Friday, October 16, 2009

Big Lives, Small Lives

He held the bar in the Metro train, clung to it aimlessly and rarely looked up from the floor. Jay Srivatsava, 23, looked clean, lean and driven in the morning. He lands into the train lost within the crowd of the first compartment, 07:43 at Kashmere Gate. In his journey he accompanied a big herd of hunting souls and disembarked at Netaji Subhash place, 08:09. He was different from the herd by looking like an arbitrarily satiated hunter not interested in finding his prey.

Bhumika Singh, 27, watched this guy with ardent curiosity. She has been doing so for about seven months now. It was a let out for her as She waited in the morning for a glimpse of him. She kept staring at him sometimes. She was curious and felt connected with him for some illogical reason. She assumed that he was her friend.

He was in the dark about Bhumika.

He did not realize that the spaces of his life were being keenly watched to be preyed upon everday during the journey.

She had to sway through the demonic Delhi man-world with religiousness. She boarded at Kashmere gate 07:43 and got off at Netaji Subhash place 08:09 on the way to her work place at the ITL towers. She looked healthy, tidy and ready in the mornings. She pushed her way through the wholly intrusive Indian populace to find herself a safe haven within the compartment, wherever she finds intrusion in a minima.

She had been preyed upon all her life since the time she remembered. The Brothers and Sisters of Delhi have never been frugal with their intrusions on Bhumika completely choosing to oversee the sindoor that adorned her, signaling her as ‘taken’.

The testosterone dripping Indian society had given her enough attention that she long ago had started to escape the realms of reality and live within her imaginary idea of perfection. Her ideas of romance as a young girl were upbeat with dreams and aspirations adorned with happiness and unending bliss.

At a later date, she was married to a same caste guy who from a distance looked to Bhumika as the gateway to her dream life. He was educated, handsome and made the cut with her parents. They married and moved into Delhi when slowly her dream life started souring and went out like the Delhi dust. He was aggressive, dominant, egoistic, abusive, adamant, insecure and chauvinistic.

Her life was becoming a never ending dark cave and the methods of the Indian societal norms were stifling her. Her parents deserted her for she is no more a part of their family. Her relatives gorged on her misfortune and condiments were plenty.

Bhumika Singh five years ago came straight out of a fantasy world. She was borne out of a rich lineage from Haldwani, blessed with sufficient wealth, respect and beauty to keep her genes desired at all times and places. She grew up through her life to turn into an object of much vaunt: fancied and grudged in equal measure. She lived her life with as much panache as the Almighty desired and the mortals that surrounded her were left fighting with themselves to ignore her superior aura.

She was born on this earth for a big life.

An excess force of praise and admiration was destined to pull down an upward march for this special soul in the form of her marriage to the undeserving man.

Two years ago, Jay Srivastava was 21 years old in the final year of his graduation at S.N College, Allahabad when his life took a topple. He had been in love with his childhood friend Prachi Aggarwal.

She told him that she loved him too beyond measure. Her beauty had captivated him since they both grew up enough to understand attraction. Her sight soothed him like the monsoon that negates the mid-summer hot air winds of the Prayag city.

His innuendos with her gave him immense pleasure and drenched him in satisfaction.

With her, he lived like the happiest man on earth.

His politician father existed for his money and thug power. The mother was lost in club activities and lived for her prestige in the guise of social justice. Dr. Vinay Aggarwal, Prachi’s father had a public fall out with Jay’s father 5 years ago leaving the two families taking Vendetta stances at the drop of a hat.

When Jay was caught with Prachi enjoying the scene of a setting sun in a boat near the Sangam on the Yamuna, Jay heard the impossible knell. All hell broke loose with him being disowned by his family with no remorse. Prachi got married to a Silicon Valley IT professional next month and Jay went through physical torture by his father which forced him to flee from his home.

Jay’s friends who swelled his social stature and strength earlier disappeared like a whimper, leaving his devastated and destitute. So Jay set off to Delhi. He settled in a flat near the INA market and found a job at an air ticketing agency in Netaji Subhash place. Since the mishap, Jay has taken himself into a shell and rarely communicates with anyone unless necessary.

Bhumika Singh was an exemplary employee for her corporate employer. She worked tirelessly at work. She had an enviable life, one thought, a doting family, a glamorous job, education from the premier institutes and loads of fanfare.

Far from the smooth exterior, deep inside her lay a strong woman who liked to pursue her dreams.

