How can I amuse you?

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If This Isn't Nice, What Is?

This man's simplicity always amuses me! (Pic Credits:

The alarm clock stuck six and a gentle hand shook me lightly.

"Wake up son, morning is here!", she smiled and said.
I looked at her, with sleep flowing out through the wet drool from my mouth. I turned off the alarm and smiled back. It was yet another morning. Yet another daylight. I got up and mechanically did my basic chores like brushing my teeth, taking a cold water bath, exercising a bit and then having my breakfast. I was still a bit sleepy and tired but that didn't change the fact that I had to show up for the day, no matter what. I left the house at around 8 am and bid goodbye to mother. Commuting to work is one of the biggest hurdles. You've to drag yourself through the horde of people who're all out there to fulfill their duties and their tasks.

The queue for the rickshaw was unbearably long. So, I took out my earphones and plugged them into my phone. As the tunes of Here Comes The Sun and John Lennon's sweet voice flooded my ears, I was magically transported in a different world. Oblivious to everything around me. This is good. Much better. Music always works as a remedy for everything. I step inside the rickshaw with two other folks. The guy seems in a hurry. The lady beside is already talking on her phone, telling her friend to wait for her, that she'll most probably reach any minute now. The breeze fucks up with my hair but never mind, I love my hair disheveled.

Upon reaching the station, all I get to see is people. More people. People running from one place to other. The announcer lady's gentle voice on the loudspeaker says, "9 hours, 10 minutes, slow local for Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus has been delayed by 20 minutes and will arrive on platform number 6 instead of platform number 4. Apologies for the inconvenience caused." And then, suddenly everyone starts hurrying towards the foot-over bridge. Everyone wants to be in that train. Everyone wants a place to sit. Everyone wants to reach on time. Everyone wants to be ahead of others. Everyone just wants to win. Be it just grabbing the window seat or a spot on the foot board of the train. People shoving themselves in trains. People struggling to get out of trains. People crowding the foot over bridge. People fighting to sit in the train. People fighting to stand in the train. People fighting with each other to vent out their frustration. People hurling abuses at each other to vent out their anger and feel a little better about themselves. They say that the journey is more beautiful than the destination. I say fuck it. The journey is a struggle. The destination is your freedom from struggle. Freedom to escape away and venture in another new struggle.

I jam myself inside the train and stand there, holding on loosely to my dreams and my hopes. As the train swooshes forward, the grimly green nameless shrubs, Ashoka trees and my life, pass me by. I somehow manage to get a seat after sometime. This young man vacates his place to get down at Ghatkopar. Ah, that feeling. Getting a window seat in a jam packed local train. It's these small things that make your day. That bring a smile on your face. I pause my playlist, unplug my earphones and take out my book. It's "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Okay, this is bliss!

The next hour flies by in few minutes, as if I am flicking the pages of time. Word after word, sentence after sentence, I entered into Garcia's wonderful world of magical realism. In Garcia's world, I could be plethora of characters. I remember this one time, I was the mighty Colonel Aureliano Buendia, waging a liberal revolutionary war against the conservative fascists to win back the town for myself. And this other time, I was making wild love to this handsome tarot-card reading lady, Pilar Ternera, in summer-time afternoon, on a hammock, in the happy town of Macondo! I feel so alive! Once again, it's these small pleasures of everyday routine that bring a ray of happiness in my life! As Kurt Vonnegut's uncle used to say, "If this isn't nice, what is?"

I reach my office. The same usual and bright faces, greeting me with a smile. I'm not much of a smiling guy. In fact, when I smile it looks forced and weird. But I put in my best effort to smile back without coming off as a creep. I need to learn this art of greeting and courtesy. The skill of socializing without awkwardness. I turn on my desktop and check if there are any important mails. After making note of all the tasks that I need to do for the day, I create a sort of mental schedule or time-table. It helps me to finish my work on time. After all, time is life, that's what I've learnt in these past few months.

