Her clothes all wet, her hair half messed up with water, she was picture of unfathomable fantasy gone slightly off track. For a second and longer I kept looking at her, as if she is going to push
me into my room and render our chance meeting and continuance to its beaten and logical end.
She grabbed my hand, but instead of pushing me in, she pulled me out. Dragging me to her room, where my bare feet felt the reason for her sudden rush of action. There was inch-high water near the
entrance. She shouted, “please call house keeping”, the bathroom tab knob just came off and the water won’t stop.
Like all specimens of my species, I wanted to try and fix the problem. Tried and failed. After all they didn’t include the word plumber in the dictionary for nothing.
After my brief attempt at plumbing failed, I rushed to my room to call the house keeping. They came down in about five minutes, by then the room was a pool and the water was flowing into the
During all this I kept feeling kind of awkward. What was I doing with this clichéd beautiful stranger. My life had a different calling. A calling to which I had heeded when I boarded the train to
Dehradoon. It was as if there was a ghost in the machine, random codes of my unfulfilled desires that were coming together for one meaningful crescendo, the remainder of so many divided moments,
phosphorus sesquisulfide of matchsticks painstakingly collected over the years for one explosive escape. The universal errant who always adds up to more than the sum of its summated parts.
Nonetheless the house keeping guys were at work, and in the meanwhile Shruti spoke to the hotel manager who came down hearing the commotion. She was clear, she wanted another room and the manager
politely obliged. There was no dearth of room during the off season. But he told her the room would take about twenty minutes to be readied and that it was a floor lower than the current one. I saw
a kind of discomfort on Shruti’s face on hearing this. Well anyways, she gave him the go head.
While the men were trying to fix the overflowing tap, Shruti had moved her baggage to my room. She took control of my bathroom and didn’t come out for a good twenty-thirty minutes.
Not to make her uncomfortable with my presence, I picked up a wooden chair and moved out to the balcony. The steel-grey air of the hills was compassionate and cold, the irony resides in hills and
the seas. My mind was running two parallel tracks –
One on hand my whole life has become a self-obstructing nuisance where I was falling out from my once aspirational marriage and my once perfect soul mate. My purpose was narrowed to the lane
driving of travelling to the end of the world and falling off.
On the other, I was drawn to this sharp shooting girl. It was as if she was in my grasp, for me to have, for her to have me, for a moment or two or even longer, and then to recede like the
universe. Like the universe recedes as I write this and as you read. Never to meet, never to part.
Then I heard her voice call for me. She called out my name.
Instinctively I yelled back, “Yes, tell me!”. But then all of a sudden, I realized all through out I have not shared my name with her. It has been awful, we have met, talked, liked each
other, checked into the same hotel, she was even taking bath in my room’s bathroom and I didn’t tell her my name. How rude or strange was that?
It occurred to me, I never mentioned my name. How did she know? I was spooked.
© Copyright 2016 Balaji Iyer. All rights reserved.