Friday, July 2, 2010

May be Some other Day


“Are you still the one…” the cell phone tune broke the silence under the cafe umbrella where two human beings had been self adjusting with their vapour vanished coffee mugs since last half an hour in exclusive silent musing mood. It felt damn scratchy to digest the tune, so Siddhart accepted the call in a hurry.
“Sid what’s the time now” the most familiar disgusted voice came from the other side.
After a momentary pause, “Oho, sorry baby, I couldn’t even give you a call… you know till now I haven’t yet taken my afternoon tea…” somehow he enacted his management curfew.
She softened in a millisecond. With greater care and concern she asked, “Honey is everything ok?”
He suddenly altered his plan. In a firm mutineer’s tone Siddhart spoke, “No more I’ll tolerate these shits. This’ my last presentation out here and then I’ll throw the other file to that fatso’s face along with Siddhart Mehra’s resignation. What does this bloody hippopotamus think of himself…” and then paused for the effect.
The first canon ball had hit its target. She got intensely worried, “Sid what’s this baby… please calm down… tell me the matter… tell me what’s that bully has done to my tweetu…”
“Just leave it. This time I’m determined, I know what I’ll do.” He didn’t like leaving his handicraft without an ultimate final touch.
She almost cried out, “Please tell me the thing… honey can’t you tell me?”
Suddenly realising the place awkwardness of his ongoing private call, he signalled her “Excuse me” and moved towards the washroom to give a last push to the trigger, “Anita why baby why? Why does it happen with me every time? I can’t take this anymore… I have been thinking from the lunch hour when you gave the last call, which shirt to put on… whether that new belt will suit the white trouser… that cherry shoe will look better at the bottom or the white leather one… and finished all pending jobs by three o’ clock. When I was about to leave at four, the sick bastard came into my cabin and tossed two shoes to polish… I don’t think I can finish them up before late evening. No baby, I can’t bear up with this slavery anymore. Anyhow I’ll attend your friend’s anniversary party today; Anita you just get ready while I gift him the final hook” he finished with a deep breath.
“No Sid, you won’t do anything like that. Cool down my excited young man. Just finish your priorities like a good boy. Somehow I’ll manage the party thing” she tried to normalise the heat of the moment.
“No I can’t let you go alone sweetu, I’m coming…”, Sid still unconfident of his drama.
“What no? Don’t worry dear I won’t go alone, I can join Sakshi. You promise me you’ll throw away your anger and complete your task. Promise me baby” Anita was desperate.
“See every time you convince me like anything coz I can’t ever tell you ‘No’. Ok if you insist… Love you honey” he thought it enough baked.
“Love you too… and listen, no need to wish them on phone. Just come back when you’re done. I’ll try to return before you” she added.
“But won’t it be good if I atleast…” Sid asked once again.
“No, because I’ll tell them that you’re in Kuala Lumpur to hunt some eyed clients” Anita gave a naughty smile and continued, “and on your way back home, don’t forget to bring that… and not that banana one please… I feel like vomiting, you know baby right?”
Planting a digital kiss, Sid ended the conversation. Huh what a relief…
He reoriented his back brushed hair with a sprinkle of water from the washbasin. Pleased with his mirror image Sid came back to the open air table where a fair lady of his age was playing chess on her mobile.
“Sorry Richa…” he said with a gentle smile and occupied his chair.
“What happened Siddhart?” she spoke first time in that post dusk coffee session.
“Nothing can happen when Sid becomes Siddhart” he tried to plait a voice of complain.
“Your old trick never fails right?” she looked up at Sid stretching the corners of her hazel eyes treasured by eye liner and gave a detective smile.
“What could I do Richa… somebody has always topped my priority list” he tried hard to solidify his statement with innocent most gaze and extended his crisscrossed forearms beyond the midline fence.
“Shut up Sid” she coined.
Yes great, “the old trick really never fails” he whispered in his mind. He had been waiting for this sweetest rebuke from a long, long time…

