Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The New Me

The brightness of her face soothes me so
That I close my eyes and go into a trance
As if she carries the early winter morning sun….

She manes her ruffled hair, standing on her terrace
The mysterious smile hides her true feelings, perhaps
But her naughty eyes give away a confession….

Speech haywire, thoughts directionless and mood swings
Everything seems going just the opposite of what I want
My heart resisted, the heart is the culprit to give in….

A move makes the winds go wild
A stare makes time stall its move
A step towards me commands my heart beat…

Am searching for my old careless self
I am becoming someone she needs me to be
I love her. I love the new me.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I am (still) Thirsty

I was getting desperate now. It was past 8 in the morning and I had yet not got my first tea of the day. 

Thankfully, by the grace of Almighty and training of the hospitality industry, I landed unhurt in Lucknow. The hostesses acted as good hosts and my co-passengers were a good sport too. All of them ignored me royally.  

The moment I sat in the pre-paid cab, I ordered the driver to stop at the next best decent tea stall outside the airport. If he was surprised, he didn’t show it. But he surely asked some intruding and personal questions – starting with a very innocent, “bhaiyaji, was not tea available in the airport?” When I did not reply, he went on, “acha bhaiyaji, I have heard they serve beverages on board too. Didn’t they offer you on the flight?” To which I replied, “No, they were not serving today.” This is when he surprised me. He said, “Oh, bhaiyaji, low cost waali se aaye hain?”

Anyways, as we drove out of the airport compound, my cabbie offered to provide his unsolicited advice on the various kinds of tea and tea stalls in and around the airport. I thought to myself, “I have spoken a lot for the morning, now let’s listen for few moments”. He started with his versions, preferences and preparation of tea in permutations and combination of more milk, less water, tea in spoons and measurement on hand etc. I was reminded of my days while staying with friends, when every morning it was by turns that we had to make tea for the group. And surely enough, everyday tea tasted different. 

Just as rose by any other name would smell as sweet, tea by any other hand every morning provided the same pressure, to ease.

Anyhow, back on the road, the cabbie stopped at a decent tea stall, went out and ordered tea. I waited in the cab, listening to songs on the radio. And then it happened. Radio played the song, “pani da rang....”( Barely, had I taken my mind off the almost missed flight, the miss who ignored me and tea I was missing, that it all came rushing back to me. The hostess who finally quenched my thirst was actually a better host…  or let’s put it this way, she was really ho(s)t!

Tea was really nice. The song changed. It was “tip tip barsa pani….”!! Arre, who on earth would want to listen and fantasize a wet Raveen Tandon at such an early morning time? My cabbie sure did. Well, I liked it too. I was reminded of Raveena Tandon, Divya Bharti and the moment the song changed again to “pani pani re…” is when I realized that the ho(s)t resembled Tabu. It then struck me that theme on radio today was water. If water was the theme of the day, I had to control, and I did. Even my family astrologer had strongly advised me to stay away from water. I resolved not to have any wet dreams… eerr…. Fantasies…. eerrr, let’s call them flash back.

No tea, no coffee, no water, no host, nothing hot. There was a certain chill in the air. October was looking fresh and cold. To stay away from water, I decided to avoid bath too. 

In the coming days, there would be enough food for thought to satisfy my hungry mind. And my thirsty eyes were witness to stories, wet and dry, unfolding in the coming days.

Friday, October 26, 2012

I Am Thirsty

I am not an early riser. In fact, there are very few reasons that can make me rise early. And now that I retrospect, most of the reasons are very personal. I wake up early because I have to catch an early morning flight for a holiday or I get up early because I am running loosies… so on and so forth!! The only challenge with me of getting up early is from the moment I wake up, I feel something is not right. Funny part is, most of the times, I am right!

This time, ofcourse, it was a genuine holiday I had picked. After 2 years of wait and missing being there, I was going to be in Lucknow for Durga Puja. Sleep was optional. But I did sleep well, fantasizing… eerrr… dreaming of days (and nights) ahead.

Reaching the airport was easy and smooth. This time, the cab guy was on time. I left on time and reached the airport well before time to avoid the extra security during festival time. To my surprise and not a pleasant one, most travelers thought exactly the same. All queues had taken the shape of Q. Added to that the multiplicity of agonies - entry to the airport had a south Indian guy who could ask the right question in Hindi, the usher assisting passengers to the right check-in queue responded only in English, not realizing the aunty in the saree and gajra is only nodding but not moving an inch. Then, there are “smart” travelers who will keep jumping queues before the usher has finished her/his instruction and mess up big time. I checked in and got through security, just in time when it was the last and final call. For the first time to catch a flight, and in a long time I actually ran! I jogged up quickly to the doors to get onto the bus to take me to the aircraft. On the bus, it struck me – holy crap, today was the day I had the chance to have my name announced in full blast on a public announcement system!! I missed the chance of a life time. (Not knowing then, life gives you a second chance, in quick succession, sometimes!! More on that later)

Once on the flight, I figured, I was the last passenger to board but the flight isn’t taking off. I picked the prettiest hostess, waited for her to cross the aisle and enquired, with my huffing still on after the run. She smiled and my heart said, “now that’s what is called a Good Morning!!”. The moment she informed, “we are waiting for some passengers to arrive through a connecting flight from Dubai to Lucknow, I suddenly said “ohhh, Sheikh that booty”! She smiled again, but for the last time, never ever looking at me for the whole flight.

I tried my best to apologize, though. The most genuine excuse to catch her attention was my early morning cup of tea. The next time she passed by, I again enquired, “can I have tea?” She apologized curtly, and said they are not serving tea. I asked, “coffee”? She again apologized and said “we are not serving hot beverages today morning”. Alas, my slippery mouth and dirty mind. I controlled but just muttered off, “serving hot for sure”. I think this was enough for her to “Sheikh her booty” hard and shoo off never to make eye contact any more. I too lost interest in her and moved on. 

So, I called for next best looking hostess. And simply ordered for water. Yes, this time I didn’t say a word extra. I just said, “I am thirsty”.