Wednesday, October 10, 2012


She paid the taxi-guy ten bucks more. She was always generous when she was happy. Like today, when she had decided to celebrate her new-found singledom by travelling. The station was crowded as stations always are. But she minded not. A spring in her step, a buoyancy in her movements, not in the least helped by those glasses of wine she had gulped down earlier in the day, while shedding tears over her wasted years. No, not to dwell on that, she pursed her lips and made her way to where the Luxury-on-Wheels train waited. Gleaming metal, garish colors, it was exactly how Bollywood depicted royalty in their trashy movies. Not that she minded this either. All she wanted to do was get away from her past, her almost present and look forward to freedom. She felt like an inmate released from a prison, well that was what it was, then, she was sure. She bought two cans of Red-Bull to go with the KFC ZingKong box she had bought on the way.
She looked around at the milling passengers of the Luxury Train. There were only two Indians, herself and another guy. She decided then and there, looking at the software-type-look on his face, to avoid speaking to him at all costs, and turned her face away with a scowl as soon as he waved at her in a fit of enthusiasm.

Her suitcases were settled in her coupe. Unfortunately because she booked at the last minute, she would have to share the coupe with another passenger. She prayed aloud asking God to not make the disheveled-geeky-Indian guy her 'partner'. The coupe door opened. She turned around to find some white-guy in a red tee and cargo shorts trying to fit through the door, not that the door was narrow or anything. He thrust one leg inside and placed down a knapsack with a thud, which landed on his foot. Releasing a string of curses, he turned at that moment to look at her, suddenly aware that there was someone other than him, there.
She gasped as a flicker of recognition ran across his face, then dimmed. She too thought he looked familiar. There was something about his green eyes that made her stare at him open-mouthed.
Unable to place each other, both went back to doing their own thing.
While he was settling down, she studied him. His muscles strained under his tee, and she wanted to reach out and touch the whiteness of his well-formed calves.
'What the fuck', she said aloud to herself.
'Excuse Me?', he said, looking at her, and again, there, that glimmer of recognition.
'No, not to you, I was just muttering to myself.' she smiled showing him her pearly white teeth.
She was glad she had put in all that effort to dress up. Not that she needed to. At thirty-five, she still had a body that was the envy of her friends. No matter how much she ate, the fat showed in only the right places. Suddenly she felt sexy. Maybe there was some chance, after all. This was it, her life was starting now, right now, from this moment forward. She was going to do exactly what she wanted. She was going to flirt and party and live her own fucking life, the way she wanted to.

Dinner was served in the resto-lounge and she sat alone, looking out of the window at the glimmering lights passing by. More wine, followed by desserts was all she had. She looked for her 'roomie' but did not find him. He seemed to have come alone. He was attractive, no doubts about it. He did look middle-aged, but like her, had a trim body. She shook her head and returned to her room, suddenly remembering the KFC package. Her co-passenger stirred from his berth and poked out his head out of his blanket. 'How was the dinner?' he asked.
'It was good, if u like Indian food that is' she answered, inspite of the huskiness the wine gifted her voice.
'I do, I have stayed here for more than a decade', he smiled, sitting up with one arm around his pillow, one leg dangling.
'Really? Where are you from? I mean, why would you stay here?' she sat on the couch facing him, her legs placed on the foot of his bed.
'Austria, but my mum shifted to India because she thought it would keep me away from all the bad things the Western World apparently has. Well it is a long story'...he chuckled.
'Who is in a rush?' she chuckled.
'Some wine?' she offered, pointing to the bottles on the table.
'Let me', He rose and poured out a glass for each of them.
'Can I tell u something? his finger drew patterns on the glass. 'U actually kind of freaked me out. I felt like I knew you, I thought you were someone I used to know once.'
'Oh My God! Did you? Because it felt like that to me too! I thought I recognized you but I was sure I was mistaken..'
They looked at each other, their eyes unblinking, as the recognition dawned on them.
'Oh My God. Oh My God. Oh My God.' She jumped up from her seat, toppling the wine bottle, thankfully empty.
'It can't be. It can't be' he whispered.
Stunned silence followed the revelation.
What a small world, she would have thought, had she been not so shocked. But for her past to return after twenty years was something she would never have thought of, in her wildest dreams.

The images came rushing to their eyes. Their minds went out to their days at school when stolen moments alone gifted them the memories they had held onto, tight, all these years.
It had to be Destiny playing a game with them, It had to be Fate.
The shock turned to happiness and then to embarrassment, as they relieved the memory, both in their own minds, of how they had separated. Pressed by circumstances and by their own fears, they had let go of each other, only to torment themselves with their hidden yearnings. She was not sure of him, but she had thought about him often. Sometimes she found herself dreaming of him making love to her. She had wondered what it would have been like, had they been just a little grown up, had they met when they were grown-ups. They would probably have given it a shot. Their relationship that is. The silent questions whirled in their heads until they, both at once, blurted them out, tossed them out like blabbering fish.

'I have looked for you, and found your Myspace profile, and tried to access your pictures. I was not sure if it was you, because you look so different now.' He cupped her face and spoke earnestly. 'Look at me', he said. 'Look at me, and tell me you never forgot me'.
The hug they had indulged in a while ago felt starkly hot. She sank her face into his chest, onto where his heart beat, wildly while her own thumped. She was not in a train, a moving train anymore, she was back in school. Back to when she had only discovered her womanhood, and so had he. When he himself was in a school uniform, stealing glances at her whenever he could, passing on small gifts to her stealthily, avoiding the watchful eyes of their teachers and friends. When their first kiss felt like nothing they had ever felt before, and nothing they would feel ever after. Nothing mattered now. Nothing.

He enveloped his arms around him. She felt safe. Warm. Loved. As this feeling of peace gave way to a hot throbbing deep inside her, she felt his body tensing. She pulled him closer to her, almost throttling him in the process, afraid that he was going to pull away. He stiffened, then relaxed, and now brought her body ever so close to his own. As his hot mouth closed over hers, she wanted them to fuse together, melt in their passion, wash away their lust into nothingness. She felt his manhood acknowledging her presence and trembled as her stomach gurgled when she felt someone splash water on her face.

She looked up to see her co-passenger holding a glass of water in his hand and offering her a tablet.

'Are u allright? U have had too much wine I suppose?' He smiled as he pointed to the empty bottles lying on the table next to her bed.