After about 4 months of being practically locked up at my house, I had traveled to Delhi the 2nd time today. I had gone to Karol Bagh, Gaffar to be precise. I get to buy the cosmetics at a pretty reasonable price there. Before you jump that one would only get cheap imitations there, let me share with you all that everything from original to alikes, to completely fakes are available there; you just need to have an eye or nose (whiff the perfumes) for it. It’s been years that I have been shopping. Infact, anyone wanting the shop details, feel free to contact me.
While I sat in the car enjoying the weather, it had turned cloudy after 3pm; my Sony Walkman crowned my head. I saw the Red Gulmohars on both side of the road in full bloom. It took me back to the flat we had all lived in together for the last time. The immediate neighbors had a huge Gulmohar Tree in their veranda. Such simple thing as this also seemed so beautiful and serene that I gazed in awe. I had only turned my head when the vehicle came to the Main Road and this time the Yellow Laburnum took my fancy. Notice very carefully, they really look like Yellow Jewels complete with beads and strings..!! I had almost wanted to pluck a few and treasure them.. I would; I am making note of the Greens to be planted.
I had barely soaked my eyes of colorful flora when a song took me back.. Back to my early teens.. Back to the same B- Block house again.
“Ghazab Ka Hai Din Socho Zara..” from Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. I studied in a co- education school. While all of the classmates had picked up their “Best” Friend to sit with; I would sit with Himanshu. What an open declaration..!! He used to share the bench space with me in 1st standard. Once while playing in 3rd standard, how he had pointed out to me that I, Pooja and him had never sat together and were meeting again in that playground after so long. I know we were only kids and were supposedly dumb in that age. While in 4th standard, I don’t recall of any of his spoken words; I do recollect a few of the instances that happened in 5th class.
My Roll Number was just after his name; alas! it remained limited to the roll numbers alone. We looked forward to the examination seating pattern. 3rd, 4th and 5th class students would all be mixed and given a different class to sit in; as in, 10 students from each class would be mixed with the rest of 20 (10 +10). The Roll Numbers would make us sit me behind his seat. Our fondness for each other had started to grow. We would share our lunch, play together. He would pull up all his tricks to make me laugh.
We had started sharing our tit- bits and also tried to sit together whenever possible- as in whenever we felt we could brave it. The rest of the class including teachers used to tease if anyone was noticed while changing seats. Once just before the Recess, he pointed out to my Pencil Box saying he knew someone prettier than that. It was an Apsara Geometry Box with a Dainty Indian Maiden sketched on it. I had copied that sketch looking at the image only a few days back and he referred to that. Remember, kids are supposedly dumb; I asked him to share who he thought was more beautiful than her. C’mon, it was a nice Indian Elf showing on the Box; being a kid, I thought that was just the beautiful thing.. Actually I still maintain that. He had whispered that that was I and went out of the classroom. Silly me, I dint know how to react or feel! I was a kid.
The other day we played a game as given in English Grammar book. Conjunctions it was; one was to write a sentence on a slip of paper, fold it showing only the Junction word and let the other one complete it. He had asked a few friends the meaning of “Aami Tomake Bhalowashi”- I love you; to which they had gladly suggested that it was just the right word to impress me and that that would immediately give him space under my Wing. Only I dint have any notions about the fact that I was an all rounder. Well, he was reminded by Amit and there he yapped the “Aami Tomake Bhalowashi” with one Straight Face. Damn!! I dismissed it thinking they were upto teasing me. Yet another day, he invited himself over without pre- information accompanied with his Uncle to my Place (!!); I was playing in the Central Park nearby with Parul. After having received his posted Greeting Cards on Diwali and New Year, it was he himself that time. The next day, he had declared that I go to some International Park every evening; and the class loved to join the bandwagon and took turns in beating it up.
In 6th standard, he tried to persuade me to attend his Younger Brother Gaurav’s Birthday. How could I? Back then kids weren’t supposed to be telling their parents of where they would want to go, certainly not in 6th, infact, not at all. I politely refused and he was upset. My alibi was that December is for studying for Half yearly Exams.. His birthday falls on 18th March, (yeah, he is Piscean), our exams were over on 16th and I had barely gotten over the Letter incident that he had created yet another.
