Archive for September, 2012

JUST YOU.

Posted in Uncategorized on September 10, 2012 by madhuripratinidhi

Kriya slept on the couch thinking he would be back. Earlier in the hour, they had fought fiercely. Like any couple in a relationship, it was nothing new. They had fought over the foot-rug near the front door to the venue of their wedding reception. For a moment, she thought why they had even started wedding talks. Nirvaan had officially not asked her to marry her. Although, she secretly hoped that he would. The huge clock struck to 12. She did not panic yet because this was not new. She had seen him storming out of arguments and reverting back, a better person, with explanations. It was just his trademark quality. All she did was hope that it would be the same this time as well.

Without realization, she fell asleep on the couch and when she woke up, it was dawn. The door still locked and some tissues lying around, she knew he was not back. He would not let anything untidy floating around. He was the cleaning genie. She frantically got up ringing his apartment and got through the wretched answering machine. She did leave a casual message asking him to return her call and loitered around cleaning the house for a change.

She hardly concentrated at work, tried him on his cell which was still switched off and the next thing she thought to do made her feel like some agent on a mission. Hunting him down in his usual places was like embarrassing a school kid by calling his pen name in front of all his friends. Hell, like she could ever do that to him. All she could do was just wait. This felt like the longest work day, hailing a taxi and returning home felt like bliss. She felt as though riding on a snail, if that were to be humanly possible. After feeling like she had spent a decade in that taxi, she reached home, paying up the fare, she ran up.

The red light blinking on the answering machine was a time-bomb inching closer to an explosion. When she hit read, it was from a bouquet store asking directions to reach her place. Strangely, she felt relieved for a minute but then it would just make an assumption that it was from him. She called back to confirm the address. Eating a tub of ice-cream nor her feng shui soothers helped her. When the bell rang, she desperately hoped it would be him.

She sat on the floor squatting. She knew it was from him, the 25 orchids spoke for themselves. The previous time it was 24 and each time when she got them, one extra flower got added. It stood for the number of times he had sent flowers to her. They looked so appealing, fresh, just plucked for her. She was glad about the flowers but part of her wanted to see him in person.

When nothing more could feel worse, she drove out to the beach. Strangely, it looked very different that evening. This part of the beach was almost deserted and people rarely ventured out but it was lit up, glittery and annoyingly beautiful. Strolling around, she desperately looked for a tranquil spot. But every inch of it was decorated. When she retraced the path backwards, she saw candles lit up. She saw a strong yet aesthetic set-up. Transparent curtains attached. A make-do shack just like how she had always wanted to be done. When she neared it, she smelt coffee on a low table. With a quilt and cushions around, it was like coming out of her diary of expressions. Even after falling for the created ambience, she could not find the maker behind all this.

When she gazed, at the far end, she saw what she had been wanting to for the last 24 hours. She knew his stance, she knew even if the Sun hit on his hair, it still looked black. She recognized the hoodie and his favorite jeans. She tapped gently on his back from behind. He turned around. When he smiled, she thought, it was surreal. It was that grin which would always make her weak and forgive him.

They sat down in the shack. When he asked her, if what he had created came close to what she had imagined, she had no option but to say that it was much better. Handing her the coffee cup, he began to apologize and said he did not mean to shock her. She stopped him and asked him how did he know that she would come here at this time so surely. He said the fact that she was there proves his conviction.

She sat next to him, head resting on his shoulder. The coffee steamed down and so did her stress with the setting Sun. When she turned to look at his face, he smiled and kissed her on the forehead and whispered a sorry. Feeling almost perfect, she got up to her feet and walked on the sand towards the rising waves.

He called out for her and asked, ‘One more thing! Will you marry me?’

Summer Love.

Posted in Uncategorized on September 3, 2012 by madhuripratinidhi

He sat on the reclining chair looking at the early morning Sun. Wearing his favorite black cap, white overalls and flip-flops. They were all tattered here and there but he had a sense of comfort attached to all of it. He was happy and contended with the ones he had acquired for himself throughout his life. He felt the sufficiency of them and did not ask for anything excess.

A man of schedule and precision. Seconds make minutes, minutes into hours and so on was the theory he truly believed. But he seldom lost his temper. If things did get delayed, impatience and impulse was not thrown at others. A self-made man with simple needs and finding happiness in daily randomness was his satisfactory quotient. He called out for Chinoy, his daily helper when he was done with the paper. Chinoy appeared from behind, he made sure not to disrupt the cycle of constancy.

He got wheeled back into his room. Chinoy drew him a bath. The requirements here again were minimal. Normally, the Old Spice after-shave culminated the dress-up. Today, a hint of ­­­­­­­­Davidoff was added. The instructions were clear, unambiguous and easy. He had asked for his best suit to be brought out, called in for flowers from around-the-corner flower store, nothing fancy, just plain white lilies. A bunch of red heart hot-air balloons. He had pre-booked the ride, a BMW 750. At the strike of 10, seated on the back seat, he instructed the driver to roll ahead.

The wind-mills partied away. The serpentine grapevines looked fresh in the Sun. The A/c moderated itself as it got warmer by the minute. But cool as ice, he sat behind enjoying every bit of the drive-out. He handed over a DVD to his chauffer and a medley of rock and country music hit the roof. Few hours of such musical fest led to a huge mansion. Clutching the wrapped gift, he took a deep breath. It was that feeling of the fastening seat belt and flight taking off.

Driving in the front yard even broad in day light made his heart flutter. He would be seeing her in a matter of minutes. She would be readying herself for this date which he had laboriously planned. He smiled at the thought that she would be fussing over her attire and would be piling around those several dresses which were tried, discarded and some put on stand-by. But it was always the last minute thing that worked once he was down and honked. Thus, she had chosen white for the day. Descending with a smile on her face, she walked up and took a seat next to him.

When they headed in town, her eyes sparkled looking at the fair, it was this child-like quality which was most endearing about her. She laughed at the kids who were playing the giant-wheel and she got down to get some candy-floss herself. When he knew she was ready for the next stop, they continued, the car halted in front of the city-hall. Tonight, it was their favorite musical again and they had watched it every time it was up all these years. When they sang their favorite parts, it almost felt way back in time when they were 19, shy and discovering each other’s tastes.  A sense of sadness and morose hit him but the thought of dinner ahead helped him regain stability.

Curling her fingers into his fist, he gave her the present he had brought. Opening with so much fragility, she took it out. It sparkled, it shined, it was blue, embedded among the tiniest but the most beautiful diamonds, the sapphire stole heart. It still fit just fine when he helped her put it on. They raised the pink champagne glasses and sat amidst people who looked at them, envied them and wished they would be that when they would travel down the road of love and life.

The time was up, he knew. Stepping out in the night, they walked to the car. The Summer day was now a pleasant evening. The driver knew where to go. It was the cemetery. Mr. Royan took the aid of his crutches one last time for the evening. His legs felt weaker than the usual. Carrying the lilies and the balloons he walked towards his wife’s grave. 10 years ago, while driving, he had lost his lovely wife to a car-crash and now, he was left with an artificial foot and old age. The cripple which the accident had made him was tolerable than what life had made him a witness to.

Placing the lilies on the tomb, he let the balloons fly high. It had always made her happy. She thought just like the bird, the heart can fly too. And symbolizing this gesture, she flew balloons on every birthday of hers. And now he was doing it for her. Except that it was not so much the same without her around laughter. Reminiscing the evening, he sat on the ground covered with maple leaves. Once he was a millionaire, now a simple man living at an old-age centre. He sang a happy-birthday song to her silently. He did not feel left out. He traced back his path to the car holding the sapphire in his palm close raised to his heart.