One Day

One day, when we’re tired,
Of the droning monotonous lives we live in,
And are flummoxed by everything that happens around us,
When the day is done and the sun sets down,
I’ll come over to where you sit all day,
Looking at those tiny-font lines of code,
And wondering if they’ll do the magic this time.

I’ll ask you out for a drink or two,
You’d look at me with the same grown look,
We’re growing old, and drinks don’t charm us no more,
You say it’s better to be in your senses,
What’s the fun in getting tipsy anyway,
When we’ve done that so many times?
Let’s try something new, for a change, you ask,
Let’s go out for a cup of tea.

So we walk outside, and the drizzle hazes your glasses,
You take it off and wipe it nonchalantly,
And that’s the first time I see your eyes,
As naked as it were in my dreams.
You eye me now, where am I lost?
I smile and say that I was wondering,
Are you a ginger or a cardamom person?
You pay no heed and continue to tell me the story
Of a neighbor who loves your dog.

We walk for a while, the rain’s now stopped,
And the last sip of tea remains in your cup,
You gulp it down, and we rush back to office,
You to your lines of code, and I, to mine.
And when after a while, I turn my head,
You’re smiling on the phone, your eyes are bright,
Telling him how you just had tea,
Subtly omitting out the colleague.

One day when we look back,
To trace how we fell in love,
We’ll not remember the numerous times,
We went to the pub, or danced to songs,
Which we could not remember the next day,
We won’t remember all the drinks we had,
Or all the ones we didn’t.
But that one evening, when we walked in the rain,
And tried to keep ourselves warm,
Tea being the only help,
And when I listened to your story,
Of the neighbor who loved your dog,
Is what we would remember as,
When it all began.

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Winter is Coming

I sit outside in the balcony, sipping from my cup of tea. The slight tinge of ginger in it helps me stay awake. I see the sun, red as blood, uncover slowly at the eastern edge of the sky. It isn’t morning yet, but it will be, in a few minutes. I like this time of the day. It’s the time when the birds chirp and yet none fly out as yet, waiting patiently for the first ray to fall on their nests. The wind is chilly, I need a thick shawl, but I don’t want to go inside as yet.

In another hour, I’ll leave for work. Then it will be nine hours of tough grueling on codes written by big professionals out there, but right now my mind doesn’t want to think about that. I smell the air, a tinge of perfume of the girl in the next verandah, potatoes frying in oil, and gulmohur flowers. I imagine how life would have been if I had been a bird, flying at sunrise, returning at sunset. On a second thought, I kind of actually do the same, only I ride inside a bus instead of flying. People come out of their houses once a while, stretch and go back. Some dogs are awake on the streets, but they seem too lazy to bark, and they keep lying down anyways. I hear sounds of bells ringing. The pious lady in the adjacent house strictly observes an early-morning pray-time, and now I smell the incense sticks too. It seems as if the olfactory senses are the only ones alive inside my brain right now, and my fingers continue typing without realizing what I just finished writing.

Even though I try not to think much, my mind is clouded with lots of thoughts, which are really unsorted, and I make a mental note to sort them based on priority once I am ready to begin my day. I bring out another cup of tea, this time making sure I enjoy every sip, but it gets over, just like the one before. Winter is coming. I can feel it in my bones. It reminds me of Game of Thrones, of the Stark family, of the Red Wedding. Then it reminds me of Lady Stoneheart and I smile a silent smile when my devious mind tells me I should let out this spoiler to a friend of mine. But I dig it in, postponing it to a later time. The cycle of thoughts is a wondrous process, moving from one thing to another as swift as a deer, until you forget how the train started. The floor is cold, and I cannot put my feet down. I check my phone once a while, seeing if it’s time; I could as well put an alarm, but find it tiresome to do anything right now. Yesternight was good, we went to a pub. It has been over ten months since I last went to one, and my entire college life kept creeping inside me back and again all the while, until I left for home, my parents and the regular monotonous life that I lead.

And now it’s time to go. I need to take a shower and then get ready for work. So I’ll catch up later. Bye!

A Father-Son Story

An auburn coat, polished shoes, a cotton pant, and a beaming face,
The father embarked on his daily walk to the tea-stall by his house,
The white in his moustache had taken a toll over the black,
It had been the same with men, now it’s for the hair, he told his spouse.