After many personal readings and admiration of Jay, Bhumika made her move in public. She went close to him in the crowded Metro and clung to the bar next to his. Her intrusion into his personal space forced Jay to take notice of the guest. He was greeted with an acquainting pair of eyes. He forgave her peccadillo assuming that it was innocence and let her be in his space. Bhumika was surprised by his apathy.

Next morning, Bhumika found a spring in her step to work. In the train after finding her way to next to him, she closed herself more with him. Jay felt her breathing on his chest and neck. He was forcing to let himself enjoy it. After a few struggling minutes, Jay relented. He could not help admitting that he was comfortable with Bhumika in his space.

Bhumika smelt victory. To the rest of the thousand people in the over crowded train, it was just another day of their mundane existence. For Jay and Bhumika, it was going to be ambiguously catastrophic.

Bhumika soon discovered that Jay is mentally disturbed and spoke rarely. Nonetheless, Jay let her occupy his close proximity from 07:43 to 08:09. Bhumika felt safe there and recharged herself after nights of torture and pain in the hands of her beastly other half.

Their relationship was limited to this much.

After a month of traveling their lives in each others acquaintance, one morning, Bhumika invited Jay to her apartment right away.

She was waiting to intrude further into Jay’s existence. She assumed that it might alleviate her off her distress.

In his mind, Jay was willing to follow his only friend Bhumika blindly.

Inside the apartment, her broken dreams insisted her to seek a parallel dream that could only be lived and now. He obliged.

Her illogical attraction to him made sense now when she completely gave herself to him. He would take her to the places that she never went and only naughtily dreamt about as a young girl.

He left her reeling under the benefits of her creation. This saga continued in the coming days. She signaled and he followed. Understanding his monetary wellness, Bhumika thrust money into Jay’s hand. Jay obliged to accept and went away.

Bhumika’s attempt to talk with him proved futile. His eyes conveyed all that it had to. Jay found a companion in Bhumika. Bhumika wasn’t sure.

He would mechanically reap the crops that had grown up between the seasons. He would have her till all that was left was the carcasses of the day and the soul of the night.

Bhumika and Jay carried on with their lives as usual other than justifying nature whenever Bhumika decided. One night when Bhumika could not take her husband’s abuse anymore, she was thrown out of the house.

She sat outside the apartment in the park and wept. She wept about the changing times and changing fortunes. She hated the society and its norms. She wished she was invisible and did not exist.

The people she knew her liked her for a reason, for her worldly existence and the paraphernalia of her persona.

She thought of Jay. He loved me for nothing. She called his mobile. It was 01:30.

He meets her at 03:00 and takes her to his residence. It was at the terrace of a five storeyed building, a room and an attached toilet and bathroom. This was the tallest building in the locality, so it gave the room and the terrace complete privacy. He gave her his bed and slept outside in a cot.

Next morning Bhumika and Jay left for work. Two weeks passed and Bhumika was recuperating from her broken marriage. Her husband tried to contact her again only to be told that it was over. She switched off her phone and cut herself off from her past.

Jay took care of her life as a guardian angel and Bhumika could not stop noticing the soft gentle underbelly of the silent marauding conqueror that she once knew. He stayed away from her physically and showed no interest.

As weeks passed by Bhumika was feeling better and able to focus on her work. Her evenings would be spent cooking rotis and sabzi in a little stove along with Jay. They spoke little, yet enjoyed each others presence.

Bhumika was busy in this no-frills little life.

With time, Bhumika understood his well-to-do background in Uttar Pradesh from his lifestyle. Jay was showing signs of opening up. He spoke more and seemed rejuvenated. He even laughed once at Bhumika’s joke. Bhumika’s feelings towards Jay were more of respect than like before. Jay also tended to her needs of daily existence with utmost care.

It had been two months since they touched each other. One Saturday when Jay was having his cup of tea and Bhumika was reading a business magazine, the weather lightened and showed signs of rain. The tangible wave of happiness associated with the first monsoon swept across Delhi. Delhiites danced in their minds as did the birds and animals.

When the first drop fell down on the terrace, Bhumika turned and saw Jay. Their eyes shared the joy and their want appeared again in their lives and shot up instantly.

The rain that the Almighty promised remained elusive but its purpose was well served. The cot that Jay slept in the open terrace lay there bearing witness to nature’s idea of complemetartity. Their energies while they joined impressed the rain Gods because very soon it started to pour. The couple then moved to the Bed inside.

After the showers, an hour later when Delhi laid down in bliss, Bhumika walked out through ankle deep water that had collected in the terrace. The sky was clear and it reflected on the water in the terrace. There she lay in the cot, the image of a woman in all her fullness, the way she was created, the way she was meant to be, uninhibited under the bare sky above and below her.

