August 18, Cab

Today, was not a very big day but a busy day for me, and of course, like always, a fun day. A friend of mine had invited me over and a couple of other friends for lunch. We talked, laughed, clicked pictures, danced and ate. I must mention the food was awesome; she is a great cook and did great job. I ate a lot, so, I made plans to add few more minutes to my exercise routine for tomorrow. Though I wanted to stay a little longer,I was bound to leave as I had a long to-do list. I had to buy corn bread and then go to super market to buy some stuffs for my sister that she had texted me, and then finally drop it on the way home. So, I bid my farewell to all the friends.

I called for a cab and asked him to take me to those places. The cab stopped by a bakery, unfortunately, they had run out of corn bread so, we headed to the supermart. I picked up all the stuffs like, hand sanitizer, lip balm, kiwi, tissue etc. After clearing my bills, I took a cab and went to the hospital. One of our relatives was hospitalized for a couple of days due to fever and breathing problem. I went to the hospital and pressed the elevator button. I swear, it took more than 10 minutes to come, anyways it did come finally and I went inside and pressed ‘7’.

I went inside the room and saw the patient lying on the bed. My sister and a lady I don’t know, were sitting on the chairs. I handed over the items to her. I realized, I forgot to get coconut juice. Without further ado, I headed out to get it. I checked in a couple of places but they were out of coconut juice. I went a little farther and got one last, perhaps waiting for me. I grabbed it and rushed to the hospital again. I stayed there for a while and left.

Coming out of the hospital, I hailed for a cab, it stopped and asked about my destination. As the cab driver heard me say it, he drove away saying, he isn’t going in that direction. I crossed the road and there were couple of cabs lined up. I asked the first one, and the amount he mentioned was way too much and I told him in a sarcastic manner, “beg your pardon, looks like you assumed that I shall be coming back again”, and walked away. I went to another cab and he didn’t want to go in that direction. Another cab and same answer. I was dazed with the cab driver’s obnoxious behavior; they would either not go in that direction or would charge me 5 times more. I said to myself, ‘it’s worthless and I am capable enough to walk home’. I made my mind up. As I was about to walk then I heard somebody asking, “where do you want to go?” I gave him the name of the place. There were two people; cab driver and a front seat passenger. I didn’t know if he was a passenger or was with the driver. Signaling with his hand, the front seat passenger asked me to take a back seat. In a state of dilemma, I sat inside. I didn’t think much, I had no time to and it was dark already. No sooner had I sat than I realized I didn’t note the cab number. Shit! I looked around for anything unusual. I turned back and checked the hind of the cab, the space behind the seat, I was in. Nothing, unusual. ‘Well, there was a surveillance cam in front of the hospital gate; it must have captured me getting in’. I thought of calling somebody. I took out my cellphone and tried calling home. Damnit! Busy tone. I tried again and again but the same answer. I said to myself, this could turn into one of the worst days of my life. I was fiddling the whole time. I un-winded the glass window. I had, what if this … and what if that …. going on. I heard the cab driver ask something. I didn’t understand. He repeated, “is it left or right from here?”

“Oh! Am sorry, I didn’t realize we were here already. Its right from here but please drop me here, I would like to walk.” I stretched to check the cab meter and took out money from my purse. I didn’t know who I was supposed to pay. But by now, I had understood, the front seat person was a passenger and had given me lift. So, I thought, it would be better to hand it to him so, that he would pay the whole thing at the end. To my surprise, he declined.

“Please, take the money”, I requested.

“Don’t worry, I would have to pay anyway”, he smiled.

Vehicles behind us were honking already.

I thanked them and got out.

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Journey to Mute Childhood

When half of the world may be deep down in the lane of night world floating, some motionless, some ticking clock and some might be wriggling in soft or hard bases. One was curled up under the sheets. Pulling the sheets all the way up and sometimes pushing it little low to breathe. Should this help? Tried tucking it on all the ways, forming something not less than a moat. Uncurling out of the humid cave, out and up there lay dark and dark; barely few stars could be spotted or some made up ones seemed burning down. This should work or perhaps that should. But, for what? The quest seemed futile. Yet the attempts had to be ventured, for the mere fact of survival, for it was, what could be done.

