Friday, December 20, 2013

Part 5 - A Friday Evening, In a December

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

I am in no mood to move out of my house. I have no intention to meet this girl. Woman now, really. Why did I put myself in this situation, I wonder.

What's done is done. I am not the guy who makes plans and never shows up.

I am just the fool who makes some really stupid plans.

I get dressed quickly and pick up my stuff. I make sure I am carrying somethings that root me in my life. My watch and my cigarettes. These are the sole witnesses to my life. My totems, I guess one could call them. I am not sad. I am the fool who made stupid plans.

I pick up my overcoat trying to recall where I bought it. If it was with this girl, or worse still, if it was a gift from her, it could be construed as something it is  not. Try hard as it may, I can't recall. Forget it, I say to myself. It's not like I have any other protection against the December cold. I really need to go out someday and shop for some clothes.

And shoes. I realize, as I pick up my battered sneakers. The only good pair of shoes I have is the one I wear to office. And that's the case only because I get a hard time from the people who's sole objective in life is picking up a conversation. About anything. I have been part of the most inane conversations. Hell, I have started some too. I don't know the guy who goes to work every morning. That conformist is not me. I am me.

Every morning, while in the cab to office, I feel I go through a portal. The guy who enters that portal is me, but one who comes out is a version of me. I don't like him too much.

The one here with battered shoes, torn jeans (thank God that's not very unfashionable these days) and a single overcoat for protection against the Delhi winter, this is me.

With my faith affirmed in my identity (can't ever get enough of that, can you?) I step out of the house. My car is parked in some godforsaken corner. Yes, the city is struggling with too many cars. What surprises me, however, is that people say the city has a parking problem! Although that is factually correct, it doesn't paint the true picture. We can triple the total parking space in this city and within a couple of years that would fall short. So the real problem is the number of cars, isn't it?

I step into my car begrudgingly. In some parts of the world people love driving. I don't. In this city driving is a life threat. There are guys out there itching to pick up a fight. There is anger surging in this capital. Driving puts people in touch with their angst. It brings out the worst in people. All we need for peace, a simple minded person would say, is public transport. I am many things but simple minded is not one of them.

I drive to Hauz Khas Village (HKV). She is supposed to meet me there. I had offered to pick her up, thinking I should offer the deception of gentlemanly behavior. But the offer had lacked conviction. She has a keen ear (or eye, since we were chatting) for BS.

I reach HKV in 10 minutes. I park my car in 20. I am expected to get used to this. The day that happens, I will need a whole new identity for the new me.

I walk towards Imperfecto. Let me be clear. She chose the place. Not me.

Let me be clear, why I need to clarify that. It's a place that selectively picks up one dimension of conversation between two people and kindles it. It's the one called romance. The curtains, the candles, the moonlight, the wine, the tiny portions of food that you can't spill or make a mess with.

How do I know that? I have been there once before. With Karan. We ended up talking about our shared past. Quite sentimentally, at that. It was not a typical guy evening. It was really, really nice.

I see her walking towards Imperfecto, ahead of me. She hasn't seen me yet. In her dress, she looks exquisite. Her face, from afar, looks very different from how I remembered her. Or how Facebook shows it. She has gained a new composure in her strides. She exudes a confidence that was always so unique to her. If it was possible, the years have been very kind to her.

I better be very careful at this dinner.

I will look like a beast next to her.

Maybe then she needs to be careful. I shrug my shoulders and begin my march.

Mischief Managed


Neeru Sharma said...

Interesting stuff, well written. What happens next? Come soon with part 6!!

forever awkward said...

first line should be swear i guess. you don't really learn i think :P
anyways such quotable lines you have and the story is intriguing. come up with part 6 quickly :)

Kasper said...

Thank you for the correction! I have made the edit. I am really glad you stumbled across my blog and were kind enough to leave an encouraging comment! Will write the part 6 soon enough then! :)

Shivani said...

Well something similar has happened to me being on the other side..well depicted, I could see the scenes roll pass my eyes..