Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Running Away

I am driving through long winding roads along the banks of a lake, a canopy of trees over-head and an intermittent view of the lake through the trees as they part away occasionally to reveal the presence of water on the other side. The road is in good shape especially for this season when the sky is overcast and the rains can hit really hard though by their own standards, the rains have been scanty this year. The road is almost devoid of contact with any moving life as the only view I have is of fleeting birds up on the trees as my bike whirrs through the forest. I reckon I am the only human who has come to these parts in a long time, rather surprising for a place so beautiful and only a stone’s throw away from the city. I suppose it’s a little too beautiful and borders on the edge of the eerie, enough to inspire tales of highway masquerades and the occasional ghost stories. I haven’t been to these parts in quite some time myself.
It’s funny, no matter how much I had promised myself, I did let myself get caught up with life. The day I chose to work over-time because I had nothing to look forward to in the rest of the day, was also the day I typed in my resignation letter. After a long time of having immersed myself in work to run away from the pain and heartache, I finally was able to think that evening. When I did, I realized I was becoming every bit the person I had promised myself I wouldn’t be all those years ago. I still remember that late night excursion with my roomies in the by-lanes of Bombay, when I had told them of my elaborate plans in life, ones that did not involve a 9-5 work schedule, ones that did not involve agreeing with the boss just because he was the boss and ones that did not involve a heart-ache. Ironic as my life has been, I have only had myself to blame. Like the trees that now pass me by swiftly, I have always been running away just as swiftly from everyone that ever tried coming close. The first time, the second…always running away for reasons completely unknown to me. Or maybe just reasons that I didn’t want to see. I guess I keep forgetting love isn’t about perfection but about imperfection. I close my eyes and all those wonderful images come rushing back…those times spent over coffee, those first days of courtship, that feeling that surged through my insides when I first saw her, that smile, those eyes. ~sigh~
And THUD! I open my eyes and I can see the sky through the canopy above. There’s a weaver bird’s nest above that looks beautiful even from the bottom. I notice a few squirrels scurrying around. My eyes close again. Once again I am floating through those images of her. That mad time back in college when I couldn’t find a friendship band good enough, so I went and bought her a watch! Those mad long drives that were a result of long boring days in class. Those late night talks over the phone. Sneaking her out of the hostel for coffee. Sneaking into the hostel to wish her on her birthday. And despite it all, walking different ways at the end of it cause we were too scared of ruining it all by coming too close. Funny how neither of us got anywhere without each other. Funny how I was still running away from her on these winding roads…where once we first came together. I open my eyes again and I’m in a car, it looks like my own backseat…yeah, I can see the chocolates I keep on the dashboard too! There's a familiar looking watch hanging from the mirror on the dash...but I still have my jacket on and I am not driving… I close my eyes again.
I wake up in a white room. The ceiling seems too clean to be mine. I see a saline bottle on a stand. I feel the IV pinned into me. I almost close my eyes again but I can feel a familiar squeeze of my hand…I turn around and I see her smiling at me. I return the squeeze, smile back at her and close my eyes again. I can’t run away this time…

It's my first attempt at a short story...be gentle!

16 comments:

KAPPI said...

:)

Mulling Over My Thoughts said...

:)

cute n confused said...

i'm going to be a bit more verbose.
hmm. lets begin with the readers imagination, tht is imp for any story. whn u said lake n u travellin by it, i imagined a bright, sunny day, in an suv, cruising along. and in the next 2 lines u changed tht view peice by peice to a rainy day and u on a bike. and thts wht i think built the entire mood for the story. though i usually dont like it wen wht i imagined a setting to be - it dosnt turn out to be, but this time i didnt realise when slowly, calmly, the entire setting changed. i just went with the flow, and thts good - commendable good!
now the psycho-analysis for the protagonist (U??): as someone i knw wisely said - the more u run away frm something, the more u realise ur running in the opp direction!
good one...

Mulling Over My Thoughts said...

thank you lehar!
you know, i actually wanted to end it with that line but then i decided it would mean being a little too narcissistic!
:P
thank you...i wasnt all that convinced about it though...kappi said it was good enough to be published here so...

Saira said...

damn nice... i can count so many people who will identify with each line up there...

