Monday, July 13, 2009

Interlude :: Chapter 1

au revoir à Aéroport

“But what difference will it make?” Rahul thought, staring out at gurgaon skyline through the glass wall of airport coffee shop.“Its just 9:00PM right now. even if it keep on raining for next two hour. There is still four and a half hour before my usual time to bed ”. He paused for second and said to himself “Time to bed ? Huh? Where did that came from ? When was the last time I went to bed for the purpose of sleeping? That’s not my thing.

I Lay, I Smoke, I sulk.

He returned his gaze toward the skyline dotted with massive concrete structures. Rain drops were trickling down the glass pane .Lights from those buildings were shimmering through the droplets. Those distant buildings, some of them offices, some residential, each having a different purpose, a different function and Of course a different occupant, But once you put a glass pane and few droplets of water all of it becomes the same. All differences becomes superficial .Few concrete blocks with few threads of shimmering lights. That sight has its own beauty and its own horror. Beauty of being part of serendipitous, collective collage and horror of losing individual identity.

Suits well to Delhi, Life in this city is very much like this only . People come here with different motive , ambition and characters. Gradually they loose their identity but never really come to realize the loss because the placebo of being part of herd is always there to compensate for it. He thought and continued staring. Looks on his face grew intense, It was hard to tell what it was .Was it the rigidness of a seeker who is trying to hard to search something ? or was it the look of an escapist who was hell-bent to deny the objective finality of the fact which was staring him on the face. Or both . No body knew.

Are you feeling all right Sir ? ” Waitress asked , bringing him back to reality “ something wrong? Can I help you? “ a polite voice enquired . Outside of uptown coffee shops, that kind of politeness was hard to find in Delhi. Polite tranquility of her voice was nothing in front of Rahul’s agitated mind. “ Yes . You can do what you know best .you can bring me another cup of Black Coffee He replied with a shade of sarcasm , which according to him was defining characteristic of this city . He felt bad for behaving like that but didn’t had courage to apologizes , specially when he can get away with that. Gone are the day when, upon realizing his mistake he used to feel no shame in apologizing to anyone by his own free will ,without any need ,force or compulsion. He was a mature man now and this was a transaction. “Sure Sir Waiter said and returned . “Watch it Rahul, City is taking toll on you “ He made a mental note of it and returned to what he knew best. He continued staring at the skyline.

He refused to admit what He was looking for. Partly because he knew that the thing he was looking for was not there and partly because he didn’t wanted to look in the direction where He knew it really was . He was looking for her plane. Couple of hour back they had bid their good byes, He stayed there for a long time , his eye trailing her as she struggled with her luggage tipping out from her trolley. Her luggage was overflowing like her enthusiasm.

Forever the clumsy . I am sure she will give a hard time to airport staff, flight attendants and god save her soon to be teachers at Stanford .Thank god She is going away . I can live in peace for next two years “ He had said to himself and a smirk had erupted on his face .This false reasoning hasn’t worked for yet another time . He sighed

Admit it “said a faint little voice in his head. “Admit What ?” He found him self replying reflexively. “I don’t even know What it is? And THIS is surely not the time for it.So Shut up, Will you ? “ He snapped at the faint little voice as He watched Her vanishing amongst the crowd standing in line for security check.

Now What Mr.Rahul ?? She is gone. What’s next? “He curled his lips and exhaled a long breath, as if with that he was trying to flush all the turbulent thoughts form his mind.

Wait Mr.Idealist, Who knows , There might be a thunder and heavy rain and her flight might get cancelled” the faint voice said with a mocking ,sarcastic tone.

He felt angry and amused in quick succession or better still .. Her plane might get hijacked and I will rescue her from the bad guy.” Both of them laughed in unison. He knew that faint voice wouldn’t bother him for sometime now. Humor never loose its power to sedate that faint voice, no matter what .It worked , even in situation like this.

He sauntered toward the exit , A Big plasma TV was playing “ Ho gaya hai tujhko tou pyar sajna ..laakh kar le tu inkaar sajnaa” on screen . He jerked his head in vivacious frustration of a soldier fighting a tough battle. “ You will be happy to know that you have got allies “ he said , addressing to the faint little voice . No response came . He continued toward the exit gate , trying not to look at the screens which , suddenly were everywhere on the airport. “ Man ! they have put them on every god forsaken wall here .I didn’t knew these plasmas were that cheap. I should buy one too “ He said trying desperately not to think what His brain has been thinking all along.

Outside, it was a BIG mess, cars were honking , people were stumbling on to each other in a chaotic harmony .cops were failing miserably at managing the chaos ensued by the downpour . It took him few minutes to realize the situation . When weirdness of situation hit him, he was afraid . It was raining , It was raining like Armageddon , in the month of December.

He was freaking out like a man witnessing the cosmic forces aligning to make him face the destiny which He was trying hard to escape. “ No , This can’t be true. It means nothing. Its all in my head. She is gone and that’s final.I shouldn’t have come to drop her to Airport. …Where I parked my car? ” . He tried to make his way toward the parking . Compound was so stuffed with commuters that he felt claustrophobic ,

Should I ? Shouldn’t I . Its too late. I will be OK by tomorrow What can be done now. ? “

Jane Tu ..Ya jaane na “ said the faint little voice in his head , modulation of voice was betraying the fact that it was trying hard to suppress the urge to laugh hysterically at the thought of upcoming event.

