I was watching the world go by from my balcony. It was around 5.30 on a cool and breezy evening.
There was a hint of a drizzle too. Oh! what a great evening, so pleasant and peaceful. I put on
my favourite music on the Sony and settled myself comfortably in my cosy rocking chair.
It was the time when I often found myself going into one my frequent mental trips delving into
the past. It had become a necessity, as I found it really helped me purge out all those repressed
feelings of anger, frustration, guilt and self pity that were plaguing me of late.
Each day as I travelled through these emotions, I found myself sometimes crying uncontrollably,
shaking physically at the thought of all the insults heaped upon me. It would take me sometime
to get a grip on myself on these occasions - which I eventually did, and when I did ---- there was
this immense sense of relief as if I had released a deadly poison from my mind, body, and soul.
So each day as I sat watching the world go by I managed to rid myself of all the negativity
building up within me. I was happy. Each day made me feel better and better, and the emerging
of my new self really amazed me. Where was this Sudha hidden all these years?
I often wondered.
My memories dragged me back to the time I first met Chandran. Oh! everything was so clear, and so near as though it happened just yesterday. The first meeting with Chandran was so romantic. Wasn't it my birthday that day?
Yes indeed, for I remember I had worn that beautiful black and white printed cotton saree that my father had bought for me specially from Ahmedabad, crisp and smelling of baked starch right off the Dhobi’s ironing board. It wasn't exactly new, but I simply loved that saree.
Unfortunately, the bus in which I was travelling, was unusually crowded that day, as the bus had to accommodate several extra passengers, who had been stranded because of a breakdown of their bus. There was this cheap looking lowlife who kept on trying to get as close to me as possible, literally breathing down my neck. Suddenly I felt a hand brushing against my waist. That was it, my spirit of tolerance evaporated, and I turned around breathing fire, ready to slap the fellow hard : but, before I could even lift my hand, there was a commotion and I saw the oaf, his head down, holding his jaw, as though punched hard by an unseen hand. People all around were shouting, asking the conductor to stop the bus. And before I could even comprehend what was going on, I found myself firmly led by this tall dark man out of the bus. I was too stunned to even utter a cry of surprise – it all happened so fast. And when I did recover from the shock, I found myself sitting opposite this total stranger inside a Coffee house.
I was upset that a rowdy tried to touch me. I was equally upset that this total stranger had the
temerity to drag me out from a crowded bus to a Coffee house without so much as by your leave.
Apparently he had been watching this hooligan on the bus trying to get close to me for quite some
time. When that creep tried to touch me, he felt it was time he gave that man what he deserved -
a good punch on his jaw. Before things got worse, he thought it would save me a lot of trouble if I
was whisked away quickly from that charged atmosphere.
The shrill ring of the telephone brought me back to the present with a jolt, and I got up wearily
from my dream to answer the call.
To be continued....