I head towards the coffee machine, pressing the fourth button, to get my daily cup of latte. I meet my fellow friends there. We head over towards the empty table, setting down our breakfast plates and coffee cups. We discuss random things. It's mostly just small talk. About which train were you in, today? About how horrible and inhuman the crowd at Kurla and Dadar is. It's rather the same discussions. Almost every day.

I just sit there listening. Apart from not being a smiling guy, I'm also not much of a talker. Taciturn is the word. It's just that I don't know how people can indulge in small talk. Maybe it is my social insecurity and inhibitions. Indeed, yes, I'm painfully shy. Unless you're interesting or we're talking about literature, music or philosophy, over a glass of beer. I never quite understood or grasped that skill of small talk. I'm a lot better now though. I've started to learn how to talk to people. I observe them everyday and try to rather improvise. As I love learning new things! Maybe in coming months, I'll learn how to talk to random strangers without coming off as an autistic lad who has a speech deficiency. Anyway, after sipping off the last drops of caffeine addled milk, I head back to my work desk. The day goes by. Sometimes productive, sometimes not.

Luncheon breaks are interesting though! The discussions are more vibrant this time and everyone has something intriguing to say. Be it about work or just everyday life. I have a game or two of UNO and it's refreshing. The post lunch time goes by in a jiffy. As there's work to do. Reports to send.

In the afternoon, around 4:30, I take a mini break to grab another cup of that latte and maybe fiddle with the guitar kept near the recreational room. Although, I need to practice a lot, since I've stopped playing my guitar since past few months. It's only on weekends or so, that find myself jamming onto some tunes and practicing that elusive blues scale, that I want to master so badly.

I leave from office in late evening. It's already dark outside with the gradual onset of dusk. The sky has gone lavender with tiny stars arising, fighting against the the vast cloud of smog. Cities and pollution do ruin beautiful skies.
I walk my way back to the station, hoping to catch the usual train. This time, the rush is more intense. Peak after-office hours. This time, I don't get a seat. So, the journey goes on, as I stand there waiting, with nothing but some heavy metal and classic rock music blasting in my earphones to save me from my boredom. Boredom. Yes, that's going to be the death of this impatient generation.

I reach home. It's late night and I'm exhausted. I take a soul-rejuvenating cold shower and have my dinner. It's already 10 o' clock. I still have an hour. An hour to delve into my books. An hour for myself. I set up my bed and lay on it, with my books. After reading for half an hour or so, I shut the book and take out my journal. Yes. I've started journaling a few weeks back. I just write random words and sentences in it. Sometimes, phrases and poetry too! Just so that I don't forget how to write. I use color pencils for the added charm and fancy.

It's eleven now. Time for bed. I turn off the lights and lay awake. Being a self-proclaimed atheist, I never had a bedtime prayer or so. But these days, I've started to thank god. Or whoever that is. I talk to Hermann Hesse and thank him for all that he's done for me until now. I talk to Oscar Wilde and Tagore and ask them to keep inspiring me, as always. I speak with Dostoevsky, Camus and Kafka too and ask them to keep guiding me and helping me, to be a better human being than I was yesterday. Yes, you may think I'm going crazy now. That these are the first signs of madness. But call me whatever you like, I do talk to these gods of literature at night. In my opinion, there are no gods. There are just writers who create gods for people to follow. For people to seek solace in their time of need and solitude. Be it The Bible, The Bhagvad-Gita or The Quran. It's the writers that created gods through mere words and words itself. Thus, that does makes all writers divine!

Sleep visits and devours me, like the gently drizzling and melancholy rain on a hot and arid day. I dream those sweet dreams. That I'm lying somewhere on a vast expanse of infinite grasslands. With nothing but my pen and my notebook beside me. Strewn pages of scribbled lines scattered all over. The twinkling stars above showering their dim lights of merriment upon me. The crimson moon, watching over me like a mother watching over her peacefully sleeping baby in the cradle. Again, Vonnegut whispers in my ears, "If this isn't nice, what is?"

