Ek Kathak Aur Uski Kathayen

Friday, May 27, 2005

And one hot summer in '97

Note: This entry was originally posted on June11, 2004 at my ex-blog (grin!) at blogdrive. Though this trivia may not be of much use, this incidentally was the first piece of fiction I wrote, sometime in January 2000. In retrospect though, I wonder why and how 15 year olds fall in love :D

It was just another day. She was at the computer, checking the mails she got.

Meet Priya. She's 15, a not so bright student, a little on the wrong side of the weight scale and no way part of the "in" crowd in school. She wasn't particularly awaiting her standard 10 results; neither was she awaiting college. Or maybe she was, with the hope that things would be different
there.

It was another April afternoon in Pune. The mercury was rising; the hum of the air conditioner was getting too much for her.

"Damn!"

A little after 2:00 p.m., can't even go out for a stroll. And she logged on to the console. Yeah... a little over 15 forwards.... check all.... delete... wait. There was something else.

"Who's writing to me, now?"

Maybe, just maybe, looking at the subject line you and me would not have read that mail, however, it was the year 1997, and mail accounts didn't need spam guards, yet. Besides, Priya had never heard of spam.

She read the letter.
Some weirdo maybe.
Wants to be friends. Got my mail address from some online group.
"Right, like I give a damn about it."

Maybe it was the mercury, or some restlessness inside her, something wanting to break free, wanting to scream, wanting attention. She replied. And she forgot. A couple of days later another letter. And so the liaison started.

She metamorphosed into Priya, 15. Looking forward to life. With hopes and dreams. She wanted to be a commercial pilot. Wanted to soar the skies.

He spoke of books, of poetry.
She told him she wrote poetry.
He told her she writes well.
Every time she checked her inbox he was there for her.
She told him about her fears.
He told her, "I'm there for you"
She needed a friend; he was there.
She fell in love; he did too.

She could feel him with her, in every moment of the day.
In the gym, and while jogging.
In the kitchen, in the bedroom.
Everywhere.

He was with her when the rice was all burnt up or the milk spill.
You know the first time I cooked.... it was a total disaster. The utensils were charred. My mum actually had to buy new ones.

He was with her when she twisted her ankle or pulled a muscle.
When I was a junior in High School, I decided to impress the chicks... Sorry, the girls in my class.
She was laughing, not just "lol" ing. And bicep curls with 10Kgs when you can't as much lift a couple of books....you know... fell flat on my face! She still can't figure how he "fell flat on his face"...!!

He was there when she went shopping
I think green kameez with a slighter darker salwar looks awesome. Oh, and add silver bangles to it. Perfect!
I'll take two dozens. The plain silver ones, please. Thank You.

He was there when she went to sleep. She could feel his presence. His lips on her neck, his arms in her hair. She, in the comfort and security of his arms. He never told her what he looked like. She was sure he had strong shoulders and big hands.

------
Days turned into months. There was an eerie sort of a relationship building up in there. It wasn't love, not the Lets-get-married-kind-of-love, at least. Or was it? Soon he became Priya's centre of attention. His words forever encouraging her. She found confidence from every word he said. She looked beyond the clichéd life she thought she was going to live. She even grew out of the false cocoon she had built around herself. She looked at the world in its face. He did more than anything anyone could have done. He got her to look at the, as hackneyed as it may sound, the "real" Priya.

She went to Junior College, perusing commerce. He into Graduate school. He was going to be a lawyer soon.

------
It was another late evening in May. Un-seasonal rains. Was it 3, or maybe 4? Didn't matter... For that matter, nothing really mattered. Even he didn't matter any longer. She couldn't believe what she was reading, she didn't want to.

"I'm getting married. She's an old family friend's daughter."
"No... He can't get married. He. Just. Can't. Get. Married."
"But he is. "
How could she stop him?
Put into writing what she never did?
Tell him she loved him?
But... Did she love him?

That's when it struck home.
She built a world around him.
Another
cocoon.
Another life jacket.

"But two years of association does warrant some honesty at least?"
"What honesty? "
"You can't be honest with him?"
"I don't know... can't tell him"

And so, she went from denial to acceptance to being blasé.

The rest of his conversation was a blur. He seemed excited. And he was the most important person for her. No, she realised, she has to be the most important person for herself.

"Hey, you wanted to tell me something before I bullied you into listening to me."
"Priya, where on earth are you lost?"
"Priya???? "

"Yeah, sorry. I was telling you, I'm going to Australia for my graduation."
"That's neat!"

She was realising she didn't need life jackets to go on. In letting go of the others, she got hold of him. She had to learn to swim. Correction. she learnt to swim. He had taught her to swim, against or with the tide.

His parents found him a prospective companion; she found a companion in her own self.
He got married; She didn't cry.

------
Today Priya is one of the most sought after finance consultants in a major business hub in Australia. The silver bangles still on her hands, the green fabric in the closet.

8 Comments:

  • At 3:49 PM, May 28, 2005, Blogger S m i t h a said…

    :) loved it :)
    1997?!! So i reckon u were born with story writing skills... want some of ur genes :D

     
  • At 4:22 PM, May 28, 2005, Blogger Kathak - The Story Teller! said…

    No no... I didn't write it in 1997. I wrote it in 2000, January 2000... around the 3rd week, If I'm not mistaken.

     
  • At 2:40 AM, May 29, 2005, Blogger Daneshia said…

    *she found a companion in her own self* - that's what we all need to do..... we depend too much on others for our happiness!

    Kathak dearie, u r brilliant! An amazing storyteller to the core! I especially loved this one!

     
  • At 4:10 PM, May 29, 2005, Blogger Kathak - The Story Teller! said…

    Yeah Danny, I agree. We depend waayyyy too much on others for being happy. And then try to reason it out by saying "but well, man is basically a social animal".

    But then, there is always the dependence that creeps up from over the garden wall when you're watering the flowers and says "Hey... wait up missy. Listen to me. I have this really good formula for being happy. You see that fellow there, try depending on him" and hypnotises you the way the snake hypnotises mogli and thats the end of all good sense!

     
  • At 10:06 PM, June 04, 2005, Anonymous G3 said…

    thanks Kathak. You know for what! All the encouragement in the world lies in that story for me.

     
  • At 10:08 PM, June 04, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    well that was gramatically a bit incorrect but whatever. Anyway all the best for your exams K. KG GK!! :D
    G

     
  • At 10:11 PM, June 04, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    the encouragement follows from 2000 to date!! :) I'm glad!! thanks a lot for putting it up again!love ya lots
    G

     
  • At 11:22 PM, June 04, 2005, Blogger Kathak - The Story Teller! said…

    G, :-)

     

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