Read THIS First ..

Read THIS First..
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Happy Reading!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tea with the long lost one...

This post is in response to Preeti Shenoy's Tuesday creative prompts! This two best-seller books' author has come up with her third book, "Tea for two and a piece of cake", which seems as promising as the first two! 

The table is set perfectly, for 'tea for two'. (and the piece of cake is ready too). I am really looking forward to this. There is still a good half an hour left for my guest to arrive as per the text I just got. Jeez. Funny how a simple text by my once-best-friend-in-school-whom-I'm-gonna-meet-now can make my little heart flutter happily. Even if it says I'll have to wait for the next whole 1800 seconds before I finally see her after a gap of nine whole years! I bring my wrist to my face and see the tiny colorful bead strings dangling from a purple thread bracelet; the memory of her I had saved over the years. I hoped she would remember.

Suddenly the door bell rings and I jumped in my chair. I HATE sudden noises. Or any noise for that matter. The only thing that makes me happy to see myself growing up is that I will finally be able to move to a countryside house, probably in Iceland. Totally quiet.

I stand up and straighten my skirt. Dragging myself beyond the living room I reach for the door handle and pull it open, forgetting Mom's strict instructions to first check and then open doors, just in case it's a hairy madman who would kidnap me and hold me for ransom. Which would be such a waste of the new peephole Mom got installed into the door. I peeped out from behind the door anyway and saw....................... nothing. Really, all I saw was the front garden with my tiny Bonsais finally beginning to sprout. 

Ignoring the uneasiness rising in me, I drew back and started closing the door when it was pushed open with immense force and a big human body came flying straight at me, shrieking with a loud "Booooo". My terrified scream got lost in the big human's 'Boooo' and I felt myself being crushed into an amazingly big bear hug. I was lost for words. I felt like an idiot. HOW could I have forgotten her trademark characteristic? She loved tricking me. It was her favorite passtime! 

Kanika continued to crush me with her super hug and only slightly let go when I gasped to her to let me breathe! She pulled away and looked at me with those almond shaped eyes. Brown, totally. It made me remember the day many years ago when we both stood in front of the mirror, eyes an inch away from it, figuring out how our pupils actually dilated and contracted. And discussing the color of our eyes. She wanted to believe hers was black too, just like mine. I had a hard time making her believe she had brown eyes and that it isn't necessary that best friends are always similarly structured! 

I felt my mouth shaping into a wide smile (complete with showing teeth), matching hers. I was pleasantly surprised to see that she looked exactly as I remembered her. The perfect nose, the smooth clear skin. The haircut was different though. I opened my mouth to ask where she had got it done from, when she spoke in a "ehmygawd" way, "You look EXACTLY like you always did!" I couldn't help the smile. We seemed to have a weird ability to think the same thoughts at the same time. How I missed it and how I was enjoying it then! "Because maybe I'm the same person?", I teased. She hit me playfully on the arm and dragged me into the living room, looking all around her, chattering away. 

We stopped when we reached the table. I glanced at her to see her mouth open and an expression of awe on her face. "You prepared a cake for me? All by yourself? That too when you don't enjoy cooking? And this tea looks awesome!" She sat down and grabbed a piece of cake, biting it to the core. "Did you learn baking? I can't believe it, you know. You only ever liked eating! What's up with you?". I dragged my chair near hers and sat down, ready to plunge into my story and eagerly waiting to listen to her own. It was when I realized my full-with-teeth-smile was still in place. It wouldn't go, I was sure; at least till I'm with her. She wasn't just a guest then. It was as if the tea had been prepared especially for two long lost best friends.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Metro Diaries # 3

I can't just help it. I know I pledged not to write on my Metro stories anymore, considering it's becoming a part of my daily conversations as well as my posts, but it's just such a big part of my life, I thought it deserves an honorary place (in the form of a separate post!). It's going to be a story within an article. Heard of it before? Don't even think, you wouldn't have, I just invented it (and if by any chance you have, that plagiarist has superpowers and stole my future thoughts! :P).