“ It’s you , Its all a Game , a fucking game for you . isn’t it ? Why are you doing this? Tell me What should I do ? and No! that Jane Tu stunt is not my cup of Tea“ He shouted in his head .

Faint voice was rolling with hysteria enjoying every moment of it “ Well , I don’t Know What else to do. Hey ! Do it Dude ..You know you can . What are you afraid of ? Cops ? Come on..You can handle that ?? Do it “

“No I can’t I am No fucking Teenager …..Please Help Me .You are my friend ..aren’t you ?” He tried to negotiate his way out with the faint little voice .

“Ha! Friend. That’s your Fave tactics . No ?” Voice said . Enjoying the position of power in a negotiation…” But when was the last time you listened to my advice ? So Why Now ?? and BTW …. as Far As I remember lately you have cultivated few more friendships . What happened to them ??“

“What are you talking about ?You are my only friend “ He was one step short of pleading.

“ Ah...Which friends ?? That “Know- it- all” geek named Google. Ask him to help you. You always said He know everything . and about that New Omnipresent Lady friend of yours : Universe . Who keeps on giving you Cues for every problem. Ask Her dude, Ask her to deliver solution by that godforsaken Serendipity Postal Service of her. You don’t need me “ Faint little voice said , It was adamant to settle all accounts today.

Rahul was not happy with faint little voice’s choice of timing.”Not again , Not today of all the days”. He said in a voice carrying half a shade of pleading and half a shade of authority. It was hardly the first time they were having this argument. Funny thing was that both of them used to enjoy that . at least that was He assumed . But like most of things in life He never cared to double check his assumption. Faint little voice didn’t liked them much. Though they haven’t done anything to deserve that but somehow he felt that ever since Rahul has stuck in the company of Google and Universe he has been more greedy in a weird harmless way. Thanks to their company now Rahul wanted to learn new new things all the time and truth be told some of the things were to wonderful that it would have been a pity if he would have missed them. But problem was that Rahul never tried to look inside himself and sort out the mess .

Google and Universe were good friend but they were very impervious , they never give him wrong advice but never encouraged him to face his inner demon and shine to his full potential. They assumed that Rahul can take care of himself He don’t need their intervention. And now his dear friend Rahul was trying very hard to live up to the reputation which his new found friends had bestowed upon him. Last couple of years has seen him always finding a pattern and sequence of cause and effect in every little thing, trying to figure out the algorithm which governs the world. Initially Faint little voice was amused and left him alone with his toy. He assumed that eventually he will get bored by his new toy and then both of them will take a long hard look at his life and sort out the mess.

Rahul was six month in to his new found obsession when Faint little voice took notice .He realized that his obsession was anything but healthy . It was evident that Rahul was not sticking to it because of the love of it, instead because it offered him a escape from the other thoughts which would have rush to fill the vacuum the moment He get rid of his preoccupation. He was never in mood of doing that . But faint little voice decided not to intervene , it hoped that sooner or later Rahul will get tired of all that , it will loose its appeal. After all it has happened so many times in past . You just need to wait and watch . He will be back ,faint little voice reassured him self. But it never happened . One year down the line Faint little voice got worried and in an attempt to solve the mystery it started examining the nature of Rahul’s action. More it get to know about google and Universe more it got worried . It was evident to him that Rahul will never be able to come out of it on his own . reason was clear. Both of the things were feeding his brain with the a placebo by reinforcing his perceived notion of things and blinding him from a simple and obvious truth which each one of us always knew but never act upon.

Universe was full of stories of people like Rahul, suffering from the same problem , same pain and same mental construct . to make it worse, Universe possessed a quality of presenting these stories in the form of a colorful and enchanting collage . such was the spell of that collage that anybody could have spent hours looking at it and Many did. His friend Rahul was one of those people . Google was always there to help him discover such anecdotes about everything .

In the theater of Rahul’s Life .Universe and Google are running the show and I must admit some scene were very interesting ” faint voice thought on one distant summer after noon “There main problem is that they think that they are watching it from a safe distant They never realize that unconsciously they are also becoming a part of it . Without their consent or knowledge.” This oblivious surrender to an invisible enemy was not acceptable to Faint little voice. This was the reason Faint little voice has developed a pseudo hostility toward them. Its not that they ignore him .No . on the contrary ,Rahul did tried to introduce them to him but they never really clicked. Perhaps because Faint little voice felt very small in front of them . They had so much to say , so much to show that gradually Rahul started drifting away and started paying more and more attention to them. And Faint little voice lost his effect and resigned him self to the task of watching Rahul’s rapid and uncontrolled descend in to the spiral of denial and waited for seemingly inevitable climax of this drama where it will loose his best friend.

If only I could find someone whom he would listen. For He will surely not listen to me “Faint little voice said few months ago. “Is there no one who can do this for me ? where would I found such person ?? “ He even thought of googling for that person but chucked the idea after a pitiful laughter directed at himself .

If there is any such person , I hope and pray Rahul Find him before its too late. ” Faint little voice said to god as he resigned to sleep one night.

God must have answered to his prayer. For Next day Rahul meet her.In most unusual of circumstances.

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