Back to the Future

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

He was waiting very patiently at the new terminal of Kolkata Airport. Though he looked patient, he was trembling from inside. It’s been ten years he saw her. And when he had, they were only in high school. Together. Now that’s a term unfamiliar to him since long. He’s been single, committed, married, divorced, complicated and much more in all these years.

He knew she always loved him. ‘Always’ though, began when they were entering their teens. Lectures in classroom were interrupted by tiny scribbles passed via friends. He enjoyed the attention, liked her eagerness to sit beside him in Mathematics class, was glad to help her with Economics problems. But, he didn’t love her. Not like the way she did. Crossing the eternal friend vs lover hurdle, they never had a relationship as such.

Much water passed under the bridge, she went away to study. Hurt, perhaps. In fact, he was certain she felt hurt. He went on in life, got married. She kept tabs on him from a distance. She still loved him. Why, that she failed to understand yet. Men came and went away from her, but none were like him. She remembered the way he looked in high school, sporting a light stubble, pretending to be all mature and grown up. She liked him that way too.

Things have changed now. She heard from friends that he was divorced. She wanted to see him again. Not ‘see him’ seriously, just see him once, the way friends do. She had applied for a job in Kolkata and got it too. Now came the chance to see him. And he agreed too. Who knew he still remembered her, considered her a friend.

She landed. As he had anticipated, she looked beautiful. She was, anyway. He wondered why he never fell in love with her while others did. His heart was fluttering. Is that something only to happen with women? She arrived at the lounge. Her eyes took a few moments to locate him. He still sported a stubble, no, a beard in fact.

She noticed that he looked tired. And a little old, exhausted, heckled. She decided to ask him to shave, and get rid of not only the beard, but the past. The same bitter past that had aged him beyond his years.

They might get together. They mightn’t. But she’d make sure he steps out of the past and lives. Again.

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This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette

I was tagged by R and I’m tagging Maria, Manjit and Manjulika in this post. Please acknowledge the tags and mention that I had tagged you in this post.

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A Clean Step

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

R kept glancing at the woman sitting right opposite to him in the metro. He was half way through to office on a boring, gloomy Tuesday morning, already craving for the weekend. He was reading on his old-fashioned large e-book reader and not the sleek ones. The lucid, delicious descriptions of food in the book made his empty stomach growl. Breakfast in office was still twenty minutes away. R stole another glance at the woman to distract himself. She was reading a paperback with so much intent that it seemed she would be seated in this train forever. He regretted sporting a two-days stubble that probably made him look dirty.

Wednesday brought better promises with itself. R boarded the train clean-shaven with a full stomach. He spotted the woman two stops later, leaning near the door. She gave him fleeting stares, probably of appreciation or flirtation. ‘My clean shaven look bowled her over,’ smirked R. He didn’t notice her alight the train behind him. A tap on his shoulder while walking towards office made him turn around. She flashed a card briefly to him. Her Phone number? He was hopeful.

“Officer M, Cyber Crime Branch. Would you like to be under arrest?”

 This post is a part of the Protest Against Smelly Stubble Activity in association with BlogAdda.

I would like to tag Sudeshna, Diptee, TheWhitescape, Parama, Soumya in this post. 

Lost in Translation

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 38; the thirty-eighth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is “The Woman on Platform Number 10”

 

Paddington Station, London [clicked by myself]

Paddington Station, London [clicked by myself]

I was standing in the main courtyard of Paddington station with electronic display boards, men and women wrapped in scarves and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee surrounding me. When written this way it may feel surreal, but in reality I was late and the scenario didn’t seem pretty. The antique clock up high reminded of my boss Alex’s face which looked like a beetroot when he got angry. For a moment I went blank in my head, not knowing where to go next. I had my tickets, I already knew where to board my train, and still, my feet were glued before my favourite coffee kiosk. Like every Tuesday, I saw her again today. She was whom everyone referred to as the woman on platform number 10. She wore a mustard yellow parka with a skirt and stood there on the same platform every Tuesday for the whole day. She was the only passenger who never boarded a train from Paddington. I guess today she’s late too, she passed by me hurriedly towards her platform.

I have been witnessing her act for the past few months. She never seemed to miss a Tuesday for her day-out at the Paddington. I had, like all others, wondered why she would do it week after week. She was not a homeless asking for help, or a beggar. She looked quite well-off in her clothes and accessories. Yet, she looked as hapless as anyone could be. At times she looked as if she has lost everything in life. Her attire kept changing with different climates and seasons, but the mustard parka was always there. The pale mustard seemed to reflect its paleness on her face too. Some days I noticed her, other days I was in a hurry or pre-occupied with books or my tiny music player. I too inquired about her, like everyone else. No one had the courage to ask directly about her plight, and yet everyone seemed to know her reason. My co-passengers had always whispered among themselves about her, on Tuesdays. From the scrapes of their conversations, I gathered that a man had left her, boarding a train from platform number 10 in Paddington, and never came back. She waited, every Tuesday for him to return. She is not insane, she works somewhere nearby, leads a normal life and yet there is this bit of insanity in her to wait for her lover every Tuesday.

I lead a normal life too – I have a grumpy boss, a demanding girlfriend, irritating friends and distant parents. Yet, every time I see her, I seem to gradually realize her insanity and loneliness. Her pale mustard parka and black scarf in contrast have become a symbol of something to me, something unexplainable, not insanity. People around me whisper how she’s wasting her days waiting for an imbecile. I feel a pang when I see her though, I feel as if she’s giving back her debt of memories to life in the form of a few days. I feel I too will become insane some day, and wait for eternity, perhaps in Paddington itself.
 

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