Door left ajar; neither closing would help nor opening it. It would demand certain kind of energy, movement from the custom made tunnel meant so much of courage to be mustered up for that one action. However, she would and since nothing would come out of it, she would go back to curling up inside. Eyes closed, the faint noise coming from distant scene would help transcend her to some deep pensive country. She was standing by the door and her sister took her by her hand and sang to her; told her fables, she was most fond of.  They danced under the lantern in the tavern. Lying flat on her back, her head softly pressed on her sister’s widely crossed legs, she watched how beautifully her sister’s fingers danced gracefully in the crochet that brought the whole nebula above her ceiling. Stars intertwined in the gust of dust that gave the milky shine with the sprightly crocheted light coming from the little fingers. She glided through the aura like some spaceship. So much to be fond of, so much to be amazed at, her eyes constantly widened. Bang! Something in the prowl hit her head, the same distant noise brought her down, curled up inside her quilt. The door still ajar and the music still young.

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Aug III, 2017 ‘Cafe’

20170803_101903After looking around for a while, I decided to sit in the couch placed nearby the entrance. I let my bag slide through my arms to the empty couch sitting next to me, and then I plunged in as well. I stretched to open the bag; a waiter came to me with a menu and a glass of water. When he disappeared, I could see the coffee menu hung up above the bar. I saw Caramel Macchiato; I thought I wanted to order it but then I thought better of it. I signaled for the same guy and he immediately attended to my order. I pulled a book from my bag, a collection of novels by Shakespeare. It occurred to me that this place houses a small rack of books; I also remembered, I left a book incomplete when I last visited this place.  I rose from the couch and headed towards the left where the book rack was. I quickly scanned the rack and found the book. I was happy to see it lying there. I pulled it out and came to my table. I wasn’t sure of where I had left it last time. I flipped through the pages and stopped on page 51 and started reading the last page of that chapter and then suddenly I realized that was the last chapter. I started reading the book. Water melon juice was brought to my table and I smiled and thanked the guy. I went back to my reading. I could see people coming in and leaving the restaurant but I really didn’t look at them as the book had my undivided attention. I could make out the silhouettes of people.

The female character was talking about something missing from her life then I felt a flash of light hit my face. I knew it was coming from the right side of my table but I raised my head and looked straight ahead. I couldn’t bring myself to look in the right direction and then went back to reading. A few more flashes. I knew someone was clicking my pictures but I couldn’t do anything. What if that person was not clicking me but something else? I couldn’t take the risk and the embarrassment that would come along. And I felt somebody coming towards my table. I slowly, looked at him. He had a canon with the strap rolled around his palm, his posture slightly bent,

“Is it okay if I click your pictures,” he asked with a gentle smile.

I responded in a long, “yeaaa”.

He left, and I thought he would explain, but he left. I went back to reading. Another shot of flash. I stopped reading but did not move. Few more clicks, I was so nervous and embarrassed at the same time. All sorts of thoughts started flooding my head.  All the people in the café must be looking at what was going around. All the staff in the bar section were looking in my direction, I didn’t look at them but I knew. My cheeks were burning in embarrassment and I was hoping it to end soon. I took a nervous sip of watermelon juice. He was clicking pictures in all sorts of crazy ways that cameramen do. Suddenly, a question popped in my head; why did he choose to click me when there were so many people in the restaurant. ‘Please go and click somebody as well, please save me from this embarrassment.’

The flashes stopped. ‘He must have been done. Thank God.’ He came to me again and showed me the pictures he had taken. I smiled. His face reflected how happy he was with his work. He left my table and then started clicking pictures of the café. To my own satisfaction, he also took pictures of a table in the left corner. I was content inwardly. Then I realized, I didn’t remember what I had been reading all that time. I laughed quietly and ordered for another round of juice. When the juice was done, I closed the book to page 81, and restored it in its place. I paid and left.

I would never know why he clicked my picture. Perhaps, some things are better that way.