grandmother’s home to civilization. Although the village is only a hundred kilometers away from Guwahati it still has not joined the race to rapid urbanization. And then I saw it. It was only when I saw it I started missing it. The clear star studded sky. The same sky that shine above me every night. But different, very different. Although it was not safe outside as both men with guns and snakes with venom prowl, I knew I had to get down. I told my uncle that although it was years now I would still find my way home and insisted on walking the last mile or so alone. As soon as I got down from the car I realized that I had made a wise decision for what enveloped me now besides the darkness was a cool breeze which carried the fresh fragrance of the green tea plants that danced all around me as if it was being nature’s ambassador in welcoming me.

“You people certainly know how to make good tea!” My girl friend had commented as I flaunted my culture in front of her for the first time when I was trying to gain her attention as a young college boy. I had explained that the tea was not fresh enough although it came from home only that day. It was then I realized that fresh Assamese tea was Greek to her. I went ahead and explained the importance of freshness in tea and how it can be preserved by proper storage. I also told her about this village and how our house is surrounded by a tea garden. I explained the importance of the tea buds and the leaves and how in the spring the wind carries far and wide a strong fragrance of tea. And as I stood there and felt the freshness gripping me I remembered how I had a tough time in explaining the difference in that fragrance from the one she is so used to in the tea she drinks. I stood there for a while eyes closed.

“There is your Leo.” My sister had shown me my star sign as she drew invisible lines in the sky as a kid. And then when I opened my eyes to see the real reason for my getting down, I realized that over the years I had given up watching something which I was so fond of in my childhood. Every night I used to rush out side after completing my homework to sit in the darkness and watch the clear sky above me. I used to admire how they persistently shone with unblemished majesty. The moon would jealously flaunt her carefree beauty soaking every admirer beneath. The temptress would seductively play hide and seek with the silver clouds trying to divert every attention towards her. Sometimes a meteorite would dance its way through the sky pretending to be a star but equally beautiful. But today I stood there speechless as I saw the tiny silver spots twinkling in black velvet. Clear and innocent. I smiled as I failed to identify even a single constellation. But they were right there. And many more. As the breeze teased me joyfully I realized how unwary nature was about my betrayal. She displayed all her love for me just as she did when I was a child. Or did she mistake me for someone else? Do I deserve such impeccable attention and love from someone I have abandoned over seemingly brighter and prettier things? Yet as I smiled and closed my eyes to breath in I could hear the trees softly whistling a song for me. The crickets happily chirped away telling tales of their adventures unwary that tonight they have an eavesdropper. The croaking of the toads made me realize that I certainly missed all these I used to so merrily relish as a kid when I visited my grandmother. I smiled and felt thankful that I could be so close to nature for once after so many years.

Right from the birth of mankind, the beauty of the stars must have been there to be relished. The stars must have been the inspiration for many who went ahead to discover the true spirits of learning. The stars that shine above could have very well been burnt out long before our earth was even formed, but they still can guide many to understand the intricacies of religions and sciences alike. Millions of children grow up singing about the stars and thousands aspire to travel through the stars someday. But today the city lights shine so bright that it clouds the darkness that can light up countless inspirations. Nature sings for us every night. It’s just that we never look up.

“There you are. At last! How are you?” My grandmother asked.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Candle

The Candle
Strange that we forget the beauty that lies all around us!

Wind Dance With Fire

The Deo. The Match Stick. The Kid in me. Not to mention the stupidity. Turns out to be a picture suitable enough to be uploaded!


The diwali comes every year. I tried to capture my favorite part of it amidst the most hated part, the noise. The light shines, and i dont know why!

Lost Identity

“Hey! That was a nice serve!”

“Thanks, but what should I do about my back hand?”

“Don’t feel conscious about it. I always told you that it’s very strong for a person of your age.”

