Author: Smita Kaushik
Publisher: General Press
Price:125 INR(Available at 88 INR on Flipkart)
And we finally have another treat by Smita Kaushik. Her debut book,’Let’s Get Committed’ has been doing well in the market since the time it got released. Let’s take a peep into her latest book that’ll be releasing this August. Pre-orders have already begun at Flipkart.
Darkness all around. Vision getting blurred. It takes some time for eyes to get adjusted to sudden darkness or brightness. Just like in life we are always taken aback by sudden pleasure or pain. This same feeling of breathlessness, why does it always surrounds me. I am gasping for air and not getting much success. Someone pushing me from behind, in turn I am pushing the one in front of me. You gotta impel others to get what you want, you can’t blame others as everyone including you is doing the same I can feel the adrenalin rush. Everyone gotta run as they have a place to reach a place they call home. A home where some one is waiting for them, who will be worried if they are late. But me, I am just getting dragged along the crowd I have no place to reach, no place to call a home, no family to wait for me. Look at the irony of the situation life is making me smirk at my very own misery.
It’s really funny even if you are making no effort to move on, you will as this time never stops. You feel nothing is going to change much but it does, slowly and gradually that you never notice.
People who are important will cease to matter six years from now if they walk out of life at this point. You won’t forget them but you won’t even recall them now and then. Be it the person you were once ‘deeply and madly in love’ with. You may still be in love with that person but other things will get in your head and your lovers memories will be enclosed in a door you would rarely visit.
The time progressed a minute or few and I was out of that overfilled passage. Huh! It’s Friday so I am traveling by locals. This feels great to be around so many people whom you don’t know at all but you can somewhere relate to their lives. A great place to identify yourself with several emotions which either you can’t feel or no longer have the ability to.
I used to come here as a kid. Dad used to bring me here for having a walk and to get me my favorite cutlet which Bansi bhaiya used to make around the corner.
Everything has changed since then but nothing seems different. Except few more lights, few extra waiting seats, increased shops, more beetle strains at nooks and corners. Increased security in an attempt to prevent another 26/11. Finally jostling young crowd running between different tuitions and home, under the pressure of cracking various competitions- bearing very few seats.
I progressed a bit further and as I just missed the last local I was lucky enough to get a place to make myself comfortable. It’s a way of regarding the situation. Here it’s my weekly luxury to travel by locals which I am still enjoying even after missing my last train but for those whose traveling by locals is a compulsion missing train can be so much annoying, something adding to their misery.
I stretched my arms and glanced around. Three young guys in their later teens were standing close in a circle. All of them were dressed in their funky vibrant T-shirts and on-purpose tattered jeans, vibrant slippers; big dial watches, spiked hair. I reflected back at myself. I am suited up, black and grey, rado watch, well set black shinning hair. Is there such a thing like young at heart? But I was more than relieved that I no longer carry a student bag .One of the three boys lighted a cigarettes and took a very comfortable puff. After two to three puffs he passed it on to his friend. During its lifetime the stick kept on rotating among three of them. I couldn’t help but smile remembering those good old days. Now I smoke sixteen a day and its not even near to the fun we use to have puffing from a single stick. I have no idea why smoking or drinking bring guys closer. Although hard to grasp but it’s a truth. Most of the colleagues with whom I am acquainted with, I met them at the smoking zone itself. Besides its something that serves my loneliness well. Since past few months I am quite content with my career growth. So I was able to take this immense leap in down slicing my intake from more than thirty-eight to sixteen as a New Year resolution.
What started as an infantile attempt to feel like an adult, is my most eminent companion now. I smoke to reward myself. I snapped a deal, I smoke. I completed a report, I smoke.
I survived yet another day of this purposeless life, I smoke; but most important of all it feels like being with a friend. When it glows in the dark, it assures am not alone. Same as being in a station feels to me.
All these years I have witnessed various flavors of life here.
A kid taking blessings from his parents before leaving home for the very first time. An innocent newly wed bride with all her expectations and fear entering her new found world. Children running after vendors; parents running behind them. Lovers hugging each other while parting away. Lovers passing smile when they spot each other amidst the entire crowd. Some promising new-bees leaving for work hanging their laptop bags in one hand and news paper in other which probably they will read before reaching work. Some tired fellows unwilling to begin yet another day. Few satisfied faces reflecting they have embraced life in its every form. People coming. People going. Several unexpected convergence. Several unwanted separation.
So many people, so many eyes holding so many dreams, hope, anger, pain, desire. Those wondering awaiting eyes.
Those eyes…those eyes confirms that you are not the only one with unfulfilled desires, you are not the only one who have assimilated in this unusual mixture of emotions.
I have always been attracted to trains especially the leaving ones. I can’t reason it out but it gives a sensation of well being. Watching them leave reminds me one day I can refuse to be what I am. One day I can run away to a very distant place where nobody knows me.
There is always a start somewhere else if not here.
“Oh! I am sorry” a stranger who just spilled half her bag over me uttered.
My thoughts or rather my repeated thoughts were interrupted.
I lifted my head gave her an odd look and directed my sight elsewhere.
She bent down and some groceries out of her carry bag spilled again.
Virtue of feminism.
Now I was crossing the line, uncivil onto rude.
I bent down gave her a weary smile and started looking for and gathering her stuffs. As they were expected to, nobody halted to join us. Even the person sitting just next to me didn’t bulge a little, absorbed in texting.