But there's something else that's creeping within me. A feeling of restlessness and youth thudding on the walls of my heart. A feeling of adrenaline rush, that makes me want to run away into the wilderness, with nothing but my notebook and a pen. A feeling that everything is changing too fast and that I just don't want to adapt. A feeling that I'm perfectly calm yet anxious. An unknown desire, a ravenous hunger, is gripping my soul. Strangling it. Choking it. It wants freedom and adventure but it's too afraid and timid. It wants love and affection but it's too cynical and egoistical. It wants satisfaction and contentment but it's too ambitious. It wants happiness but it's too conscious and insecure. Oh, masters of literature, is there a name for this feeling or emotion? Or were you folks too scared to name it!

I ask myself, why am I doing this, day after day? I can escape. Any time. I can be a bit greedy and selfish. I can do whatever my heart wants to do. After all, selfishness and hypocrisy is the pillar on which humanity has evolved. That's how we've survived. But then, there's this shrill sound of the morning alarm, once again. A gentle hand wakes me up once again. I look in my mother's eyes. They're heavy with sleep, yet radiant like a newly bloomed morning glory! There's dark circles around them but the gaze is penetrating and brooding, from all the decades of love and sacrifices she has made. She has been awake since past hour or so, she rarely sleeps. I know that. She prepared aloo-parathas for me, as she knows I like them in my tiffin. I look in her eyes and I smile.
I get up all revitalized. For, it's another beautiful day. Perhaps, a new experience that awaits me!

Maybe someday, our young, naive and restless hearts will understand that real happiness isn't in dreaming or blindly following our whims and delusions. Real happiness is in striving. Striving to make your own utopia in this reality. To build your own dreamland, without having to do it at the cost of your loved ones and the people who care about you. Without disappointing the people whose happiness and meaning of existence depends entirely on you.

For when you realize that you ain't the universe anymore, the best course of action is to stick together with your loved ones. When you realize that you're just infinitesimally minute atoms in this gargantuan galaxy, your best course of action is to tag along with other atoms. After all we're all just specks of dust on a giant boulder of rock that's just revolving around the sun, since aeons. Going in the same circle. Repeating the same path. Again and again. Everyday. Since the dawn of time. 

And yes, whenever you're having a good time with your friends, those wonderful conversations on weekends over good food and drinks, with people whom you love. That dinner outing with your family and the joy of catching up with your friends after a long time. That feeling of enjoying a good movie or finishing a great book. That word of appreciation from your manager or team colleague. That game of football on turf. Finishing that poem, sketch, drawing or article that you've been working on since weeks! We're so fascinated about everything grandiose and luxury that we often overlook these small joys and pleasures of life. It's these beautiful emotional bursts of joy that make me embrace the beauty of this mortal life as a human being!

And yes, finally it's times like these that you should never forget to ask yourself, "If this isn't nice, what is?"

Dostoevsky is indeed the master of understanding complex human emotions.(Pic Credits:

( Well, how are you fellow readers and dear friends? This is my first article since I officially graduated from college and yes, it's been a long time. I didn't get the time to publish anything substantial. I apologize for the epic delay. Also, I've started my job, it'll be four months now. So yeah, I'm a part of the world I had detested so cruelly during my college days, the corporate world. And surprisingly, it's not as bad as I thought. In fact, it's going awesome so far! New experiences and new people! Life after college is indeed different. I've learnt a lot of things in these past few months. The importance of time-management being the most important among them. I'd love to think I sort of grew up as a person. 

Please bear with this tedious article, I've been wanting to publish this since past month or so and finally managed to do so today after editing the draft umpteen times! I hope you'll like it. If not, you can let me know your thoughts on the same, in the comments section below. Also, the work on my book I've been writing has taken a backseat since my job. I'm hoping to resume it by this week and hopefully I'll finish the book by next year. Till then, I'll keep publishing new articles, as and when I find the time. So, until next time Adios! )

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The Depression And Suicide Connundrum

(Pic credits:

Since everyone is riding on the Justin Beiber wave, selling their kidneys and souls, dying to get the tickets to that elusive concert, I thought why not take this opportunity and talk about depression and killing oneself. Because that's what most people are going to do after the concert.

