A Story...to do..
Anyway, I am posting here, whatever I had written so far...
It requires lot of refinement and is quite boring...
Here it is..
It was a cold December evening in Delhi. Although the freezing winters had not yet fully arrived, it had started to become quite chilly – especially, during the evenings and night.
Tired and exhausted from the day’s work at office, I was sitting alone, in my third story 2-bedroom DDA apartment in Munirka, mindlessly flipping channels of the TV. I am not much of a TV viewer, but then it was already 11 p.m. and sitting alone in my lonely apartment, I had nothing better to do.
Before that, like a zombie and man on autopilot, I had gotten down from my company bus at Munirka bus stop and strolled towards Anupam restaurant for my dinner.This sequence – getting down from bus, stumbling towards Anupam, ordering dinner, gulping it down the throat and then back to the apartment - had become so much of a daily routine that I hardly had to think about it. It was like brushing teeth or driving a car, which once practiced and perfected doesn’t requires any conscious thought or effort for doing them.
I usually ate dinner at Anupam, because, firstly, it was near my apartment and secondly, its kitchen was always kept neat and clean and food was also made in a hygienic way. There wasn’t much of a variety in menu - the same sort of common dishes found everywhere – some paneer ones, chana masala, rajma masala and the like. All the dishes always tasted the same. I had stopped caring much about the taste, anyway. Food becomes just a way to fill your empty stomach once you start living away from your parents and stop getting home made food.
Watching the TV, I had already half dozed off and was almost asleep, when my apartment’s metallic door opened with a huge thud, banged into the back wall and kept vibrating for quite a few seconds. The loud noise startled me and brought me back to my senses. Dreamingly, I looked at my apartment door, which was visible from my bedroom. Firstly, I thought that I was seeing some sort of a dream. Then I had a vague impression that I knew the guy standing at the door and in the next few seconds it registered in my mind that it was my roommate, Vishal, standing at the door.
We have been living together for the past six months or so. Prior to that I had been living alone for almost a year and the loneness had taken its toll on me. It was pretty depressing to come to the apartment in the evenings and finding no one but just the empty walls to talk to. So, once when, out of blur - Vishal had called and asked me if we could share an accommodation, as he was shifting from Bangalore to Delhi, I had happily agreed. We had studied in the same college albeit in different branches and in the four years of our college, we never became anything more then mere acquaintances. Nevertheless, I had agreed, even though my past experiences living with other roommates had not be pretty good, but I wanted to give it a try – moreover, at least there would be someone to talk to in the evenings.
The joy and excitement of his shifting to my apartment had short-lived. Firstly, because he had a shift job and we hardly got any time to talk. In the mornings when I had to go to office, he would be coming back from his office and when I came back in the evenings, either he was fast asleep or had already gone to his office. Secondly, he didn’t do anything much at the apartment except sleeping all the time.
Nevertheless, over the months, slowly and steadily, we had known each other better. I wouldn’t say, we were very good friends, neither were we much bad either – it was okay sort of a thing.
“Hi Romeo! Welcome to the palace. How’s your Juliet?” I tried to start conversation with him. He had gotten engaged with a Chandigarh girl, a month back.
He was an average sort of a guy, average height – nothing much attractive to look at but not bad either – the sort of guys you meet everyday in crowds – whose face and features are easily blended and lost in the crowd.
He didn’t answer my question and kept standing at the door, with his both hands firmly placed on both sides of his waist and kept scanning the whole apartment with his perturbing eyes – first left, then right, then above and then bottom. I didn’t understand what was going on in his mind or what he was up to – maybe he was drunk, I couldn’t figure out. I already had the TV remote in my hand, so I started playing with it, flicking channels. Star Movies was showing Terminator for the umpteenth time and HBO was showing Ghost – I settled for Ghost.
After about thirty seconds or so, which seemed like eternity to me, Vishal slowly walked towards me and sat on the edge of my bed. His walk suggested that he was disturbed by something and his eyes still looked vague as if lost somewhere in his own world.
I tried once again, “What happened man? Are you all right?”
Still, no response. Patrick Swayze was about to be murdered in a dark alley, so I concentrated on the TV. After the scene was over commercial breaks took over.
“Aman, Let us go for a walk outside”, Vishal spoke for the first time.
“Are you crazy? It is well past 11 pm. You want to go for a walk at this time? I also have to go to office early morning”, I thundered back.
He didn’t answer but his eyes looked almost pleading. I got up from my bed, “Ok, but just for a little while”, I gave in.
I opened the cupboard and put on the first sweater I could lay my hands on and started combing my hair in the mirror.
“There won’t be any gal waiting for you in the streets at this time”, he resorted back, urging me to hurry up.
“You never know man! You never know”, I replied with a wicked smile and started singing – “Kahi karti hogi vo mera intzaar… jiski tamanna mey firta hu bekraar …” along with moving my limbs a little bit, as if trying to dance along with the singing tune.
Seeing them, Vishal smiled for the first time, that evening.
“Ok, ok, Majnu, Hurry up!”, he pleaded again.
After locking the apartment, as my usual habit, I dashed down the three levels of stairs, at full speed, taking two steps at a time, covering the last few steps of the bottommost stairs in one go, landing on the ground with a huge thud and stomping on the floor a few times. Most times, seeing me Vishal also used to follow suit and after that we used to grin like small kids, who had just performed some mischievous wicked act.
I guess, some part of me will never grow up.
But today, he was miles, miles away – lost in his own world. After waiting for a long time that seemed like eternity, I saw him coming down, slowly dragging himself through the last of the stairs.
We started walking towards the main street road, which eventually led to the ring road. At that time of night, the scene on the streets was in total contrast to the one seen in the daytime or the evenings. In the daytime, the streets are always crowded and noisy, full of hustle and bustle with people and vehicles moving everywhere just like a swarm of bees. But at this time the streets were totally deserted and silent. With neon streetlights after regular intervals, bathing the roads with their yellow light, it looked calm and beautiful.
We kept walking, but neither of us spoke anything. This time I also didn’t offer any help to start the conversation. I had already tried twice.
If you don’t want to tell – I don’t care.