August 18, 2010

The Walk

She got down from the bus and started walking. Everything was going as per plan. Buses were mostly very punctual these days, she mused. She checked her watch. There was enough time to spare. The Express was due in 20 minutes. She could walk at a comfortable pace and still not be late. As she finished this thought, it began to drizzle. Shucks! She did not have an umbrella. Oh well…Good thing. It rains for all auspicious occasions; Rains are supposed to be a good indication. Her mother had told her something of the sort. Nice.

As she kept walking, thoughts began plaguing her mind. There was nothing else she could do, was there? She was tired of this life… this existence. No one had time. Everyone was busy. A few who had tried talking to her, listening to her never really 'got' her. And this from people she thought knew her well and understood her (better than herself). Others called her crazy. That’s when it hit her. She was alone… all alone. Like an island in a sea of people, was it?

As she was walking listlessly she heard the temple bells ringing and chants in the air. Has to be from the temple around the corner. Did the Gods know? What were they trying to tell her? Somehow she was reminded of her mother. She did not complete that thought, when her cellphone began to ring. Ma calling… it said. A coincidence? Did she feel it too? Her mother started ranting about the maid, the rising price of vegetables, family gossip… She played along, feigning cheer. Her mother sensed that all was not well. Anything wrong beta? Nothing Ma, it’s just the work. I feel tired… she lied. Love you too Ma, tell Pa too… That’s what she told her last, just before she cut the call. She didn’t even realize that tears had started streaming down her face. Maybe it’s a good thing that she didn’t have an umbrella… A dog came towards her, from the other side of the road. It briefly hung around her, following her a bit. Did it know? Could it sense?

As she neared the temple, she saw a few beggars right outside - extending their palms, asking for alms. But one woman did not. She did not beg for alms, nor did she approach her. She just sat there, by the wall, staring at her intensely. Could she see it in her eyes? She cut her gaze as soon as she could manage, and walked past the temple quickly.

She must be running late now. She checked her watch again. 10 minutes more. She was almost there. She started rummaging through her bag. Where is my ID? That’s all she needed now. She didn’t pay attention while crossing the road – she was too engrossed with her bag. A truck sped by. She tossed and turned, like a piece of vegetable.

Not the ending she had planned … but an ending nevertheless.


Sangeeta Iyer said...

depressing....but well-written

AldyWaldy said...

well-written..its similar to the kind of stuff I used to write once upon a time!! I like it! Very nice...especially the end...
(This is perhaps not an apt response for a depressing post but what the heck! It was cool!)

Vijitha said...

@ Sangeeta - Thank you. :-)

@ Aldeena/MI - Thanks! :-) Glad you like the "ending". ;-)

Sameera said...

Oh no sad story! =(

I really loved the story till the climax. It is so well written! I dismiss and erase the ending for my happiness. =)

Vijitha said...

Thank you Sam.

Hmmmm...some stories do not have a happy ending. But then you've found a way around. :-)