I am a morning person. Everyday after the morning prayers, I go for a walk. I was witnessing something for the past week. When I reach the park for walk, I find a boy and a girl leaving for school. Their black shoes polished to shine like mirrors and their uniforms and badges are a sign of being in some school. After leaving their house together, they reach one end of the park before coming up to their bus stop. From the past week, I noticed one thing. After leaving home, they do head to the bus stop but after crossing two blocks, they enter a street on left. It is more like a narrow alley. From where I stand it was not visible what they do there. So out of curiosity, I took a long walk and ended on the bench from where I can see them and made sure that I remained out of sight myself. They followed the pattern of leaving the house together, waving goodbye to someone in the window and walking a block towards the bus stand and then turning into the alley. I was watching them. The boy removed his white school shirt. Underneath he was wearing a t-shirt. He handed the shirt to the girl who folded it and put that neatly in her bag. Then the boy crossed the alley and disappeared on the other side of the alley. The girl walked to the bus stop and hopped on the school bus when it arrived. I walked back home for another day.
The next dawn I altered my entire route. I was not in my workout clothes. The other end of the alley opened to a link road which connected to a main road. I reached the main road and sat on the bench of a bus stop. The other end of the alley was not visible to me. But if that boy follows his path, he was naturally to reach here. Sitting by road side and watching early morning crowd rushing to reach their battle-stations was thought provoking. There were so many characters for any story that I write and in all sizes and shapes too. It was the third day of my adventure. I looked at my watch again and again. I had assumed the time in which he would reach here. And my calculation was right. He reached there. He waited for a bus which when arrived, he climbed on it and was gone. The next day I went to the stop on time and waited for him. I signaled a rickshaw and settled a deal to follow someone. The driver was an old man. He agreed with no questions or hesitations. The boy came and boarded a bus. I signaled the driver. In no time we were tailing the bus. After half an hour we reached a place nicknamed for being the edge of posh area. It was a scar on the face of a planned neighborhood. Most of maids, servants and security guards working in the houses on the posh area lived in this neighborhood. There were meat shops, washing machine repair shops, vegetable and fruit shops etc. Flies were everywhere. I was praying deep inside that the boy doesn’t take us deep into this shitty neighborhood. Thankfully he didn’t. He went to a pharmacy and when he came out he had keys in his hands. He jumped on a bike and started it. My rickshaw was naturally a slower medium but against all odds, we tailed him to a park where he stopped his bike and went inside. There was a security guard at the gate. I pulled out a fifty rupee note and handed it to him and went inside. It was a girl he used to meet. At the far end of the park, under a tree they were sitting. Their bags lying next to them. Under that shade they must have made a hundred promises, maybe a thousand. They might want to relive this moment in years to come. Or they might regret this moment. Either way, this moment would carve something on their souls. Yet the kids don’t know it yet. Like a million ephemeral love stories, this one would be forgotten by it’s characters. But I won’t. It’s not my love story though it is my experience. Was it lust? Was it hormones? Was it really love? I could not tell just by looking at their smiling faces. I looked around. There were many more pairs of school and college bags in that park. It was startling only when a thought it him that does it mean many others like me were there too who skipped their morning walks and have stalked someone to reach here. I scanned around. I could find no one. I grabbed a bar of chocolate and headed home.
It was a warm day. The weather has begun to change. People were already welcoming this change. Who wouldn’t after such a long summer that in some parts of the country caused massive damage due to floods and in some burnt down the skin tones without much rain. I feel quite blessed being in the north of the country. The downpour had been a lot but summers surely left their mark. Today, however was a day which was not humid like rains and not hot like summers. It was September and the winds were carrying the feelings of my favorite season, winters. My life has been quite carved by the winters. From being born in winters to being married in winters and even becoming a mother to a little doll, winters have affected my life in every way. I was lost in these thoughts when a sound pulled me back to the real worlds, the sound which fills my heart with immense happiness. My one year old daughter had woken up and her movements against her toys made me dive into all those happenings that blessed me with her and the home every woman imagines. I wanted to finish all the chores by noon. Becoming a mother had made me more of a responsible person. I felt like growing out of a carefree damsel to a responsible mommy. It sounded scary when I was in school. But it was a life-turning moment. I still remember the happiness on the face of my father when he held his granddaughter. And now here I am, having vacations and eagerly waiting to be done with the households and talk to my father. He wants to see his granddaughter everyday. Thanks to the technologies in our lives, even being away he can’t remain away. Grandparents are always magnetically attached to their grand kids. These vacations have been kind so far. At least that’s what every person with a job and a long vacation thinks. I wanted to spend much time home with my family and that’s what I was enjoying. The king of the house however was on his duty. I hate doctors and shockingly fell in love with a doctor. Every marriage is a different story. My dad always says, “Marriage kills love” but that never happened in my case. He also says that a good doctor always has a bad handwriting. That too never happened. Love just happened and I love him more and more everyday, and not just him but his handwriting which appears on all the letters he sent me. Then love bloomed to marriage. Even though I have all a woman can wish for, I feel afraid. I don’t know what fate has written on the next pages of life for me.
