There is a peculiar thing about glitters that I have never liked; they used to fall off from my craft work very often, giving me a handful of reasons to feel embarrassed. As for the other students, they used to derive sardonic pleasure out of this sight and the teacher used to go mad at me. Chumki (glitter) is a human version of that decorative item who used to give me a similar kind of feeling, that too in the days of my adulthood. Chumki Dutta has been my landlady for four years and there hasn’t been a single occasion on which she has “glittered”(demonstrated any activity to make her look like a bright individual). Contrarily, I’ve always seen her dealing with murky affairs.
In the initial days of my stay, I used to find her friendly, but that notion of mine perished sooner than my drunken thoughts; all that I could see was a humongous balloon, who, I felt, had a chip on her shoulder for being married to Gautam; this seemed pretty evident from the way she used to chide him every morning. Well, Gautam is that adhesive who claims to hold Chumki in place but this adhesive is too weak and short to cope with the growing demands and tantrums of Mrs Dutta.
I used to pity her children for being born into that family but after observing them from close quarters, I had no option other than blindly believing in Nature’s sense of fairness. Her daughter used to get involved into love triangles at an age when she was supposed to be solving problems on triangles and one could clearly see her son letting out his urine from the narrow slits of the fence guarding their verandah. Surely, his intention was not to calculate the horizontal range of this projectile.
Chumki believed that she looked like a princess in golden ornaments and she had every reason to believe so, for she had a few admirers who made her feel special on occasions like Holi. Don’t ask me about their ways, I’m afraid I might die out of extreme laughter and shame. She seemed to know of everything happening around her; news ranged from lovers getting at each other’s throats on the streets to shady murder cases. I could not help myself from gazing at her with amazement; I’m sure that the other tenants will echo my words.
The day when we were evacuating our rooms, we saw her shedding tears and we cried too but I knew that those tears were coming out for two reasons: one, out of a sense of grief that she would have to find new tenants and the other one, out of a sense of happiness that we were leaving. Sometimes, I really think that the society should produce more of these glitters to bring wry smiles on our faces whenever we are at a dearth of topics to explore. It is true that Chumki left no stone unturned to humiliate her tenants but reminiscences of our days spent at her place will drown us into fits of laughter off and on, I can vouch for this.
May be I am just another option, A dress that confuses you among many. May be I am just another consolation, A ray of hope which becomes evanescent soon. May be I am just like the other stars in the sky, My effort to shine bright goes unnoticed. May be I am just an open ending, An end where your whim begins.
Those were the days of our premature adulthood when we used to stay covered with people. Identity crisis was slowly giving way to a resplendent personality to grow and stay with us for the rest of our lives. Of all the faces that I came across during those days, one stayed with me. It is one of a kind, a face that one cannot usually forget. I met him accidentally at a gathering, on a spring afternoon. His sharp eyes narrated a million stories and I reflected, seriousness can be addictive too. He smiled at me and I stood there, speechless. That day witnessed an undying feeling. This wasn’t as red as love, nor was it as white as pure friendship. It was something else, a deeper shade of pink.
That meeting turned out to be shorter than my expectations as I had to leave for another place but our friendship started off immediately after this. We never saw each other very frequently but whenever we did, he used to greet me with his unusually usual smile. Whenever his lips went on a smiling spree, his eyes participated in that as well. Yes, in this world of cliched red roses, he is my fuchsia.
As years rolled by, he kept on giving me innumerable moments to treasure and cherish. His all-permeating voice reaching out to me, defying the bounds of the lush green fields, still reverberates in my ears; that “Shreya” still echoes. It’s been years and still it feels like the dream isn’t over yet. My silence and the dust of distance has made this tale yellowish but the pages of my heart are still as fresh as the day when I first saw him.
And what about that last dance at Shanti paara, in front of the crowd, that we had planned? Like my dream it is alive too. I know that someday you’ll get all the success that you have ever wished for. That day you’ll be driving on a lonely road and you’ll be stopped by a familiar face. A hand that wanted to reach out to you, long back, will stretch out to you, yet again, disregarding the pause of the years. The strife in your mind will subside and you’ll find yourself rejoicing amidst umpteen bubbles, each of them would rejuvenate your senses before bursting into nothing. The smile on your face will shine brighter than the rainbows of these objects of delusion. There will just be the three of us: you, Ecstasy and I!
Alas! The four-year journey was drawing to a turbulently calm end. Some were busy piling up clothes inside their suitcases while most of the others were unburdening their hearts by shedding away droplets of nostalgia.
Every morning, the sun lighting up the East sky reminded the students of the limited number of days they have in their hands. The hostel rooms which once used to be covered with dirt and spider webs, were now shrouded in cobwebs of memories.
She took out a diary from her cupboard and started flipping the pages until she found a blank one. She smiled as she knew that only one person was left to fill up her farewell diary, that special one.
Next day, after the Farewell party, she saw that “special person” on the ground. Without giving a second thought, she started walking straight until he noticed her. Both of them smiled coyly at each other.
“Fill this up. May be this is our last…”
He took away the diary from her hand and looked into her eyes.
“Pages may get washed away, good memories won’t.” A fervent silence pervaded in the ground. She longed to say “I love you, I do” but all that her quivering lips could afford was “Adieu”.
Finally, that day arrived when the campus witnessed a large number of its residents moving out, yet again.
She kept walking with the crowd, with a huge trunk in her hand and two diaries filled with “sands of time”.
What about the third diary?
Well, that too was in its right place, where it should have been long ago.