"He killed himself. He must be a coward."

We've often heard this phrase being uttered by many. People who didn't even know the person, judging the heck out the them, after their death. Maybe. Perhaps he is a coward. Or perhaps he is a brave heart. It's all a matter of perspective. There's a general societal notion that one who kills himself is a coward. One who's timid and doesn't know how to fightback. But is it really so? Do folks who kill themselves consider themselves as cowards and losers? Is suicide really an act of faint-heartedness? There are no specific answers to this question. But I often ask myself, why is it that people abhorrently criticize the guys who carry out this dreadful act, calling them names. To be clear, I'm neither supporting the idea of killing oneself here nor criticizing it.

Let's consider this. Why do we do certain things? Or to put it in a simple manner, why do we do the things we want to do or we feel like doing? It's because something or the other drives us there. It might be our passion and desire or it may even be our necessity; our need. As an individual, everyone is different. Everyone is unique. Not that 'beautiful snowflake' gibberish. I'm not talking of it in a complimentary way. I'm talking about the biological and psychological aspects. Now this is important. There are times when we feel like no one understands us. Like no one can possibly relate to whatever we're thinking or feeling. Utterly alone and isolated from everyone. It's easier to say that we need to talk about it, let it all out in the open. But does that advice actually work? Talking about the problem, rarely solves the problem.

Imagine this, your best friend confesses to you that he likes to dress up as a clown and murder people. What would you do? How would you react? Would you comprehend with the fact that your friend could do something sinister like this and bail out on him or would you grab a shovel and help him bury the corpses? It's a blatantly weird analogy but sometimes people can't share what's going on within their lives. They're terribly afraid about their problems. They're also insecure about being judged for it, by this rather indifferent society. And even if they talk about it, it's not advice that they're seeking. It's about listening to them, understanding things from their perspective. Which is a very, very difficult thing to do. Sometimes, we just cannot explain how we're feeling or what is happening to us. We often claim how we don't understand why a particular person would just kill himself. Then how the heck can we expect to understand what drove him or her to that point of no return! Therein lies the whole crux of the situation.

Don't you just love it when they decide to act on the issue of depression by revamping the favorite hangout spot of Kota students.

You folks might have heard about the famous tale of Sisyphus. The mythical character who had attracted the wrath of gods and was punished to push a heavy boulder of rock up the hill, every day, until eternity. The most cruel twist to this curse was that once Sisyphus pushed the boulder up the hill, it would roll down back again. It was a perpetually unending and vicious cycle. But Sisyphus didn't falter. He used to go back and push the boulder up. He kept doing this, despite the misery, the struggle and pain. And thus, Sisyphus had become his own destiny. His own fate. The guy who was pushing the stone had now become a stone himself. As Albert Camus ends in 'The Myth Of Sisyphus'; "One must always imagine Sisyphus happy."

But why? Why should one always imagine Sisyphus happy? The most obvious answer here is because he chose not to quit. Despite being aware of his meaningless and purposeless existence, he kept toiling and going on and on. He chose not to let his cruel fate affect his life in anyway. And thus, we think of Sisyphus as a hero.

We can all relate to Sisyphus in some way or the other. We all have our very own boulders to push up the hill. Unrealistic expectations, wild ambitions, stuck up jobs and routines, unhealthy relationships, pain and suffering, disappointments and failures, hopelessness and depression.
After all, we're all pushing our very own rocks, up the hill. Everyday of our existence.

But the thing here is, he was Sisyphus. And we aren't. Yes, we could definitely choose to be like him. Or we could choose not to. We could choose to strive and keep going despite the hardships, Or we could choose to escape it forever. You could accept your fate or choose to revolt against it. It's all up to your conscience. A personal choice of our consciousness. And what we choose, ends up defining us.
As Chuck Palahniuk says in Choke, "Torture is torture and humiliation is humiliation, only if one chooses to suffer."

Every individual has a different coping mechanism. It might be music or words. It might be art or drugs. It might be alcohol and partying. Reading or eating. Laughing or crying. Struggling or sleeping. holding on or letting go. Or even, living on or choosing to die. It differs from person to person. From individual to individual. Your very own escape zone. And that's what makes suicide a very complicated and very sensitive issue to speak upon.

