Saturday, July 12, 2014

the drive

... and he was left alone with his car at the end of the day on an empty road. Clock showed 11:30pm. Radio guy was planning to doze off as he said, मधुर बेला कार्यक्रम अब समाप्त हो रहा है! He rolled down the windows, shuffled thru other radio channels, fixed one that sounded less loud and started driving towards the highway. It was drizzling, he could feel the rain-drops on his elbow of the right hand that was slightly outside the window. It was approaching mid-night, the road was all dark, it was going to be 30 minutes ride till he reached his house. He started driving on the left most lane not to bother anyone else with his slow speed, raised the volume of the song. It was some old Suresh Wadkar song. He remembered, he always has been a fan of such late night drives. A slow number or some country music on the radio doubles the charm of the nightly living streets and the running lights over the head. This time, it was all with a little spice of rainfall too. He felt as if it was an orchestrated exclusive event for him. The roads throwing in a surprise treat. It was 11:45pm. It was chilling cold. The radio track changed to "मौला मेरे" from "चक दे". Now that was too much for a treat. He waited till it reached the line "लौटके आयेगा तू शर्त लगा ले!". It pushed him 6 years back in the past. He could feel his amateur self sitting next to him. He remembered the walk by the ocean and then to the top of the hill side nearby. He remembered the time that he spent watching the overwhelming nature from the top of the hill and putting himself together for coming days. It brought a smile on his face because he felt, he was still standing at the same juncture, carrying the same amateurish tags, newer yet similar philosophies. He wanted not to reach home without finishing the song. He slowed down further, looked outside the window. The blinking yellow lights, the windshield wipers and the droplets falling on his right elbow were adding to the rhythm, pushing him further deep down the memory lane. He turned inside his apartment complex, the music too fainted, the desperate commercial intruded his silent conversation with himself. He parked his vehicle, it was past mid-night. He so much wished, there could be a chai-stall nearby or a possibility of a walk with the cup in the hand, or a midnight cafe with the benches outside and view of the water dripping from outside of the ceiling. He took a deep breath. Looked up towards the sky, felt the droplets on his face. Amidst the chaos of the words in the world around him, this was a welcome change. He looked up again and said, Thank You.
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