We are but Slaves of Time

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

 

She was repulsed the first time she saw him.

With time, the repulsion turned into attraction, culminating in love.

Infatuation soon became obsession, clinging too tight, too afraid to lose.

So when the bumble-bee abandoned this flower to suck at the next, depression and desperation ravaged the poor soul.

Again though, with time the only emotion that remained was indifference on seeing him after some years.

 

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

The Strange Ways of Fate

This was a Blog Adda WOW post for Nov 8-10 weekend.

This was a Blog Adda WOW post for Nov 8-10 weekend.

One thing I hate above most things, in Oscar Wilde style, is to have to change out of my pajamas and step out to buy grocery on the days when nature reminds me I am a woman. And when you have a toddler in the tow, whom you can neither leave at home since there is no one else, nor want to take with you since the tantrums he might throw, the prospect of going out looks the bleakest. So I avoid it as much as I can, making sure beforehand that such a situation will not arise. No matter how prepared you are though, sometimes fate just catches up with you.

And so it was, on a sweltering May afternoon, when the sun was busy sucking every drop of humidity out of Pune’s soil, I climbed on to the elevator, the kid holding my little finger, and my lips relentlessly cursing me for having forgotten to buy the extra milk. The pain in my back was becoming so excruciating that I could have lain down on the lift floor and my eyes were ready to shed out tears any moment, but then, I did realize that crying was not going to lead me anywhere. So taking a deep breath, and telling to myself, let’s enjoy this, I stepped out of the lift, a smile on my face and walked towards my scooter.

When I decide to do something, I do it thorough and complete. Now I had decided to enjoy, so I thought, lets make this a shopping expedition. As I parked my scooter in the market’s parking space, my eyes fell on the brand new provision store that had opened. It was almost a supermarket, but not yet there. However it looked swanky and inviting enough for me to let myself into it. I ambled along the three short rows of shelves, picking up things I needed and didn’t really needed, forgetting for the moment that I had stepped out to just buy milk. The son too had a gala time, loading the trolley with all the chocolates and goodies he could lay his hands on. After thirty minutes I stood at the counter with a trolley full of items, awaiting my turn.

I was thinking how well the shop had been done up, when something flashed in front of my eyes and drove away all other thoughts from my mind. What was that? A dark, toned arm with a rather unique tattoo. I had seen that tattoo before! If only I could remember where! I peeked out of the queue to get a good view. The hand belonged to a rather stern looking, well built man, with jet black hair. Had I seen him somewhere? I looked closely again. Now his face seemed to be familiar. I racked my brain to find out who he was. Why did I remember his tattoo?

The queue by then had shortened, and now there was just one person left in front of me. As that person looked for change in his purse, the man at the counter turned his head towards me, asking for my trolley. One look at my face, he seemed to freeze on the spot. His eyes widened, his jaws dropped, as his gaze shifted from me to my kid. He turned a deep scarlet then abruptly left the counter, even as the person before me called out to him to hand over the change, before leaving it on the counter and moving away.

That was when it struck me. Of course, he had so much hair now, as opposed to the shining scalp he used to sport before. On second thoughts, it probably was a wig. That was why I had difficulty remembering. That tattoo was the clincher though. It was an ornamented N. N for Neelima, the girl for whom he had ditched me. When I had first seen that tattoo, I had been on my bed, with him over me. At that time, he had told me, N stood for notorious, which is what he prided in being. Well, back then, I was N for naive, and so I completely, foolishly, believed him.

I finished paying up for my purchase to another man at the counter and came out of the store, now in a hurry to reach home. Once home, and the son happily settled with his new goodies, I dialed Sarita’s number.

“I saw Manav today! At a department store near my house, working there!” I said.

To say I had been devastated when I found that he was only fooling around with me, while his real interest was Neelima, would be a severe understatement. If not for Sarita’s encouragement and constant urging to move on, I would have lost myself. Might have even attempted suicide, but then Sarita made me realize that my life was too precious to lose over such jerks. So slowly, painfully, I had moved on, so farther away that after a while it made no difference to me whether he existed or not. Last I had heard, he had taken over his father’s business and was happily traveling around the world. I had, long back, even seen pictures of him and Neelima and their kid on Facebook. I had long back stopped looking for news of him, or even bothering to think about him.

Sarita told me that his extravagant lifestyle had finally reaped its result. The business was gone, his parents dead, and his brother had disowned him. Neelima had left him and gone back to her parents, and later had been married to a rich but middle-aged cinema director who wanted a trophy wife to show-off at the ceremonies and didn’t mind the kid that came as an attachment. Penniless, probably he had now ended up in that department store, kicked along like a rolling stone by destiny.

