Tuesday, September 27, 2011
It’s evening , a regular warm evening on the cusp of summer and monsoon months. The occasional clouds have been hinting at rain only to laugh in the upturned faces and disappear in wispy trails. You take a walk with your friend and discover streets you haven’t seen thus far in your neighbourhood, mainly because school days do not afford you the luxury of exploring places where you have no reason to be, namely, friends or grocery stores for family errands. You turn corners and stumble on stretches of streets, there are quiet book lending libraries that have loads of Chase with scantily clad women on the cover and other shiny books. You enter the place, look around and ask about the membership fee, which you find is exorbitant (5 rupees). You walk away, not too disappointed, at least you could come back, much later when you have money and perhaps borrow a book or two. The sky is getting to resemble a darker shade your fountain pen ink. Lights come on in the houses. Radios start with the evening news, some cows are heading home. A peanut vendor passes by, shallow frying the nuts, and you stop and buy a papercone full of that. The aroma from the pan mixes with the evening air, as you see a pretty girl walk by with jasmine flowers in her hair. She lives close by and you know her face, but you’ll never talk to her. And she knows it too. It’s twilight now, in more ways than one, its twilight between preteen and adolescence too. A subtle change has come over you, going from 8th standard to 9th. Girls seem more attractive now, and you are noticing them. Munching on the peanuts, you talk about the girl with your friend who says he saw this prettiest girl from another school at his school today. He says she had a nice fancy name. Lena, if your memory serves you right. And this song comes on as you approach the street your home is on. Some songs, like some jokes, seem mean more than what they say on the surface. And you think of the girl again.