Ruchi Saxena remembered every word her coach had told her as she religiously dusted the trophy she had won as a 13 year old. Tennis had been her first love. She remembered every match she had won. Everybody who saw her playing was sure that one day she will become the next Steffi Graf. They loved her tennis just like she loved her tennis. But she could never realize why it was because of her sports that she was admired by her teachers and not because of her academic records. After all she never got a second position in class when she had lost so many matches in tennis.

“Your essay is good Ruchi, but its cursory examination and not curseory.”

“Thank you Miss Mary. I will correct that right away.”

“By the way, congratulations on winning the match yesterday.”

Well, as I said she could never realize why it was always sports. After all she was not a prodigy. There were so many better players than her. But that was way back in school. First love don’t last a life time, every fifteen year knew that. And Ruchi was not just another fifteen year old, she was the state topper. And she had more important things to do than tennis. Like astro-physics for example.

Sometimes Ruchi would take out her academic certificates and feel awful about her second position in her graduation. So what if she went to St. Stephens. The guy who secured the first position never experimented physics beyond the textbooks. More over he had such a bad dressing sense. I mean, was it too much to ask if he would just tuck his shirt in and have a decent hair cut. She on the other hand had written papers that got published in science journals and was also voted the best looking girl in Delhi University. That was only sometimes. For today, Ruchi dusted her silver medal as fondly as her tennis trophies. For today she was happy for everything she had achieved in her life. She also took out her Best Looking Girl award which was well hidden behind her many trophies and felt proud about it. With it came the smile she had almost forgotten which she used to give to the countless guys who used to ask her out. Or was the smile given when she used to let them down. Every body used to admire her, even the girls, for she was no Scarlet O’Hara.

Now she wonders whether it was for her looks or for her brains that her husband fell in love with her. It was during her IIT days as a research scholar that she met him and life had been so beautiful ever since.

“Mr, there is some problem with the damn thing!”

“Well, missy this damn thing happens to be a PARAM.”

“What’s so super about it if it won’t even recognize who I am?”

“Are you this smart always?”

“Who are you; I mean why take it to your heart if I call this dumb thing a dumb thing?”

“Well lady, I designed it!”

It turned out that he was lying. I mean not a complete lie because he was indeed in the team from CDAC who designed the super computer, but nevertheless it was not entirely him. He however was able to let Ruchi log on to her terminal in less than five minutes. But it took him more than five weeks to ask her out.

“Will you marry me?”

Engineers can be so tactless.

“Well, don’t stay in that Siberia of yours for long”

“Well what can I do if a super computer needs supper cooling?”

“Your brain’s numb”

“Well smarty, what does it mean, yes or no?”

“It means you are dumb.”

“Ruchi, I love you. I am going back to Pune tomorrow. You are too pretty….”

“Stop babbling.”

Ruchi had never felt that pain ever in her life. It was always so comfortable with him around. And now that she was getting so used to having him around, he was going away. Did she love him?


“Shut up!”

“I will come back next week.”

She travelled faster than light back to those first dates with him every time he called her by her name. It was so romantic. All those long drives to Lonavla over so many weekends. It turned out that he was not dumb after all. She loved every word he said to her. It was a dream she never wanted to come out of. Even her research paper for which she won an international award seemed worthless every time she saw his face. Yes she has always loved him.

They married a year later. She never told yes to him. But it was never required. Even today after ten years of a married life, Ruchi loved him. She never thought she would love anyone more than him. But for once in her life, she was wrong. But today she loves someone else. For once her husband had to wait. She loves Siddharth, her 5 year old, the most demanding man on earth.

For Siddharth, she was not just a mother. She was the world’s best chef. Everyday he would come home from school and order her to cook whatever he felt like. He would run around the house and create havoc. He would shout and break things. And long after he would tire out he would make her read what Harry Potter was doing in Hogwarts. Exhausted of all his energy he would fall asleep in his mothers lap. She would then search for his shoes and socks. She would clean his room for the second time in the day. And then she would watch him sleep and feel happy. Yes, she loved him more than anyone in this world.

But now Siddharth is not yet home. He is in the school and probably doing well. He has two bright people for parents after all. Maybe she should call his teachers up and make sure he is all right. But then, today it can wait, she is expecting a phone call.