A purple glow was fondling with her hanging locks and highlighting the mole on the corner of her right cheek. Sid tried to remember how many times he had sensed that mole with his lips. The glow showed her double pierced ears, his most desired lollipop of once upon a time days. Richa was looking like a damsel in her azure silk salwar suit. His eyes were sipping the charm of her beauty like a young boy falling for a girl for the first time. Sid’s gaze slid down the oblique line sketched by her magical eye lines, fixed for a while on that heart-shaped nose, and then slipped down to the lake of those pink sensualities, farther down to the chin... the throat… deeper down the limit of the sapphire pendant he entered into the world of unfathomable passions… the victim of destiny’s whim, lying in the vast no man’s land separating their present worlds. One after another warm lost fragments Sid kept on rediscovering in his transposed mind- “Uff leave me baby, it’s tickling”…
“So what about that challenge Sid?” Richa nailed down Sid’s full blown balloon.
“Which challenge dear?” he sounded unprepared.
“That five years… no marriage… Oh Saturn! You’ve totally dumped that off your memory?” she gave a cute mischievous smirk.
“Oh devil! You still remember…” the small bygone challenge turned up in Sid’s mind. In one of her birthday, when they were standing at a point of ambiguity about the future of their relationship he himself had thrown her the challenge, “Ok you think I’ll get married before you? Well now I’m telling you, you’ll get married before me. Not only this, even after five years of your happy marriage I’ll remain a bachelor. This is a challenge!” She had smelled the hollowness in it, so she said “No honey it won’t be like that… I’m sure” to which Sid toughened the statement for her, “Fine now tell me what will you give me if I win this bet?” Off course “Anything…” she had replied. “Then you’ve to spend one night with me leaving your hubby and kids aside. Are you ready?” that was the maximum a confused young man’s heart could seek for. Yet she had no problem. Yes, she was that damn sure… after all she knew him, she knew him much more than he knew himself.
Shyness enveloped Sid’s face as he told, “Those crazy days… common I was such a kid… congrats you’ve won the bet Richa”
“Really? What can you give me Sid?” her voice became firmer.
“Anything for you…” he replied desperately.
“Do you have anything at all which you can sacrifice to keep your words?” her chin got more prominent.
Sid didn’t anticipate such a grey monophony. Before he could search for a proper reply, ring tone broke the still air under the umbrella for the second time. It was Richa’s mobile this time.
She spoke in a language sounded Greek to him, and ended her conversation in very short. Seeing Sid totally confused, she showed the way out of the maze, “It was my hubby’s call. You couldn’t even decipher the ‘love you’ part right? Actually he was brought up in Russia. He never wanted, but somehow I developed interest and mastered that tongue from him. But yet to catch the accent properly…”
“Good. What about a beer in the name of your new Russian conquest?” Sid tried to take the control of the muddled state that somehow got cleared with her phone call.
“Thanks Sid… but not today… he is calling… sorry I’ve to leave now” Richa wiped the corner of her lips with a tissue and stood up with a courtesy smile that was no longer sheltered the evening heat.
Sid was dumbfounded by the unexpected effect of a simple phone call. He felt a deep cramp in his stomach but somehow came out of the cafe escorting her to the taxi. Before the taxi left, she told, “You know something Sid, you’re still a kid… take care”
He tried to return back her the same courtesy but his tongue got dried and nothing came out of his mouth, not even a reloaded expression. Vacantly he kept looking on her vehicle’s zooming out red tail lamps as long as he could see…

He didn’t feel like taking a taxi there itself, so kept walking along the footpath for quite a sometime. He remembered something Anita had asked in the phone and entered a medicine shop with indecisive steps. He didn’t know what to say until the shop boy enquired, “Bhaisaab apko kya chahiye?”
When you’re partially wrecked you look for better things to glue your cracks but when you’re completely broken you don’t feel like pasting the bits any more, you just feel like digging a hole and burying them. Same happened with Sid, losing his strawberry appetite, “I need a strip of diazepam” that’s all he told.
“Prescription dijiye…” the counter man demanded from the other side.
“Fuck off” he spoke in his mind and stepped out of the shop with stamping gaits.
With every step his guilt feeling was taking colossal shape. He couldn’t push on. He needed something to revive him from the burden of prickling consciousness. Sid entered a pub and ordered, “Without soda…”
He felt lighter seeing three four empty glasses on his table, picked up his briefcase and came out of the smoky hell. When you drink you miss your girlfriend like anything and a new spouse is no exception from this dictum. Drunken Sid started feeling possessive with the thoughts of his Anita like never before. He wanted to give her a call; unfortunately the battery had run out of charge. He chuckled with mild bleakness…
He stepped back to the medicine shop but oops, it got closed by then. In his watch he saw the time ‘10:30’… quite late… Anita would be waiting for him! He got into an auto with tired feet.

Siddhart rolled out of the three-wheeler like a kicked out burglar. In a vacillating mind full of disillusionment, penitence and love, he plucked a half bloomed rose from the garden of his apartment. He opened the door with duplicate key. Dim lamp of the dining room displayed the covered dishes over the dining table with his plate kept upside down. He understood that Anita was asleep, why won’t she? It had been 11:30 already… he went to the bathroom, changed his attire and again came back to the food. He wasn’t hungry anymore, so put the bowls inside the refrigerator and went into the bedroom. He didn’t light the lamp as Anita was deep in her dreams. But he could see her childlike face in the red glow of a tiny LED of the hanging voltage stabiliser. Siddhart came close to her face and touched her cheeks with the dew wet rose in lightest possible way. Then he went to her toes and lodged his regretful lips over them until he converted his kiss to a hybrid smooch. “I’m sorry honey” he recited in his mind hundred times before he could get up from her leg side. In her sleep she had disoriented her dress code. Her loyal husband didn’t even miss that… he pulled her frock little down her thigh… He felt the intense urge of knitting the art of love with his love but his sensibility of letting his queen rest somehow watered the flame. He lowered the room temperature, covered her with a cotton sheet and felt fast asleep embracing her breast with one arm… Whole bedroom got transformed into a still frame, other than the blinking time piece and the breezing machine above…

A throb beneath the pillow broke Anita’s sleep at the middle of the night. She took out her mobile and stopped the vibration, “Oh is this the time to… whatever, hold on” she scolded the mysterious caller in a concealed voice. Anita shifted Sid’s hand from her body to a side pillow very cautiously and then left the frozen room in silent footsteps.


-littleWriter