Monday, August 16, 2010

His Night

He sat in the dark room alone, in front of his laptop. Bathed in blue, he stared at the screen with glazed and tired eyes. A blank word document stared back at him, equally tired. It was the first time in the entire day that he had found some time for himself, his roommate having gone off somewhere, which he, although told, did not remember. He stared out of his window, lowering the screen of his laptop to reduce the glare. Nothing. The night seemed as dark on the outside as it was inside. The darkness seemed more to be streaming out of his room rather than pouring in. Not giving into the exasperation he tried her numbers again. And again he was told the very same stuff. One number was switched off, the other not reachable. A sudden surge of irritation made him want to throw his phone out of the window. But then, he doubted whether it would ever hit solid ground, and not keep on falling forever.  And the latter was not something he wanted, coz then it would not break on impact (and therefore, would not be an ideal vent for his anger), and it would be irretrievable.  He chose to do nothing. He closed his eyes for a while, letting the darkness envelope him completely, and concentrated on the sounds instead. There was the rapid whirring of his ceiling fan. Every now and then, he could hear voices that belonged to the outside world. Voices of people moving about, rapidly rising in pitch and then suddenly fading away, like apparitions. Like anger. They seemed like stabs of a dagger on his hard-worked meditation. They made him wince, and curse.
He opened his eyes, letting the visual stimuli flood back into his self. He picked up his phone and called her again. Still nothing. Giving it up, he removed the ear-phones he had jacked into his phone and turned his attention to the two glow-worms hovering near his window, doing some sort of weird dance. Maybe it was a mating ritual, he thought. But then the duo could be duelling for all he knew. Maybe they were doing those elaborate patterns just to make him sit back and ponder about it the way he was now. In that case, were they trying to divert his attention away from the problems of his life? Or was it to irritate him further? And if it was the latter, why was he helping them succeed by doing exactly what they wanted him to do?
The last thought made him swing into action. He got up and switched on the lights. Harsh white light surged into his world like a swarm of locusts. It pained his senses and his mind. He immediately wanted to switch them off but had already laid back in his bed and did not want any more physical exertion to divert his mind away from its meditation. He looked up and could now see the fan which produced the whirring sound he had gotten so familiar with a little while before. Somehow, for some strange reason, the sound did not seem as warm and comforting any more. As if visual proof of its source robbed it of its sense of belonging. The whole observation made him wonder if sight is overhyped as a sensory perception. Maybe we place it at a pedestal which belongs to the more subtle senses; the senses of sound, of touch and taste, the ones that left at least something to our imaginations.
Having hit upon this thought, he got up to switch off the light and at that moment, the screen of his phone lit up and started blinking at a steady speed. It was her. He looked at the screen for a while and then at his ear-phones which he had unjacked from his phone. He turned his gaze back to the blank document while the song played itself out and the phone stopped blinking.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

An Evening

He sat on the steps of the gallery, somewhere in the lower half. There was a moon that night, although its light couldn’t make its presence felt , being no competition for the harsh electrical halogen lamps lighting up the place. It made him wonder about how big a role physical proximity played, the moon being so luminous, yet its sheer distance from us making it ineffectual compared to a measly 500-watt electrical light. Could this hold good for other aspects of life too? Could this to be the answer to his problems?
As this thought crossed his mind, he returned his gaze from the moon to her. She was standing there, drinking water. He watched with lustful eyes, as her slender neck moved rhythmically to allow the water to pour in.  Even though he could not see it, being so far away, he could imagine the odd drop of water trickling down her chin from a corner of her lips. The drop would dangle down from her chin for a while, he thought, swaying with the wind and her own movements, till it finally lost contact and fell down onto the ground, getting splattered against the hard surface. Because even for something as inanimate and mindless as a drop of water, such good fortune could not last long. It had to make way for something or someone else; someone, he hoped, someone, him. The halogen light that fell so harshly on him softened down by the time it reached her, such that the warm and sober amber shade seemed to be just another thing that she was wearing. And while dresses make people look pretty, here it was her beautiful form that increased the glory of the amberness silhouetting her. If she wanted, she could just cast it off and walk away unscathed, while the light would lose all its divinity and charm.
“So, are you not gonna go back or what?”, a sudden voice interrupted his meditation.It was a friend, and he saw that he was packed and ready to leave for the evening.
“No dude, you guys go ahead, i’ll sit here a while longer”, he replied in a voice that was intended to make it clear to them that they were intruding into something very private here.
He didn’t get the message.
“But, you sit here longer in this cold, you’re gonna fall ill, and seriously, aren’t you tired?”.
“I told you i am coming, just leave me alone, will you?”
This time it worked. His friend went away, joined his gang and started walking away. He watched them go and looked back to where he had seen her last standing. She wasn’t there. His eyes scanned the remaining people in various final stages of packing up and leaving. No. And then it struck him. so engrossed he had been in watching her that he had completely missed the fact that she had been packing up all the while. And now she had left. He ran to the exit. This time he didn’t have to search. Not so far away, he saw her walking away. An angel in a crowd of lesser mortals. As he watched she leaned and put her head on the shoulders of one of the latter. He was with her.
He whistled a slow tune as he walked back to where he was sitting and started packing up. The moon continued to shine brightly still.