Through gloom and mourn.
Life goes on…
Through prick and thorn.
The green blot was flashing bright right against her name on the top header of the screen. ‘Hello’, I typed it out, after containing myself for long. It was just a matter of hitting a key through my pinkie, but inside, it was like pulling the trigger for a spacecraft launch at NASA, or dropping a bomb at the Gulf. The nerves in my head had turned into electrical wires, carrying alternating currents of a frequency of a million hertz, the brain into a supercomputer, processing millions of computations every microsecond, just to evaluate if it was the right moment that five lettered text should be sent out, as if it had the potential to blow the world out. The faculties opposing the motion, eventually, got the better of it. A long press at the backspace key made up for the manifestation.
The text box had been evacuated, the turbulence subdued. I peeped at the bubble again, and it still flashed the eternal green. I waited for a few seconds gazing at it, hoping to see the mark ‘typing…’ emerge at the screen, but it never showed up.
I scrolled through the window traversing through the texts all along our previous chats, those meaningless conversations at length, exchanging songs, good wishes, stories of past breakups, consolations, reminiscences of the old days at college, clips of my guitar stints, links to my blog posts, her appreciations, pictures of her photo shoots, my appreciations, and all the clutter of all sorts of coloured graphics – the smiles, the winks, tongues sticking out, the roses, the hearts – each making up for a different emotion everytime. It was a month back I had put my heart out to her and things had quite rolled over since then. The toasts went smaller, monosyllabic; conversations turned less frequent, folded and formalised.
Three days had passed and there was no communication. Every moment passing by was adding to my discomfiture. It had never been in the past few months that we hadn’t talked for so long (yes, three days was quite a long time considering the intimacy we shared in the past few months). Suddenly I was hit by a train of thoughts -Why had she been online all the time (although she had told me she was quiet busy at work and had limited access to internet)? Why was she never writing to me? Was she preventing herself not to provoke my sentiments to bloom into obsession? Or had she simply turned indifferent? What if she had found someone? The last one struck me deep. I remembered she had told me about an old friend and I could, feebly, remember his name. I went on to look for his profile. He appeared to be a decent face, possibly good enough to beat my looks, had a job that was likely to pay him way more than mine, and was definitely more stylish and fashionable than me. My heart was skipping the beats, but his pictures soon revealed that he was into a relationship with someone, making me heave a sigh of relief.
I tuned on to some songs on my phone, the default play list, my mind was far too occupied to create one. The music seemed to soothe my mind. I closed my eyes to let the stream of freshness suffuse into my nerves, but the lyrics from one of the songs let the flashes of past invade through them. I skipped to the next song – her favourite, the next – I played it for her on the guitar, the next – we heard it on one of the dates, the next – another story. I pulled the earphones out of my ears, looked up on my phone if something was there from her, but not yet. I dared not to look at the green bulb again.
I went to the kitchen to appease my starving belly, but more to distract my attention of that green spot. I looked for some bread in the refrigerator, and there it showed the green circle on the packet cover, and it reverberated the flash of that psyche for an instance, although the mark had meant to signify no harm to any mortal.
I moved out for a walk to a park close by, letting my phone at home. Sitting on a bench laid in for the purpose, I saw the people walk by, kids running haphazardly, school boys playing cricket, ladies chatting while circling around the park, possibly to revive their pre-marital anatomies, birds flying and chirping, and a bunch of dogs playing around. It seemed that the entire universe was gleeful, and nobody could ever assume a heart grieving in pain. I look at the green grass, the grasshopper chirping over, the leaves of the tree shading the bench, the tennis ball of the children playing cricket, the algae covering a puddle of water, the cucumbers and the water melons with a roadside vendor, everything so beautiful and vivacious and all painted in green, and yet I was grieving the green of a small dot, the dot that had ached my heart, blemished my soul, let my conscience stoop low,and left my brain brimmed with obsession.
Walking back home with the realisation, I thought, I would write to her, immaterial of how she would take it, of whether she would reply or not, of whether she wanted to talk to me or not. I took my phone off charging and opened the messenger, my fingers quivering to beat the keys and type out the yell of my heart. But to my surprise, the green had greyed out. I felt a sudden pang in my heart, my mind went berserk. I wanted to write to her desperately. It was as if the fall had arrived. I kept staring at the screen hoping the spring to return soon. After waiting for a few seconds, I closed my eyes, imagining going back in the past and sending out that ‘Hello’, the conversation picking up, things getting reconciled, jokes, teasers, smileys being exchanged.
I opened my eyes, and I saw the green was flashing again. My eyes widened, my hands trembled, my fingers went numb. I wanted to write, I wanted to type, but my mind was void of any thoughts. I typed at random, my fingers fumbling over the keys, the auto suggest messing around, and before I could weave a tiny piece of legitimate text, a toast came flashing on my screen. ‘Hello’, it said. And before I could type a reply I was bombarded by many more. ‘What’s up?’, ‘How are you doing?’, ‘Where have you been?’, all sorts of questions queued up on the tiny window. She sent me a link and urged to me have a look at it. I told her I would see it later as my internet was slow, but she insisted and I had to obey the commands.
