Saturday, December 7, 2013

Part 2 - A Friday Evening, In A December

I do hereby solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Slightly more comfortable in my bean bag now, I open Whataspp. Karan had made a group for us buddies a few months back.

I check the last post 29 September 2013 it says in gray font over the last post. It was Karan who had posted for trying to arrange for us all to get together for a lunch in Khan Market that Sunday afternoon.

"But their beer license has been revoked! Don't see what fun we could possibly have there!!!" Aman had replied. There had been no activity after that. I try to remember if we had met that day or not. It's getting hard to recollect such things now.

I drink up what is left of my second beer and light another cigarette. I step out onto my balcony and look out at kids running in the playground below. It's dark. I am reminded of the days when I would try and steal a few more hours of play, cursing the sun for setting too soon. Even when it was the longest day of the year.

I see the face of a little kid. He running is ahead of a pack of kids being chased or hunted down. His laughter comes out in gasps as he tries to catch his breath. He tries hard to suppress the laughing, but it only serves to tire him more. His face must be red with the blood rush from too much running, I think to myself remembering such days in the not so long, but lost, past. It's too dark and I am too far away to ascertain that for sure. There is sweat dripping at the forehead, which I am sure about, because he rubs his sweater  sleeve on his forehead more than once in the minute that I have been watching him.

The kid looks up to my balcony. I hide my cigarette below the opaque railing. Instinct.

I look at myself from the eyes of the kid. A grown up man in formal clothes. Alone. A cigarette for company. I know I wasn't successful in hiding the damn thing fast enough. Damn the slow reaction time. Damn the beer. My peripheral vision tells me there is a cloud of smoke around the balcony. It's a particularly cold post-evening with haze settling in over the windless city. The bloody smoke does not blow away as fast and as far as it used to in the autumn.

I had a vision of myself as a kid. A cool guy. No formals, always a smile on the face. Always a joke to be told. Always making people laugh around me. A disappointment attempts to set in begging the age old rhetorical - 'What have I become?' I shrug off the inane thought. I am too old to rethink the teenage dilemma over for the hundredth time. I know now that these dreams about self hardly ever pan out the way a child's imagination helps him hope.

"Bah, humbug!" I say out loud. Not loud enough for the child to hear though, I hope. He has now resumed his run and has probably forgotten about me. I am the ghost of Christmas past.

Mischief managed.

1 comment:

Neeru Sharma said...

Very interesting writing style! you have a unique way of looking at simple day to day happenings. Very nice!!
Keep it up!