Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Train Affair

My iPod played a Michael Buble number as my gaze held this fairy queen sitting before me…

You're a falling star, you're the getaway car... You're the line in the sand when I go too far…You're the swimming pool, on an August day... And you're the perfect thing to say...

I was lost in her... She sat there, right before me. What a beautiful sight she was to see! Looking out the window, her eyes seemed caught up in something distant. She was so lovely it was hard to keep my eyes off her. Her soft, cream colored skin was almost alluring. The high cheekbones… those pink full lips… eye the color of deep sea-blue. Cheeks so tempting, I wanted to reach out and touch them, tenderly so as not to hurt her. Oh she looked so vulnerable! But just the other moment, I sensed power in her; a woman so tantalizing had power over the very hearts of men. Her hair was an alluring mass of pure black and the way they fell over her face softened her features even more. There she was, sitting before me like a gorgeous princess under a magic spell, unaware of my hungry gaze. But then, maybe she was aware of my unacceptably rude stare and was indifferent to it. It must have been something of a usual to her. Her beauty was the kind that creeps up on you slowly and takes over you completely; she was bound to have second glances wherever she went… Suddenly her eyes moved and settled on… me! I could’ve sworn it was a dare. Those eyes were childish, and they played with me. That fascinating pair of deep blue stirred me up so bad that I was taken off guards. I was dumbfounded, looking back in surprise. She obviously found my idiotic expression funny or maybe they weren’t so idiotic after all. Maybe she only enjoyed the fact that she had surprised me. She beamed a radiant smile at me. Shall I tell how lovely that was? Those laughing eyes and the soft, curved lips! Oh she had me… I had given myself so willingly! The music danced in my head as I continued marveling her silently…

And you play it coy, but it's kinda cute
Ah, when you smile at me you know exactly what you do
Baby don't pretend, that you don't know it's true
‘Cause you can see it when I look at you…
We had silent conversations throughout our journey. Now she was reading a book, yet she would look sideways and catch a glimpse of me. Whereas I was sketching something, but I was aware of her stolen glances. I am passionate about my art. I draw whenever and whatever I can. And at that time, sitting next to her, I wish I could draw her, capturing her on paper and adore the chance meeting with this beauty queen for a long time yet to come. But I didn’t say a word. Every time I used to stop to rest my eyes, I used to find her sneaking a glance at me. I would give no reaction.

The hours went by, and we became more like friends. Silent though, strangely our eyes said it all. Passing by an intriguing scene, we would look at each other and smile and then we’d return to our own selves; her book and my paper. The air held an unspoken charm with her around… the intoxicating smell of her perfume. She was no longer the proud vain beauty who was indifferent to her admirers; she was no more the powerful woman who knew how to use it as a weapon… She was sweet and generous with a deadly innocence. She could be someone easy to fall in love with; and very hard to fall out of love with…

It was absurd. I was constantly thinking of her, looking at her, silently complimenting her. What is this indefinable something between us? Why couldn’t I put this attraction to rest? I know it’s so silly jumping to far off things like these… but, is she the one? What’s that thing they call “love at first sight”? I never believed it existed… till this day. I feel like laying my life in her hands this very moment and yet I don’t even know her name! All I know is her smile melts me and her eyes burn into my soul… I was confused; one moment she looked kind and approachable, and the other, she would become distant… going back to her book the minute she sensed I was about to say something. Maybe she was just being shy… hesitant… why would she look at me that way… oh yes... maybe it was on her mind as well. I smiled to myself.

The music played louder this time…

You're a carousel; you're a wishing well,
And you light me up, when you ring my bell
You're a mystery; you're from outer space,
You're every minute of my every day…

Oh yes! This was it… I sat back and rested my eyes on her. She sensed my change of attention. Her innocent eyes wandered up from her book and then to me. She gave a childlike smile. We remained so for a few moments. Eyes locked. Finally the spell of silence broke between us.

“Are you an artist?” she pointed to my sketchbook. Her voice was almost divine, resonating in my mind like sweet music.

“Well…?” I came back to the world, in this train compartment with her.