Strange are the ways of fate. From love to hatred, which had eventually simmered down to an indifference, my feelings for him had undergone a drastic change. Yet, I could not discern what I felt for him now. Pity? No, not really. A nonchalance that one feels nowadays when reading about yet another scam maybe.

The son had started pulling me to the bedroom. It was his nap time. I picked up my little hero and marched away, all thoughts of the tattooed hand and its owner forgotten.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

The prompt for this weekend is –

 ‘He/She had seen that tattoo before! If only he/she could remember where.’

The Lost Spark

This was a Blog Adda WOW post for Nov 8-10 weekend.

This was a Blog Adda WOW post for Nov 8-10 weekend.

’38 Missed Calls,’ the screen read. All in a span of ten minutes. He wondered what was going on. A look at the phone time and a small mental calculation told it was afternoon in India. Surely she knew it was just over midnight for him. She always kept tab of his timings, and timed her calls accordingly. That is, when they were still together, but that was more than three years ago. Why was she calling now? And in such a frantic manner?

Ratan sat up in his bed and reached for the water jug on the head board. A gap in the curtains revealed a thick sheet of white outside. His heating system was keeping him warm and comfortable though. Looking at the way his sheets had spread out he realized he had been lying across the bed. Not that it mattered to anyone, for he was the only one who slept on it. In fact, he had wondered many times, why did he need a king sized bed at all. Did he fancy that one day she would come and sleep in it? Well, that was out of question, and he had no intention on someone else occupying that position yet. Maybe he thought buying a king size bed will make him feel like a king. Duh! Whatever! He had bought it in a moment of inspiration, and it was helping him to freely sprawl whichever way he liked, so no worries.

He took up the phone again and looked at the missed calls, wondering what he should do. Should he call back? Maybe she was in an emergency and his was the first number she could think of. If that were true, Ratan thought with a mixture of joy and worry, she still thought about him, despite being married. Or had she accidentally revealed some dark secret about them to her husband? He knew she was quite capable of making such a slip, and then go all frantic about it. His greatest fear had been, what if during the intimate moments with her husband, she ended up moaning, “Ratan,” instead of the husband’s name. That would spell disaster to her married life. Sweat broke on his forehead as he sent up a silent prayer wishing nothing like that had happened. He could almost hear a smirk from his Puja room. “You should have thought of that before breaking up with her.”

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Well, what choice did he have? She was elder than him, and his parents would never agree. In retrospect, maybe they would have after some persuasion, but he didn’t want to go through all the struggle. He just didn’t feel like it. So after making her wait for nearly two years, one day, he told her in the plainest words possible – I cannot marry you. There is nothing in this relationship.

He knew it had shattered her in the worst way possible, but was glad that in some way, it also toughened her up. Still, he also realized that there would always be a part of her that would think about him. As would be a part of him. But she cannot know that. She should not know that. He had maintained as tough a stance as possible during the breakup, almost heartless. And then he had put in as much distance as possible between them.

So now, across all that distance, all those years, why were there so many calls? He fingers were itching to hit ‘call back’, but his mind held him back. He understood then how Hamlet felt when he said, “To be or not to be…”. What if his call gives her the hint that he still cares for her? Would she want to get back again? That would open up a whole new Pandora’s box, and he was not ready for that. Still, 38 missed calls in ten minutes?

He unlocked his phone once more and hit ‘call back.’ His tongue feverishly wet the lips as the rings went through. After more than ten rings, when he was just about to end the call, she answered it. “Ratan! Is that you? What a surprise!”

Surprise? Who in her right mind thinks a call back after 38 missed calls is a surprise? “Err.. Hi Leela. I had a lot of missed calls from you… so thought of checking if everything was fine. Is everything OK?”

“What? Wait let me check…” There was a long pause at her end, while he waited, thoroughly confused and wondering what this was all about.

“Hey Ratan! Sorry man! It was my kid. He is not even two but happily goes about clicking all possible buttons on my phone. He must have dialed your number by accident and played with it. So sorry again. I hope he didn’t disturb you.”

If he had been searching, rather hoping for a sign of the former spark, he could sight none. All he could hear in her tone was a completely harrowed but a happy mother of a two year old. And she seemed to be in a hurry to end the conversation.

“Err… no… no problem. I was just sleeping….” he said, feeling foolish.

“Oh! Is it night there?” She seemed distracted. “Look, sorry again Ratan. Can I talk to you later? The little tyke has moved on to the TV now, and is trying to pull out the wires.. gotta run!” And the call ended.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda