Last week, I was pretty late while returning from office. It was not due to work but due to participation in a competition and my partners were good enough to score high (they needed a team member so I became a part of the group). Back to where I was, I was late and didn’t feel like taking a bus to home as it was drizzling also. Of all the devil minds, where my project is not allowed for a cab service, still I asked for it and got it (how… that’s out of question). I was told to go for the cab. I literally crawled to the cab and a girl, not good looking but dressed quite well (according to the standards where I’m staying) crossed me and sat in the rear seat of the cab. I had already my ears plugged to my Cowon D2+, playing some Coldplay numbers. I went and took the front seat. After sometime another lady (confirmed married) came and took the seat just behind me. She got down within 5 minutes of drive. Now only this girl and I were there. She was sitting cross-legged across to me i.e. just behind the driver. After the married woman got down she became busy with her phone (of course talking). At that very moment, with slight rain pouring on the windscreen, I thought why not post something that can happen in a cab and the name came to my mind: “The Rains”.
P.S: It’s all fictitious play of my mind, not even close to reality. Those who know me, you know it’s not real, just read it as it were someone else not me.
UPDATE 1 (13th Aug 2010): This is pretty long post, it’s a story. I can understand you may skip it for later, but whenever you go through, please do it completely. Do leave your comments (except the length part, I’m working on it)
UPDATE 2 (24th September 2010): Part II of the story “Hailstorm” is out.
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It was a long week; I have been working the whole week from 7 in the morning to almost past midnight. I’ve been waiting for this weekend for almost a month now. This software industry seems to be taking a toll on me. I was not able to see my family awake this whole period, except my mother who took the trouble of waking me up every morning, pack me a delicious lunch, which I couldn’t savour due to the hectic schedule. I had to talk to my father over phone as in morning we both are busy to leave for office and me being on tighter leash. He would be fast asleep when I reach home at almost 1 o’clock. I was not even able to help my sister in her exams which are just barely a month away. Finally the project being delivered, I think I’ll be more relaxed and make up for the lost time.
I had to wait for the cab, as the forecast said a low pressure zone being developed which will cause torrential rainfall for next couple of days. My city has already experienced how such rains make the city standstill, so most of the people left early so as not to be caught up in overflowing streets. I was pretty relaxed because, this was the weekend for me after 1 month and if given a chance I would lie down any place and give a damn of what others think. It’s close to half-an-hour now and the cab won’t leave till they have second person for my place in next 15 minutes. My nerves were crackling due to pressure I’ve been through, but the sight of relaxation ahead subdued me. Finally the cab driver was ready to leave as there was no one from my place and we’ve already spent a well about 50 minutes. Our windows were rolled up so as not to let the rain give us another bath of the day, but still somehow a faint noise was enough to stop the cab as we were about to leave the stands. There was this average looking girl, but the dressing made her look pretty. It was quite windy and she couldn’t adjust her umbrella while getting in the car and got little wet and her umbrella got disfigured from one side. She carelessly pushed her stuff inside the car while getting in and checked herself, as if it was some sort of acid rain. Probably she didn’t want me to be dry and fumbled her umbrella on me and I got a wet patch on my thigh. I returned her umbrella and smiled, she smiled back but that was kind of “not very friendly”. I’m not of talkative kind nor love to sit silent but I was trying to see her slightly wet hair, the raindrops on her cheek and she patting herself dry with her chunni. I just kept mum the whole 1 hour journey, no “Hi”, so no “bye” and she just left. Her stop was barely10 minutes drive before mine. The whole weekend it rained and I was relieved because no relative will come nor we’ll be going out and I can easily catch up on lost sleep at least and took long naps as if I were a newborn baby.
Couple of days passed, and I got busy with my work and forgot I saw this girl. One evening it was cloudy and I had literally no work so I left from office pretty early. I enquired for cab and I was informed a cab is leaving in couple of minutes. I went straight to the cab and saw someone sitting on front seat, so I took the rear cursing the fellow in front because I’ll miss the large screen view of the road. As I adjusted, I saw it was the same girl I met few days back. This time for a change my smile was returned with equal warmth. We exchanged few words and I didn’t even realize it has started drizzling outside. It came to my knowledge she moved into my locality recently but had been in the city for some time now. It was formal and brief so died out quickly with me again plugging my ears and she reading someting, which I didn’t dare to look into, under the tiny in-cab lamp. How surprising, being in same locality for over a month, same company, same office, same timing, we never met and our meeting was more or less of 2 commuters in the cab. Days passed and we became quite friends but you can call it as “Out of sight, Out of mind”, at least for me.
It was declared “bandh” by the local ruling party, thanks to occasion of rising prices; hence all the transportation services were affected. I had to take my bike for a spin, sadly to office; it was again a crunch time. The effect of bandh will reduce by evening so I reached office early so that I can leave by the time strike was called off and neither I nor my work will be affected. I never knew this bandh was to change my life forever. As you may’ve guessed, she was also in office. We met at the stairs while returning and I thought of dropping her to the cab stand but as soon as we reached there we got to know, our cabbies took a nice day off. Her friend who dropped her in morning has already left so she reluctantly asked me to drop her as she lived quite close to my place. She sat conservatively keeping a “double” healthy distance. I call it double healthy because the gap was so much it was literally easy fit in a early teenager between us. I asked her to sit comfortably and jokingly passed on to hold me else she’ll fall off. That probably eased her and she kept a healthy distance. I don’t know from where out of the blue I asked her for dinner, and the place was diagonally opposite to the place where we stay. To my surprise she agreed. Later I came to know her room mates have gone home and she hates cooking. We drove inside the city and we went to my favorite restaurant. She may be comparatively new but she knew quite good places. Thanks to strike, the head chef was not available and the service was pathetically slow. We had to wait for more than an hour. It was a dinner but turned out to be a dinner date in surprise. The food was good and this outing made us quite good friends and shared quite a lot of stuffs about family, friends, school, college and what not. The rapport between us was building in leaps and bound. She was one of the talkative kind and did most of the talking and me trying to fill-in. We exchanged our numbers before leaving the restaurant.
The next day was weekend, so we were in no hurry to reach home (we’ve already spent around 3 hours together now). The return journey was little different. She was very comfortable and sitting close- midway between healthy distance and hugging. There were not many vehicles on the road and weather was pleasantly cool. We were having a jolly time. We were barely 10-20 minutes away from home at crossroads and before we could realize, we were hit from side by a car which threw us in air. She shrieked in shock and she dug her nails into me with pain. My bike skidded meters away and we landed at middle of the road. Being a guy I should be tough but the landing was pretty bad and hurt like anything, maybe I fractured my hand. She landed by my side about 2 steps if I were walking. I could see her eyes closed and kurta stained in blood. I saw the other side, the car had stopped. I was unable to pick myself up, so I crawled near her and tried to hold her hand, it felt cold. I looked in expectation towards the car but it skidded away and by the way it went I’m pretty sure they celebrated early weekend. I looked toward her but my view felt reddish and blurred. I tried to focus, for an instant I saw her clearly and then all I could see was black.