Sunday, May 15, 2011

The unrequited Love


He felt like a fish thrown out of the water. He gasped, panted, snaked around terrified but all he felt was darkness and nothing more. He felt as if gagged, mugged and drugged by some thugs on the highway. He felt his world crashing down, blackness engulfed him and within seconds he was emerged into a pool of deep, dark miry ocean of eternal damnation.

He loved her so much. He never loved a woman like that before. She was a perfect embodiment of wisdom, grace, elegance, virtues, truth, and beauty that he has ever wanted in a woman and he found that in her. 
 Her entry into his life was a whole new life to him. From a stubborn, fact-oriented block- headed man he turned into a gentle, loveable person. Since then his outlook towards life began from a prism of compassion. Everything he laid his eyes on, he found love because he was in love. 

He found himself a million times wiser. When in each other’s bosom, they were the living tale of Samson and Delilah.  

Now that she is gone, he felt the ground below him trembling and giving way. 

Day and night he waits for her return home to him. His wait for her is like the return of the prodigal son. So many things he has on his mind to do with her when she is back. As soon as she is back he wants to bathe her in warm rose water and rejuvenate her fragile muscles from her long tiring journey. 
A peach colored satin gown with a low neck line, perfectly tailored for her lies hanging in the ward robe in his bedroom. He had picked it out for her the last summer for her homecoming and had been lying there since then. 

Before bed every night he looks at the gown and thinks of her in it. He thinks of her slender body in it, how her breasts, small, round and firm would fit perfectly in it. It makes him miss her more and the sudden pang of hunger for her hits him in the pit of his stomach.

The food of her choice, the drinks she likes, the books she loves to read and the position of the table lamp she likes in her study are all immaculately arranged. It just awaits her arrival.    
 
Letters, all written in neat black handwriting lies strewn all over the floor. Nobody dares to arrange the strewn letters for him; he wants it that way because these are her letters to him. He has read those letters a million times before and still reads it, reading it makes him warm, he finds peace, solace and life in it. He knows every word, the beginning of the next line yet he reads it. 

There is life in every word she has written to him.  It gives him his daily manna so he likes it the way it is.

Two bountiful springs passed, yet there is no sign of her arrival. The satin gown has gathered dust and he is afraid if she would fit in it, she must have gained weight, he thinks. 

He is afraid she would complain if it does not fit her. He does not want her to complain and be unhappy. She might chide him for not minding her size.

Silverfish has laid eggs on her books; she might be hurt that he has not taken good care of her books. “Oh my my, How could you let that happen to these poor books? You were here all the time…” she might exclaim. 

Sometimes, he sits on the porch late at night with a glass of whiskey, with her favorite record These days  by Rascal Flatts playing softly in the background and wonders, is she coming back? Yes, she will, he exclaims to himself. 

She used to over play her favorite record and sing along while vacuuming the house. The sound of the vacuum cleaner used to go overboard; she would get irritated, would stop vacuuming altogether and instead listen to the record leaving the room dusty. 

These thoughts of her make him smile. He smiles to himself, tears trickle down his sunken cheeks. The record makes him miss her more. 

Calling it a night he goes to bed, he tosses and turns around in bed. What a good night sleep can be, he has forgotten since the day she has been away.
 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Boy in Red Turtle-neck Sweater

I missed my parents more than ever after I last saw them some two months ago though we frequently meet over the phone. This time I thought that I will visit them on Palm Sunday; I boarded the usual bus to Lobesa from Semtokha.

I occupied quietly a single seat and became a sincere spectator to the hustle and bustle of the activities inside the crammed bus. I felt like I have been leased inside a match box; too hard to breathe. Amidst the strangers I became a quiet watchdog.
 
The beautiful pink peach flowers, the green meadows and the green lofty mountains signaled the appearance of bountiful spring in the air as the bus passed by. Despite the chaos I found myself enjoying the air outside through the long glass panes of the bus. 

The bus like a huge monster was at its high momentum and the tress seemed to move much faster than its tempo. Since Lobesa is just a two and a half hour drive from the capital, I travel often and the other times I traveled I didn't give much importance to the environment around me as most of the time I would be either sleeping with ear phones plugged in or busy chit-chatting with fellow-travelers.

Unlike the previous journeys I enjoyed myself this time. There was a reason to enjoy as I was amused by some incident or should I say I was pleasantly surprised by that encounter?

In the many journeys that I have traveled between Lobesa and Thimphu, the bus in which I used to travel didn't have the handy boy to assist the driver who seemed to have tough time to check the passengers' tickets and do the porter business himself. Sensing this problem he must have hired a hand to help him out. This time there was a young lad of 14, I presumed as the new handy boy. Since my seat was near the door of the bus he was the only entertainer for me and I had no choice but to watch him.

Dressed in a red turtle-neck sweater, unlike a man's color, a pair of faded blue jeans and flip-flops, he was tanned and looked weather beaten with a fresh hair-cut as if he has just emerged from a salon. Maybe his master - the driver must have  given him a fresh haircut  in preparation for his trade. I liked his air of confidence when he handed the tickets to the passengers and charged the fare to those who got in mid way. But I couldn't stop wondering what drove him to this profession at this age when he was supposed to be in school, learning the magic of numbers and the wonders of language like so many of others.

The driver made a poor joke that after 10 days the boy will be a professional driver and the boy couldn't help but agree to him. What does the boy know about the world outside? He is as innocent as a baby just out from the mother's womb and I wondered how he will cope up with this damn world where lies, betrayals, guilt, damnation are everyday's ways of life, where we have been webbed as the actors. I wished to be a guardian deity to him to protect him from all these and show him the righteous path towards life. 

Alas!

Again it's a wonder that men do not need that space as a woman. Had a girl child been at his place, she would be going through the most difficult part of life at this age, having to adapt to changes after attaining teens which is considered as the foremost important stage in a woman's life and it would have been difficult for her but not for this lad. 

His valor was to be appreciated and how long will it take him to mature as a professional? These thoughts invaded my mind and when I was shaken out of my reverie, I had reached my destination. 

He stopped the bus for me like a professional and gave me a sweet smile before the bus came to life again with the red turtle-neck sweater boy standing at the door. I wonder when I will see him again as a professional driver and not as that red turtle-necked sweater handy boy.

A Wish for a glass of lemonade


The chilly cold of Thimphu never seems to go away.

I have been waiting and waiting,

For the summer to drop in,

But summer seems to be a far cry in Thimphu.

For a few afternoons, there have been a couple of showers,

Bringing in another cold weather. :(

I want to have a large glass of lemonade in this heat

But I have to make it with some hot latte instead this dreadful summer.

Yet I am happy over a cup of latte because you get really good ones in town.

Cafe Latte at Ambient Cafe

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