Archive for September, 2011

Abode of Love – Part 3

She gets up from the chair staggering and leaning on to the wall, taking deep breath, looking around, she focuses the number on the invitation. She knows he must be expecting a call from her that is why he has deliberately put the number there. He always does this, before you ask for it he gives it to you…thinking thus, she has a broad smile on her face, which hadn’t been there for long.

Walking up to the antique looking telephone, she trembled as she lifted the receiver to dial the number…!!!

She could not wait till the call got through; she placed the receiver back and walked away from it, with a tear from the corner of her eye.

Her minds asked her several questions, “Why now?”, “Why not then?”, “Is this all a mistake?”, “Am I the intended one for this invitation?” “Is he still the same?” “Is he inviting to his family function?” Should I be going?” “Should I talk?” “Will he ever remember me?”

Like these several questions and their answers went revolving in her head. One minute, she dashed to pick the receiver another minute holding herself.  Nevertheless, she fervently picks up the phone and dials the number…after what seemed an era; she hears the phone ring, in her favorite song – caller tune.

Lost in the song, she reels in her likeness for the song and almost forgets the voice at the other end talking to her.

“…I have been waiting for this call all my life! My Love, How are you?”

“I…I…How did you know, it is me?”

“If I could send you my invitation card to your address, won’t I know your phone number?”

“I….I…am… (sob)” No words could relate to the feeling she went through. Nothing could stop those tears from running down her cheeks…she was so emotional that no one could stop her from what she was doing. She leaned against the wall holding on to the phone and slowly greased down on to the floor against the wall.

Her sobbing turned into a cry that was loud enough to wake the whole vicinity but the screams were only audible to her. She just kept crying till she could hear no sound from the other side, she uncontrollably controlling her tears spoke in to the phone…!

“(Sobbing) Wiping the tears with a single-hand motion, she spoke, ‘How are you? How are things with you?’

“I am good, sweetheart, [Her heart sank, it echoed the same feelings she felt when he used to call her back then…how can he still create the magic, yet again…] as always you are there to take care of me. Why should I worry? Leave about me, tell me about you. I am waiting to hear about you. Meanwhile, you should come to my abode, see it and give me your approving look! Will you, ah?”

Her mind did not read anything after that word…she was stuck there for life. She had missed the word so much. There were so many endearments that could not re-create that just happened.

“Sweetheart, sweetheart….”

“Hmm….”

“For a moment, I thought you disconnected. Stupid, me I am still not able to believe you called me. I knew, you won’t but as usual I left my number in case you wanted to talk to me. [Laugh] So, I guessed it right. You did call me, sweetie! Wow, what a wonderful day it is?!” [Laughter…that is hearty…no stopping]

“No, don’t call me like that…I might right now run into your arms. You might then regret my decision.”

A slight laughter escaped her breath…she used to always do this to him. Stop his laughter by hers. Only her laughter was heard and it was echoing in his ears, heart and the house of his…he was going crazy with her sound again that filled his soul, his life, his everything that he had held on to till this day.

He never knew it would happen and now it was happening…it was his weirdest dream and secretly he worried if that would happen. He was afraid and lost thinking what if it did not happen, what then and whenever he had this thought he blessed himself with the lord’s blessing and said, “It will happen, dude just keep your faith going…!”

It happened and he was right about it all through the 30 odd years he spent lonely looking for that one soul walking up and down the street across her, staying close to her, watching all her growth and wishing her luck in all the endeavors she took, she had not caught notice of him living right across the street.

He was there at all her victories and failures. He was with her in all her stages of womanhood and saw her grow into a nice and mellowed granny…walking down the same streets that her rocked with her beauty, holding the hands of her grandson and granddaughter, a lady of pride.

In his mind, she did not go past the age of young girl in the college, where he first time saw her.  That is how he restrained himself whenever he got angry looking at her from far…it was a tough decision to be right under her nose and not be available to her. He could not talk to her, see her, take her advice, and hear her laugh, smile, look into the eyes that did tell him a lot…nothing he could do.

