Wednesday, September 25, 2013

An auburn evening and a never made phone call.

 In her moments of solitude she often wondered, "does he still think of me? Does he want to call me up and tell me about his dreams? Does he want to send me a message but is still too busy with his life.. Does he miss me as much as I miss him?" The answers always disappointed her. Naive as she was, she decided to listen to her heart. After staring at the screen for some good ten minutes, she searched for his name. She desperately wanted to dial that number. Wanted to listen to his voice, ask him how he was keeping, if he had started seeing someone. Above all, she wanted to tell him that she missed him, her best friend, her only friend. She wondered if what they said was true. That when you miss a person so much, it is only because they are missing you too. She wondered, even if for a moment, did she ever cross his mind? Did he try to call her up. She decided to put aside her thoughts and pretend as though they hadn't been through anything. As though they were still best of friends.. It took her about a year to muster up all her courage, to dial that one number. Just then, the airhostess placed a gentle tap on her shoulder.
"Ma'am, the flight is preparing for take off. We cannot allow you to use the phone. Can you please switch it off?" A plastic smile from her side made Kritika's stomach drop and she felt as though she would puke, any moment. After all, it is not every day that you miss a person from your past and you end up cancelling meetings and board a flight to another corner of the country, just to find an escape route? Just because some unexpressed emotion has come back to haunt you, just because something has triggered in your mind a cavalcade  memories and questions of "what might have happened"
Disappointed, she switched off her phone and put it back in her purse. "I promise I will call him as soon as the flight lands."
As the flight took off, Kritika, lost in her thoughts, continued to stare into the oblivion . She stared at the clouds as the flight swayed towards its destination, she stared at the orange crowning of the sun around the clouds, it made the sky pregnant with an eerie sense of nostalgia. She stared at the distant necklace shaped lights as the flight prepared for landing. Any moment now. She thought. She would listen to his voice after so long. The joy of imagining the feeling had in itself another pleasure.
The flight landed, she took out her phone, only to switch it on and receive a call from her secretary.
"Madam. The cab driver is waiting for you  near gate number five"
The device vibrated near her ears and as a reflex she dropped it from her hands."Battery too low of radio use." the message read.
She cursed her blackberry once again. She promised she would reach home and call him.
But as she traveled back home, her mind took over he heart. She realized she was being foolish.That  he was a chapter from the past and the story had ended. That she was now a woman of twenty three, running a successful management consultancy firm,  that he was her first love and not the other way round, that some things are best when left incomplete, that starting off on a new note was not possible for them and that they can only be what she had always dreaded the most - "familiar strangers". She took out the battery from her cell phone. As she reached her house, she didn't wait for the servants to serve dinner. She took a bath, switched off the light, popped in some sleeping pills and turned on her favorite symphonica music. Yet, she couldn't stop thinking, how wonderful it might have been if her phone would have rung; she would have dropped everything to answer that call. Just like she used to when she was sixteen. She remembered his eyes. Nut brown, twinkling as though he was a kid. She remembered his touch; warm and affectionate. She closed her eyes.. The sleeping pill had started  showing its effect. Her limpid body laid motionless on the round bed. Her senses over powered by sleep. She didn't call him. The phone didn't ring that night. She didn't switch it on for two days. The first thing she did after coming back to her senses was to ensure that his number had found a way out of her phone. Yet, it didn't. It stayed there. A different name, a blacklist and a memory that refused to forget some ten digits.

Seven thousand miles away..

As a wilted carnition caught his attention, his mind raced back to a long gone era. A man of twenty three, Arnab was a serial entrepreneur. All day long he had felt an unrest streaking within him. He tried to dissuade himself from believing that he was missing someone. He thought he had succeeded. But seeing the wilted carnition, an eternal symbol of unrequited love, a face flashed in front of his eyes. He sat on a wooden bench, underneath a maple tree, watching the ducks struggling to maintain a calm pace above water. He felt like a duck. All the world saw of him was his calm exterior, no one ever cared to empathize with those pangs of grief that he often battled and tried to over come. He picked up the carnition. After twirling it between his fingers, he noticed the orangish crowning in the clouds. The sun was forming a beautiful ring around the clouds. The sky seemed to be touching the lake and the tree formed a brown carpet of maple leaves and a canopy over his head. As the unrest grew, he finally took out his phone and decided to dial her number. "The number you are trying to reach is not reachable at the moment. Please try later." And so he did. For one and a half day. Every time her phone returned the same message. He finally decided to stop. "She has moved on. She doesn't love me anymore. I shouldn't not call her up and make it difficult for her to move on. I don't know why I even tried to contact her in the first place.." Deep within, he knew he was missing her. But his ego and his schedule would not allow him to waste another day trying to call her. If only he knew that she was right there, waiting for him. That he was and will always be her number one.

 A never dialed number,
a discharged battery,
an auburn evening in two different parts of the world,
 sleep that didn't come easy,
leisure that didn't stay long,
time- that was the rarest commodity,
words that were never spoken, feelings that grew unabated,
and a story - that always remained incomplete.


  1. Editing can really intesify the beauty of writing.!!!
    Awesome.! Felt even better reading it again.! :)

  2. A kind of pain stirs and revives within when I read of them remaining "Familiar Strangers"! It's moving:) You write well:) Go on :)

    1. Hi Nasnin. Thank you for dropping by my blog and taking out time to comment.
      Thanks a lot! :)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Loved the way you express your feelings through your words. You have got an art of expressing your thoughts so clearly that someone reading this awesome piece of writing can relate to it. You have got one more person in your fan's list :P
    Carry on with your writing girl.. ;)