“I hope to be.” I said with a smile. She nodded her head politely and went back to her book. What are you waiting for? Talk to her!!

“And … what do you do?” She looked at me again.

“Oh me…” She put aside her book. “I’m studying medical.” She smiled again.

“That’s really good. I could never study something as heady as that,” I said truthfully with a smile.

“Hmmm…” She became silent again and started looking out of the window.

Now what? Think, man! Think! My mind kept on pushing me. “So how many more years of your medical studies left?”

“Final year.”

“That’s cool.”

She was silent again. This time the silence was a little disturbing. I wanted to look at her, but couldn’t. I wanted to ask her name, to know her. I wanted to have her… to hold her… but she was distant again. I had loved the way she had looked at me when she talked to me. Lovely, deep eyes, that I’d love to look into all my life if she would only let me. Her hands rested in her lap, small and feminine… probably soft to the touch. I wanted to kiss those hands… to hold them and feel them… That would be a wonderful feeling! Michael Buble went on.

And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It's you, it's you, you make me sing
You're every line, you're every word, you're everything…

We were coming close to our destination. I didn’t want this journey to end, not as long as she was here with me. When she saw the stop approaching, she bent forward towards me.

“We’re almost there.” She said looking at me straight in the eyes. I knew instantly.

“I’m sure we are…” she smiled shyly at that.

You're every song, and I sing along…
'Cause you're my everything…

The train stopped and a gust of noise came. The rumbling sound as the train was stopping, the railway guards rushing here and there to help people with their baggage and managing them. People were talking and laughing loudly, happy to have reached their destination. We still sat in our seats peacefully and silently, oblivious to the world around us. I held her hand…  

We had reached our destination also.

picture coutesy: deviantART

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This Shall Pass Too...

She hadn’t had anything to eat last night either. What her mom said had devastated her; and she had lost her appetite. The night was rough as she clung onto her brother and cried. He was the only soul who knew how to lay it to rest. He listened to her more like a friend and would hold her warmly in his arms as she would weep her eyes out. Later she would be light and would beam a smile at him. It would be over as simple as that.

Last night, too, he had listened to her. His face had been calm, not a sign of anything that could have possibly disturbed him. But deep down, he was angry. How could mother have said this to her? “Di, I’ll have a word with mother.”
“No please, don’t”. But the boy had made up his mind. So, the night grew worse as there arose yet another argument. She had given up to her sobs eventually and had fallen asleep.


She woke up to her best friend’s call. “Tell me, why do you always send stupid messages?”

“I’m sorry Adi; I just had an argument with mum. I wasn’t okay.” She had sent a frustrating text to him last night, just to show him she was upset and he wasn’t there.

“Okay. So, what’s up? What have you been up to?”

She thought, Geez, I fought with my mom what else? And he thinks I’ll be dancing around after that?

“Nothing much.” Silence.

“Well, talk about something!” Adi said after a pause.

“I don’t know what to talk about.” That was true. All she could think of was her hard moment with her mother. She was half shattered because of it.

“… Okay then, take care… Bye!” It came so suddenly, she didn’t even make out what he had said; she was there in her depressing train of thoughts.

Should I stop him? What shall I talk about? But she soon realized she would be pretending everything’s fine. Why did she have to pretend always? And why to someone who claimed to be her best buddy? She decided otherwise.

“Ya… bye.” She heard the other end click without a word. Rude. 

Her lunch was getting cold but she didn’t care anymore. WTF! What do people think of themselves now-a-days? Her brother had asked her last night if it mattered anymore. She had had nothing convincing to say in return. Now, what just happened made her think again.

“Tell me about those countless nights you came crying to me? Where was he? Did he ask you even once if you really were fine?” he had asked her last night.

No. She thought, but she dared not say it… And now this. She was angry. She picked up her phone and started writing a text message to him.