Indeed, hope is a good thing. But one should never let optimism turn into a delusion. Agreed, ignorance is bliss. But when the delusion shatters, the heartache that follows is the worst. One needs to be aware of this bitter reality. Only then one can learn to embrace and accept it. Living in denial doesn't help. In Jim Morrison's words, "Once you make peace with the authority, you become the authority!" That's exactly what Sisyphus did.

Now, I won't kill myself, no matter how fucked up shit is. Not because I consider myself as a hero. It's because I haven't got the slightest bit of courage or determination to do so. So that does make me a coward in literal sense. I would any day prefer a shitty life over no life at all! For, something is always better than nothing. Life is indeed beautiful than death. One just has to change one's perception about it. The worst thing about committing suicide is that you can't commit it twice. And now, that's my opinion. I won't force it upon you.

It's okay if you can't imagine Sisyphus as happy. It doesn't matter. As we don't actually know whether he was happy as a butterfly or sad as a sack of shit. Sadness isn't as pathetic an emotion, as they portray. It's a beautiful thing, one of the most powerful emotion if you somehow learn to channel it into your passion and your talent. At least that's what Steven Wilson taught me! Anyway, happiness and sadness are relatively dependent on each other. You can't feel the former if you've never experienced the latter.

What matters is that you keep going. To keep moving and crawling, no matter what. Keep pushing that boulder of yours, up the hill. And if you feel like you've hit the rock bottom and reached your breaking point. When you're tired and just feel like you can't take it anymore, you could shove that boulder aside for a moment and do something else, like you know, take a shit or something. For me it's music, books and dank memes. My eternal solace from bullshit!

Take a break and hide away momentarily from all this. How? I don't know, sing, dance or just roll a joint and wander off naked into the mountains. Just stop taking your shit seriously. As Oscar Wilde says, "Life is too important to be taken seriously."

Pearls of wisdom from Rick and Morty!(Pic Source: Reddit.)

The point here is, just for that one moment, do whatever the fuck makes you feel good about yourself and lets you sleep through the night. And then, when you're ready again, you can take the boulder and show it who's the boss. Or maybe, you could just say "fuck it" and take that leap of faith to escape it once and for all. They say that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
The world needs you. You might just be the next legend in the making! Who knows, you could be the cure for cancer or just the worst form of cancer yourself. In my opinion, either way, life is totally worth living!

Eventually, it's up to you. How you choose to live or...die.

Yeah Jerry, it works. It always works.

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Beyond The Obscured Clouds

(Pic Credits:

A chirping sparrow flew towards the old banyan tree and sat in his nest, cozying against the settling evening. The tree had stood in the farm since ages. It had withstood rain, storm, unimaginable natural calamities and atrocities of time as well. So primordial, that tree now formed the soul of the farm. It had witnessed everything. The warm gentle breeze flew southwards and the sunlight had toned itself down. The faintly visible crescent moon was now hanging desolately in the blue eastern sky while the sun was gently sinking towards nothingness.

The farmer was now done with his day's toil and was packing off his belongings. He put the tiffin-box in his rag satchel with the insecticide container latched onto his back. Then he went to get the bullocks, who were busy grazing, munching on the soft green grass. He bought both of them near the cart and started to fasten them to it. The bullock-cart was now almost ready as he loaded the stack of hay he had harvested throughout the entire tiresome day. The sweat beads glistened on his forehead and fell upon the arid soil, dissipating away without a sign.

Just then a black sedan pulled over across the road and a plump looking man stepped out of it. He looked dapper in his navy blue suit and was fiddling with the car keys in his fingers.
"Hey", he shouted.

The farmer squinted over towards the road and saw the man. He unloaded the insecticide container on the cart and kept his rag satchel beside it. Then he started off with heavy steps, in the direction of the man who had arrived in his car.

"Have you got the money?", the man asked, unperturbed.