Saira said...

and btw, just to remind you, i have a blog no more, so if u could please transfer me to "labels" from "my blog list", i won't miss the narcissism i would indulge in on my own blog too much :D

Naresh said...

Very nice as always :)

Mulling Over My Thoughts said...

Psy:> i noticed you disappeared! i was hoping you would re-appear...not that i have lost any hope!
you'll be back i am sure...

i dunno if many would be able to relate to what i've written but if they do, that's sad for them...anyways, i still dont think the story has a good flow, i could've done better.

Naresh:> Thank you bro! But somehow i'm not too convinced with it... but i guess the majority likes it so i'll revisit my reservations...

sarthak said...

Too damn good! Felt a bit of a disjoint in the middle where the two different ideas meet....but otherwise....well written....did find a bit of poetic overtones in the narrative though ;).....

Mulling Over My Thoughts said...

hehehe...
born a poet man couldnt help it...
but seriously you guys like this?

saurabhj said...

Hmm ...

I think you are kinda confused - and not able to sail smoothly through the narrative. As in, there are contradicting, conflicting ideas - and it seems that you thought that you'd write something at one place - almost went through with it and the last minute something else struck you - and you tried to incorporate both of them. This spoilt the narrative at places.

I also kinda agree with Cute and Confused's remarks about the change in the general perception of the statement of "I am driving through long winding roads along the banks of a lake, a canopy of trees over-head"

You would generally mention a canopy of trees if it is bright and sunny - not when its raining hard. At that time - you're supposed to be concentrating on the road ahead and not the trees (I think I now know the reason why you get into so many accidents)

Another example can be:
"sky is overcast and the rains can hit really hard though by their own standards, the rains have been scanty this year"

Again contradicting ideas - rains hit really hard and then you go ahead and say that they have been scanty this year. No real purpose of mentioning the "scanty" part.

Overall, I think its a darn good attempt - but is lacking finesse. Your writing reminds me of Jhumpa Lehri - so I suggest you pick up Unaccustomed Earth - a darn good book (her writing is extremely elegant - something that you might eventually get to) and will be some good inspiration I guess :)

Will definitely look forward to Story #2!

Mulling Over My Thoughts said...

ah!
i did start with something and then proceeded onto something else!
the rainfalls being scanty was something i wanted to use later but then the whole story had changed afer the first line!
i start writing a short story with a script in mind and then move onto a different end for it altogether! confusion confounded!
and i couldnt picture this once happening on a bright sunny day! in fact, not once did i even picture a bright sunny day whilst i was writing! i love the heavy-set days with cloud cover and pitter patter of rain-drops!

hmmm...i think i'll do better next time. i guess i will have to do better next time!

and i almost didnt put it up cause i thought it was too bad...hmmm...

sneha said...

the first line reminded me of the khadakwasla drive..;)i liked its my types..i like the mush which is there in it ..infact it makes one go deeper into reading it..nice..i feel u cud have started it in a different instead of the drive part..rest is perfect

Mulling Over My Thoughts said...

ok, ill be lying if i didnt have khadakwasla as the backdrop when i was writing this!
just add a little more trees and a few more birds!
i love that place, been an integral part of all my monsoons to date!

and i still cant believe people like it!

wow! nice! i am good at it!
hehehe!

see now you guys are making me a narcissist again!
:P

but like saurabh, please, throw in a little criticism!

Mahi said...

"I guess I keep forgetting love isn’t about perfection but about imperfection"...hey, i really liked that line. Though at parts in between I felt that the narration lost the flow a bit and was slightly disconnected, for a beginner this is a pretty good start! And you could have described the girl a little more and the trees a little less:P

Mulling Over My Thoughts said...

hehehe...hmm i'll keep that in mind the next time around.
although would it really have mattered with the description of the girl? if you're in love, the object of attention is the most beautiful thing for you at that moment, so much so, that at times, you can overlook flaws and notice them until someone else brings them to your attention! so i could be describing what to the contemporary thought is downright ugly as the most beautiful object this world has ever seen!
ok ok...so im defending what i've written! i'll make sure i'm describing the flora a little less next time and try and concentrate on character building.
:)
thank you for all the tips guys!
you're the best!