Saturday, November 04, 2006

Just Another Day...

He shuts the door of his apartment like he always has. Carefully ensuring that the keys are properly turned in the right direction. He turns around and walks towards the sleepy elevators of his floor. On reaching there he presses the arrow pointing downwards. The mechanical device shudders into coherence at this unexpected seeming action. The red LED display starts ascending from ‘G’ all the way to ‘8’ as he patiently waits for the doors to open.

He steps in and sees her standing in the corner of the elevator. She is wearing a cherry colored cotton salwar and a matching veil today, he reflects. Her hair cascades down her shoulders like they always have. Her immaculate smile seems the same as the previous day. Her presence soon fills the rather cozy elevator as the doors close and the slow descent begins.

She does not say anything but he knows she is there. Looking and smiling at him. Trying to get his attention so that he may turn around and smile back at her. Her soft giggle fills his silent surroundings and echoes around the closed space like a calm snowfall.

The elevator reaches ‘G’. He steps out into the apartment building lobby. As he walks past the neatly decorated showpiece and the gleaming mirror, he spots her again next to his reflection in it. Her familiar smile continues to follow his footsteps as he gets out of the building and onto the cold and partially lit main street.

The lazily moving traffic awakens what remains of his sleep as he gets onto the footpath and starts walking towards the metro station. His path is strewn with familiar sights and sounds of the city waking up with a long yawn. He hops past the silent bus station becoming more aware of the cold that envelopes his warm heart. He walks past the friendly kiosk and finds her standing there looking at him with those sparkling eyes. He pretends not to notice her as he continues his daily trail. Today will be a different day, he reassures himself.

He now gets off the main street and cuts into a dark and silent alley which he considers a reliable shortcut. The sleepy alley echoes the chirpings of invisible birds. He uncomfortably shifts his briefcase from one hand to the other. The sound of his footsteps seem like a gentle rhythm to the birds' songs. He walks out of the alley and spots her waiting for him at the entrance of the metro station. Her mischievous grin reminds him of the soft rays of the sun that is still not completely up. He walks up to her, moves away and continues past her affectionate and complaining glare. He can tell she is not appreciating his careless attitude. He knows her too well to be able to communicate without words. Those expressive eyes are quite possibly the most amazing thing he has ever seen in his life, he reflects.

He reaches his terminal in the next few minutes. He looks around and notices that he is one of the first ones there. His train is due to arrive in ten minutes, he reads. He walks to a sitting bench nearby and places his case as he settles down. She walks up to him and sits right beside him. Looking at him with the smile he can never forget.

They sit there for the next ten minutes. Silent. Motionless. Just aware of each other’s presence. She continues to be with him as the low roar of the train crescendos into lethal existence. The atomic speck of light gradually grows and shoots out of the black tunnel like a rabid beast out to kill. He sees the both of them in the reflections the train emits as it passes them in an insane sense of urgency.

A few stray papers fly about the half-empty station as the machine comes to a long squeaky halt. Others on the station get up hastily and walk up to the doors nearest to them as they wait for it to open.

He gets up and picks up his case. He starts walking towards the doors that open wide. He stops. Looks back and finds that she is no longer there. Only her veil remains with a slight flutter of the new storm the train has managed to kick up. He does not bother picking it up since he knows she will.

He steps into the train with a weak smile of realization. Aware. Awake. He settles down as the train chugs into a maniacal ascent. She reappears on a seat not far away. Smiling. Teasing. Waving. Her child-like innocence is hard to look past but he has to.

He ignores her and looks out into the darkness hoping that he will forget his true love someday.

Someday.

--ShaKri

2 reflections:

Anonymous said...

Nice post.Keep writing.

why does he want to forget her if she is his true love? just being inquisitive here.


Kasturi Ramprasad


ps:sorry for being anonymous for my other comments.

shakri said...

Kasturi,

A few assumptions need to be made when reading this piece since it sheds a little light on the protagonist’s past. Clearly, if he not with her then it means she has come and gone. And the fact that he is trying to make her vanish from his thoughts too tells us that the way she left was quite unpleasant as far as his memories go. He seems to have had a tough one since despite the fact that he had managed to find the one thing all of us spend our lifetimes looking for he does not wish to keep it. Sort of tragic really.

His struggle with his past seems to be affecting his present and quite possibly his future. But somewhere, I believe, deep down in his heart he knows that she will always be around him even if he were to choose to ignore her presence. Somewhere this seems troubling for him and hence his wish to try and make her go away as much as he can so that at some level he can do justice for the one who may see him as her true love. Do you see the relation here?

I hope this helped. To be able to generate this kind of an uncertainty I kept it as a ‘slice of life’ kind of piece without anything else happening. It allows the readers to make a lot of open-ended assumptions which is always a nice thing.

Thanks for the appreciative response. I hope you keep coming back.

 
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