“I don’t need a ‘zabardasti’ ka friend. It’s so clear you don’t need me. I don’t want any friend now. They all change! Even you did!!” She knew what was going to follow. He’d message her back, an angry one, telling her to be off and ending it with a cold, cruel “bye”. But it couldn’t have been helped. A year back they were inseparable. They never fought and were always there for each other. Perfect, perfect friendship. Their friendship started with honest confessions of the past. They clarified their past relationships. Now, Diya was engaged to someone but she was finding it somewhat difficult. She dreamt of her life partner as someone she could feel happy and alive with. The poor guy was very sweet and caring, but then, he wasn’t Adi. Diya thought of it as her betrayal to her fiancĂ©. She had tried sincerely to forget her special moments with Adi but wasn’t successful. She wanted it to be him. But when the engagement thing came along, she knew it will soon change between them. That was something she couldn’t bear. She looked back at the horrible time when she cried on the phone, endlessly, telling him she knew him too well to think it wouldn’t change between them. “No it won’t.”

“I know you… You have always been possessive about me…”

“I’m saying it won’t. Now don’t make it worse!” And she would know it better to shut up. It wasn’t that she liked being a trouble. It was her heart that was fretting and making her worry. Something very precious was going away and she couldn’t do anything about it.

What she had feared happened. He went further away with every passing day with her trying fruitlessly to stop it. Now he was out of reach. The binding love between them had vanished. What she still regarded were the memories of an innocent friendship that they had shared. He had long ago learnt the art of being distant; and it was so perfect, she doubted if it was the same person. Traces of happy times were left in her still. There were nights she lay awake in bed and would eventually cry her heart out, trying to rid herself of the memories. In vain.

The phone buzzed, interrupting her train of thought. It was him. She braced herself.

“You don’t need me, well babe, hold your ground with this. And yea, go get your brain checked up!! You need it badly!! You’re such a waste! Bye!!” Her eyes fixed themselves on his “waste” and “bye”. They were such hard words. She remembered his previous texts that always ended with hugging expressions and a “muah”, a caring “take care!” Ah, gone are those days.

She turned back to her lunch, cold and tasteless now. She tried to eat but started crying bitterly. Of all the people, you mattered so much! I gave so much to this lovely friendship… and it goes down the drain when you call me a “waste”. Loneliness started creeping up on her again as memories from the previous night came back. Adi was such a shield from anything bad that may hurt or harm her. Now him going like that, she felt vulnerable and unprotected. Last night was rough. It had all started when she fell for someone. That was years back. Someone in her family came to know about it and people started taking about every bad thing they could associate with her tender, innocent love. She endured it all but one day she gave up on her tolerance when her mother said she feared she’s suddenly put on weight because of the special pills she took! She was bewildered… she went crazy and mad and out of control!! Can her mother really think like that? About her baby? The girl she raised with so much love, can she really think her baby would cheat on her? She remembered how she had quarreled with her mother for the first time. She had forcefully made her sit and listen, her blood was boiling! And then, after everything, they had broken up, she and him. She got over him quickly because Adi was there. He healed her to her old self. But people didn’t shut up. They still took her for a flirting little tramp, which was the last thing she could have been. Her self confidence was restored a great deal when she and her mother came close again after years of being distant. She was happy and felt protected… until last night; which started as a little disagreement between her mother and herself and ended with her confessions that she still thought of Diya that way. Again she went crazy, half mad… Had she been any weaker she would definitely have committed suicide. She had tried it once; but that had only made her stronger. There came a fit of screaming madness in her, trying to put the world back at its place. For God’s sake! I’m your daughter… How can you say that? I’ve never had anything to do with a guy all these years of my education… it was just him Goddamit!! And it was anything but vile!! Look at me in the eyes and tell me  do you really see any sign of mistrust…?? Come on mom look at me in the eye! She suddenly became quiet realizing it was of no use anymore. It is only God who forgives, she thought, humans are not capable of something as divine as that. She locked herself up in her room and silently sobbed. She felt as if she were stone. She had gone numb now. Every feeling of trust and love she had shown to anyone in her life had been thrown back at her face. So they don’t need it. Fine. She lost her composure in front of her brother and she cried in front of him like a child complaining about something to a parent.