It was a flash movie, with pictures and video clippings, all of mine and background scores from the better of my struggling attempts at the guitar. It was all sourced from my online account, and out of a sudden I went through a phantasmagoria of flickers of all I had been thinking of her online status.
I sent her a smile, a wink, a heart, a kiss and she echoed the same to me. Things had started rolling over again. I looked at the window and it had started raining outside. The green was blooming all over again, but this time in its true very essence. :-) ;-) <3
You have been away, many a furlong,
I forgo the pain, never making a moan,
And I am still smiling, seeking you along,
For I do to you and you to me belong,
The time has been fleeting, chiming a gong,
I have been waiting, waiting for so long,
My heart might cease the beating, something has gone wrong,
Make me wait no more, just come along, come along.
I feel sorry for my grave and dull tone, but that’s how I have always felt about this estranged land. I have been staying in Delhi for about a decade now but still every other day I feel myself like a complete stranger to the city. Out on the streets I feel like a traveller with lands unseen to explore, men, strange and unknown, to meet, adventures, hitherto unexperienced to seek and new horizons to unfurl. Years back when I first appeared here with an intention to shape myself as a man, I travelled around the city, to help myself make my both ends meet, with the public buses from DTC, in those crammed boxes on wheels, to be boarded from massively crowded stops, with beggars begging, hawkers yelling, men puffing off smoke and spitting pan-masala, and rowdies, wearing long hair and slim fit jeans, ogling and jibing at the pretty young women waiting for the buses. But now things have changed, both for me and for city itself. It’s been quite a time I have boarded one of those crowded buses, that seemed never to fill up.
Today, I mostly commute by what is supposed to be the lifeline of this amazing city, the Metro. They say it is one of the most sophisticated rail transit systems in Asia, even better than its Japanese counterpart, The Bullet Train. So unlike the crowded stops, with infuriating summer sun, pouring rain-clouds, and chilly breezing winters, you board in the vehicle at one of those built and maintained establishments, where you buy tickets in the form of small magnetic disks(the smarter masses prefer cards with prepaid value so to prevent being in queues) and check in to register the source of your journey by passing through automated pass-ways that open up to allow the passage for a single mortal, on the ticket being touched at the designated spot. Most stations would have escalators, moving or still, supposed to ease you reach the point where the train stops just at your face, the doors open up out of the blues just like you would have heard in those childhood fables of Alibaba and the forty thieves, without even one uttering those magical words.The insides are lovely,clad in off white walls, with all sorts of references to public education about hazards of smoking, symptoms of anaemia, eradication of polio, planting of trees, prevention of AIDS, use of condoms, birth control and everything else the Delhi outside of Metro is concerned about.
Each car, they call it a car but it best describes a bogie in a traditional railway, has long benches of metal lying opposite to each other, with a few seats reserved either for ladies, senior citizens and the disabled. Above each of the doors, that open and close automatically at the stations, is given a diagrammatic representation of the transit line with the passed over stations lit up in red, the upcoming blinking, and the last again lit up in green. So informative!. Every now and then announcements are made both in male and female voices, alternating in English and Hindi about the upcoming stations and the general conduct to be followed inside the train and station premises, not to forget the attention to possibility of a punishment in case of a violation. Besides the long benches, there are two pairs of two seat benches at both the corners of the car, opposite to each other. Often you would find there love birds chirping and fondling each other, trying to take advantage of the corner, hoping to hide themselves from the gaze of fellow men and women. But things worth hiding are always seen. If you preferred to move your eyes around you would easily spot young boys, devoid of pleasure as yet, staring them like hungry dogs at a piece of flesh, or the occasional aunt, who would alternate having a glimpse and making a vow not to look again at the heinous deeds performed, possibly grieved by the diminishing sense of values, impact of westernisation, internet, mobile phones, social media, the metro itself and everything that didn’t exist in their time, may be the opportunity. Every train has one car, the first in the moving direction, reserved exclusively for the women, and the announcements, as I mentioned, would keep warning about men entering it being punishable. This is something Delhi Metro introduced keeping in mind the security of women, though the number of rapes reported have been on a constant rise. Not sure if it protects the women but it surely diminishes the probability of an accidental fling for youngsters like me.
To be continued…
Hitting the pebbles with my feet,
And watch them turn and roll in rain,
To hope I would find my love for sure,
Somewhere down that drenched lane.
The street might fill with leaves of fall,
But I would look to the spring again,
Yes, I will find my love there,
Blooming somewhere down the lane.
The sun might throw its furious flames,
But I keep walking, my sweat would drain,
And find my love in an evening stroll,
Breezing somewhere down the lane.
When snow would freeze in the boulevard,
And the skin would shiver with the chill insane,
I would seek the fire of my heart,
Burning somewhere down the lane.