Ruchi had left her job in ISRO after their marriage. She could not stay away from her husband who was in Pune. She never regretted it. She had a house to run and she wanted it to be perfect.

“Why don’t you get a job here?”

“Why, you got fired or something!”

“Well it seems a waste to see a person like you idling at home.”

It was only because she knew that he was tactless, that Ruchi did not get angry. But she knew that there was an element of truth in his words. And now even Siddharth is old enough and spends the day at school.

Yesterday, she had applied for a job. And she knew they will accept her. She knew her identity too well. She was the one who achieved so much in her life. She was happy about it. In a few minutes time, the phone would ring and she would start working again. Before that she had to cook pasta for Siddharth. He loved it. She loved the fact that he loved it. Life has always been good to Ruchi. And yes the phone is ringing.


“Is it Mrs Akash Malhotra? Can you come for an interview tomorrow?”


Thursday, April 27, 2006


A short story.
By Anabil Goswami

Eight minutes away the sun burns. Well eight minutes,30 seconds to be near exact. But still the tar melts, sinking the sound of the big wheels. The road seems as composed as ever as it untiringly serves the purpose it was built for and carries me to my destination. I close my eyes. Black. The radio swallows the sound of the engine. Somewhere a rahul is sad. The love of his life has left him. I switch him off. Green. The trees sway with the wind as it challenges the might of the sun. I see a dead tree. The unforgiving sun laughs as it burns the water out of it as if to pass a message. And yet it stands to tell the casual onlookers its story. A story thousands could have listened to but ignored. For me, maybe some other time. Beyond the trees the blue hills destroy the symmetry of the horizon. But all these will change once I reach my destination. The horizon will be even and calm when I reach the beaches of Goa.
Yes Sanjay. Goa. Ok. Tomorrow 10’o clock. Fine. I have had the exact same conversation with my coordinator for the last eight months ever since I took up the job.
“But I must warn you. You will hardly stay at the same place for more than a couple of days. Are you up to it?”
And did I think twice. No, I didn’t. And what a wonderful experience it had been for me. I have traveled across India. I have seen people hardly wearing anything in Mumbai. The desperate. And I have seen people hardly wearing anything in Orissa. They too desperate. I have visited Bhuj. The ruins of an earthquake. And I have visited Jaipur. The ruins of grandeur. I have met the likes of Salman Rushdie, Ian Anderson and Mike Powell. Escaping as I try to capture them through my lens. And I have met the netas of Patna. Not escaping from being captured through my lens but from the law. Yes the past eight months has been what I had anticipated it would be like. But maybe not. Goa will be my last assignment.
“when will you be back from Chandigarh?”
I am not in Chandigarh. I am in Jaipur. And it will be quite some time before I can apply for a leave.
“you never told me you were in Jaipur! You never tell me anything now a days.”
I reached an hour ago. I was about to call you up anyway. And I have been busy.
“Then what am I doing here waiting for you?”
well I have no answer for that. But …. Well why do I hate to hear the beeps more than her name flashing on my cell phone? Well back to work.
Intended to protect his queen maharaja Man Singh built the seesh mahal. Mirrors were placed all around the walls of her castle to create the illusion of the night sky as the king made love to his beloved queen. Perhaps it was built never to be captured, at least by my inexperienced hands.
“Why did you not call me back?”
I am working here. Do you know that mirrors in seesh mahal were imported from Belgium?
“So that’s more interesting than me? It’s ok. Go back to work. Call me when you are free.”
College days were over. I was trying to be what a professional was supposed to be like. But what about my responsibilities towards her? How can we survive the future without a present. I never blamed her. It was her own right to be angry with me. I never could understand what she wanted from me. I wonder if it was anything at all she wanted from me.
Hi! Its me. Will be moving for Bhuj tonight.
“For how long?”
Never know.
“Do you think about me?”
Of course I do. Why am I working so hard for?
“Then why don’t you come to me?”
Now don’t cry. Every thing will be just fine. Everything was not fine. My cell phone couldn’t connect to any network there. I was marooned. People there talked about their ancestors with pride and that was long before Aristotle taught Alexander about Achilles. Alexander never made it this far. Others did though. But without the pride that would have been on the face of the mighty sikander. Thousands surround me. But I still felt marooned.