Life had been bad with her. All she had were a few internet friends who were kind enough to listen to her. She could share her bad luck with them, but now she didn’t feel like doing it anymore. People felt sorry for her and she didn’t want their pity. She wanted a real friendship that she could dwell in and be stronger. They say you find strength within yourself, she thought as she sipped orange juice. Hell! God knows how bad I take things just ‘cause I don’t know an honest heart to share it with. She had another bite at her sandwich. Her brother had just come home and had given her a warm hug the moment he did. She smiled back. She spotted a little butterfly outside the window with beautiful colors… bright shades that reminds one of life, hope, happiness. She felt better. She remembered life again. Of course, I have my bro; she thought as she felt a twinge of happiness starting to grow within her. And this one shall pass too!


picture courtesy: deviantART

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Save the Innocence!!

A few days back I went out for ice-cream with my family. But to my disappointment, I couldn’t enjoy it. A small child hardly 5 or 6 years old came to my father’s side of the window. He was very cute, with pink cheeks, hair made up just right; not to mention his clothes were nice and clean. I was just wondering what he was doing there when to my horror, he lifted his hand. He had a handful of pencils; he was selling them. In the third world that we live in, child labor is something very common. We see it every day around us, we have partially become numb to it. But this child here, he was so darn cute, his eyes so bright, his smile so innocent… those pink cheeks, and the way he held out those few pencils to my father, it really broke my heart. I could not have imagined a neat kid like him could be out selling stuff near midnight. I could not help but shed tears. I asked my father to give him some money. You know what the child did? He refused to take the money for nothing; he wanted to exchange them for pencils only. We bought some, and he went away happily. I felt a little happy about the way this little child had known the ethical difference between earning his living or begging for it. Obviously he learnt this from his parents who obviously, then, have morals. God knows in what terrible condition they might be in that forced them to send their beloved child out like this. Simply tragic.
Among other things that I hate being in a third world country is seeing our children withering away like that. What with all the over population, high illiteracy rate, unemployment; and on top of that, the new financial crisis the world is facing now, the poor being its first victims. Why can’t the government do something about these innocent babies at least!! Frustration and anger rises in me when I see their helpless eyes… They did not deserve a life so miserable in any case!
Employing children as waiters, servants, mechanics, making them do everything that their tender hands are not yet ready to do; they are forced to grow up, forced to forget their chance on a happy carefree childhood, while others like them get education, are cared for and provided for. But these poor children learn the harsh realities of life before their young minds can even understand them; and earning the very hard way those grown-ups do. These children are treated brutally in many cases, including sexual abusing and harassing. When their soft, tiny, unskilled hands cannot learn a particular skill, they are mistreated, beaten up, cursed… And they grow up in fear.

It’s sad on the part of humanity how we choose to spend a fortune on our own luxuries and life style. We always have to have the latest iPod, the latest laptop, the Nokia model that’s just about to hit the market and make it big time. For what, guys?? Yes I completely understand it can be that one wants to be up to date and all, one must be style conscious. Even I spend like that, I'm one of you all. But, let’s just put ourselves aside for one moment; think of all the good you can do for anyone who is in need. The money we’re soon going to spend on that new Nokia model can feed so many hungry mouths. And yes, like I said before in one of my posts, a good deed always comes back. If one is wealthy, they can choose to help out a family and maybe do some significant good to it that lasts as well.
The whole idea of this post is to ask you, the readers, to do a little something for these children. There are countless ways in which we can make life a little easier for them if we put our minds and hearts to it. To start with, there are so many related causes available on the Internet that one can join. You can donate money if you can afford it. If not anything, then you can promote this cause by the very special gift of writing power you, my blogger friends, are blessed with. Come on, let’s do something for these little angels. Let us make life seem a little bit easier for them. Trust me, in the end when you’re done, just their mere smiles will be so worth it!
I remember one of Michael Jackson’s ever loved songs…

There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all
We can’t go on pretending day by day
That someone somewhere will soon make a change
We are all part of God's great big family
And the truth, you know, love is all we need

We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There’s a choice we're making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

Send them your heart
So they’ll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand

We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There’s a choice we're making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

Enjoy the winter season ahead, and take very good care of yourselves and those around you.
Happy blogging!

picture courtesy: deviantART


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