Jay’s basic instincts were livened up and his fears of humanity allayed by the after shower winds that swept across his terrace paradise. He was at her again to write yet another story of their lives.

When it rained again, Bhumika welcomed it and let it wash her, expecting with closed eyes that it might wash off her past in ablution.


Ranjieni said...

Wow Jayant that ws really impressive! In the beauty of nature, love whispered... very well narrated.keep it up!

P said...

Just one word. Beautiful :)

Siddharth said...

wow very well narrated.. Liked the story!!

ZB said...

amazing.....superbly written.your narrative had me spellbound....

buckingfastard said...

luvd da name of da story!!luvd da animal instinct metaphors.... luvd da character da description which kept it sensual but not a bit vulgar....all in all wow!!!

only thing...da flashbacks were more descriptive dan da present....

aria said...

wow.. what an awesome story that is.. amazing .. loved it.

Tomz said...

An impressive story..u have brilliantly portrayed the psychology of human relationships..

Anonymous said...

a long story I must say but definitely worth giving some time...
you a very good and expressive writer..

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Whoaa!! Intense, delicate and very interesting as always!

Anonymous said...

With utmost satisfaction, i would like to inform you that this post of yours has been selected as a suiting piece to honor my newly installed wall of fame.
So, I would like you to take out some of your precious time and gimme a small writeup introducing this post in about 40-50 words to mail
I would also appreciate it if you could nominate some more posts(including yours) which can be pinned up on my wall.

yours truly

Pesto Sauce said...

There is a bit of Jay and Bhumika in all of us, only we deny it

The unsure ascetic said...

@Pesto yes indeed, you are right, few people dare to cross the line though

The unsure ascetic said...

@RSV Thanks buddy, I am really honoured.

The unsure ascetic said...

@Tomz. Thanks buddy!
@Bucking fastard: Thanks for the honest feedback buddy. I appreciate it!

Nikki said...

Very interesting! My first visit to your blog...:) :) Will come back!

The unsure ascetic said...

@Nikki: Thanks buddy!pls keep your promise.

The unsure ascetic said...

@Nikki: Thanks buddy!pls keep your promise.

Neha said...

JJ, amazing narration...loved it...u create magic by using simple words... the story was gripping through out...excellent..

btw, not only the surname, but the political background is also similar in case of our protagonists, what say?

The unsure ascetic said...

@Neha. yeah the similarities are striking. I can justify myself with my education in UP. How did you learn about the UPwallah politico?

Ria said...

tht was a gr8 post...i dunno do u write so well!!

The unsure ascetic said...

@Ria, Glad you discovered it.

Neha said...

I just thought of a name and wrote it, no specific reason behind this last name or the political thing i always do - I either write about mumbai or don't mention the city at all :D

Rashmee said...

simple....touchin n nice...dis ws my frst visit here n m surely gonna cum back..

b/w do u happn 2 b frm U.P./Uttarakhand?

The unsure ascetic said...

@ Neha. I can relate to your passion for Mumbai. I have a few friends from there and they miss the city like crazy.
@Rashmee Thanks for dropping by. I am not from UP. I went to university in Allahabad. Please visit my blog again. Thanks.

Destiny's child... said...

That was fantastic! Superbly written. I mean, it was just 'wow'!
Excellent portrayal of the characters!! :)

The Holy Lama said...

Leaving just enough for imagination, you have created magic. Hope you explore other faces of human nature.

The unsure ascetic said...

@DC- That was flattering
@Lama-Thank you very much.

AJai said...

After my last post this might sound lame...:P,
but that was just phenomenal. The narration was brilliant. I wish there was more sex. But then again... that's just me. :P

The unsure ascetic said...

@AJ Thanks buddy, shall try next time..

Ranjith said...

i liked it :)

oRange* said...

very well written! loved it

em said...

TUA: Nice flickr photostream. Did you click most of those? They are simply superb! You have an eye for detail!

The unsure ascetic said...

@Ranjith and Orange: Thank you
@EM: Yes , I clicked all the pics. thanks.

Gyanban said...

Sometimes in life you live a character so closely that every mood and emotion is captured perfectly.

Rajani's Place said...

Very well written-- stumbled onto your blog by chance.

Would luv to explore it further.

The Avalanche said... got potential...Why don't u try and get some short stories of yours published...
Lemme know in case you are really interested, will try and work somethin' out....


Anonymous said...

I'm really Glad i discovered this site.Added to my bookmark!