Even ‘she’ is someone’s daughter !!

“This time I need an unflowered one…yes, yes any amount”,his satyriasis spoke gagging the person at other end.

After few hours when he was ’bout to turn the nob of Room no. A-435, Hotel Ashoka ; he saw his own daughter nervously waiting inside, through the flying curtains.

Stunned. Bedazed. He deleted the contact named ‘dealer‘ from his cell permanently. Shattered.




Victory and Defeat

“You smoke too much lately. Is it that you’re craving for love??” jested seven months pregnant Rahi.

Abhay kept on puffing with new vigour thinking ‘bout Kavita eluding his wife, mentally as well as physically.

Abhay and Rahi were college sweethearts. Both had common interests like Mumbai, hostel life, soft rock, definitive literature, clove cigarettes, painting and poetry. Except for he loved it on the couch and she enjoyed it on the bed. They tied knots two years after their Masters in Business Administration. They knew each from head to toe.  She typically followed the other side of the Arabic matrimonial equation that is curtailing her liberty to move alone and secretly basked it. But he was a classifiable and predictive north Indian stud with a good physique ready to flirt with every other juicy girl he came across. Her parents dissented strongly after she eloped with him. Still she considered herself lucky as far as her marriage was concerned; reason being his intelligence, romanticism and tomfoolery.

Before marriage, things were different at least for Abhay. He was very much interesting, creative and expressive in the first place. Their ‘mental-intimacy’ clearly outdid physical involvement. She first proposed him during their masters, he rejected as he had a crush on some already set-aside damsel. As every XY chromosome bearer is a loyalist slave of testosterone, he was no exception. They both got together within a month. It was his second relationship while she never earlier dated due to societal obligations. And yes, he sensed some void in their affinity but couldn’t express his incertitudes to emotionally unstable and already imbalanced wife especially after her father left for heaven’s abode due to heart attack.

Everything was so foreseeable in their deadening relationship and so only they decided to turn into parents hoping that a child would light up their benighted aroha. Typical Indian couple!!

He brought her same pineapple cake since years on birthdays as clichéd surprise. Looking at his eyes on dinner table, she would pass on knowing what he needed. They knew each other too much to express in words. Eyes did all the conversation. He too realised that such quixotic stuff seemed good only in poems. Both were unknowingly going deep into the web weaved by ‘too much of love’.

Kavita:  fair, slim and aphrodisiacal girl who came in as intern was the new protagonist in his life. She as a single child always resorted to surrogate relationships after her parents separated. He started butterflying her hoping to complete his incomplete life. And it clicked between them. Never earlier did he experience such calmness and solace but his heart was torn apart thinking about unborn child. As always he thought she was the one, his soul mate. She was one devil-may-care lover and never took him that seriously for obvious reasons. His kinship with Kavita reached a celestial point and there was no looking back after that.

Rahi was admitted into a hospital during her last month. She easily noticed guilt in his eyes but kept mum. She kept on asking with her eyes, ‘Is she more beautiful??’ Once, such a great debater lost life’s most important case with a straight defeat. He did nothing but closed his eyes in reply trying hard to cry but couldn’t. Wild damaging and negative thoughts took over him.

Allah blessed Abhay with a baby girl.Rahi died during pregnancy owing to excess blood loss from her body.

He entered the hospital ward with mixed feelings. Went near his wife. Took her hand in his hands and tried hard to cry, again he couldn’t. Then he turned his eyes towards the new-born, her eyes clearly resembling Rahi’s. He was taken aback by the ‘Is she more beautiful??’ look which the baby gave him.

Tears came down his cheeks for the first time in life. He tried controlling his feelings….but eyes kept on pouring as if they were separated from his body, mind and soul!

Gulzar saab’s grave voice hemmed into his ears:

”Kisi mausam ka jhonka tha
Jo iss deewar par latki tasveer tirchhi kar gaya hai

Gaye sawan mein ye deeware yun seeli nahi thi
Na jane kyun iss dafa inn mein seelan aa gayi hai
Daraarein pad gayi hain
Aur seelan iss tarah behti hai jaise
Khushk rukhsaaro par geele aansun chalte hain”

(A quivering touch of weather, was it??
which has swung your photo-frame.

Last monsoon, these walls were as dry (and strong) as dead leaves;         
This time, however these are damped and damaged.
And the dampness crawls on the wall,
Just like tears leave a trail on (somebody’s) dry cheeks                           
A quivering touch of weather, was it??)

Ineffable stranger

‘Chai(tea)??’ came a text on my mobile.

‘Will reach canteen directly in 5’, I replied.

No sooner did I reach canteen than my eyes started looking for that beauty. She wasn’t there that day. As always I and my friend Ravi ordered special chai.

I purposely sat facing the road which she takes for canteen so that I can gaze her for long and that sight…of those kajal-clad innocent eyes gives me ‘eyegasm’. Never ever in my life earlier did I observe a girl so minutely. Within few minutes, I saw her coming towards canteen, all alone today. That scene of watching her walk from blur to clarity is something worth capturing and most precious. My heart slowly started showing colours then, beating faster than never.

She reached canteen, gave me that truehearted and much awaited look. Her seraphic look benumbs me so much that I couldn’t even give her a smile. Then I secretly follow her facial expressions and expressive eyes. Well…this lasts for 15 minutes and then I go back to my normal, draggy life longing to see her again!!

This happens almost every time I see her in canteen. And I’ve visited canteen so many times, just to catch a glimpse of her that I can even draw a probability distribution curve of her canteen visits!!

But these days are different. Even my mornings are dark. I haven’t seen her in moons. Not even anywhere in college. I visit canteen thrice a day just to watch those beautiful pair of eyes, but no luck. Ergodic and scary thoughts going inside my mind daunt me. ‘What if she met with an accident??’ ‘What if she left college?? What if she’s having viral??’ And the worst of all, ‘’What if she stopped visiting canteen ‘cause of me??’

As luck would have it I saw her in canteen few days later. But this time she had reached before me. I made up my mind, this time I will pass a nonchalant smile. I gazed at the damsel appreciating her beauty. She didn’t look back. No response. Benighted me, dropped a cup of tea so that she would respond at least to the sound of shattering. Still, no reaction. I hurried and went off to hostel with my friend.

Contemplating about what was going on in my life since few weeks, I calmly decided to give it a grave thought. But I was unable to becalm myself. Anxious.

The world seems so dark as if seasonal affective disorder has come over me. She is as good as a stranger to me. I don’t know her name. I don’t know where on earth she lives. I don’t know what language she speaks, what food she eats.

I feel like going straight unto her, lift her chin and say,

Nazar uthao zara tum to qainaat chale,

Hai intizaar ki aankho se koi baat chale,

Tumhari marzi bina waqt bhi apahiz hai,

Na din khisakta hai aage, na aage raat chale” (Gulzar saab)

(Lift your eyes so that a world can come into being,

I’m waiting for conversation to spark between our eyes,

Without your consent even time is handicapped,

Neither the day ascends nor the night descends)