"No. Not yet.", replied the farmer.

"I had already informed you. Today was the last deadline. I can't help it now. You should've have paid your dues on time.", the man spoke irritatedly.

"Yes. I know. But I tried my best. You know it has been an awful year. The rain gods have also been terribly miserable.", replied the farmer.

"I know that. But you see, I can't help it. There are orders from above."

"Could you please give me some more time?"

"See, if it were in my hands, I would've helped. But it isn't. There are strict orders. Even I've got a family to feed."

"Everyone's got a family to feed." 

"I'm sorry. I can't help it. Tomorrow, we'll take over the farm. I've heard the boss is planning to put on a factory here, in near future. Look at the bright side, you can try for a job there! And after all these years, what good has this farm done to you?"

The farmer glanced at the farm over his shoulder, then looked into the man's eyes and said,

"This farm is like my child. I can never give up on it. Sometimes, your child may disappoint you. But that doesn't mean you just give up on him and go get a new one. And then, you talk about looking at the brighter side when you folks are snatching away my own child from me.", the farmer's voice stirred while speaking.

"I could've helped if I could. But I can't. You got to abandon the farm tomorrow. The bulldozers will arrive early in the morning and boss doesn't want any problems. He hates it. So, I'm advising you, leave the farm gracefully and try not to cause any problems."

"Everyone could've helped if they could. But, when it really matters, very few will. That's the ugly truth. Anyway, I assure you I'll not cause any problems. You can peacefully take over the farm tomorrow.", saying so, the farmer started walking back towards his cart.

"Okay then. I'll take your leave.", and the man opened his car door jauntily. This had went much smoother than he had thought. He effortlessly put the keys in and turned on the ignition. Then he went on the road as the brown cloud of dust rose like smoke behind him.

Meanwhile, the farmer trudged towards the well with the bucket, to feed the thirsty bulls. He threw the bucket in the dry well. It had very little water left in it, so he kept tugging on the rope to fill the bucket and drew the bucket of water with his scrawny yet strong arms.

He took the bucket and poured the water in the giant bowls. Taking the bowls near the bulls, the farmer watched intently as the bulls started gulping down viciously and happily quenched their thirst.

The farmer was now gazing morosely at the small fluffs of white barren clouds. Solemnly hopeless.  He knew that the rain gods aren't merciful. The ashen blue sky was now as ashen as his heart. He could feel it; he knew it. It was about time. Time to go home!

He untied the bucket rope and walked towards the old banyan tree. He made the noose and wrapped it around the strong branch. He made sure that the knot was strong. He then went towards the barn and got the old wooden stool. He kept it near the banyan tree and stood on it.

The farmer had one last look at the ruthless sky. And then, it ended. The old banyan tree still stood there. Silent and motionless. Just as the farmer. The struggle was over. The sparrows flew off from their nest. Along with them, departed the soul of the farmer and the broken spirit of the tree itself.

A dark black cloud appeared out of nowhere and submerged over the picturesque sky. For the wild sky finally roared at last and wept ferociously at this appalling misfortune. But then, it was too late...
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Meeting An Old Friend

"Some people seem to fade away but then when they are truly gone, it's like they didn't fade away at all." ~ Bob Dylan. (Pic Credits: Rardul Shane)

It was a Saturday evening and the sun was partly relished by the hungry mountains. The palm trees were swaying with the gently flowing wind which also tickled the wisps of my long gray hair. I got down from my motorbike and placed the helmet on the backseat.Walking languidly towards the wooden bench, I sat there and breathed in the aroma fresh autumn air hanging loosely in the air. I saw some distant folks dressed up in white overalls, tending the overgrown hedgerow. Some of them were gardening, watering the flowers, to keep their delicate freshness intact. The bliss and fragrance of aromatic lilies and tulips, I was soaking it all in!

I opened my beige colored satchel. Accessories are not my thing but this one was a gift from Jane, so I couldn't be sardonic towards it. I took out the box of beans and started scattering them on the ground. I've always hated pigeons but feeding them always seemed sort of interesting. The way they peck onto them, till their tiny bellies are satiated and then fly off towards the small pond over the southern end of the park, quenching their thirst, eventually flying off to nowhere-- or maybe taking a dump on someone's head.