Just stand there as he no longer existed and remain there.  Many a times, he thought of leaving the place and going away from her sight completely but he could not gather the courage. He was worried if he deviates from the goal, what will happen?

He took everything in the sight as a mark of his stride and kept the ignited mind working towards his goal and did not stop as long as he laid the first stone towards the goal. He worked day and night and whenever he felt lonely and disturbed he always looked at the solid memories he had and kept himself busy looking at the girl of his dreams, flower and ripen through age right in front of him, only not at his home.

She had not deterred from her services of a wife that she became, she had done everything that a wife did, she flowered, she grew fonder, she was a perfect wife, a mother, a daughter to her in-laws, a sister to his relations, and did all the chores that came her way and also became a successful ‘Home Maker and Professional’ at the same time. She balanced her life perfectly. She was always found with a smile on her face and never seemed to have problems with her life.

But he had seen her crying silently against the walls of her house when no one was around, looking at the sky and crying in ecstasy, the cry in the rain, the silent cry while cooking, the unknown cry that he heard and at those times he always had walked up to the gates of her house to console her, give her a shoulder, but could not enter the gates…always walked back with the hatred of a lifetime.

Hating himself for not doing what was required at that time of lifetime and repenting for it every moment. He had the toughest times in his life and now, it all seemed to melt away at the voice returning to him on that phone call he waited for all his life…he had conquered the world and it was nothing compared to the price – he was hearing.

Nothing in the world was worth it – except for the ‘Beauty’ he was talking to now – ‘It was Worth All the Time, Then…Now…and tomorrow!’

Life begins at 60, said some philosopher. It is very true and his had just begun – No looking back…!

Abode of Love – Part 2

Here is the link to part 1 :  https://braintoast.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/abode-of-love/

Dressed in an orange organdy chudidhar with pastel colored floral designs she was standing at the gates of the college which will be her place for the coming two years. She is lost looking at the place it is new for her and away from home, her thoughts – only friend, she walks into the college with a straight back and undivided attention to the details around the college.

She walks past few people gathered on the sides of the pavement, the corridors of classes, the lunch rooms, the staff rooms, gathering each info of the building.

She comes to a fleet of stairs taking her to the floors above, not knowing whether to climb onto the stairs or just check with people around, she hesitates for a moment and finding the sound of footsteps from above, she holds her breath and stands there.

She does not step on to the stair, she can’t move and give space for the person coming down, the stairs did not have railings, and if she did she would pass through the gap that is there between the stair walls that are not built.

She hazily looks down through it and looks up to see who is the one coming down and how long would that person take and then she catches a glimpse of a brown eyes looking intensely at her from above.

The eyes lock her for a moment and she diverts her attention to the floor below her feet and waits for the person to pass by.

The guy, 5 ft 11 inches tall, walks down taking 2 or 3 steps at a time moving down with an air of exuberance and an smile that does not seem to vanish…quickly hastens and moves down….!

“Hey, there. Are you a newbie into the college?”

Not knowing if it was addressed to her, she just looks up into the same eyes. Hesitantly, she looks around and finds that it was indeed indented to her.

She answers in a loud and clear tone possible, “Yeah, 1st year MBA.”

“Hmm…where are you from?”

“Excuse me, why are you asking me this? What difference it does to you, where I am from?”

“Hello, madam…I am your senior better talk to me properly, otherwise you have problem you understand?”

“No, I don’t.” She walks past him climbing onto the small space on the stair and gets on to comfortable planes. She walks with such an air, that there is nothing but confidence and grace and nothing of arrogance or obeisance.

This is how I met him in college. The arrogance of a senior he carried around, being nosy, looking or trying to catch my attention whenever he wanted, passing by me with a trifling smile, talking aloud to my companion, his mother tongue which did not entice me, his looks telling me – I am watching you, babe!

I was tired of his looks, he appeared wherever I was. Slowly, I lost interest in him untiring looks. I did not notice him; he did not seem to be looking any more.

I was worried, where did he go?