                                                         Something typically new!
Right, so I began my day with the usual speed (I swear I could win a marathon, if I ever got around to running in a real one, that is), getting into a Metro and being a victim (again) to shameless staring by middle aged aunties. I hadn't got a newspaper or any magazine with me (damn!) so I passed my time looking out the windows. And Thank God for that; I was so lost in my thoughts that I realized I had to get down when I looked at the signboard!

After classes I had to go for college work to some other part of the city. (We do SUCH hardwork which totally goes unnoticed; I really hate those shirkers who show up confidently when it's time to receive credits.) I usually don't mind travelling for (useless) work, BUT my bestie wasn't feeling well and I wasn't so happy going without her! (Apoorva- get back on your feet in no time! I miss our trips, however useless they might be :P). Anyway, the work was completed and none of the other fellows in the group was going the same way that I was. I wasn't too worried, it's only the Metro, right? I could find my way!

I looked up the map and found that I was on the red line, I had to take a train to one of the central points and find the right green line. Then board the right train and enter another major station that would take me to my own blue line. And to think someone like me was to undertake that journey on her own, someone with whom God got really generous while putting the characteristic of klutziness! Whoa! I boarded the train and found myself glancing at the map at every station while ignoring every other girl/woman/oldie there. I have no clue what gives people the right to shamelessly stare at strangers up and down! I don't even know why I write it here, some people just-don't-get-it!

Anyway, I hopped out on reaching the central station and followed the crowd, keeping both eyes open for signboards, something unusual for me. I was pleasantly surprised to find colored paw shaped marks to guide commuters to the right platform. It took me a while though, to register that I must be looking like a total nutcase to be walking the way some kids do, stepping exactly over the paw marks which are quite wide apart for normal humans! I quickly curtailed my steps and walked 'normally' towards one of the platforms, coming out of my mindless reverie. It was such a confusing place, two platforms going towards where I had to go! Thankfully, Shivani called at that moment (a friend who wore a hoodie that day and we had casually dumped stuff like pen caps and paper boats in it. She called to say she had found out- on reaching home! :P Hey Shivani! Shruti, Sunmeet and Apoorva were in on the joke too!). That's when I somehow actually used my brain and asked her if I was standing at the right place (since she frequents that station). I was guided to another platform, the one opposite to where I was originally standing.

A train rolled in and I was told I could take a 'direct' one instead of getting on this, due to which I would have to change from the very next station. It was so irritating! The train had been standing there, gleaming proudly in contrast to my weary state, for whole 3.5 minutes (I calculated) and didn't move an inch. People kept coming and boarding, as if it's the last train ever. I decided to forget my friend's advice and got on it, pretending to read signs and maps, just in case I would have looked stupid (which I most certainly would have) standing in front of the train with open doors, not getting in. After two more minutes it finally started and I thought it would do better if I somehow got on to the tracks and gave it a push! It was THAT slow! But it was one of the new models and I had something new to notice. It wasn't very interesting though, so I gazed out of the windows and saw a weird collection of city life zooming underneath.

I stepped out at the next station and it seemed as if the whole world had an invitation to where I had to go! Trying to adjust my small self among the rushing horde of super enthusiastic people (wouldn't they ever go a bit slow???) I simply walked with the crowd. Not that I had any choice, either. I would have found myself in a hospital ward with broken bones had I tried to go against them. I followed them all along a huge bridge, then turning to the right platform (I'm already getting better at it!). I saw people crowding around something and I was beginning to think something might be seriously wrong, when I saw they were preparing to board the elevator! I never use elevators. They're for the Old and Physically Challenged, and I'm neither. But nor were those people. I guess they can't read. Anyway, I skipped up the stairs and finally! Finally I got onto my own beloved Blue line, and felt the familiar warmth and safety. (No, I don't actually 'feel' anything for a train. If you're smart enough, you wouldn't even have thought about it). The oh so lovely train (still don't think) sped through the familiar tracks and the lovely stations (OK, that's enough. Control) and I even managed to grab a seat! Though that's a different matter it was only 45.50 seconds that I had placed myself there when an old lady found her way to me. (It's so creepy to think old ladies always find ME among the huge crowd!). I stood waiting and finally, happily de-boarded at my station, dashing through the gates, eager to get home. 