I sniffing and understanding where it may lead to (and it did- almost), I had written it on a piece of paper and handed it over to him. I am not going to marry at all- so kindly drop any of your Ideas. If you think you are the only one who could threaten me for committing Suicide, think again; your younger brother keeps reminding that his existence would become fatal in the light of our commitance of any mistake. What big words for that age I know; only I meant each word written and still maintain. The next day, when I had insisted that I wanted the Paper back, he had gladly mentioned my name for me to sing a song to the class. Our teacher for the period had not turned up and so it was a substitution period. I sang some song that I don’t remember of now; not that “Ekla Chalo Re” that day though. I had forgotten about that Letter and his father had discovered it the following evening.
Of course, it was reported to our class teacher Mrs. Maninder Pal Kaur; she remains one of my personal favorites till date. She discussed it with dad on PTM and before dad could pass it over to mom, I did it to her after the examinations right on 16th March. Though this all had happened before the papers, ma’am had requested that let the papers be over. Writing this, I understand how his parents may have reacted that ma’am but had to share it with my dad. I was merrily rehearsing for some function, at the school Ground when this hell broke loose. I wore a Blue silk Suit- a la Manu Masi and was busy flauting around.
That happens to be the last outing date with dad. We had then gone to Mohini Knitwears at Janpath and bought a Baby Pink Sweater. I still have it and wear it on fancy events; it is embellished and has sequins on it.
On Friday- 18th, Mom and I had barely finished watching Darpan, the series was re- aired (for the last time, I suppose) in 1989, at 3pm. She wanted to tease me about the Love Letter episode and the doorbell rang.. She opened the door since I almost guessed who it may be, given the fact that he had done that earlier too. I searched Google for the Serial Darpan to add some brief description and got linked to youtube for the Title Track. What better it would be than to hear the exact sounds of the incidents. As I hear the track now, I still feel that the Bell might ring and he would call on me. His uncle- his chachaji was a young guy may be in his early 20s, talked to my mom saying that he would come at around 5ish to pick me up for Himanshu’s Birthday Party and drop me home afterwards. Mom had agreed to!! He stood there making all faces on me and I was as if about to be bitten by the snake. That Material was again given by Masi; mom had stitched a nice frock out of that Satin white multi colored flowers length.
We rushed around and decided to wear the Snowhite Navy Trousers and the yellow top.. It took an hour of search to discover that top to be sitting in mom’s almira. His Uncle came and picked me up; mom had wanted assurance that Himanshu too comes home to drop me- just to be sure of; he had acknowledged. When I reached their place in Dilshad Garden I-Pkt, It was that “Ghazab Ka Hai Din…” Indeed it was one-off day. His parents, an expecting Chachi and their neighbours were the only guests. So, he had planned it in such a way that I could become a part of his Birthday Celebrations or may be he had wanted to spend his day with me!!
The evening went by joking and getting myself addressed as his girlfriend. His Uncle advised us not to elope as had the actors in QSQT, his younger brother had held out some cash to him saying he could ask for more.. I had sat like a statue, just had pinned my gaze on the movie as if that was my life savior. We clicked a few pics; he would stay at least a feet away, when Gaurav had came in and hugged both of us. No, I don’t have that pic, saw them only once. He told the last time we spoke that his Uncle still retains them- don’t know.
It is since then that whoever I click pics with doesn’t stay around; sooner than later, his track path changes.
I eyes were wet watching the movie’s end; they had asked me and I just managed to kill their curiosity. The same morning I had dreamt of that I was killed saving him in a war in the school playground. He even ate from my plate since I couldn’t finish my portion. He screamed for onion; I had whispered in his ears that I wanted them with my Chhole Bhature.
Lovely evening, inst it? Only the related latter blogs won’t be. I wish he could scream when it was really needed. If only he had stood a little closer when I had wanted him to, the way he dared to barge in my home. I so wanted him to arrange for me to be in his life space, the way he had arranged for my inclusion in his Birthday party. It took me loads of courage to write him here and go back the Memory Lane. We would be shy and hesitate to open conversation every morning. He could never see me cry and would give in the moment I would drop the 1st tear. It was him who said that
- I was stubborn,
- Took pride in hitting him; all my men friends would vote for this one (I used to practically beat him up)
- I couldn’t keep secrets- or so he thought. He confessed of being wrong the last time we spoke.
I still helplessly dream of him whenever am upset. It’s a pattern since I have known him from school days; one that’s become stronger with each passing year. I dream of him sitting with me and consoling me. Of late I have started dreaming of me walking by him leaving him to himself, and he watching me from a distance. Now, that’s a different story and a different Blog would say it.
Is it foretelling of something else too?
Music of the Tele- serial Darpan