Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Crossroads - Part 3

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Damn! Its only Wednesday, still three more days for the weekend.


She was taking long strides towards the main road. Her watch read 8:13.

Damn! I am late, I will definitely miss the 8:15 bus today.

Morning traffic was worst on the main road. She had seen so many near fatal accidents that she always slowed down before crossing the road, even if it meant missing the "8:15". As she was putting the keys in the bag, someone pulled her kurti. She looked back, no one was there. As she zipped the bag, someone pulled the kurti again. This time she looked down as well. A little girl,with a big pink school bag on her back, was pulling her kurti to ask her something.
"Yes, what happened kid?"
"Can you please help me cross the road?" Little girl pleaded with her big brown eyes.
"Are you alone?" She looked around.
"Yes"
"Sure..come let's go" She took her hand and carefully crossed the road.
"Thank you...bye" Little girl gave her a bright smile with a small wave of hand.
"You are welcome...Goodbye" She smiled. Her "8:15" was couple of minutes late.

Next day they met again.
"Wanna go that side?" She quipped
"Yup" Little girl gave her 'Missing-Tooth' smile.

On Fridays she took 9 o' clock bus, so she was sure that she won't meet the girl, though she secretly hoped to see her. To her surprise, little girl was standing and was waiting to cross the road.
"Waiting for me?"
"No, I am late today" Little girl worriedly answered.
They again crossed the road and had a quick goodbye.

The weekend was as usual a relief. She spent the Saturday morning at home, watched a movie in the evening and had dinner at a new restaurant. On Sunday evenings she visited the nearby bookstore to check the latest arrival. As she was browsing through the book she was planning to buy she saw a kid's book among the new arrivals. It had a picture of a little girl on the cover.
Looks like her , half-smile broke on her lips.
She purchased both the books.

For once Monday morning wasn't painful. She reached the main road sharp at 8. There was no sign of the little girl. She waited for a while, and then hesitantly took the "8:15".

She must be running late

On Tuesday too the little girl did not turned up. She took the 9 o'clock bus on Wednesday, hoping to meet the little girl but she didn't. On Friday she waited from 8 to 9 but she didn't met her again.

"Wake up ...wake up...wake up" He was shouting.
"Honey ...its Sunday..let me sleep" She pleaded.
"No No...get up..Lets prepare something good ...I am starving"
She did not responded.
"See ...its raining" He tried another trick. It worked.
"OK!...go..chop n slice...the "Chef" will be there in 15 minutes" She gave him a sleepy smile.

After the elaborate brunch, he went for a quick nap. She took out the books she bought last week and went to the balcony. As she started reading the novel, the cover of the other book kept distracting her. She was not able to read further, so she put down the book.

What happened? I hope she is all well.

She was in deep thought when she smelt the cardamom.

"Tea?" He asked with a proud smile on his face.

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"Pardon me" The youngster excused.

She looked into her big brown eyes and asked again,

"What's your name child?"

"Its Ayesha"

"Beautiful name.."

Something felt complete.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Crossroads - Part 2

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One two three...one two three

She was lying on the bed, counting the blades of ceiling fan.

Moving so fast yet coming back to the place it started from.

It was getting boring, she glanced at the wall clock. It was time to get up or else she would be late. She got up, her knees were still aching.

Old age is catching up to you

She spent five minutes in front of the mirror, adjusting her hair, her clothing and admiring the wrinkles on her face.She locked the house and walked to the main road. It was not far but with her bad knees it took her some time to reach there.

Now comes the difficult part

She looked at her wrist watch, still fifteen minutes to go. She knew she might need all fifteen of them. She had to cross the road in a fast moving, non-stop traffic.Some days it took her more than fifteen minutes to cross the road. Today it was not much different, she had already waited for ten minutes when she saw a bus coming towards her. As the bus stopped the traffic behind it slowed a bit, she sensed the opportunity and tried to cross the road. As she passed the bus she looked right and immediately retraced her steps. Bikes and Cars were coming down the flyover at the speed of light.

What is the matter with these people, why don't they slow down?

She again looked at the watch, it was almost time now. The traffic noise was irritating her. Amid all the pollution suddenly she smelt something pleasant.

Cristalle , it is better than No. 5

She looked at the person wearing the perfume. A young girl in her twenties , was standing beside her with a pleasant smile on her face.
"Aunty you want to cross the road?" asked the younger one.
"Yes dear"
"Come with me" the girl took her hand and started walking into the traffic with a hand raised to slow down the incoming traffic. Within seconds they were on the other side of the road.
"Here you go Aunty"
"Thanks dear" She said with a brimming smile
"Its alright , you need to go somewhere?" asked the youngster.
"No I am here to pick up my grand-daughter, her bus would be coming now"
"Ok! See you then...goodbye!"
"Bye!"
As the girl started walking away from her, something felt amiss, she shouted
"Wait!!..what's your name child?"

Monday, August 17, 2009

Crossroads - Part 1

It was raining. She loved it when it rained in the afternoon and more so on a lazy Sunday afternoon. She was sitting in the balcony of her eleventh floor apartment. She had just finished some twenty odd pages of the novel she picked up after lunch. The book was lying on the table.

Rain was getting heavier, she could sense it by the raindrops, bouncing of the railing, onto her feet. She was watching the raindrops falling and splitting in two halves. Sometime the two halves landed near each other and sometimes one landed on her feet and other on the ground eleven stories down.
She was so engrossed in following the raindrops that she did not noticed when he came to the balcony. It was the aroma which made his presence known.
"Tea?" He was standing at the door with two cups in his hands. Ginger-Cardamom tea was his 'specialty' which he prepared exclusively on Sundays.
"Sure!" She said with a smile.
He handed her the cup and settled down in the cane chair. She took a sip, it was perfect as usual, but she did not said anything which was unusual for him. She always had a praise or two for his 'special' tea.
"What happened?" He queried,taking a sip.
"Huh?" She was returning to his world.
"Something wrong with the tea?"
"No no..its perfect" She took another sip.
"Then....what's wrong?"
She was lost, as if she was looking for some answers.
"I didn't even asked her name" She watched another raindrop hitting the ground.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Poet's block

देखा एक कागज़ का टुकडा
सोचा कुछ लिखूं आज
ये हालात
अनकहे जज़्बात
बयां कुछ करूं आज..

इस बात को हो गये हैं सात दिन
बैठा हूं
टकता ये सफ़ेद छत..
चार दीवार
लिख पाया चंद टूटे बिखरे अल्फ़ाज़

लिखना जब चाहा
खोजी एक तस्वीर ज़हन में
खेलती लुका छुपी धुंधला गई वो
एक हसरत किसी कोने में
अठखेलियां कर, आज थक कर, सो गई वो

कलम उठाता हूं उठती है एक टीस
क्या लिखूं? क्यों लिखूं? किसके लिये?
कोइ सुन रहा है मेरी आवाज़?

कहानियां
कुछ कहानियां बची हैं
अच्छी हैं
पर सच नहीं
सोच हैं
पर दिल नहीं
कुछ ज़िंदगी सी
चल रही है.. मकाम नहीं
आखिर कहानी है...गज़ल नहीं

एक सवाल..
मैने?
तुमने?
बता किसने ये कर दिया?

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