Friday, October 05, 2007

F>R>I>E>N>D>S

A-5. My school bus stops in front of our apartment gate. Students step out into the scorching 2:30 pm sun, glad and tired after a day's work. I help my brother down and we cross the road with a bunch of other school mates. Ansari Bhaiya stands near the gate, envelopes in hand, doing his cutomary duty, that of guarding our homes.
"bhaiya meri koi chitthi aayi hai, koi courier, kuch bhi?"
Yeah right, like I am a celebrity waiting to read fan mails.
But he has never said no. Ansari bhaiya never says no. He nodded and I jumped.

"appa ke liye hai, koi bank se aaya hai. ye lo". He smiles and gives me water to drink. "bahut dhoop hai na, tum logo ko ye iskool vaale dopahar ko kyun chodte hain?"

"bhaiya kabhi to chodte hain na, ab iskool mein rehna kaun chahata hai?" He raises his hand at the mention of 'iskool', as I run away. He has helped me in more ways than one, bought tennis balls when we lost ours, fought with boys for us, conspired with us in fooling the boys on april fool's day! I have conversed with him about his family and his life as a security guard. He has advised me on several occasions to behave myself and act like a girl should, "varna tumse koi shaadi nahi karega, batadeta hoon main". All those moments remain in me.

Today, I don't know where he is.

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I leave office at a peak traffic hour. Cross one road, walk some distance and then stop. Bangalore roads have signals at the most bizzare places and four policemen manning a four lane road. Result: confusion.

From somewhere a hand comes and holds mine.
"baa maa" I obediently follow this blue sareeed old lady, wrinkled-hands of steel. We cross successfully, she beams at me like we have just crossed the english channel, I smile and walk away. She stops as she needs to cross another road. For some reason I turn and wave at her, she smiles and waves back, shouting "Nagamma". I am guessing thats her name.

Today, I don't know where she is.

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"sadhana! epudi irrukai ma?"( how are you) Nobody has ever called me so lovingly. He used to, unfailingly. Always. "you dont meet me these days, nor do you come this side, everything alrite?" He gets out of the car, opens the door for me to sit and there begins a rendezvous. Dorai uncle is the best Driver my mama ever had, he talks about my cousins and how they have grown up and spend less and less time with parents. Telling me in a way, not to indulge in the same. I nod. He looks at me and says, "you know when I was small....." his voice trails off and I am spellbound by his pre-independence tales...

Today, I don't know where he is.

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A broken knee, a torn jeans, a bag on my back. I stumble and stagger towards my college food court, the usual post-accident scene. I see him, pot-bellied, dark, white moustache. He takes my bag and helps me with torn papers waiting to slip out of my wounded hands. Subramaniam, my favourite security guards and one of the most valuable friends I managed to gather from Christ College.
He helped me all the way to the bloody third floor, (these people love to give our question paperson the himalayas) all my other friends were studying.

Today, I don't know where he is.

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"tibban aaytha ma?" (have u had tiffin?)
"aaythu" pause..
We pass the sixth floor. The lift moves, he says "too much traffic these days, how do you manage?" I just smile...
Evening arrives. I get back into the lift and he presses 0. He is buys reading the newspaper, I ask him, what do you do the whole day in the lift, going up and down?"
"nothing, listen to other people's conversations, heheheh"
"whats your name?"
"Kimraj. nimma hesaru?"
"sadhana"
"ah! monday ok? byebye"
I smile.

Today, I know where he is.

-------
Phone rings. A familiar name.
MT-"hello"
"hi, how are you?"

MT-"fine. so tell me."
"I am wearing a white shirt today"

MT- "so?"
"I thought you always liked me in white"

Call gets cut...
Me thinks does my opinion matter, did it ever?

Today, I know where he is....

Does that make a difference?

Today, I know where he is........

9 comments:

ujju said...

Its like a jigsaw puzzle..well actually its like concentric circles.. some people are the inner rings and some are on the outer edges.. but everyone is part of your life. Its sad..sometimes we notice someone only when they are missing from our life.
I guess that's what life is like..its just touch and go.
interesting post.

pRicky said...

It matters na till it matters to you.
It might not make a difference but then again it could have been sum of some things... or a derivative.
:D
You are taking the lift these days??
Bad girl!!!
humse poocho kahan gaye woh lamhe,
raatein aur woh saathi
tum jano na, hum jane na
is jhamgut ki baatein
hain woh dil mein yadoon mein
har ik lamha narum
socho jab bhi oon batoon mein paoge tum saare...

Prude said...

:) Its a long life...it is. You never know where and when u might bump into them again.
The only promise I have EVER believed in is 'I don't know about tomorrow but for today I am here'. So, it does matter that today you know where he is...tonight you'll sleep with a smile on your face and like Scarlet says "tomorrow will be another day".
But for today...
:)

Me Thinks.. said...

@Ujju touch and go is so true..

@pricky its not abt me, its abt him..i was talking abt office ka lift..ur poem is fantastic..

@Prude ;) RIght, tomorrow will be another day..

Cosmos said...

Wakai zindagi me kai log aise hote hain jo bahut khaas hote hain lekin hume ye pata bhi nahi hota ki wo kahan par hain..
mere khayaal se sub kuchh depend karta hai waqt par. Waqt ka har ek mod kuchh naye rishtey de jata hai aur kuchh puraano ko le jaata hai..
Lekin bahut achchha hai ki tumhe abhi bhi wo log yaad hai aur jo log yaad hote hain wo kaheen na kaheen, kabhi na kabhi mil hi jaate hain..

Reema Banerjee said...

n where r u now MT? Where are u?

Me Thinks.. said...

@ cosmos the questions is jab pata hai ki vo kahan hain, usse bhi kya farak padta hai? anjaane log to ab zyaada dost ban gaye hain...

@ Reema You know where I am..everywhere and nowhere..

Cosmos said...

Fark to tumhe bhi pata hai ki kya padta hai aur rahi baat anjaane logon ki to mujhe kisi ek anjaane ka naam batao.

Tsu said...

Its unbelievable I was thinking of the same topic. I think that we meet people in our life and each person means something to us but then do we meet them later on/??? where what? mainly WHY???:) nice post daa!!! :)