I kept feeding them for a while, staring mindlessly at this activity. Just then an old woman came there. She sat beside me on the same bench.

I eyed her from the corner of my eye as she took out a newspaper from her purse and started reading it. I kept feeding the pigeons and it was starting to bore me now. I looked at the old lady again to see what she was reading.
"Anything interesting?", I casually asked her to strike up a conversation.
She lifted her face from the newspaper and stared at me with suspicion. For an ugly old man with long hair, who looks like a creepy sexual offender on the run, I was used to such peculiar peering. She felt threatened, I guess. So I resumed back to scattering beans on the ground.

"You want to read?", came a frail voice. The old lady was now offering the supplementary part of the newspaper to me. The one that has all the glitz and glamour!
"Oh, thank you" I replied and hesitantly took it from her. And just when I was about to open it,
"You new in here?", she asked.
"Yeah, sort of. I'm actually here to visit a friend of mine."
"Well, that's nice", she nodded and went back to reading.

After grazing through the usual movie catalog, Calvin and Hobbes and the editorial column for like 20 minutes, I decided to leave.
"Here you go lady, thank you for snapping me out of my near-romantic date with pigeons. I should set off now, in search of my friend", saying so, I returned the paper to her.
While she extended her arm to take it, I happened to notice the tattoo below her elbow. An abstract design of an veiled eagle, with its wings on fire, trapped in a cage. I gazed at it for a moment and was mesmerized by its enticing beauty.
"If you want, you can keep it", she said. I realized that I was still holding the paper in my hand, while she was holding the other end.
"Oh sorry, here.", saying so I let go off my end.
She took it, folded it neatly and kept it back in her purse.
"Does your friend stay in this neighborhood", she asked as I got up and started towards my motorbike.
I turned back and replied while putting my helmet back on, "Oh yes, perhaps."

"Don't you have the exact address?"
"Then how will you find your friend?"
"I don't need to."
"Well, you're quite a queer fellow Sire, I hope you find your friend. Have a nice day!" she said and smiled.
I sat back on my bike and pushed the start button. The engine of my Harley roared back to life. I slid up the visor of my helmet for a moment and replied,
"I think I already found my friend. It was pleasant meeting you lady. Adios!"

I slowly released the clutch the bike swooshed forward. I looked in the rear view mirror, and saw her looking at me curiously. Some folks in white overalls had already gathered there to escort her back. I waved my left hand without looking back and a demure smile came across her face. I moved on with my journey and soon her face gradually disappeared from the mirror. I applied the throttle as the forlorn surroundings passed me by. The sun was now obscured by the mountains and the dying light was fighting its last battle against the onset of darkness. My eyes were moist. Maybe due to the dust granules hitting them. I had one final look in the rear view mirror, as I saw the watchman close the latch of the iron gate behind me; the board on the gate read, "Hope: A Shelter For Beautiful Minds"

I squinted for a while in the mirror, till the letters diminished within the pearl shaped tear droplets, clouding the pupils of my eyes. I felt its warmth as a droplet trickled down my left cheek. Looking ahead at the lavender tinted dusk that was creeping across the road, I rode on. I desperately needed a shot of whiskey now. And so, I wandered off in search of a bar, lost in a nostalgic dwam, traveling with the waning memories of my fragmentary meeting with an old friend...


[Well, I was on a brief sabbatical for some time now. Anyway, it's been a helluva start to 2017. After a disastrous 2016. Meanwhile, I got a job through campus placements! Followed by an unforgettable Himachal tour with my lovely beloved folks. Meandering through the land of beautiful snow covered mountains where rays of happiness and enlightenment keep endlessly flowing through your soul! So yeah, the year looks promising and optimistic ahead with all the jigsaw pieces falling in place. Will always keep writing. And reading, of course. Okay. Enough with the blabbering. Thank you for reading this one. It sure means a lot! Till then, adios!]
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