A typical day, begins at 5 a.m. when her number is dialed and after about 7 or 8 calls, she finally cuts one of the calls to let it be known that she's awake. Then slumber takes over again until quarter to seven when the maid rings the bell and it's time to finally wake up. It's the same old, same old for me everyday, I despise work-life...I'm sure I'm meant for bigger and better things but then I figure, so is the thought for every other mortal caught in the drudgery of 9-5. The trudge to the basin is the hardest part of the day and when the face in the mirror stares back, it's just as hard to explain the status quo. ''Sheesh, women!''
Stepping into the shower and then after a good three minutes of self convincing to get over the disdain for cold water, finally under it, it feels like the movies. A slow bath spent humming slow songs with dreams and memories of her. ''Darned love sickness!''
Sid's still in the bath and the clock's inching closer to 7.32 so looks like I'm gonna have to ditch him again today. Between a friend and an hour's sleep on the journey to VT, I know which one I'm gonna choose! I walk down into the parking lot and look at my bike, she's due a visit to the mechanic's. I get astride and set my foot comfortably on the missing footrest and as always, think back to the days when I'd pick her up and she'd tell me to shift behind. Women shouldn't be allowed to drive, the phantom footrest is proof enough, innit? ''Sigh! Those were the days!''
As the train draws into the platform, finally the madness and the rush of Bombay take over. The dreamy, romantic me takes a backseat somewhere as the more human parts take over and I climb onto the moving train and secure my window seat. The day has finally begun. The rest of the hour long journey from Vashi is spent as it always is, sleeping with absolutely no thoughts running through my head.
I'm an Investment Banker apparently and in the lucrative field of debt broking. It's a cyclical business and I have managed to step into it while it's headed to rock-bottom. Needless to say, work isnt as exciting as it might have been and I hurtle through the rest of the day rather mechanically. It's a race everyday between my sanity and the clock to see who can outrun the other to reach 5.30...fortunately enough, the clock's won everyday till now. But sanity ain't too far behind, maybe one of these days it'll win and run out of my head...maybe then I'll do something really stupid. But until then, I shut my PC, pack my bags and leave smiling like everyone else around me.
It's time to board the train again. Music in my ears and I doze off for a while. An hour later, I get off and walk over to the end of the bridge, sit on the side rails with a book in my hand and alert her of my presence, ''Kanjur Waiting...'' it's the same text everyday. She arrives half an hour later, sits next to me for a while and I finish the chapter I'm reading. Conversation soon fills up the silence held for so long and we're talking about our day, about the turmoils at hand and our own sense of wonder about life and it's ability to surprise us with something new everyday, despite the mundaneness of our schedules.
It isnt too long before we're talking about our futures again. She's been on a break with her ex for the past year and keeps wondering about what she is going to do when she does meet him on the 1st of Jan. I wanna tell her that she shouldn't be with him but for some reason, like every other day, I hold my silence and listen to her think out aloud.
We get off at Currey Road and it's time to say good-bye for the day. I open my mouth to say ''Good night...'' but end up saying something to the order of ''Will you marry me?'' She looks at me, with a smile first and then with tears in her eyes. Without another word, she turns around and walks home. I stare after her for a while and then turn around to make the long journey back home.
The next day begins the same way, 6 calls before she finally cuts my call. I force myself through the rest of the day and sanity still loses the race to 5.30. I reach Kanjur again, wondering if she'll come by today. As ever, I sit here on the railings, book in my hand and send her the text ''Kanjur Waiting...''