I picked few tomatoes, some oranges, actually lots of them probably she attended some ‘buy 1 kg get 1 kg free’ offer and placed it her grocery bag . I often wonder these market analysts know women better than anyone else. ‘Sale’ gathers women together, makes them run, snatch and fight; they erroneously feels like a winner if they emerge with out with bunch of shopping bags.
This lady standing in front of me, only she would be knowing what she is going to cook with three bags of tomatoes and oranges.
‘Thank you!’ she hurriedly responded to my gesture. Just then one orange slipped from her bag and rolled along the platform.
I took a brief look at her. She was struggling with two plastic bags in one hand and one in another while adjusting her hand bag to shoulder …gripping her dupatta…managing her hair.
She progressed towards that orange I signaled her that I will get it.
I took long firm steps in its direction. I crouched to lift it up. At that moment only some train arrived and the platform was overflowing with people. I fastened to get up but was ceased. I stopped. Moved my eyes aimlessly, without any direction but I definitely was in search of something. Something which I haven’t seen but it wasn’t unknown. All I can see was shoes, speeding feet following random tracks. It gets hard to scan especially when you don’t know what you are looking for. Subsequently familiar steps of someone walking struck me. There it is among all those unknown jumbled pegs. A flash of lightening and I retreated. I tried to focus. It was the mirrors. Small pieces of colored glass studded in her slip-ons tangled in beautiful threads. That soothing skin texture. That shining pink enamel. Though what captured me was the sliver stoned toe-ring. A funky pink plastic toe-ring shaped as a Cinderella shoe flashed back in front of my eyes. It may not be true ….but every no exists along with a corresponding yes. I tried to concentrate on it, as with so many people bubbling in, I lost it maybe I lost her. I got restless I drifted my eyes sideways and again she was there. I couldn’t see her in full but I was getting more and more attracted to her. In few more attempts I saw a light blue jeans faded white at few parts. I froze. My heart started thumping. Is it ?? I was afraid to find out.
Still I followed her. In few more glimpses I saw her lemon colored kurti and purple-embroided jhola. I was nearing her. My speed continued to increase. I saw her hand, her sparkling multicolored bangles, a red color thumb-ring, a sea green ring in her little finger, when she tired to stop a man who was about to crash in her.
I quit. My feet struck at the ground still my eyes following her. Again there were several others between us. She tossed her stole up in the air onto her shoulders. Everything was new but it wasn’t different. All the action, the grace, was unlike her yet there was a striking similarity. She wore a silver metallic watch with complimenting bracelets hanging just below it on her other hand. Her long sleek nails stunned me. Her stole now rested on her shoulder. It was green with yellow patches here and there, several plain mirrors shinning… blinding people. Enchanting sound of ghun -ghuru hanging from her stole tried to drag me to her. I was tempted to put an end to it. To know. To confront. To feel. Still the push and the pull was equal. Her hair was flowing away from her face, long silky streaked in red, coursing up to her waist. The chase was over. She turned towards me. Few strands of hair obstructed her face. She placed them behind her ear with her long slender fingers.
A chill ran through my body. I was unable to move. I choked. My hands curled. I was ecstatic for a moment I was nervous for the next I was scared in the third. I struggled with myself. Half of her hair clutched behind her ear from which hanged a rotating jhumka. Same beautiful hairline, few strands flowing onto the face but ending before her eyes began. Her enchanting eyes, ever expressive, ever transparent, always innocent.
‘Eyes are windows to the soul’ was so true for her. Her pure white face it give you an illusion that it will turn red if anyone touches her. No straight guy can ever take his eyes off her golden nose ring. Her lips, pure pink, never needed any extra color. But her smile was something to hold out for. So lively, so perfect, captivating, bewitching, delightining, enthralling…. I never found enough words to describe it.
I reversed scared to face her. I was even more scared to let her confront me. I sided. I saw her coming. She was then parallel to me. She halted. I hid across a pillar. Then glanced back again at her. She searched her bag for something, then feeling assured on finding it she smiled, typically her. Finally she passed.
The girl passed.
The girl I last loved…
The girl who used to look at me and I used to forget everything going around me and could not stop but smile back at her.
The girl ..whose teeth used to sparkle on listening to admiration of her beauty.
The girl ..whose eyes used to twinkle on seeing chocolate pastry.
The girl ..who kept on adding words to my girl’s encyclopedia.
The girl..who used to love the sound of rain.
The girl..who used to explain everything along with hand movement.
The girl..who could spent million on clothing if she had but never on gadgets.
‘You say what’s more…’ was all what was needed to trigger her off on a never ending series of stories.
The girl who ruled my dreams but I was never there in her thoughts.
The girl who was there in my life but never really came into my life still changed every bit of it.
The girl I last loved….
….The girl ..who never loved me back.
About the author: Smita Kaushik became author by chance and is now pursuing it by choice. Her first novel Let’s Get Committed not only created waves among the young generation but also pitched some notes with others as well. Though her forte lies in romance with hint of comedy, she sometimes tries to lay hands on philosophy. An ex-DPSite, she did her graduation from KIIT University and is currently based in Hyderabad. Always a creativity inclined person, she has excelled in different art forms like contemporary, madhubani & warli and has won many national level art competitions. For fun she likes to watch rom-com and read novels.
Being Friends with someone you love is roughly equivalent to…
This is roughly equivalent to the scenario where a guy goes to a job interview and the company says, “You have a great resume, you have all the qualifications we were looking for, but we are not going to hire you. We will however, use your resume as the basis of comparison for all other applicants. But we are going to hire somebody else who is far less qualified and is probably an alcoholic. And if it doesn’t workout we will hire somebody else still not you. In fact we will never hire you. But we will call you from time to time to complain about the person we hired.