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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The conversation is a tale

The conversation is a tale

I

(Princeton, Ravi and Vidhya)

"There was not a photograph of truth
in the image you saw. My lips
were whispering over his cheeks like strangers.
His arm chained my waist with ties
I never desired. We came close only for a snapshot."
Her new testament was unfolding in my hands,
her neatly written letters composed to belie
what I had seen in a folder she forgot at my house.

II


(Freemont, Sukumar and Abhiruchi)

"See this photograph, for example. She loved me.
She had doubts, (who hasn't?) was afraid of failure.
I didn't imagine that after I entertained her from such closeness,
she wishes to walk out with a straight face clean slate. Bitch!"
He announced to a correspondent, who acted on my behalf,
though never revealing that the secrets were being shared with me.

III

(Princeton, Ravi and Vidhya)

"I had to see him. He showed up at my door. What could I do?"
She pursed her lips, her nose twitched, and she frowned to affect
an apology from me for doubting her. He had flown across the continent
and stayed at her house for four nights. "He was a guest. He isn't half as bad
as you make him out to be. We went for para gliding one day, and the helicopter
ride the next day. I was late for dinner that day, as he lost his sense of direction,
and instead of reaching Princeton, we found ourselves about twenty miles from Atlantic City.
So I thought, might as well see the gambling houses. Don't give me that look,
I had fun, and that is what you want me to have. Don't you sweetie?"

"Thats not the point. He never gets lost. I have known him longer than you have.
He showed up this time, he will show up again. Why shouldn't he, if he knows
how much funnn.... he has when he is here." Fun was stretched mimicking her style.
"Now that he has got a well paying job, he is trying to win you over with his money."

"He didn't pay for anything we did on this trip. I did.
I told him that he can pay when I visit him."
We both were hushed into silence that instant by a lady in next row.
The sonata allegro of Beethoven's fifth symphony was about to begin.

As the cascades of music fell, my blisters fell soothed, though I was thinking:
"The woman who never paid a penny more than required, who never bought me a gift
except on my birthday, had spent all this money, on an undesired guest. Hmmm!"

IV


(Freemont, Sukumar and Abhiruchi)

"My trip was awesome. She was pleasantly surprised.
First evening, I took her to the Comedy Club in the Village in New York City
We went for para gliding next day, and helicopter ride, the day after.
Of course, I had made advanced bookings. I was giving it my best shot.
After the chopper ride, I pretended that we were lost
and took her to Atlantic city, ha ha, by mistake.
My gamble worked, my friend.
She cooked on the last evening. Four dishes, candlelight."
My correspondent relayed these words to me, and also told me
that a return visit was planned for a fortnight later.

I cursed Beethoven heartily, and went off to an uneasy sleep.
I had bought season tickets (for two) for the symphonies that year.


V

(Princeton, Ravi and Vidhya)

"Arizona is so pretty,"she announced when I picked her from the Airport.
I was angry and yet I was driving her back. She chattered,
lively as always, choosing to ignore my grumpiness, telling me
of treks they both took, the dinners he bought for her.

"Lets stop for ice-cream on the way."

"I have to get back to lab, after dropping you off."
I was driving faster than usual.

Her chatter had died down

VI

(Princeton, Ravi and Vidhya)

"Where have you been?" She asked me.

"I am graduating next month. I am leaving for Singapore soon after."

"Yes, I heard about that. It has been six months
since we sat down for even a coffee. If you can spare
a few minutes, give me a buzz. I'll like to see you."

"Sure," I said. "How about tomorrow?"

VII

(Princeton, Ravi and Vidhya)

"I always liked you," she said. "I don't know what went wrong.
Ever since I visited Phoenix, you changed. I guess I did too.
If I ever hurt you, I did not mean to."

"I just got busy. A man must do what he must do.
I have had plethora of tasks to finish for graduating,
and I chose to focus on them. Thats all."

"I know you never liked him much. Anyway, we separated last week.
The long distance thing wasn't working out." She lied.

My correspondent had fallen in love with him.
I had found it out a week back myself, when after months of silence
she announced it in her bombshell bulletin.
My correspondent was my confidante since childhood,
and I had been hers. "Didn't I tell you once that we women always fall
for men who are already taken? I'll spare you the details, but my friend,
your long cherished enemy has been ambushed and removed by me.
As always, I have come to your rescue." I did not find it funny,
and I did not feel any relief.

An Autumn and a Spring had passed in those six months.

Meanwhile, she honestly lied as she handed out the tea.
"Doesn't the distance make a heart go fonder?" I said, with a smile.
I, a cynic saw that she was willing be convinced about my unabated affection.
Only, things had gone too far this time, and I felt no emotion, but pity for her.
In fact, I was amused. "Distance is bad, bad, bad!" she said, with a pout.
An year ago, I lived and died at the first trace of it,
now it seemed too comical, too artificial. "Is it so?" I sung song
She nodded, in her affected style, pout still suggesting, that a hug,
and an awww.. from me, could cure it all. I faltered. I rose and I walked to her.
Her open arms rose, body followed, and on my cue,
I gave her a peck on the forehead, and then pushing her gently away,
managed to say, "Thats why my dearest,
I am putting an ocean between us."


August 2005 & April 2007

3 comments:

Churu Churu said...

finally got around to checking some of this stuff..
hmm..you've created an interesting situation.
i wonder how it'd have turned out if you weren't working in a meter.
hmmm... more complexity, s'il vous plaît, even if it means creating a new meter.

Vivek said...

I wonder why you commented only on meter here. Most people thought it was incomprehensible for they never understood how people having conversation changed from one unit to another.

I am editing it, throwing in a few pointers. Lets see if anyone reads and comments after the changes made.

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