Sunday, April 8, 2007

Today

Through the curtains came the golden rays and formed a column above my eyes.
The dreams were over and so were the nightmares, it was the time for me to rise.

It was an early summer’s day and my exams were about to begin the next early summer’s day. I got up with a mind to do everything that I had planned out, but first a routine check on Orkut to see if my scraps or number of fans has increased or not. While I was there I thought I should make hay while the sun shone and decided to put a Beatles album for download as well. It had been months since I had seen a Sunday morning, Sundays always began with an afternoon nowadays, wondering what had been for breakfast although knowing it would be the same, stale paranthas that would make even the ones at a jail look sumptuous. It never changed. How I envy those criminals, they get to loot banks, ransack houses, kill people and have good food ! The world truly is a cruel place. With no scraps to write and no more friends to make, I put to play "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd. My laptop has a unique tendency of hiccoughing every time a song is put to play, something that would make anyone grit his teeth in anger. As for me, chucking the laptop was never an initiative, I thought selling the laptop as a time machine in a village would be a good option. But I was now used to it and I let the melody dig its way through the wax and into my eardrums. Singing along to Roger Water’s melancholy strain, I always mistook "Blue Skies from Pain" with "Blue Skies from Grey". I believed that Grey would have been a better word.

It was still two hours to go for lunch and I had to make every second count, I propped open my Notebook and put out my hand to fetch my textbook when it struck me that my book wasn’t there. This was a very common sight in the hostel, missing something and then testing the levels of your memory in trying to figure out who had taken it and when. So I went in search of the book all over the hostel, never aware of the fact that it was lying peacefully in my neighbor’s room, crackling its pages away in the sands of time.

All that searching made me hungry, it was still half an hour to go for lunch. I opened up the laptop again and did something that proved to be the biggest and effective time killer. I began to chat. It didn’t matter whether I was chatting with the guy in the next room or a cousin whose name I had forgotten, I needed to kill time and this was going to be my weapon. And so began the usual, " Wasups and How u doins". Before I knew it, Lunch time was here and then began the " Gtgs and Tcs"… Three dots, that was how short the communication gap had come to. My download was almost complete and decided to listen to a song or two before going down for my ‘feast’. My eyes grew wide as the window showed "99%" completed, and then the unthinkable (actually quite predictable) happened, as if happening in slow motion, the tube light flickered once, twice and then flickered no more. The fan lost its momentum slowly and steadily came to a halt and then as I looked at the tiny computer in my screen, there suddenly came a red cross on it. The message was clear, I was doomed. Consequently, my download went Phoof ! God had stabbed me in the back with a Swiss Army Knife and there was nothing I could do. God wasn’t much of a Beatles lover, I should’ve known. With a disgusted face I left my room in a fury, hoping against hope that the food might cheer me up.

Fifteen minutes hadn’t passed and I was back in my room. Sometimes, when a person is eating, the taste seems to remind him of something that tasted or smelt quite like what he was eating right now. It was one of those times and my food reminded me of only one thing, Dried Glue. What was worse, the aftereffects of eating that sloppy sewage serving were still happening as I sat in my room, reminding me of my toddler days when I used to play a lot with glue during my art and craft class and eventually end up in a ‘sticky’ situation. How could my life have become like this? There were times I remember,in a previous life, maybe when I used to come to the kitchen where my mother would be cooking and imitate hurling all over the dish when I used to have a look at it. My mother would say, "There are millions of children like you who are hungry and would do anything to have food like this" and my usual reply would be, "So, why don’t you go and give this to them?" Now when I think about it, I feel I have become one of those children, wishing for somebody’s mother to come through that door of mine and feed me till I burst.

My exam was still going to be held tomorrow but I was still in no mood to study. Choosing not to fight my urges, I picked up a book I had borrowed only yesterday, the entire collection of Ruskin Bond. As I began to read the first short story, which was "Woman on Platform No.8", I was again sent back to my school days when this chapter was included in our English course. Back then I used to read it to remember every point and every line in it. But now, I was reading it out of pure pleasure, and somehow this time, it was pleasing. Soon i forgot the tomorrow's exam, i forgot the The Beatles, I forgot the Glue-like lunch, it was only the book and I. I don't know what it was in that book, but somehow, it struck my heart and I got that feeling which I hadn't had for quite some time. It had been years since I had cried.

Tears formed at the corners of my eyes and I began to weep.
The day was over and so was my life, all I wanted, was to sleep.