Monday, April 21, 2014

The Beguiling Love That Never Was (Part-I)

The whistle-blower of love is silent tonight. He had quite a lot of his favourite scotch. His arguments from the evening sounded hollow to his own self now. He never discarded the cynics; instead, he was the one to welcome their views with such acceptance that they were impressed with his sense of communicative justice. Freedom of expression, he said, is what makes you know more about people and that’s the way there would be less hatred and more love. He never needed to word it all out- his calm persona did that for him. It was a stifling formality of attending a party that night; he had to concede to the repeated requests of a dear friend. He thought he’d wear his blue shirt which was gifted to him by a woman who he had helped long ago. His friends thought she liked him, but he would never know and she would never show. Or maybe she did. Heck, he just decided to wear the white casual shirt and headed out for what was going to be quite an eventful evening. Life-altering would be a more appropriate term, perhaps.

Like a camel’s hump, he had his own depository of the things that were vital for him- his memories. A laborious walk down the memory lane was the last thing on his mind when she walked in. This woman resembled someone he knew, but he couldn't remember who. He looked at her with suspicion, narrowing his brows, stiffening his lips, trying to place her, but failed. He was not in a mood to think much about it and dismissed it as just another déjà vu moment. The party was taking the form of a classroom, where groups had formed and topics of discussions were fixed. None of the intense discussions seemed inviting to him. Cars, gadgets, gossip, food, pay packages, wannabe junkie narrations and horror stories! The party indeed was a compressed world in itself. He decided to retire early for the night and moved from his chair to look for his friend. The host friend was busy talking to the same woman he had seen earlier. Fifteen minutes later, he learnt that she was a banker, hailed from Bengal, living with two flatmates in the city and that her pet dog was suffering from an upset stomach. As she was talking about her life, he was wondering how to process those bits of unnecessary information. She seemed quite pleased to find company in a noisy surrounding though; perhaps she was as lost. There was nothing particularly striking about her, she was quite ordinary, he thought. Ordinary, but sweet. And kind too, he made a mental note, while she helped a young drunk lady get up on her feet, took her to the ladies’ room and helped her clean up.

He could feel his head becoming lighter now. He offered to go along with her when she declared that she was going to drop the young lady home. He had no idea why he said that and was even more surprised when she gladly agreed to his proposition. It would be nice to have some company on my way back, she said. It was quite a fearless and kind offer that she had made to the host, considering nobody wanted to take the pain of taking care of an ‘irresponsible young woman’ who ‘should have known better’. He seemed more interested in her words now, solely because he thought she deserved a good conversation, at the least. Talking to strangers about conjugal relationships has been a favourite past-time for all of us at some point or the other. He was no different but she brought it up first. No, my wife is not waiting for me at home, nor is my girlfriend, so we could go back to the party if you want, he uttered in response to her first question. Did he really say that? Was he really considering going back to the party he wanted to run away from? But the words were out of his mouth before he could think them over, damn the scotch!