Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Of deprivation

On a false night

She called him in the dead of the night. "Here. Right now!" she said. "What? Why? It is three in the morning," he replied. "I want you here in 15," she retorted. He cleared his eyes drooping heavy with sleep. "Damn! How does she expect me to meet her now?" he thought. Last night's heavy dose of sleeping pills put him to sleep so deep that days of insomnia seemed to take leave.

He put on his trousers, torn and faded; reminding him of borrowing a new pair from his friend. He spent the last few months of his life living off his friend's pocket, and paying his huge visa bills with his savings. He could lose his wallet and not fear losing sleep!

He drank a bottle of water before he stepped out. It felt like the Sun left his heat with the Moon. The night temperature hovered around 32 degrees. After a day in the Sun doing market research, he now has the night to travel 10 miles. But how...

He locked the door to his 2-room apartment for which he pays a useless 3000 every month. Now left with how-to-travel question, he began walking cursing his shirt wet from sweat. He walked into a treeless street in the night's dead silence. He walked and waited for her call; his phone felt lighter with zero balance, and enjoyed a healthy battery for over a week. He walked past a 24/7 restaurant that flaunted a shiny board of 'all night pizza'. He walked in and took a glass of water. But he wanted more along his long walk to her place. "Pennyless," he recalled. Attempting to forget his misery, he decided to walk on singing Sinatra's 'Strangers in the night...'. 

"Excuse me, Sir," asked a blind old woman. It sent him creeps but replied, "Yes, how can I help you?" He suddenly felt the exchange of words like a role reversal of his job. "I need some water," asked the blind woman. He walked in to the restaurant, handed her a glass of water. And then bought a bottle of coke for himself. 

Heavy breeze began to blow across the street. Trees swayed with a whistling sound. He leaned on her friend's door and knocked on it several times while he waited for her to open it. "What the hell are you doing here at this time of the night?" she opened and yelled at him. "What? You called me a while ago, remember?" 
"When did I?" she replied.
"Half-an hour ago. I thought it was something urgent so here I am. And you say what and why and when?" he asked in frustration.
"No. You called me a while ago from a pay phone. Twice. I gave you directions too. And why did you even ask me the way here? You've visited me several times. Just when I asked you this, you disconnected the line," she said.
"No. I didn't. I didn't even call. And when did I visit you...ever? What are you talking about? Look into my pockets. I have not a single penny. How would I have called you at all?" he said in a fit of anger. "Look. Why are we arguing over this? I am drop dead drowsy. I need to get some sleep. Can you please tell me the reason you called me?" he asked calming his nerves.
"I did not call you and how in the world did you buy coke if you had no money" she asked.
"Look at this. This is your number," he showed her his call records.
"What? Wait. How do you know I had coke?"

The breeze got heavier and closed the door behind them.


Sridhar said...

I hoped for a better ending considering it began well... :) Can do better next time I hope... Otherwise manchigaane raashinaav Jaffa!!! :)

Aakriti Agarwal said...

Supr interesting thry the read! kept me bound! but an unsorted conclusion!

bhakti said...

Intriguing... But what happens next? On second thoughts... It is a great synopsis for a movie... :)