How could you reach me? There is no connectivity here. Of course I care about you. Why else will I call you. Well forget all those silly things. Do you know that ………… beep.
Mumbai Central. Shot in the movies perhaps as many times as maybe the number of stars who made it this far before moving further than real life itself. One might wonder how many amitabhs there could be amidst the thousand nameless faces. But not all. The world is not that filmy for the fast moving mumbaites. No chaiwala will greet you as claimed by most travel writers. The ringing mobile phones trigger the race between the trains and a mans life. Often the trains play spoilsport as they leisurely take on the rails.
Hi! I am in Mumbai. Do you want me to pick something for you?
“Well, it would have been such a pleasure if you would have surprised me. You are so tactless.”
It was no surprise for me either. Sigmund Freud had prepared me for such a situation. But even my boy scout be prepared motto wouldn’t have made me prepared to face a woman. I don’t know about all woman but she certainly could surprise me.
“can I keep two boyfriends?”
Should I have laughed. But months of bitter argument had already killed my laughter. But when she too didn’t laugh I realized in which direction things were heading. But for all I cared about was the direction to Nasik where thousands of devotees will be coming for the Kumbh.
Devotees from the world over come to the kumbh mela in search of the unknown. In the unknown they somehow claimed to find solace. I went there for the definite. And I considered myself luckier. For me a person should always believe in the things he lives for. For me it is the money. The money I earn because I do things that help someone else earn his money. It is not because I love photography for anything else. I love photography because It helps me earn more money than anything else I could do. If I had to choose between keeping my job and keep traveling or staying with her, I would happily choose my job. I know what I want. I always knew. I needed her because she made me feel good. I gave her things because I liked them. I took her out because I liked her company. She said that she cared for me and that was why she stayed with me. She was there for me to make me feel good. Why would anybody do anything for others. She stayed with me because she could never realize what she wanted from me. And now she has realized that she needed something, and that I couldn’t give it to her. It was a shortcoming in me. it was not her fault. So should I be angry at her? Never for something true. It made me happy. She was realizing things, which was she was learning to accept the truth. You do not have to travel miles to Nasik to realize that. The lot of sentimental fools.
“why didn’t you call me for so long?”
I couldn’t tell her the truth. The truth was because I didn’t feel like. I thought she had the new guy to be with and so I could spend more time on my job. Moreover I felt it was a waste of money to call someone just to argue about things which had little or no importance in my life.
Hey I am coming back to Delhi.
“wow, when”
Be there for your birthday.
The journey from Ranchi was a terrible one. The train stopped at every station there was on the route. Only thing good on the train was that everybody was smoking. The smoke filled my hope. Will be back with my friends. Two weeks of leave. Might even visit my parents back home. But lots of money to waste on my friends. and her. What about her. She was a friend. And now she was someone else. I never realized when she ceased to become my best friend. Was I being mean. But I was only being me.
“10 o’clock my place”
Anxious. The Unknown force was driving me. I had to think. I couldn’t make myself go without knowing what I wanted. That way I will be lying to myself. Better lie to her.
Happy birthday dear. But I wouldn’t be able to make it there today. Beep.
Whatever it was. I couldn’t make myself think about it. And yeah I went back to work. And Sanjay had told me to come to Goa. Panaji was only an hour ahead. My last assignment only a day long, before I quit my job for the definite. I want to do business management.
In a few days or months, she will be admitting that she is going around with another guy. I will say its okay. I will be lying. But I will atleast know the definite. The fact that I will be lying. And then years later when I will be reading this story, I will realise that I made the exact decision that has proved right. Right because I knew what I wanted. For now the sun to protect me and the horizon to think beyond.