Ten years and counting, a man coming to terms with a broken relation has been left with a cynical take on life and the notion of love. Resigned to the fate of an urban dweller but with roots in hills, he has found his refuge in art and weekend wanderings with his adopted dog ‘Bholu’. On a fateful evening, listening to a radio show he hears a voice he had never forgotten…
Oh, did I tell you it took a decade in the making?
He saw the wilderness of city sweep past the aisle window ─ the roaring engines, the cacophony of crowds, blaring horns and the businesses. In a distance he could see the high rise offices. People like caged birds, enslaved in symmetrical cubicles, cockpits of cars and the concrete assortments called apartments. Despite the loud noises his ears could register the sound of silence. There were days when gazing at the setting sun he tried to remember her. Often than days, there were nights when the gleaming moonlight seemed to connect him to her. As if at that very precise moment she was looking at that light and thinking of him.
He yearned to say her name; to her.
The traffic signals were green. The tires spat dust.
The radio jockey was playing agony aunt offering lovelorn people expert counseling.
“Call her; tell her how much she means to you.”
“Take her out to a romantic movie followed by a dinner.”
“Buy her a nice black dress.”
So neatly labeled down like a recipe for dinner. He wondered if the RJ felt empathy for any of the callers or watched her watch and said to herself, “Ok, twenty more minutes, two more sob stories to attend.”
Damn, he was the last of the romantics.
Love, in our times is like god. Everyone talks of it, fights for it and yet not many claim to have seen it. So they search for it. In office spaces, colleges, bustling malls, reunions, chat rooms, theaters and the likes. Some even subscribe to sun signs and tarots looking for a future. If only they realized that the fine print any given day, reads the same for a Cancerian, who will file for a divorce and the other who would well, be marrying.
“Hello RJ Smita!” said the voice on the radio.
His eyebrows twitched at the sound of the voice. He could have identified it in a chorus.
The lady at the other end of the receiver wiped mascara off her eyes. The dark circles under her eyes like stamps from a bygone era bore testimony to the sleepless nights spent on an overdose of cinematic pearls from the French New wave. And who knows if she too, bereaved along side Godard’s leading ladies. Perhaps the eyes have given away to waiting. It has been a long time since she last saw him. Thirteen calendars swept by, two of them with 29 days against February.
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