Suddenly the phone rang.
I still remember the day when a friend said:
It’s the first semester, nine more. How will time pass!
And here today I am writing this and thinking of all the moments that passed in the blink of an eye. It was surely a long way but full of colorful bends, some wanted and some unwanted and all in the end have left their scars of memories. They should stay lessons for life to pass on. It was winters when I joined college and it is again the same season. I am drifting off to that time recalling all the minute details of how friends were and what they ended in becoming and how things progressed over time. A few lines and a few paragraphs can never do justice to the moments that I lived. My last semester in this institute just begun. I fell in love with this place. I have a hope to relive the nine semesters in this one over again assuming beauty on the ugly faces that were hidden in the early days and to create records of these memories in an amount that I can relive moments again. Someone told me that hope is a good thing.
“I know a couple.”
And I know one half of the couple very well. Manners bind me to not reveal the identity of either half. So I won’t. Moreover everyone likes to cover the ugly parts whether they be of their body or their soul. Hence I would hide the uglier part of the couple, the one I know too well. They are two love birds, at least that is the illusion they have created for themselves and for everyone around them. I think they are more into infatuation rather love. How am I so sure? No, I am not sure. I am still more inclined to the science which asks to observe and create a hypothesis and then test that by carrying some experiments. I followed what science said, step by step. After all the possible and logical steps, I saw the cracks in their love. Based on my experiences, I know at least the fifty percent of the love pretty well – the man’s side full of phases.
He is a student. She is a student. But both don’t go to the college, I mean same college. The boy is “super” pulled towards the girl. I have seen the artful expressions of love between them, from praises to leg pulls and some good words on social media. She keeps complaining about the woes of her life which somehow pulls the hero more towards her. Sadly Romeo is blinded. He would be able to see like all Romeos do i.e., after getting through a bitter experience. I wish he writes what he sees just like me and keep the chain kindled.
No, he is not the John we all know and love. He is a greedy character. Kameena.
It was dark all around. And it was raining very heavily. I was running. I don’t know why. All I could see under my feet was the bricked path. The rain had muffled all the sounds. My heavy breaths and the thumps of my shoes were the only sounds I could hear. The think curtain of the darkness was continuous. I could not see anything except for a small light in the distance. I had a feeling of being chased or I needed something. There was a reason of why I was running. There was urgency and with every moment I was getting more breathless. The sense of pain accumulating in the muscles of my legs was growing. My throat was drying too. Somehow I knew that I had to reach that light. But a fear of someone or something behind me existed.
What if that light was a trap? What if someone knew I were reaching there?
But what if not!
And then there was thunder. For a moment I saw the path ahead of me. I picked up the pace and continued to ran. The discomfort had already started to climb up to my chest and crawling into my lungs. I didn’t look back and kept running. The distance was closing but slowly. The fear of the unknown was rising. Eventually I reached the light. The was a tall wall. The light was mounted on top of the door. There were no windows in the wall. I could not make the height of the wall because of the dark and the downpour. The door was bathing in the yellow light. Strangely there was no knob or any handle on it. It was completely blank except for some square patterns on it. Suddenly the wind blew stronger making the raindrops hit the door and the light above it. The steel shade covering the light made a sound as the drops hit it. Whoever or whatever was behind me won’t be far now and might reach here any moment. I stepped closer to the door and decided to knock. But as soon as I was about to, someone grabbed me from behind.
“Utho Beta…. It’s iftaar time.”
I could still feel the water droplets on my face.