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Monday, September 04, 2006 

Kismet Knitters

Fine Print: M , the blogger who softly treads on your computer screen and whose lucid writing style makes me nostalgic with the Puja fever, makes me think about my possible activites on my final day told me to write a story with mushy romantic ending than the usual macabre ones I end up with. So here is my lame attempt at spinning a sweet one. Read below to judge for yourself.

He was sitting idly at the bar counter, toying the ice in the glass with the stirrer. It's been one of those bad days when everything went wrong. Waking up on a Monday morning his first shock came as he found out its way past his usual wake time. The quick shave that followed left remnant beards sticking in between the bruises on his face. To add to the blues, the heater refused to function. Bathing in the ice-cold water was accompanied by teeth-clattering music and a shivering dance to go with it. Without any time for ironing he slid a pull-over to hide the crumpled shirt. He rushed towards the garage only to frustrate himself with the batteries that would not jump start despite all his efforts.

Cabs are like spare change which you see plenty when you don't need them and when you do need them they simply vanish. After praying to all the gods he could think of, he was finally able to board a cab. Cabbies could be interesting personalities and this one was a philosopher in disguise. The drive to the office was full of topics like purpose for existence to recent happenings in politics and soccer matches. They all came with in-depth analysis from the motor mouthed driver whose vocal chords were racing with the meter fare. Looking outside the windows yielded little relief for as they waded between the squirming traffic to downtown.

But when it came to earthly matters like cab-fare, the philosopher switched onto his pragmatic avatar. The usual or more than usual argument followed as he refused to give back the changes. The driver’s point of logic was that as a customer he should the one who is supposed to pay the exact fare. It was not the cabbies' duty to have the changes to the exact cent available at his dispense. With all the signs clearly indicating a bad day ahead, he closed the cab doors with a thud while muttering the F word .He was regretting his earlier analogy of the cabs with spare changes.

The lift to his fourth floor office was under maintenance, so the compulsory walk up the stairs was utilized at cursing his own life, admiring life of other folks and prioritizing the agendas for the day. When he made his entry inside the board room, the review meeting was already in full swing. Limited by their communication power or decency or both, people were aiming for the next person’s collar or throat. May be because he had this pitiful expression on his face apologizing for being late all the next stones were pelted at him only. For the remaining part of the meeting he was feeling proud at his defense skills mainly at the way the gunshots got rebounded by his armor of corporate survival techniques. Unfortunately his joy was short-lived.

As soon as he prepared for his exit from the board room, his boss asked him to stay back for some more time. Knowing that the old schooled rule-book abider that his boss was he was well prepared for a mouthful of advice. He was silently hoping they would be much better than the philosopher cabbie. But after what followed next he could've kissed the cabbie on his cheeks and nominated him for the next Nobel Prize. As he walked towards his cabin his ears were still burning from the volcanic lava that erupted from his mild natured boss’s mouth. All that he was left with were fossilized wreckage of his pride and goodwill buried under ashes.

His fling with Lady Luck continued for the rest of the day and at the evening he decided it was high time to drown all his problems in alcohol. He headed for the nearest bar. He knew it was expensive, but like a long lost traveler in desert who had sighted the oasis, he too didn’t have much option. The only solace was Monday evenings a bar is one of the quietest places where you can have all the silence to meditate.

And so after a couple of whiskeys he was sitting in a deserted bar with his empty glass twisting and turning the leftover ice with his stirrer and pondering about life in general. By this time Lady of Fate was also tired of spinning so much yearns to nail this guy in the spidery web. It was time for her to watch what happens to the protagonists of her favourite TV soap opera who were left stranded among deep marital troubles last Friday. She thought she had have enough and decided to take a well-deserved break

Nature abhors vaccum, so during this period of inactivity from Lady Luck, our main character’s Guardian Angel speedily got into action. The angel looked around for prospective candidates to change the luck for his bestowed one. And there she was, a lonely woman standing at the entrance of the disco-thec waiting for her boyfriend to pop in. A quick scan at the data available to Mr. Angel revealed that the boyfriend in question was an investment banker, a young gun speeding all the way to his destiny of wealth and fame. This one will be easy he thought as he snapped his fingers to change the course of events.

