Second summer after having broken ice off yet another break up from his girlfriend, Aakash had finally figured his way to get about the serial menace of having a lunatic as his mate. It was the pleasing habit of taking her to the adventure sports that cooled down her inflamed ego. Things needed a perspective. From his vantage point (not a view point, yes), the wonders of their relationship grew in the incredibly short lasting peace time, drawing them closer into a knot, sometimes which acted as a noose, breaking his neck. Probably, in all her free time, she had thought of a hundred ways to bring him out of his cocoon but it turned out to be futile.
Returning to feud today, were the two lovebirds along with their recently married best friends, both of whom had one thing in common – they hated each other so much that needed a confined relationship to take revenge off. Perhaps in all their worries, they had forgotten about the other’s happiness, and contend they were finally beginning to see the beauty of it. Every time the four of them got together, it meant a drill for Aakash. To dig, or to dick. Digging meant to deliver his mind to the unforgiving hassles of the rest. To dick meant to endeavour into the deeply disturbing niches of the company. But today it seemed that all was well for all their sake.
“Maybe. I mean maybe, I might be pregnant.” Sounding a little embaressed, Aakanksha added,”Baby. Uh! Baby, will you tell them how much we love each other.”
“Yes. I worry I might not have anything on my mind except for you when I die.” Bikram said.
“That’s utter non sense. Don’t forget Camel, our dog and Camella, our cat.” Aakanksha said.
“Too real. Except for the names. I don’t know but it weirds me off.” Niharika said.
Aakash interrupted, “It’s a beautiful name. I don’t want you or anyone to talk about its strange beauty. It happens to upset the mood.”
“You’re right. But if we get one ourselves we just might get over it.” Said Niharika.
“Pet peeves are better. Pet eaves even better. But pet keeping is just not what I expect from you.” Aakash said.
“I need to turn my thinking hat off. In fact, I just did. It turns me on.” Niharika said.
“That is so beautiful. I’ve never had a heartbeat like this before. I think that I might have a heart attack.” Aakanksha said.
“No need to die, darling. You’re already dead inside.” Bikram said.
“We are too young to die.” Said Niharika.
“Stop being so hard on yourself.” Said Aakash,”You just might make it to the heaven.”
Niharika gave a long look back shooting the stars off Aakash’s eyes. He could have felt sky plunging itself on, tagging him to the clouds and dismembering his parts through the city. Aakanksha and Bikram sat looking across each other, thinking off a far off thought, trying to figure out what they were getting lost in. They looked appalled of course, at their own surprise of being unable to draw in words their understanding that the moment seemed to give. But it dragged on and the words never seemed to come. Just as the people of the table were getting out of that maligned minute, a loud thud across the room took everyone’s attention, including those hovering around over the street.
A man wearing clothes appearing like he dropped out of sewer stood with a walking stick in his hand staring through the glass. He could not have aged faster and an indecent amount of fat had already lost from his bones. Every eye fell silent at the utter repulsive face of the man who in their eyes could have just came from a war zone, broken and battered and ultimately a strange combination of filth and mercy that could not have been more disgusting to look at. While he knocked from the outside, the people on walkway were too oblivious of any insolence, visible on the face of the destitute.
For a while, the air gave the stench of waste degrading and the pair of eyes were too beaming for them to make it fade away too quickly. Rather they drew them into an emptiness that seemed to creep into eyes, all too quickly to vanish from them, banishing the light only to give it back a moment later. For a few seconds, the vagrant atmosphere turned into a battlefield and smoke seeped into the minds of the people like they were its last refuge.
Forgetting that their were distinguished guests of a notable establishment, a few crackled with a high pitched laughter that resembled more like a scream. While a few might just be battling with a fear and the fear could not have done anything but made them smile. Some of the guests were bubbling with laughter, a happiness alien they could not have and it escalated their insides. Aakash who had been witnessing the scene with a sense of being staggered against the wall by a heavy load, certainly could not have imagined a worse eye opener. He accommodated himself to fill all the vulnerable corners that were thrashing against his innards, drawing him to an end that never seemed to come. A jeopardy had been lost inside him. The attempts to foil its return were slowly depleting him off his cool.
Barely a minute had passed since the old man stood there, naked in his eyes and baring his soul. Just as silently he came, a flutter of silence took him away. No one moved a muscle without straining themselves of thinking that their moment of strangeness might return.
“Did you just saw the audacity of the old man? Compared to a movie actor, his role in putting a curtain over my eyes is more certain.” Aakanksha uttered at last.
“It couldn’t have curtailed the hunger of the people. I am seeing around, digging going deep into the desserts. Only it’s a bit salty.” Bikram said with an eye for the detail.
“It just passed without even giving the edge a farewell. I might have put toppings just to fair well.” Aakanksha added.
“Well, the laughter drew a silence. Every whim could just have made a screech last longer.” Aakash said.
“Better now that the scare is over. Scarce has turned an overtone higher.” Niharika said.
“It’s almost over. The day is. I might get a better sleep.” Aakanksha said coolly.
“Sleep escapes me. It might just hang a fortune.” Bikram said with a dejection.
“Yeah! The night just might have all the directions to a better day.” Aakash added with patience.
“It does keep you steady enough to walk without a hangover.” Niharika teased.
“Better still. I might end the nightmares with a swig.” Aakash replied.
“How do we end the double date we came for. I don’t think babies are meant to hear a troubled world till they actually see it.” Aakanksha said.
“We will have to keep an extra bed option open for a while. Yes, it just might bust the hassle.” Niharika said.
“Of course, we’ll be having a ball till we find a better meal.” Aakash said.
“Let’s happen to believe that it is in the line.” Niharika said.
“Keep the things fertile.” Aakanksha said.
“Let things rejoice.” Bikram said.
“Surely it speaks its mind.” Aakash said.
“Who are you talking about?” Niharika said.
“The pasta, of course.” Aakash said.
“Let’s leave before pasta starts pouring from his head.” Bikram said.
“Of course, I’ll be doing the driving.” Aakanksha said excitedly.
“We’ll be trusting your instincts to get us killed.” Bikram said.
“I hope that I do fail. In a long, I have a feeling that with you I might end well.” Aakanksha said.
Aakash surged in his thoughts, heaving a little off the silent ailment that struck his heart in the minute the old man had his tongue lepered against his mind. He might as well have taken in the moment a far too on his own.
© Prateek Joshi and WordPress, 2017