Then I realized, I wanted to see him, his gaze spoke a lot. I looked around, found him and secretively looked at him, whenever he passed by I spoke aloud making an impression, I knew the head would turn and it did, I was in heaven.

Slowly, days rolled and his end at college became evident…he spoke to me now in a more endearing tone, asking me to concentrate on my studies, asking me to plan for the future, asking questions relevant to studies, asking me to keep a tab on things that I could do.

Involved me in some college work, all those meaningless talks, all that could be gathered. Then, one day he called me across to talk.

It happened on the same stairway, now the railing for the stairway was in place and comfortably two people can walk by, on the either side of the stairway.

It the same scene, I am climbing up and he climbing down. I would have almost missed him, if he had not stopped me. As usual lost in thoughts, I was climbing up…he said, “Hello, Madam…What lost in thoughts again?”

“Hmm…nothing like that. Tell me, what’s happening?”

“Coming to collect the examination hall ticket and asking me what is happening?”

“Yeah, it is your last semester exams right, so all prepared?”

“Well, not exactly, yet to start on with the preparations. What about you?”

“I am all set…well, no not actually. I am yet to kick-off. Too much to do, so kind of completely dazed….”

“Between, can you spare some time, I want to talk to you, in private.”

Yeah, she said inside her mind with a know-it-all smile as teasing as possible. But aloud she simply said, “All right, now or later?”

Completely off guarded by her answer, he stumbled a little and said, “I have a small job to attend to now. Will let you know when. It is ok.”

“But who?”

“No worries, it is my word, see you then.”

“Huh?” She could not move further she just stood there looking at him passing by. Can’t he have said when and where?

Hmm…so bad. Why is this happening to me? What does he want to tell me? This thought triggered a smile to her lips and spread across her mind and body. She sprung around with new vigor and went about doing her task.

Smilingly, she went up and collected her hall ticket for her examinations. It brought her back to reality and she got back thinking about it. She got back to her hostel and rested on the bed thinking and gathering the things that she can immediately do before exams and the ways and means to make some studying possible.

She heard her name being echoed in the corridors of the hostel. Strangely, no one calls for at this hour and she looks at the watch it is almost 3 pm in the evening. She got back from the college at about 1 o’clock how did two hours go by?

Surprised, she walks into the corridor and finds a senior of hers yelling her name. She walks up to her and finds that a senior of her is waiting for her and wants to talk to her.

Hazed not knowing who it is now and what the matter is. She walks in to the room of hers and tries to gather the loose strings but no, she can’t.

When did I doze off? Thinking what?

She quickly goes into the loo and gets organized and leaves towards the college. She forgot to ask her senior, where is the person waiting?

She tells herself, it is ok. Anyway, here only nah can find out. She slowly walks across the lane of eucalyptus trees, the pathway winding into t he ground, the muddy road, the wind playing havoc on the sand, and she hears the birds sing.

She looks up from the road; she finds a familiar figure waiting for her. A smile spreads across her lips and then the memory floods back.

She waves to him and walks with a smile that is unstoppable. Moving closer to the target her heart beats faster that she can hear it in her ears. She holds on to her breath and promises to herself not to reveal her nervousness.

She walks closer to the target and exchanges a “Hi”

“What was sleeping? Eh?”

“Yeah, but how did you know?”

“You girls have no other job than sleeping nah.”

“I don’t sleep in the afternoon; if I do I don’t get sleep in the night. So, I don’t. Today is a rare occasion. To say, this you called me now is it?”

“Yeah”

“Oh! Ok…!! I see.” There is a moment of uneasy silence.

“What’s happening with the college magazine? How many articles are you writing?”

“Huh, what? Why should I write?”

“You are the editor, you are supposed to contribute.”

“Hello, not necessary. I just have to edit the articles. By the way, you are leaving the college, why should you be bothered about it.”

“Yeah, why should not I, ya, let’s sit there. It is still my college. I can ask. I am still the president of the committee.”

“Oh! Yeah, sir. Forgot, forgot….”she says teasingly and looks at him.

They walk towards the library building and there is a shade of the gulmohar tree in full bloom.

(…will roll)