Sunday, January 25, 2009

Odd

*******

It’s an odd feeling (in the head, to be precise) to be holding another man’s hand by a busy Pune roadside on a Sunday afternoon. That’s what occurred to the man whose right hand was grasping another’s left. At least a minute passed before they could venture on their expedition to get to the other side of the road weaving through oddly heavy traffic in a city otherwise known for its afternoon inactivity. The man with the occupied right hand, the odd feeling in a twenty-five-year-old head and the black shades shielding his eyes from the January sun was the younger of the two. The older man wore a watch with a tattered strap on his clasped left hand, hints of wrinkles above his brow, signs of grey in his sparse hair and black eyeglasses with frames thicker than those on his new, younger companion. The youngster made small conversation as they approached the other side. But he didn’t let the turmoil in his head show. Nary a word about the dirty politics at his workplace or his statuses as a failed son, misconceived friend. Not about his educational ambitions or the ambiguities of his professional dreams. Not a word about his quarter-life crisis. All through the few minutes they were together, the young man noticed that his older fellow traveler never lost the smile on his face. The older man clearly seemed relatively less affluent and afflicted by a handicap graver than something as abstract as ‘quarter-life’ crisis, yet a serenity seemed to have rested permanently on his otherwise blank face. And contagious it was too. By the time the duo got to the other side, the younger mind was calmer than it had been a minute or two ago. Hands unjoined. Ways began to part. The young man bid his roadcrosssingpartner goodbye, felt another odd feeling – this time of much-needed calm - and carried on along the same road, adjusting his sunglasses and staring at the sun for a moment or two. The older man smiled in no particular direction, mumbled a silent blessing, adjusted his own dark glasses and then slowly turned right, accompanied by another companion – his white-cane-with-red-tip.

*******

It’s an odd feeling – she thinks it’s coincidence. How is it possible that each and every time her phone rings, flashing his name, she catches herself thinking about him ?! Perhaps she knows the answer but she wants to avoid it for as long as she can. What she does not probably realize is that there is no coincidence in this at all. How can there be – she keeps thinking of him all the livelong day. He could call an hour or two (or even more) earlier or later and she could still find herself with the same thoughts in that twenty-five year-old head of hers. What, however, she does not know (and is actually coincidental) is that at the other end, he goes through the same odd feeling too. What she also does not know: he too calls it ‘coincidence’.

*******

Twenty five. Quarter life crisis. It’s an odd feeling indeed.

3 comments :

Reshma said...

too good.... especially the ending.. awesome... :)

The Neverknown said...

@reshma: yes, most people who read the blog are happy when a post ends

Gauri Lonkar said...

the news is out that ur left eye was swollen :-)...i hope it was not u who was crossing the road with goggles..lol...and as i told u before..SUPERB post!!

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