The next minute the banker while he was driving to meet his beloved, got a call from a big shot client.Mr Fat Wallet was bored with life on that particular evening and wanted to cheer up by finding the right stocks to invest. So he sought for the company of his banker for the evening.The sports-car screeched to a halt and then made a U-turn towards Mr. Fat Wallet's residence. Looking down Mr. Angel adjusted his halo with pride knowing that the ball has been set rolling.

She liked dancing and she liked it a lot. But when your date invariably fails to turn up that too on a day when he was supposed to be making up for an earlier mistake, the remixed screeches from the DJ might seem a bit louder for you. So you look for alternatives, only to find out the bar downstairs is playing a soothing lonely saxophone in contrast. And you end up heading towards the bar-man, even if you are a teetotaler.

Once you have taken a sip or two from your expensive cocktail, the exotic ingredients soaked in alcohol leaves a sensation tongue. You look around you to engage in conversation with the next decent soul available. If you are lucky that person happens to someone other than the barman. If you are luckier that someone happens to be the person who had glanced occasionally at you from the side of his eyes yet hasn’t said a word. With the time ticking away nothing seems better than to start the conversation.

The ways of conversation are strange. When stuck in rain in a bus-stand with someone you say "It's raining". Even if you are stating the obvious fact the other person replies "Yes it's raining like this for the past 15 minutes". Another obvious fact which you are well aware of, for you had looked at your watch for every five minutes since the rain started. But that is how the conversation always leads you to unknown by-lanes in between most walked avenues of life.

So she started off, "Hi....Sitting alone....waiting for someone"
He sighed, "Not really...just feeling lonely....you ?"
And she replied, "Me too....feeling lonely....so thought spending sometime here.."

From the much treaded avenues of life, their conversation enlightened them about each-other's daily routine life, not-so-routine aspirations and the silly list of small-small likening that made them smile. It seemed their conversation road-map was filled with sign boards pointing towards the topsy-turvy trail of strange love that was waiting to throw its door open to the two lonely drunk souls. When they left the bar together they were heading towards the dance floor. The combined dance steps amidst loud music was just another excuse for them to touch each-other intimately. In their intimate embrace one thing they realised was for certain that things would never be the same anymore.

Tomorrow morning he will tell his boss "Go to hell....I've found something better" and make a call to his friend who was insisting him to join his startup venture. Tonight she would not return the investment banker's call, tomorrow morning she'll say him "Go to hell...I've found someone better" and then wait for the evening to be here again. Or maybe they won't rush for it tomorrow itself, but it will definitely happen in due course of time. The writings on the wall already was shaping themselves.

Above in the sky stretching himself across his chair Mr. Guardian Angel smiled and thought, "Hmm…that was a day of hard work...but all's well that end's well....now I can go back to watch the soccer match".He looked up for a second at the skies even higher up to ponder what his guardian angel has been up to lately.

Humorous and happy...but but but...I think you do the other 'shocking macabre' ones better, this one's flow was a bit stilted...but again, you got to start somewhere...so carry on, please :)This is not a published book, so don't think about how many copies to sell and be scared to try new things. Ish, ektu advice diye fellam :D

Thanks for your thoughtful comments.A story written for a magazine differs a lot than one written as a blogpost.So does the perception of the reader that changes with medium to medium. Methinks the manuscript needs little more revision but as usual the impatient me had to push the publish button.May be next time..there's always a next time.I guess my Guardian Angel is now busy watching a Seinfield re-run and decided to try a little bit of humour with me as well.

Okay smiley face....happy ending. Atleast for the guy and girl. May be not so happy for the banker, huh?
But do let whatever comes naturally to you. As readers we will take life, death, happiness and sorrow as you hand it to us.
And thanks for keeping my request for a happy ending. It meant a lot.

@M: The banker got his deal from Mr. Fat Wallet.All's well that ends well.Once again thanks for reading my meaningless musings.

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