Saturday, 30 August 2008

The scent of a woman

The only way to tie the necktie that I know is the Windsors’. Generally I prefer wearing heavier ties but today I was wearing a lighter one, after a pretty long time. The result was that it took me three attempts to adjust the length. Before I left my house, I knew that I’d miss my bus. My fear was granted when I saw the bus leave from the bus stop, 50 meters from where I was.

As expected the bus stop was deserted when I finally settled down, trying to figure out which are the other connecting train and trams that I’d be missing for this delay. The frequencies are quite high at that time so I might not get delayed for the meeting.

I was waiting for my bus when a pretty lady came and sat just besides me. Usually I do not bother to look at whoever sits besides me, but she was someone different. It was the perfume that she was wearing, fresh floral fragrance. All that I can recollect was that the smell was fresh. Well, for the rest of the time I just tried to relate the scent to something which would help me remember it. I didn’t see her face then, but I knew she must have been attractive. A floral skirt and a thin anklet is all that I could see. She was reading the newspaper, while I tried to focus my attention as to what Nicholas Sparks had written in “The Rescue”.

The bus arrived and I found an empty seat, one of the only two empty seats and I was being followed by someone. This time I saw her face. The reason to be glad was that I could spend more time with the perfume. Our eyes locked and she smiled, I smiled back. Throughout the journey I contemplated whether to ask the name of the perfume that she wore. I knew it would be too rude on my part, but… but I wanted to know what the name was. Our destination came and we parted. From this place I was to board a train and at this time around it gets pretty crowded.

Putting the scented thoughts behind me, I started figuring out how my day was planned. A meeting at 8 would be the one which I was looking for from quite sometime. I had a couple of presentation on the solution proposed for the stakeholders in my assignment. Just as I was thinking about my work, it struck again, though mildly. I searched for the source frantically, because I was sure the carrier was not here with me. She had walked in the other direction as we alighted from the bus. This had to be someone else.

And then I found her. She was standing a couple of feet from me. Striking though, I thought I could do nothing more than to remember the smell. Our destination came quicker than what I had anticipated. Having spent quite sometime with the scent, I was sure to be able to describe it to the shopkeeper when I’d ask for it for my sweetheart.

My last leg of travel was via the tram. This time I did not have to try so hard. The lady sitting just ahead of me just took out the bottle as she sprayed modestly over herself, giving me enough time to read the label on the bottle and also have an extra share of the refreshing smell, just as the tram came to a stop. Feeling quite contend on finally being able to retrieve the name of the producer without much of an attempt I started for my day. How many times has it happened that something irresistible strikes and after eluding for a couple of times finally reveals itself? For me this was the first time.

Just one thought had lingered -all the three ladies were not one of the best looking but had dressed too amazing well. And I knew that my babe would have been as good as them and with the perfume… well I would need convincing reasons to leave her side.

As far as the name is concerned, it was Weekend by Burberry.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Daal, tadka laga ke !!!

The places might be thousands of kilometers apart… but the feelings are so close to be as one. The circumstances stark different… but not the view.
The mind races faster to connect two seemingly insignificant events into what might be a pleasant walk done memory lane. The power of thought or the memories of the days gone by… hard to judge. But it’s strange isn’t it? Why are old days always good? Is it because we are so occupied that we forget our greatest joys… our existence? Is it the promise of a better tomorrow that strains us from admiring the present? Or are some incidents in life meant to be savored from the future?

The time 10:15 PM.
The place: Naini Chauraha, Allahabad District.
The Period: April 2003

Our end semester exams were quite close and the frequent power cuts along with the chaos around us had become a part of our lives. The yellow lamp did little to sway our concentration… I had never loved studying as I had in those days. After having allowed the mosquito coil to trouble me more than keep the mosquitoes away, I glanced around. Ravi was humming one of his favorite songs while he focused his attentions on one of the algorithms. Dinner time was close and reluctantly we got ready to make the move.

The Naini Bazaar was a small town in itself. The money was short and the hunger resilient as we settled in one of the dingy restaurants. “Bhaiya, char roti aur bhindi ki sabzee do jaghe mein” Ravi said over the counter as we found an empty bench to ourselves. It was quite dark out there, cannot expect much from the street lamp or the lantern hanging near the wall. We seated ourselves among all who came from various walks of life… mostly truck drivers. The garam garam rotis instead of receding our hunger had flared it more. “Ek daal tadka laga ke yahan par” said one of the drivers and we held onto the aroma for a bit longer. A minute passed by and then another, “Bhaiya yahan bhi do daal tadka laga ke” I said as I looked at Ravi. It would cost us seven rupees more.

The time 10:30 PM
The place: My room, Schumacherweg 47, Zurich.
The period: August 2008

The day was tough, a client meeting ensure I had enough work to keep my coffee breaks and lunch as short as possible for the week. But I was at home. A half an hour call to my sweetheart with a cup of hot tea made the day lighter. A cursory glance over the financial sites told me that the day was lackluster with no wild swings. Orkut showed me a couple of friends’ updates. Gradually it was time for dinner. “Sourav, khana khayega?” Libin asked me. “Kya bana raha hai?” I asked. “Mujhe to bus ek hi cheez aata hai… daal, tadka laga ke”.

The places are thousands of miles apart… but the thoughts are not. That evening while walking back with Ravi to our room we would have discussed about either the exams or a movie. Could I ever in my wildest dreams expect the “daal tadka” memory to make such a remarkable comeback when I would have least expected it.

Old days are always good and so are the memories. One day… one day, I would want to go to the same restaurant… sit with the same people in the lantern lit place while I would say, “Bhaiya, teen daal tadka yahan par”. Ravi, lets relive the old days. Libin, a bit of Ganga jal will do you no harm.