Tiring as it was, the experience certainly had a lot to teach me. For instance, I know sometimes I can NOT follow my friend's directions and still do well ;). And contrary to what I thought, I'm not as much of a threat to normal human population. Apart from stepping on a couple of people's toes and getting smashed into three more people, I didn't really do any damage. Not anything 'serious' at least! I'm planning on getting lost and traveling and exploring two more routes I've never been to. All of you who've read this, if I ever go mysteriously missing, search the Metro routes first! :P

(The Previous Metro Diaries- Diary 1, Dairy 2)

Monday, January 9, 2012

While I waited...

Usually, if I'm being my normal self, I'll always be seen cavorting around, obviously running late for college. I must have had something energizing that day or maybe the Harry Potter spells I've been trying to work on since the seventh grade, finally DID work, because I actually reached the Metro station well on time for a class. My friend wasn't though (what else can be expected? She's my friend! And she doesn't read Harry Potter) and so I had nothing to do but wait.

I stood silently against the railing at the end of the platform (which is dangerous, by the way, unless you know where to step your foot) and gazed around, getting into my "observation" mode. I stole a peek at the scene downwards and liked what I saw, so I continued with my gazing. 

The dark and light greens of the huge tree's leaves swayed in the chilly wind as I pulled my cardigan closer to me; it was cold and I couldn't make out any sign of life in the magnanimous being that stood majestic at the intersection, reaching way up high to where I stood looking down. There was fog and mostly things were in a light haze.

I saw little dashes of colors moving swiftly on the roads, curving in a graceful arc to take a U-turn. The otherwise bold, massive vehicles seemed like cute remote controlled toy cars, just without a remote in my hand and moving around on their own free will. I started, when a white sedan made a sharp cut, turning just inches away from the misplaced old tree bang at the center of the intersection.

I watched as the miniscule, brown, moving dots jostled near the entrance, going up to colored dots, probably asking about their destination. The rickshaw wallas struggled to begin with their day’s earnings, bargaining enough to keep their hunger satiated. I watched with marvel the speed at which they took off, displaying agility at its best, when people like me stumbled all the way and tried to stifle their yawns.

The loud honk of the train emerging onto the platform brought me out of my reverie (Someone please do mankind a favour and ban those honks by Metro trains. What do they expect? Traffic on the tracks?). My (good) friend wasn’t there and I watched with amusement as a mass of women emerged dishevelled onto the platform (I was obviously, standing near the first coupe) while another group did its best to wriggle into the coach. There is absolutely no point in spending minutes (or hours) trying to get your hairdo right, if you’re planning to board such trains!

I glanced towards the heavily clad people, waiting for their trains in different degrees of anxiety (I still don’t know why we get just a leeetle bit anxious during our wait?); some sporting oodles of confidence, some looking smug, as if they belonged to the Haute monde*, some feeling nervous and out-of-place, some choosing to ignore me, while a couple of ladies stared back, challenging me to look away. I did. No point in taking up a useless challenge.

Another train rolled in carrying a similar assortment of people, the same quantum of mindless chaos, leaving a new group of people fiddling with their fancy phones, busy worrying over the marks they scored, the declining profit margin of the companies they work in, the boring stuff, I mean. I stared after the train as it gently trailed out, the empty tracks a witness to some solid friction. Pigeons flew down from the rafters to perch near the tracks, hopping from one to the next in a carefree dance.

The sight of the tracks was suddenly blocked by a pair of legs, feet encased in black ballerinas, too close to me. I looked up to see my friend’s apologetic (she was late!) and inquisitive face. I must be looking aloof, I realized (nothing new in that). Another loud honk made me come out of my sub-conscious state (PLEASE! Ban those horns!) and we joined the mindless group, positioning ourselves in a manner that would get us inside without many injuries!

And that was that. It takes only a few minutes of careful observation, well past the ‘hurry, we’re in a flurry’ lives to witness the scenes of reality, to not just look at things, but to SEE, to experience the carefree moments while they last. I’m going to add just a word to my list of ‘Things I should do in life’, and that is “SEE”. :)

(*Haute monde- French word meaning "the elite")


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