Neatly parted hair, the few left on his head, and a wizened face,
He bid his everyday adios to his wife at the gate,
Both smiled yearning it was his last day he would visit the stall,
And that their craving would equate his fate.

As he gazed into his wristwatch he’d bought years ago,
He read the letter which he’d carry in his pouch,
“I’ll come to see you at the tea-stall one day”,
Today was the thousandth day he read that he’d vouch.

He told the seller about his son, that he’d left when he was six,
Said he’d come back only when he had earned,
And when he was twenty, he sent him a letter,
Saying he’d meet him at the tea-stall one day.

“My son must be busy with his work,
I think he’ll reach here by tomorrow,
He never broke his promise when he was younger,
Either in joy or in sorrow.”

The shopkeeper smiled as he poured him his last drink,
For the past twenty years they’d known each other,
And when a tear rolled down their cheeks,
None of them thought the other would bother.

The sun then set behind the knolls, whilst they shut the little booth,
And one day he told him, “You treat me as if I was your father”,
The tea-seller’s heart skipped a beat, as he spoke to himself,
“I’ve kept my promise and continue to keep it every day, father”.

Those Complete Days

The cool breeze brought in with it an essence, an essence of happiness, a fragrance of hope, and a perfume of completeness, as I sat at my desk, completing my homework. It was less cold today, I hadn’t put on my pullover after waking up, and though after every five sums I went to my bed to feel the warmth of my quilt, the cool breeze still soothed me, and for a change, being wrapped by it felt better than the quilt. My mother brought in the tea, with two biscuits; I was not supposed to have tea empty-stomached, and sat by me for some time. Then she went off, continuing with her daily chores, whilst I sat at the window sill, looking out. Today was special.

The trees had just bore new leaves yesterday. They were small, they were green. As green as the eyes of that girl, whom I had seen yesterday under the tree, waiting for the rain to stop so she could resume her way back. She was wearing a white top, and a red skirt, and it looked more like a school uniform. She didn’t see me, I didn’t want to be seen either, for I felt ashamed to be spotted the first time with me wearing a vest and bermuda. I had seen her from the space in between the two curtains, which were at two corners of the pelmet today, allowing the light inside the room, so that I did not have to switch on the lamp to study. I gave one biscuit to the crow, one to the dog, and had the tea myself. They were always around at this time of the day, it had become a routine for them to get the biscuits. They did not wait for more, they knew they would get only one.

I heard the motorcycle’s engine start, rushed to the balcony to wave my father good-bye as he went to work; I did this every day. Sometimes I would go off with him when he left and would stop at a shop, buying myself a chocolate, and then walk my way home. My mother would be surprised when occasionally I brought in a samosa for her, not knowing that I had bought myself no chocolate that day. And as she smashed the samosa and mix it with puffed rice, put a spoon of mustard oil, and some onion, I would stand by her, smiling. That was my mother’s favorite breakfast.

Sometimes she would make herself a cup of tea after breakfast, softly so as I do not get to know about it, but the sound as the hot tea touched the dry heated upper part of the saucepan while pouring it, clearly alerted me, and I would rush into the kitchen, and she would smile, pouring the tea into two cups, and we drank half a cup of tea each, chatting throughout. She would ask me what I wanted for lunch, telling me the names of all the vegetables in the refrigerator, and I would choose one, and she would make something out of it for lunch that day.

I would return to my room, which was no more cool, but hot due to the asbestos roof heating up quickly. I would retire to my chair, take a book in my hand and continue reading, whilst my mother cooked for me and father, who would be shortly arriving then, for his lunch. By the time he would come home for lunch, I would already be sleeping; I needed a nap in the afternoons to keep me awake through the evenings. When in the evening he finally returned from his office after it closed, he would sometimes bring two jalebees for us, mother and me, and would smile as we ate them after tea. I couldn’t have it before tea; the tea wouldn’t taste sweet then, a phenomena I couldn’t reason out why.

Then we all went back to our work, mother to the kitchen, I to my studies, and dad, well, to the television. He needed some rest after the day’s hard work. In two hours we would have finished with dinner. Sometimes we played a game of cards before everyone finally felt too sleepy. And there it would end, another special day. Tomorrow will be special again.