Bhagalpuri silk beauties and a stranger
"Do you know, I had almost missed it. Thank god I made it here on time. Phew." said Zafran, slightly carressing the bhagalpuri silk sarees that Peehu showed her one after another, overflooding the bed with silk. "What? Your flight? I thought you were only late for your classes in College." said Peehu. "No doubt I wonder you were only punctual till school."
"Not like that! I was sort of ready to leave Delhi. Packed everything on time. Krishna helped too. But, T3 urghh. So many people, such long queues. I knew I was late. But you won't believe what just happened in the utter madness!" Zafran seemed mysteriously excited and funny.
"What could it possibly be. You fell at the aisle and embarrassed yourself. Oh uhm or wait! You again got your bag seized and realised it when you reached here that you're doomed." Peehu never missed a chance to tease her.
"Arre baba I know that noone can overrule me in being clumsy, but that doesn't mean that you'll be this mean a lady." said Zafran.
"So I was in the queue for my boarding pass. People were getting late for their flights. A few patient, a few giving stares to other people who tried slipping in, a few fighting at the counters. Unlike other days, this day has to be the most disorganised, with furious humans fluttering at the counters like moths. I was unusually calm, waiting for my turn to come. And then someone asked me something."
"What? You must have stepped on her foot. You always do that." Peehu said while delicately folding the silk beauties one by one and stacking them at the corner of her bed.
"I'll step on yours maybe." Zafran was someone who used to get agitated quickly by her.
"This man, quite old, with long hair that had been tied in a messy thin bun with hung down wrinkled skin, though glowing was talking in portugese to a bunch of brazilian girls, who were departing to some other colourful part of India where they can dye their hands with more henna and call every other part of the country as "messy". But they felt entertained about the country, when they saw disorganised sooted huts with kids rolling in the mud." She seemed quite influenced by the incident. Peehu listened patiently.
"How ironical it was of the Delhi airport being a silent one and these people making so much of noise." He confessed in a funny tone. "Can you please switch off the bulb Peehu?" Zafran squinted her eyes with the lights falling from the bulb above the bed.
"Tell me more." Peehu was still busy stacking the sarees back in the wooden cupboard. Zafran continued with the story telling session.
"So where are you going?" He asked me. Dressed in a royal blue south cotton kurta, tired eyes and an average height with shining ruby studs in his ears. He must be in his 60s. Amidst all this, he was multitasking effortlessly by hugging and giving ashirwad to his "disciples" ( I guessed so ) who were from Brazil. I didn't understand a single word they talked about.
"Patna. And you?" I asked. "Oh I had gone there some 20 years back. Well, I am going to Kerela." He said, looking ahead of the queue. "Do you like what you study or you wish to do something else?" He asked again.
He was the second person to ask me this.
"I want to write." I told him. "Young people like you in our country should read Indian writers. Arundhati Roy must be good. Do you read her work?" He asked me. "The last novel I read of hers was 'The God of Small Things'." I said smiling.
He thought for a while. Till then the queue had moved a lot ahead. Time was flying and my chances of missing my flight were increasing like my hunger pangs. And then he turned up to me again.
"The tough times are going to end soon, and in a few days you'll get what you've been looking for." he said.
To a 19 years old, who doesn't believe in Idol worship, is almost an agnostic, rarely goes to any socially created & believed religious place, thinks of food to be her companion, how hard could it have been for her to laugh at his face, to shut down an astrologist like him?
But yes, she was facing tough times. But everyone does, isn't it? Such a mind player.
"Wait. Okay thanks." Thinking it to be of some weird experience. I didn't wish to ask anything. As soon as he said this, my turn came. I got my pass and I left. Strange, isn't it?
"Wow. That's like meeting a stranger!" Peehu was finally done with settling her beauties back to their place.