I have this very strong belief that all stories deserve to be told. For a
story-teller, imagination is like a whore. She entices him with fake lipstick. But despite her sagging breasts sometimes, a story-teller must conscript with her. He must be a debauch, or at least, act like one.
I have told you many stories. Sometimes you get too entangled into it. There are times when you think that every story I tell comes from my own life. Well, it may be true in some cases but most of the times it is my imagination which runs amok. When it takes a leap, I am forced to run along lest I be left behind. That, my reader, is the essence of my life. I am not capable of anything else except imagining (I may also produce exceptionally-well brewed tea or a finely garnished omelette at times). I spend most of my time day dreaming.
Let me tell you about this character of mine. He is a young man, let us say, in his early thirties, who knows a girl who is few years younger to him. They have never met in person; they have never known each others’ voices. And yet, they are very close. They share intimate details of life with each other. Probably also because they are separated with a veil of anonymity. I mean, they know each other, but only through SMS or an occasional e-mail.
One day, as the man lay on the top berth of a train, he feels alone. The train is taking him to a place where he has spent few years many years ago. The man wishes that all the faces he remembers would just fade away. A curtain is drawn across his berth and he lays half awake, trying to take stock of his life. His strongest urge, he realises, is to be able to lie next to someone. And then he remembers her.
“You remind me of hot chocolate,” he sends her a message.
She replies and thus begins a string of conversation that extends till wee hours of the morning. The girl confides in him, as usual, telling the man about a boy whom she is in love with. But she says she fears that she might lose him. She is a compulsive dreamer and is taken aback, sometimes, with the boy’s practicality.
“I want to grow old with him,” she writes.
The man realises that his dreams are similar to that of the girl. He doesn’t want to be rich and nor does she. She loves rain and so does he. He feels like putting her head in his lap and read poetry to her.
“I am knitting a sweater for him,” she writes.
All his life the man has waited for someone who would knit a sweater for him, like one of those characters in a Russian novel which he has read as a boy.
“Let us meet,” he tells her, “but we won’t speak to each other; we will just converse through writing. We will meet at a fixed place and may be sit in front of each other in a café.”
“But you will hear me when I ask for a mocha,” she replies.
“No, we will just point it out to the waiter.”
“I am smiling in the dark,” she writes back. He smiles too.
After he reaches home, he collects scraps of paper on which he could write and converse with the girl. She goes home to clean and feed a friend who is staying with her.
They might meet soon.
Not me. He. And her.