Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Khadakwasla - A Short Story

Some of you have read this before...some, haven't. So here it is...something I wrote a few months ago...

I love sitting at this lake, my feet dipping ankle deep in the cool of the water whilst I sit on this rock here…I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve sat here, sometimes with her…but mostly, by myself…

Being unemployed has it’s advantages…it’s a Wednesday afternoon after all! Heck, if I may be bold enough, (and you know I am!) I have yet to come across any disadvantages, ummm, except perhaps the fact that you’re perennially broke but if you have friends that are willing to pay for your coffees and parents who are willing to support you, (if only for the time being!) life’s pretty much as good as it gets…ok, so you need to learn to swallow a little bit of your foolish pride (of which I seem to have none, which only makes the task a lot simpler!) On a philosophical note though, you should never be afraid of asking yourself awkward questions and should always be prepared for unwanted answers…life is a lot sweeter when you can live with the bitter truth. Hence, you will notice, I do not say ‘I’m in between jobs.’ I’m always, ‘unemployed!’ Once past this hurdle, you’re all set to have a gala time!

For starters, no one but you have whole and sole control of your two prized possessions, your mind and your time. You can actually choose to spend them for and with whoever and whatever you choose! With all the time in the world on your hand and your mind completely unoccupied by the worries plaguing the rest of humanity, you can explore the philosophical realm at length and on your own terms! Please do not learn philosophy from books, what the wise men have passed on to us through their written words notwithstanding. Explore yourself and you shall be enlightened! Think about it, no one ever attained enlightenment from a book, the enlightened ones have been the folks who have chosen to seek the answers to their questions within themselves and found God dwelling within them! Why then should we be subject to what others think? Why be subject to what someone else has thought or does think? We’re intelligent beings capable of independent thoughts aren’t we? So why read what others have gathered, from still others??? (Or at least that was my line of reasoning for not studying back in college…hasn’t been appreciated by the rest of the human race though…I’m still outta work!)

Such detailed discussions with the self, are helped a lot when you have scenic locations to drive down to…and some coffee to help you along…whilst broke, having a frugal bike that still churns out 90ks to a liter, not only helps reach the destination but also saves enough for you to be able to catch good cheap coffee at Durga on the way! (Durga btw, is an extremely good cafĂ©/snack bar in Poona…cold coffee is a specialty and at 12 bucks is a steal…although at one point it was 7 bucks but those times are long gone! They also have the best poha with coconut chutney served in the mornings, the missal pav is heavenly, the bhurji pav a blessing and the pav bhaji is among the best around…ok, I’m making myself hungry now, so I’m gonna stop describing the food!)

“Yeah! The coffee was heavenly, wasn’t it? I miss it a lot sometimes! Right, go on then, you were gonna start describing Khadakwasla…”

“Hey! For starters, stop interrupting me…no wait, how the heck did you know I was gonna start about Khadakwasla…no wait, that’s not the point, how the heck did you get here? You’re supposed to be in office and in Bombay!”

“Hehehe…am I now? Well, here I am though! I can’t believe you still spend hours at Khadak…you really were serious all those years ago when you told me you were gonna keep coming back here for as long as you live! No wonder then, they’re your favorite lines aren’t they?

‘…Sitting by a stream, feet dipped in,

Twinkling my toes, send the water-a-ripplin…’

Every time you send a poem with those lines, I can picture you sitting here exactly like this…sitting on this rock, feet in the shallow of the water, toes twinkling…”

“How could you not? We’ve spent many a day here haven’t we? Endless conversations that were always cut short by the sun that seemed to be in a hurry to get home…”

“It was the charm of the water…we both loved it a lot. It’s a shame Poona didn’t have a beach!”

“I think two years in Bombay made up for that!”

“Sort of I guess…but somehow, I loved Khadak a lot more…no people around, clear waters, cleaner waters, and all the luscious green hills all around us! But that doesn’t mean I love Poona more than Bombay. I’m still a Mumbaikar to the core!”

“Hehehe…I’ll take your word for it! Although you gotta admit, I almost made a Punekar out of you! I think Khadak had the biggest role to play, didn’t it? It is a magical place!”

“You’re mad though, you know that, don’t you? Every chance you got, we’d land up here by the lake sitting on this rock…What did you love so much about this place? The scenery? The water? Come to think of it, you never really told me why you got me here! 7 years and you always managed to dodge the question! And don’t you dare give me your philosophy on ‘Life’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.’ The journey to Khadak is pretty nondescript…”

“Hehehe…well, it was never about the journey or even Khadak itself…My journey reached it’s destination the minute I’d pick you up. Where we’d go then, I never did give a thought…”

My phone rings just then and I hear the 'Goo Goo Dolls' croon “…I’d give up forever to touch you…” that can’t be right…you’re right here, why are you calling me then? I answer anyways…

“Hi! What are you doing?”

“Hey! I’d just come for a drive to Khadak…”

“Hehehe…now there’s a surprise! Lemme guess,

‘…sitting by the stream, my feet dipping in,

I twinkle my toes, send the water-a-ripplin…’

Say, you never did tell me why we landed up in Khadak at every opportunity you got!”

I tell you, it’s pretty weird how she always manages to do that…it’s like she’s in my head…well, I guess she is, isn’t she? It’s like a part of her lives within me…

Did the conversation actually go the same way it just did in my head? Obviously not…7 years I’ve dodged the question, I’m not gonna slip up now…a half an hour later, she hangs up. Something moves me to write this –

I close my eyes
Hoping to see you in a dream,
But I don’t
All I see is me by a stream...

I sit on the bank
With my feet dipping in,
I twinkle my toes
Send the water-a-ripplin...

I thought this was where things happened
By my will,
When just a visit
Could all my emptiness fill...

But I feel the same
Even though I’m here,
The solitude’s a little too heavy
For me to bear...

I wish so much that you’d find me
And end my strife,
So that tomorrow I may wake up
To the first day, of the rest of my life…

Should I send it to her? Hmmm…probably not today…


Sneha said...

I read the poem and liked it too.:)

and i think some part resemble one of your old poem.:)

Mulling Over My Thoughts said...

Yups...the story was written when the poem was...just hadn't published it here then.

Swayam said...

its beautiful..:) found the time to go through your pending posts only today... and its kept me smiling for some time now...