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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
loves story telling as part of his pedagogy but amateur with fiction writing

Submitted: June 22, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 22, 2017



Singh as usual had parked Muchkund’s car at a roadside tea stall near Ashram Chowk. Magical memories seldom die. They can ride over a rollercoaster of thought waves replete with exciting moments. Perhaps so, that 23rd April evening Muchkund had a lazy glance on the slow Delhi traffic while he visualized a sway of dry banyan leaves with birthday greetings for Zoya and for him. The interplay of the real with the surreal had continued inside him since his school days. With long sips of the ginger-cardamom tea he immersed in the times of late 1970s’ when hobby-engagements were contagious and how he was challenged to acquire one. He had then dabbled with coins and stamps and with matchbox labels and had even collected shoe laces. Somehow, that hobby thing had put him in trying times. At last, much later during middle school he finally had a weird one that had admirers like Miss Bhargava, who then taught them about rocks, contours, latitudes and many other things about the world. His last sip was with silent facial frown as he recalled the stupid faces of some of his mates like Rakesh and Sanjay. He had hated them all then because they fabricated naughty stories around his Geography Miss.

Two newspapers and a packet of milk would rest inside a cotton bag outside until a signature morning knock from Dali would promptly bring Muchkund to the door. Dali was a maid in hurry. Two minutes of wait and she would be gone. With the cotton bag she would step inside and vomit the same lectures in hariyanvi hindi on how it was becoming difficult for her to digest the grapevine gossips on services at a bachelor’s den? After Dali’s express departure, it would be Singh’s turn to be at the door. “TKD is looking for you to take the brief from the Game-Mall people” fluttered the glossy lips of Rubina with her mascara eyes glued to her DOS computer.  She had her long list of admirers; both men and women at her office. Some were bemused by her quintessential resemblance to top-of-the-chart models and some took cue on dressing and make-up aspects from her. Muchkund gave a nod in response while in his leisurely walk to the pantry. Later in the day, a letter of resignation reached the table of – Mr.Tarun Kumar David, Associate Director and Creative Head, Parker & Bird Co. It came impetuously from Mr. Muchkund Maharaj, Senior Manager; who that day ultimately had decided to honor his longstanding appointment with Old Convent.  Love can be natural if we value its nature, it can shift from heart to soul and even become eternal. “Join me tonight at The Pool side of The Park” whispered the Senior Manager to the one and only miss beautiful of his office. The resignation got accepted without much ado and a minimum notice period with Parker & Bird Co. got invoked.

Muchkund had survived the pangs of juvenile solitude and later braved through difficult times with sporadic tuitions and odd jobs as a door-to-door salesman alongside his part-time college studies. His professional life rolled frivolously with six job changes. The not-so-tall, not-so-dark and not-so-handsome had a proposal to offer to his invitee. Alas, miss beautiful had failed to meet him there at Park. Later in the night, Maharaj drifted thoughtlessly out of his lift, his hangover intact, thanks to ‘happy hours’ hard drinks at the pool side. He found the corridor dark with intermittent flashes of his apartment corridor’s tube light.  He thought he saw a ghost near 13-B for sure? He found that the ghost was actually Dali? Another flash of light on the intruder froze his spine. She had every right to be there on official purpose. Her key responsibility areas were office transport, accommodations, tours and travel, internal communications and guest house management. “TKD wanted your pre-takeover formalities to be instantly completed…that virus came along with me and thank god he had left a while ago…don’t you want me in or what? ” uttered Rubina in one go. “No. I mean Yes. But, at this hour of the night!” murmured the man as his shaky hands took time to unlock the door. “Great, you have maintained the company property so well!” was a hurried remark she made on her way to the washroom; with a hint of praise for the man. For a moment things appeared as naughty comic characters to that man. His bed joked “you have at last got a girl to care and I have more load to share.” To which the pillow added “man rise!” Thankfully, he found a way to get his nerves back. He made flavored tea in quick time. “This is of my liking” complimented the refreshed lady. “Rubi, we can go to Paradise Point for my birthday celebrations. It is my actual birthday and not the official one that you have in records. See, I can drop you home after that” the gentleman proposed. The lady disposed in favor of a home-delivery and profusely emanated wishes with a promise of a gift later. By the way, she had a big box of birthday cake in her car; yet she had remained silent on that.

On professional front everything was fine with Rubina save the TKD virus.  The resignation episode earlier in that day came as a blow to her as she had found a TKD anti-virus in the man who was at that moment busy with an order over his land-line telephone. She contemplated that she would start a leisurely discussion on her 13B occupant’s onward plans and then she would gradually draw him to her vulnerabilities, a typical female trait to draw empathy. Through the dancing curtains of the open balcony that revealed the outer ring road it was apparent that the night traffic had slowed down. In perfect parity the outside noise also got mellowed. A faint sound of unfurling of a sheet of paper on the centre table drew her attention. Had she seen something similar before? She took that paper captioned 24/04 close to her eyes and in quick time that changed hands. “Let me tell you this was my hobby in school, a bit unusual. Hey, are you listening?” interjected the baritone voice. Her moist eyes looked up to the source of the sound. “See I forgot to place this back in my album. You can see it has a central circle for a finger impression. And these five outward spokes are each with specific personal information on name, birthday etc. Odd to the hilt; you may say so. But some people also emulated my impressions, I mean my hobby.” Muchkund paused for a moment to reach for his light. “Your pet name is Muchhu? Right?” said a broken voice with one of her conical fingers loosely pointed at him. Indeed it was. How come she knew about that? The rings of smoke encircled the air as formless signatures while moments extraordinaire rode over the heartbeats.  A pair of mascara eyes had captured some indelible impressions. Those swayed in harmonic motion with letters changing to different fonts and sizes. Yet it was with some clarity that she read those spokes as Zoya (Julia Bhargava), 24thApl, Teaching (Geography), Flavor Tea and finally the fifth spoke as 13B Teachers Hostel, Old Convent Co-Ed. The calling bell yelled. Food was delivered. Rubina stood up to say “Am driving you to my home... shall celebrate there… let this night be long” with a poetic modulation as if nothing happened to her that was remotely disturbing. Yet deep inside; she had suppressed the lava of emotions to burst out. Her car picked motion. They both sat tight all the way without their seat belts till they arrived at a single storey CR Park home of Rubi and Zoya. All three of them were sleepless that night.

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